Friday, July 21, 2017

No SSK or Tour de Fleece This Year



When I logged into Facebook today & yesterday, there were pics from last year at SSK.  *pout*

I got into SSK again for this year.  I even sent the deposit.  But then some personal changes happened.  And I figured it was smarter not to attend this year.

For which, I am *very* grateful for now.  My family are closing on a house on the 26th.  Which is beyond awesome.  And I am thrilled.

But watching the Knit Girllls podcast & seeing things they are bringing to SSK has made me a little bit sad.  It was super awesome last year.  And getting a spot and not being able to go has been a bit tough. 

I know it has worked out for the best!  I am super thrilled about the house!  It is awesome.  But there is a little part of me sad that I won't be at SSK.  It was an amazing event.  And I also know that part of it is that I fear that may be the only year I get to go to SSK.

With the house comes costs...  Lots of costs.  So I doubt I will have money to do it for some time to come.  Maybe when the kids retire if the Knit Girllls are still doing it by some miracle!  *laugh*

I also didn't participate in Tour de Fleece.  I started participating in 2012 I think.  But it looks like I skipped 2013.  But have done it for the last three years.  So I am a bit sad I sat this one out.  But again, things have been too crazy with the house stuff.  This month has been inspections & documents galore.  So it really wasn't the time for it.

I also regret that my poor wheel really hasn't gotten any love at all this past year!!  I finished plying the double Bump from the TdF last year.  But after some trouble at SSK with the wheel I borrowed, I just needed some time away from the wheel.  And it kills me because of the awesome classes I took with Maggie Casey.  I *should* have been practicing the skills I learned.  But I didn't...

I will get back to my wheel.  I intend on making sure it has a good spot in the living room in the new house along with my loom.  They won't be traveling with the movers.  I am taking them both over.  I am debating if the Babe is coming with me or if it will go in the moving truck...  I think I will take it with the other two. 

I feel a bit bad for my Babe as it hasn't gotten any love since I got the Ladybug. I debated letting it go.  But I figure it is a good wheel if the kids want to learn to spin.  It is really forgiving & can take a beating!  *laugh*  I may put it in the den.  Kinda like the idea of wheels in multiple rooms.  Mind you, it may also get put in a closet like it is at my current apartment.

There is also a part of me that wonders if it wouldn't be better to let it go to a new home.  But I just can't let it go.  I keep hoping the kids will want to try spinning...

So while this has been a disappointing month for all things fiber, it is an exciting time for me.  It is my first home.  I have been living in apartments my entire adult life.  So that is awesome.  *smile*

I also learned that the lake clubhouse near the new house has a knitting & crochet group on Monday nights!!  It is especially awesome as I work from home on Mondays.  So I really hope to go there.  *fingers crossed* 

I really miss the Stitch & Bitch group at work.  When I moved to another building, I no longer had it.  And I miss it terribly...  The only group other than the work one was   when I first learned to knit, I met with some other Weight Watcher members in the area to knit together.  It was sometimes just me and the person who taught me to knit.  It would be awesome to have a knitting group.

The woman with the lake association says they do a lot of charity knitting & love wine.  Given I am not a wine gal, I am hoping they are okay with me drinking craft beer...*laugh*  Mind you, not having been to the lake clubhouse, who knows what they carry for beer.  Probably macros.  But you never know these days!

So while there have been some disappointments on the fiber front.  There may be some awesome to come.  *fingers crossed*

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Winding My First Warp for Weaving



Woohoo!  I wound my first warp!  It is chained & waiting to go on the loom.  I am happy but tired!!

Yesterday got away from me.  And we went out to dinner.  So I didn't get a chance to get warping.  Though I did watch some more of the Craftsy class to prepare to get started.  All good!

I think I did okay with getting the yarn on the warping board.  Of course, about 1--20 threads/ends in, I remembered the instructor saying it doesn't need to be too tight.  *laugh*  I did loosen it up a bit.  Firm & even.  Not super tight but also not loose.  I think I did okay.

The hardest part for me was remembering over or under when I did the cross.  *smile*  I think I am sticking with over then under so I recall the sequence. 

Of course, this probably all sounds like Greek if you don't weave.  *laugh*

Here it is!

First Time Winding & Chaining a Warp

The yarn is a skein of yarn from the Dresden Club by The First Draft.  It is called Flying Purple Monkeys.  Though I think it looks more blue than purple.  I joined the club late that go round.  So it is possible she dyed the yarn for me later than the rest of the club.  I have seen pics of the others & think it looked more purple for others.  Not complaining.  But trying to explain the color.

