Monday, 24 July 2017

Onward Voyageur, Loom that is.

My loom and I became much better acquainted this weekend.  We are as close as can be when one person is learning all about the other thing.  It is fully beamed, threaded, sleyed and tied on.  We are warped, but then as some of you know, we already were that way.  the knitter and her loom are in sync.  I am ready to weave but for winding a few of the little spools for my boat shuttle.

Some of the things I learned, were things I thought I learned in knitting.  The first and biggest thing as that I can't count.  That was just a little disappointing, but it was something I was completely prepared for.  I also learned that there were things I could do to make the task go much faster and more efficiently for this particular loom.

I watched the warping tutorial by Barbara Elkins of WEBS fame.

She is working on a Wolf loom or one of the Wolf loom family, and while this was by far the best loom on back to front warping on  the net, there were things that just didn't work for me.  And possibly wouldn't be the best way for this Voyageur loom either.

I also learned that there are things I am going to have before I warp the next time that will save me tons and tons of time. Like repair heddles, in case I mess up threading. And different apron rods that aren't going to slip out all over the place till they are fixed by tension.

It was a really interesting experience but it took forever.  It was one of those patience of Job things where sheer orneriness and knit picky persnickety perseverance completed the task.  But it is complete.  I am not sure if I will weave today.  I may just sit and look at it for a day or two.

There was knitting too.  Significant knitting.  The kind of knitting where there was great speed in the knitting just to work out the tension of the day.  The kind of knitting that, if you aren't aware of the tension of your knitting, can turn out really really tight.  I was aware of it going in, so I was careful to work on stuff that would take the edge off first, in other words socks.

The socks are moving along really nicely, although I am a little worried that I am going to run out of black.  What you see is all that remains.  I  have some dark navy blue in the same bag and I have a ball of black Kroy, which is a little heavier than these yarns are, but which would work. I don't really want to use the dark blue.  I have a thing going here and I hate to interrupt it so close to the end.  I am going to look in the rest of the box of ends too.  If I have a black somewhere else, that is a little bit lighter then the Kroy, I would rather do that.

I did a long bit of work on the sweater too.  I wasn't planning on it, but, well, I will save that all for tomorrow.

It was a busy weekend.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The Forgotten.

Someone online asked the other day how the progress on my simple knits were going.  I had posted that I needed some simple knitting to relieve stress and and so I had something that did not need thinking about when I couldn't force myself to knit on something more complex.

And I had to stop and think.  I recalled the post where I said it. I recalled the urge.  I was pretty sure it would have been socks.  And then I hit a blank.  I had no idea what I cast on.  It was only a sweater ago and yet, my mind was blank.  I think that was a sign of just how stressful June and everything leading up to it was and how it has taken so long to really let the stress out of me.

I knew where the projects were, so I had to go digging.

I can't believe I forgot these so completely.  I can't believe that I started yet another monster sock when I already had one pair on the needles and as well as a couple other pretty pairs of socks.  

I'm laughing at myself on this one.  I caught myself wishing that I just had a plain sock somewhere and I did!

Proof positive that if yarn falls on me, I will knit with it, without blinking an eye.  Or thinking a brain it seems.   

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A Mixed Bag of Tricks

I was tied to my house yesterday, doing very mundane tasks.  It was landlord laundry day and since the only working laundry facilities are in my personal space, I do it.  It isn't like it interferes with anything else, as it would have back in the day when the boys were small and all I had was a washer spin dryer but it is a task that needs tending to all day.  No big single task.  It was a day of a variety of things.

I picked raspberries.  

We don't have a huge patch and it is in serious need of care and renovation. Not a huge amount of fruit but enough for us here. Renovate after fruit season and look to next year for better production.

I sorted my needles.

Okay, that does sound weird, but before moving from my wee house, I put all the needles in one small box, just for storage.  

I came across these sweet little boxes at the dollar store a few weeks ago and bought them, not knowing what I was going to use them for.  They were only a dollar twenty five, so not like it was big money to buy something that just made me happy. 

When I needed urgent clothing repair and couldn't find the sewing machine needles, I knew it was time to sort things out. I had forgotten where I put them, and when I finally found them in that mashed and stuffed full box, I was determined to find a better solution.  These little boxes are it.  Each class of needles has it's own space: tapestry, hand sewing, sewing machine and specific task needles like darners and beading needles. It is so nice to have them ordered and on the shelf right where needles should be.

Next, I started playing around with the warp on my loom.  I had spent time over the last week watching many videos online about warping and what worked and that, combined with my own small bit of experience with a rigid heddle loom, led me to Kathy Elkins very good video on warping a loom back to front.

As you can see, midway through my task, I was interrupted by the nicest kind of interruption.  My brother stopped by!  It was unexpected but just really nice. 

Then the rush of making dinner, doing the dishes (or not)  and I didn't quite feel ready to finish the warping.  There are a couple things I wanted to think through and about before I tie this one on as they say. This may just be a prairie reference, but to tie one on means to drink and party to excess, so yes exactly like that but with coffee and fibre.

Sitting on the little yellow box right beside the bookcase, I couldn't help but think about my books.  I do have a lot of craft books,  four stuffed shelves that didn't quite fit them all.  When I reorganized my bedroom/study and put the miniatures in their new house, a couple shelves were freed up and I decided to put some of the books in here. Yesterday, I gathered all the miniature books to move them.

In my head, I only had a few, but really, it is a pretty substantial pile. Miniature houses, miniature embroidery, miniatures with polymer clay, miniature rugs and carpets and so many more.  There are also a few books that cross the boundaries of crafts like embroidered knotted gardens,  a fascinating book and a couple knitting treasures, the Knitted Farmyard and Knitted Gardens.  These last three were bought expressly to use with all the lovely miniature pots and garden furniture I found on vacation in Mexico to establish a garden for my miniature home.  

The other class of books that I think will end up here are the sewing books.  Sewing room, sewing books.  Works for me.

And to top it all off, there was knitting in the cracks of the day, between and around all the other things in the day.

I did pick up the sweater, but this just seemed so much more interesting and cheery for such a gray smoky day.  Yup the sweater is in the long haul the hard part.  That part where keeping up your interest in it is a full time task.

I love it but...

Today is going to be a bit of the same.  Moving the sewing books, warping the loom, a possible venture to make jam.  Who knows where this will go?  !!