A little Weaving

I warped up my loom Saturday night so I could start some Houndstooth towels today. Im using 100% cotton (Brown and Very Berry Pink) and a 10dpi heddle. I made my warp long enough for 4 towels (16×25″). It seems loosely woven, but once it is wet finished it will be perfect.

I will be teaching myself to use 2 heddles to weave finer cloth. Ive got some linen Ive been wanting to use. I just need to work up the courage to start.

So far, my Ashford is treating me well. Its the smallest loom Ive ever worked with. 16″ weave width seems tiny. I can however double the width using a double weave technique…that i havent learned yet. Ill be busy for quite a while with this loom 🙂

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Its been a while…

…but lots and lots to share! My last few posts were about what crafting i was doing with my broken arm. Great news!! After more than 8 months of casts, braces and various gear…I am free!!!! My brace came off last friday and i immediately dove right in. This post is everything I did this week 🙂 Spinning 16 ozs of leftover roving, mostly bfl and merino Randomly spun up to create a neat variegated strand Navajo plyed to create a fun 3 ply sport weight. Weaving Going to town on that. First step was to buy a new rigid heddle loom. I chose the Ashford 16″ SampleIt. Im a Schacht gal but decided on the Ashford because of the size and built in double heddle block. I also ordered extra heddles. It comes with a 7.5 dpi. I got a 10 and 12. The plan is to have 2 of each size for double weave (my 16″ can become 32″) and more complicated weaves Since its new and unfinished I used my favorite potion to protect the wood and bring out the color and grain of that beautiful New Zealand Silver Beech. Put it together right away! Warped it immediately with some nice worsted weight cotton. I needed new dish towels. I used the same for warp and weft. Threw in a couple shots of pick up at the beginning and end of each towel. Practiced my hemstitching because i dont need fringe Chico has to investigate. He is Quality Control. Before wet finishing And after Then i warped 9″ wide to make a scarf. This is 8/4 cotton warp. 2 colors of blue cotton and a simple pick up pattern I found in The Weaver’s Idea Book. Diamond Painting I finished this one and have moved onto another one that is freaking huge! This is called Soulmates and is 120cm long x 90 cm tall. This is what it should look like. We will see. I got it here: ttp://paintwithdiamonds.com?rfsn=1122027.154d61 Sewing Made a couple lined zipper pouches from some scrap fabric. I used my electric Simplicity Rotary cutter to make strips. Im still not great with scissors yet Off I go to warp the loom for pinwheels. Im using an 8 shaft loom pattern thats hopefully converted correctly for massive amounts of pick up. I need a stand!

Weaving fun

Im sure some of you have seen or used Schacht’s Zoom Loom. Its a cute little pin loom that makes a 4″x4″ square. They are fun, fast and full of possibilities.

We all know I have a soft spot for old crafty items…

Enter the Weave-It. In the 1920’s and 30s it was a new fangled gadget and pretty popular

Ive got one. Its original receipt is dated 1925. I even have a bunch of Weave-it magazines dating from the 30’s and 40’s. They arent printed out copies…they are the real deal. They have a $.15 cent price on the cover. I have them sealed in protective plastic because they are aging badly. All the publications can be downloaded from www.eloomination.com as pdf so I dont dare use my actual books.

I am able to do all kinds of weaves. Its surprising what you can do on this little thing. I can even do overshot. It is perfect for using up scraps of leftover yarns. Self patterning sock yarns are perfect for making plaid squares.

Over a couple years I have made dozens of plain squares and stashed them in a bag. One day, I will join the squares to make a crazy afghan or something.

Not bad for an almost 100 year old toy is it?

Best part is it only takes a few minutes per square. Instant gratification! I may get a Zoom Loom just so I can put this little antique away where its safe.

Off I go to do some overshot diamonds and hearts.

Bonus post :)

Since I can’t knit by hand with the broken arm, I’ve been loom knitting. This is cascade cotton on a KB 18″ All in One loom. It is double knit so it will be nice and toasty for a scarf.