Here it is on the beautiful warping board I got from an Etsy seller, TheKnitStore - https://www.etsy.com/shop/theknitstore.  Amazingly well crafted.  And super reasonable. 

Please ignore the messy shelves!

First Time Winding a Warp on My New Warping Board

I wish I thought I would be able to get it on the loom anytime soon.  But I don't know when that might happen.  *sigh*  Probably not until next weekend.  Unless I can start the process earlier.

I did spend a good chuck of time today working on the loom.  The seller sent some heddles. There were only about 100 total on it. So I wanted to get the extra heddles on it.

The heddle bars had rust.  I checked Schacht's site.  They suggest using steel wool or a rust remover.  I had some jewelry grade diamond sandpaper.  So I used that on the bars.  It took a while.  The woman who had it before me had it for a long while. I should have taken before & after pics!  Very shiny.  *grin*

I got all the heddles in the right direction & the additional ones onto the heddle bars.  Counting out heddles & getting them was a bit of a challenge.  Kept recounting.  But I think there are now 65 on shafts 3 and 4 & 64 on the front two. Makes for 258 heddles total.  Might want to pick up some more heddles if I am working on finer pieces.

I am actually kinda sore.  I think between sorting the heddles & getting them in order, I was hunched over a lot.  Then I did the warping & I don't think I did it as ergonomically as I should have.  There was a YouTube video where the woman talked about moving the whole arm & shoulder to not strain the body.  But clearly I didn't as I am a bit tender.  *laugh*

I am so grateful for the Craftsy Floor Loom class.  The instructor is really through & goes through things in a really approachable way.  Without it, I wouldn't have realized that the heddles need to be on in the same direction.  And for threading purposes, it helps to have the right of the eye in the back if you are a righty.  I think they were the opposite way on the loom.  I am wondering if the previous owner was a lefty.  Though the instructor also suggested threading the heddles in reverse order if you are a righty as it is easier to thread them back to front if you are a righty.  And the shafts are set up that way. 

Definitely been a long day!  The Little Guy woke me at 5:30.  Got him back to sleep for a bit.  But he was up by 6:30.  *sigh*  At least Elder Munchkin woke at 7:30-8.  LG had woken up EM at 5:30.  And I was so terrified she wouldn't get back to sleep!

They both crashed pretty early thank heavens.  But I am feeling like I am right there with them.  Maybe an early night isn't a terrible idea...

I feel like I did so much today.  I know I *learned* a lot.  Not so much on *did* a lot.  *laugh*  But I am feeling accomplished.  I got to know more about my new-to-me loom.  I understand how the shafts & heddle bars work.  As well as the heddles.  I think she is ready to go. 

Though it turns out the seller got the size wrong.  It is a 15" table loom not 20".  The size is about the width of fabric that can be woven.   I was a bit upset.  I have ordered some kits that I will have to rework.  But it is still a good deal.  So I am happy I made the leap.

And the folks at The Woolery have been beyond awesome!!  A woman named Taevia went through all sorts of info to help me get the pieces I needed.  She went above & beyond.  Measuring things at the store to make sure I got the right size for things I needed.  And she & other people at the Woolery were ROCKSTARS about correcting the issues of the items I had ordered that weren't going to work since it is a 15" & not 20".  They contacted Schacht about the reed & stand I ordered.  They are getting the correct lease sticks & refunding me the difference in the price.  They really are terrific!  I am so glad I ordered from them.

I am hoping that perhaps I can start working on getting the warp on the loom tomorrow after work.  But Elder Munchkin has dance class.  So I will be home with Little Guy.  So it is unlikely.  But I can dream, right?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Hubby Says "A hobby"




So I love my DH.  Though Friday night, I shot daggers from my eyes.  Though not in a serious way.  *laugh*

On a tv show we were watching, they said the person should get a hobby.  He pointed out that the saying is *A* hobby.  I shot my daggers and then laughed.

He says this because I am taking up another hobby.  Fiber related of course.

An awesome lady who I had the pleasure of working with for many years is selling her two weaving looms.  And I am buying the smaller of the two.  It is a Schacht 20" Table Loom.

I confess that if she weren't selling it at such an amazing price, I wouldn't even dream of it.  But it is about the cost of a new rigid heddle loom.  And it is Schacht.  And after having my Ladybug nearly two years, I am in love with the company.  They were awesome about answering questions even *before* I bought the wheel.  And I bought a used wheel at that.  But they answered all sorts of questions.  Awesome.

