I ALMOST FORGOT

Posted in Spinning, Uncategorized, video with tags , on May 6, 2010 by shortysmg

I forgot that I had a friend take a short video of me using my Fantasia.  

It was amazing to me how many people said the wheel wobbled alot.  I personally haven’t  encountered that.  And several ladies at the retreat tried it out, and no one mentioned a wobble.

So far my only issues with this wheel are not deal breakers for me.  1.  When you stop treddling, because the wheel is so heavy, the momentum  allows the wheel to keep spinning for a rotation or two.  I’m working on figuring out how to minimize that.  And so far it’s not been a major issue for me.  Also, Beth pointed out and I agree that with the slider being made of leather it may stretch over time and not remain as snug.  But I don’t see that being an obstacle any time soon, and I’ll deal with it when it happens.

So that’s my opinion!  I hope it helps anyone who might be interested in getting, or trying out the Fantasia!

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY

Posted in Family, Harley, Job Search, Retreat, video on May 6, 2010 by shortysmg

It’s been over a month since I posted, so as I’m sure you can guess there has been a lot going on.  So much so, I’m not really sure where I should begin.  So forgive me if I jump around a bit.

I’ll start with the “Twill Block” scarf from Handwoven.  I finished it in time to give it to my sister when I visited for Easter.  This visit went from a one week visit to a three week visit.  And I had a great time!

Harley truly enjoyed himself during this visit.  We got a kick out of watching him chase my youngest nephew around the house.  And were amazed at how quickly he figured out he could catch him if he stopped and waited for him to come around again.    Luckily he only got stepped on once.  He barked insanely at my brother-in-law, which we think is because my BIL made so much noise whenever he came in or left the house.  Since Harley and I are used to being alone in the house, all the noises at my sister’s freaked him out at first, but he got used to it fairly quickly.  He even had a great time making me chase him around her yard.  

It was a little sad though.  I brought all these projects I had intended on working on, but all I got done was less than an inch of a Jaywalker sock I started months ago.  All the weaving, and spindled spinning sat in a corner untouched.  Mostly because I went to work with my sister to help her out several times.  I enjoyed meeting her co-workers I hadn’t met before, and getting reacquainted with the ones I already knew.  If it ends up that I get the job working with her, it’s going to be loads of fun doing something I love to do, with people I truly like working with.  So wish me luck!  I think I’d really like living with family again too.  I’ve been living alone for almost ten years, and being a part of a family’s daily routine was very nice!

After three weeks there, I got home with three days to spare before I headed up to Port Huron for our Knit-A-Way retreat.  And all I can say is, I had a fabulous time with fabulous friends (new and old)!  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I planned to take.  But I did get some pretty good ones.  Especially during an afternoon walk with a new friend.  we looked up the cliff and spotted a Llama looking down at us checking us out.  It was adorable!  You can check out the pictures on my Flickr page.  I also got to talk on a podcast for the first time.  One of the guests at the retreat was none other than “Coggie” of The High Fiber Diet.  She decided to record while we were there and allowed us to join her on the mic.  I got a little outrageous and trashy at points (not meant for young ears), but she seemed okay with it.  And it was loads of fun!  (I’m “I Have the Clap”)  I can’t wait for the next retreat.

The other great thing that has happened to me is my new loom came in.  I ordered the Kromski Fantasia and have been bugging my friend Beth of The Spinning Loft to get my hands on it as soon as possible.  And when it came in she immediately put it together and called me to pick it up.  I love Miss Beth so much!

Now I have to get things together for the return trip to my sister’s.  I’m going to spend a few more weeks trying to impress her bosses so they’ll consider hiring me.  But I have to be back by the first of June.  In time for my cousin’s prom and high school graduation.  And for my parents yearly summer visit.

Hopefully I’ll have some knitting, spinning and/or weaving content by then.

A LITTLE PROGRESS

Posted in Harley, weaving on March 28, 2010 by shortysmg

After I finished the red and black Twill Block scarf I was dying to start a semi lace project.  I found exactly what I was looking for in the same issue of Handwaoven as the Twill Block Scarf.  The magazine called for Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Bamboo, but I didn’t have any in so stash.  So instead I decided to use the black bamboo I purchased from Herritage Spinning and Weaving last year.

I warped a modified draft that removed the extra lace strips on either side and added a few extra inches to the center lace strip.  Unfortunately after I got the reed sleyed, the heddles threaded, the warp wound and tied on, and the border woven I discovered that I had made several threading mistakes.  Luckily I was able to do a bit of finagling and I got it worked out without having to re-thread the entire project.  Yeah for me!!

I am really enjoying the process, and despite Harley trying to get my attention, he crawled between me and the loom and just sat there.  I was able to get a few inches done, and I’m loving it!!!