I can crochet so I am making a nice blanket for my grandson.

This is the Diagonal Box stitch. I found the pattern on a project linus website years ago. Its called “Carriage Robe” Its a vintage stitch and recently, everyone is using the stitch for C2C (corner to corner) projects. Most people think its a new stitch…truth is its been around for decades. I traced it back to a book “Royal Academy of Crochet” and the print date of first publication of the book was 1902. I’m sure its much older.

Finally spinning again

I found a sneaky way to spin with just 1 arm, sort of 🙂 I still have braces on my arm so I cant reach out for drafting on a spindle or a wheel. I can, however turn a handle that is right next to me where my arm hangs naturally

Enter the Box Charkha. Mine was made in India over 45 years ago, says the original owner. Its not pretty, its old and well used but it has an amazing history with Gandhi’s cultural movement decades ago.

It is designed to spin cotton and has a spin ratio higher than most spinning wheels…over 100:1! High speed flyers and whorls are usually available for most wheels but they can be expensive. I am experimenting with other fibres with short staples like alpaca, silk, angora, civet and the like. The best technique obviously is long draw.

There was a bit of a learning curve for this. The trick is getting used to the speed. I kid you not, a quarter turn of the wheel and I drafted about half my arms length. I did a lot of park and draft at first. Once I got used to the speed I was able to slowly turn the wheel and do the long draw.

This is a rolag I made. I blended mulberry silk that I dyed (turquoise) and merino (purple) and some cotton (white). Weird blend but I only had small amounts of each so…

After a little frustration (three days worth) things just sort of clicked.

Such a fine thread…nice shine too from the silk.

I know there are much nicer ones out there. Id love a Bosworth for sure.

To be totally honest, this ugly little box fits right in. All my sewing machines are from 1903-1942, even my click reel (skein winder basically) is from the 1800’s. I love vintage and antique fibre equipment. Don’t you?

Progress…

I’ve been working on this scratchboard design whenever I get the chance. With all the tiny detail I can only work on it when I have bright sunlight. Its so hard to see this stuff. There is a lot going on in the picture.

I started doing these because coloring was getting dull. I wanted a challenge and it really is fun. If you like coloring for stress relief or just the fun of it I really recommend scratch art.

Second post Sunday?

Lol I guess so…

Those who follow this blog ( I thank those who do immensely), know I started working with Scratch board Art not long after I broke my arm. Nice one handed activity. I started with nice colorful Mandala designs. It really is a relaxing thing to do, almost like coloring.

I’ve been doing all these designs and realized today I have 20 done so far. What will I do with them all?

I decided that I would put them up in my grandson’s room on the wall across from his crib. He is 13 months old and loves the colors. The scratched areas are foil, so the sunlight really makes them shimmer. I can’t wait to get them up 🙂

Sewing machines and other things

Did a bit of sewing today. Because I can only use 1 hand, I opted to use my only electric machine. Its my youngest machine, having been made in Great Britain just before WWII. I generally don’t like electric machines but this little cutie spoke to me… She said “nab me I’m only 5 bucks!” So I did.

That was when my arm wash freshly broken so I couldn’t even try her out. I am pretty good at fixing these old singers so I didnt care.

Here she is all fixed up. She is beautiful. I decided to sew a table cover for one of my other treadle machines. Cant keep the cats off of it so I need something lol.

This was a no brainer kind of project with minimal cutting and work in general. I only have one arm to use 🙂

I cut 2 pieces the length and width I needed. Hemmed them both and then sewed them together. Tada. So very simple, looks nice and no cat hair or scratches on the wooden cabinet.

She sewed through both layers of heavy fabric like it was tissue paper. Perfect stitches, perfect tensions. Before I knew it, I was finished. Bored again.

Can’t knit, can’t card fibre or spin, can’t crochet… I guess I will go color.