And I LOVE my Ladybug.  It is an amazing wheel.  I adore spinning on it.  Though I have to confess.  It hasn't been touched since after I finished plying my MASSIVE double Bump Loop madness.  I didn't get it finished for the Tour de Fleece.  But I finished it after getting back from SSK.

Mind you, that was not about the wheel.  That was about me.  I spin tons during the TdF and then STOP for at least 2-4 months afterwards.  So it is my yearly pattern any time I do the Tour de Fleece!  *laugh*

So... I am waiting for my tax refund before I can actually get my new-to-me loom.  Being me, what does that mean?  I start learning all I can.  Researching, reading and with weaving, there are a ton of awesome videos on YouTube that are super helpful.

I started thinking about projects.  I know a simple plain/tabby weave is a great starter project.  But it is me...  So I think about doing that for eons.  In just two colors...

I watched some YouTube videos for weaving.  I am thrilled there are so many good ones available.  It is so helpful.

One guy uses a rigid heddle to weave scarves.  And he can do it relatively fast.  He says about 4 hours for a completed project.  *blink*  He uses some bulker yarns.  They look great.  He uses long color stripe yarns.  And inexpensive ones at that.  He suggested Bernat Mosaic (which is discontinued), something from Red Heart & Lion Brand Landscapes yarn. 

LB is having a sale on Scarfie which is as you would expect, a scarf length of yarn!  Mandala also has long color repeats which could be cool.  So I am thinking that an order might not be the worst idea.  *smile*

But I looked at the yarns and went..."Hey...wait a sec.  Those look like the kind of long colors you get with handspun..."  Which of course inspired me...

See the slippery slope?!  *laugh*

So I wanted something fun & funky. Something where I could just play with colors and not stress too much if all was harmonious.  And if it didn't work out, that was okay too.

I remembered I had the bag of Odds & Ends from Into the Whirled.  That could be perfect.  Lots of fun & a bit of a mystery.

I loved spinning the singles.  I just spun it all & figure I will Navajo ply to keep the colors very sharp.  The warp can work to pull it all together. 

The fibers were fun to spin.  Since it is an odds & ends bag, I don't know what fibers were in it.  But I would swear that at least a third to half had some silk in them.  And I LOVE silk blends.  Mind you, in the same order from Into the Whirled, I had several braids of fiber with silk...  *laugh*  I just checked.  ALL the spinning fiber had silk in the order.  *chuckle*  So heaven knows, given how awesome the folks at ItW are, they may have pull an Odds & Ends bag with silk for me.  I am always confused, but some spinners don't like silk in spinning.  So they may separate them.  Or maybe I just lucked out!  *laugh*

The bag has a lot of green.  But there are bits & bobs of many colors.  I think it will be really interesting to see how it ends up in weaving.  I also figured it was a good way to use the colors.

This is the first time I am using the Akerworks bobbin I got at SSK.  I know...  Embarrassing that I have had it since July, but it only just got on the wheel.  But I haven't spun singles since the end of the Tour de Fleece.  As expected, I am in LLLOOOOVVVVEEE.  I adore seeing through the end of the bobbin!  I can only imagine what that would look like for a Bullseye Bump!

Into The Whirled Odds & Ends - Side View on the Lovely Akerworks Bobbin

The Odds & Ends say they are between 4-4.3 oz.  And there was still room on bobbin.  I really wonder if I could fit a whole Bump on it.   Not sure...  Of course, may need to try at some point.  *grin*

Here's a pic of the singles finished on the bobbin.

Into The Whirled Odds & Ends - Singles Complete

Of course, it makes me want *MORE* of them.  *sigh*  And I actually *have* a lot of bobbins as I got them with my wheel.  So I really don't *need* more.  But WANT!!

We will see between now & when the tax refund arrives what I decide I need.  *laugh*  I want to pick up some weaving yarns as well.  I don't own much in the way of cotton.  And I think some washable cotton placemats could be awesome place to start with weaving.  

The Yarn Barn of Kansas has some weaving kits.  I really think one of their samplers could be great.  Turns out they have one for dish towels which could be great.  Though of course, I love the sampler scarves.  My first knitting project is a scarf I still wear that is a sampler!  So it seems kinda fitting.

Sooo many choices!  The Woolery also has weaving kits.  And then there are tons of patterns & such.  So I could just get the yarn & have at it. 

SOOOO EXCITED!!  I really can't wait for the tax return to come.  Hopefully soon.  We e-filed already.  And they are saying it generally is completed within 4 weeks.  *fingers crossed it comes soon*