A LITTLE SCATTERED…

Posted in Family, weaving on March 26, 2010 by shortysmg

The last few weeks I’ve been a little craft scattered, with a really bad case of start itis.  It started with my decision to do a Crochet By Numbers project.  I had been coveting the idea of a picture of myself as a kid to hang in my craft room, and finally decided to just do it.  I sent my picture to Todd, and in less than two days had my design.  I chose purples, of course, and got started.   Click the flickr link to see photos of my progression

I was really excited, and crocheting away, for about a week then BAM!  I lost my motivation to keep working on it.

My problem was I kept looking at the beautiful “BMFA” Waffle Weave scarf that was still on the loom waiting to be completed.  So, I broke down and made myself finish it.  And I am so glad I did!   The Raven and Spirits colorways look really good together.  And the Black/Blue “Haida” really pops and is so vibrant in the sunlight.  I am really happy with my choices on this one.

During all this I remembered the BFL/silk fiber I bought a few weeks ago, thanks to Beth at The Spinning Loft, and decided I HAD to have some of it.  I actually had to have a pound of it to be exact.  It’s so luxurious!  And I’m so glad I bought it.   And it’s going to make a beautiful warp for the name draft shawl I want to make for myself sometime soon.  I was only able to spin part of a bobbin before I got distracted though.

Enter the distraction, “Twill Blocks” from Handwoven magazine, Sept/Oct 2009.  I fell in love with this cover project the moment the issue of Handwoven hit my mailbox.  And I knew I had to make one for myself.  So, after months of debating what fiber to use and in what color, I decided on a great red and black 3ply wool.  And from the start I loved it. Unfortunately, it didn’t completely hold my interest either.  But after jumping back and forth between projects, which also includes a pair of Jaywalker socks out of Wollmeise.  I finally finished it a couple of days ago.  And I’m so glad I did.  I love it, and I think my sister will too.  I decided that it was perfect for her while I was making it.  

During all of my flip flopping, and my horrendous case of startitis, I also started a Color Theory weaving class.  I’m hoping this will help me gain some confidence and daring in my color choices.  It took me two and a half weeks, but I finally got all 19 colors warped, and the loom is now dressed.   This week I got almost half of the weaving done.  But I forgot to bring my camera to take pictures.  I’m hoping to get to the store this weekend to maybe get at least two or three more colors sections done.

I’ve discovered something about myself the last few weeks.  I must have several projects going at the same time, or I loose my crafting mojo all together.  So it’s back to work I go.  This weekends distraction is a woven black lace bamboo shawl for my mom.

Wish me luck!  I think I’m going to need it.

NEED I SAY MORE!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 6, 2010 by shortysmg

SUPERBOWL AND BEYOND

Posted in weaving with tags , , , on February 24, 2010 by shortysmg

I realize I have a few weeks to make up for.  So I figure I’d start with our annual “Knitting Bowl” party.

As is always the case, my good friend Angela hosted our party in her lovely new home.  And Amy’s husband made our annual Knitting Bowl brownie.   I swear if Amy hadn’t already scooped him up, I’d have to claim him for myself.  He puts so much time and effort into his work, and we appreciate every minute of it.  And this year’s brownie was no exception.  It’s so cute, wild animals (Saints) vs domestic animals (colts).  I guess you can figure out who he was rooting for.

The weaving has continued, despite the creative block I’m experiencing as far as color is concerned.  I finished the waffle weave towels, and used the leftover warp to make a scarf.   Then I dressed my loom and started a project that had been on my mind for a couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, it was not a success.  I tried several different accent threads in the warp, but none really worked.   The closest to a success was a red suede yarn I got for my birthday last year.   But even that wasn’t the look I was going for.  Better luck next time.

I decided that a more portable loom was needed, so on a long overdue road trip to Forma, a weaving store in Whitemore Lake MI.  I found more than what I was looking for:   A Leclerc Voyageur with 8 shafts.  And a store I will be visiting regularly.  Their selection of coned yarns was overwhelming.  And their classes are very reasonably  priced, with teachers I can’t wait to learn from.

I’m currently working on an 8 shaft Waffle Weave pattern on my new table loom.  I’m only hoping the colors don’t bleed into each other.  

TOWELS AND A SCARF

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by shortysmg

I’ve been having a really good time with my loom the last few weeks. Despite a few minor and major setbacks.  Once  I finally got over the issues I was having, I ended up learning a lot.  I learned how to hemstitch.  Which once I found a video to help me, was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  And I did a pretty good job with it, if I do say so myself.

After I finished the five natural and gray towels yesterday, I decided to use the warp that was left over to make a scarf.  A huge scarf.   

I used Mini Mochi sock yarn, and loved the way the colors blended.  The towels and scarf are being washed and will hopefully look even better after they are dried.  I’ll still have to hem the edges, which is going to be interesting since I’m not a big sewer.

I also got most of  a charity helmet liner for a friend done.   I hope to get it finished this weekend at our annual “Knitting Bowl” party.

I can’t wait to see and hang out with my friends and have a tons of fun!!!