Sunday, April 11, 2021

Last zoom?

Last week the weavers guild had a blended meeting: in-person (masked) AND Zoom. That was the same day I received my second vaccination for Covid-19. I anticipate attending next month's meeting in person. A milestone. The spinning guild will probably continue to meet online, for now.

Knitting: Up to 56" on the Reader's Wrap. In the homestretch!
Spinning: Plugging away on the red Tunis, with much sighing over the VM.
Weaving: I just up and decided I was done with the wall hanging on the frame loom and pulled it off. There is still some finishing work to do. (More sighing.) Added a few more rows to the macrame ends on the blue sampler. And I'm nearing the end of the towels on the rigid heddle loom, although it looks like it will be one towel and a placemat.

The inkle weaving study group provided the program for the weavers guild meeting. We are also having a workshop in September on weaving Krokbragd on an inkle loom. So now I am interested in shifting focus to the inkle loom. One reason I abandoned it a while back was because of my eyesight, but now I have new glasses. I'm hoping it will be easier on my shoulders than the weaving I have been doing lately. We shall see.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Not the weather

This morning I woke up with much shoulder pain. Since it is GORGEOUS outside, I cannot blame the weather. I think it is weaving and folding queen size sheets and doing a bit of exercise with light weights. One problem with arthritis is, on good days, I do too much and pay for it the next.

Knitting: Up to 48" on the Reader's Wrap. I am becoming a bit concerned over the curling of the fabric, however. Others commented on this problem on Ravelry. When I reach 60", I will give it a good block. If it doesn't behave, it will go into time out while I decide how to move forward (or backwards, as the case may be).
Spinning: I *did* start spinning the red tunis. There is a big difference between spinning clean merino top and tunis roving with a fair amount of VM. It will be slow going while I pick out the detritus.
Weaving: Did a bit of work on the wall hanging and the towels. I also started macrameing the warp ends on a sampler piece. Using a book I checked out from the local library via Hoopla, I am doing some simple square knots. It is going very, very slowly. I think it has been over 40 years since I last tried macrameing.

Look at all those ends to weave in! I made this before I learned the "meet and separate" method of tapestry weaving which leaves no ends.

Last Wednesday, when I was scheduled for my second Covid shot, I woke up feeling ill. No fever, but chills and symptoms of perhaps a norovirus. So I rescheduled my shot for this coming week. It's always something, isn't it?

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Achy, breaky

Recently someone asked me if my arthritis acts up when the weather is bad. I have good days and bad days, but had not equated them to the weather. However, this past week has been mostly rainy, and boy, do I hurt! Of course, it might be the cortisone shots wearing off and/or because I have been weaving on a frame loom which means holding my arms more horizontal. When some sunshine appears, I will have to pay attention to my pain level.

Knitting: Despite my aches and pains, I am up to 42" on the Reader's Wrap.
Weaving: I finished the first towel on the rigid heddle loom and started the second. But that project has languished a bit as I dragged out an unfinished project that's on a frame loom, unwove some of it, and changed it from a tote bag to a wall hanging. It's a prototype for a possible project for my daughter.

I'm actually weaving it upside down (the tapestry, not me)

I started this piece before taking Rebecca Mezoff's online course in tapestry weaving, so the weaving techniques change partway through, including how I do the flossa stitches. Since I am running out of yarn, it is almost done.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Standardized... sorta

At the last spinning guild meeting, I brought up a discussion about control cards and the fact mine came with a WPI chart that differs from the one on my WPI tool.

One member lamented the fact that there was no standard definition for WPI.

But there is. However, it provides a *range* of wraps per yarn weight. (This photo is from Yarnitecture, by Jillian Moreno.)

The lesson here is, no matter what weight you think your yarn is, always, always, always knit a gauge swatch before starting a project.

Knitting: I am at the 33" mark with the Reader's Wrap and have used up nearly a whole 8-oz. skein of fisherman's wool. There are two more skeins in my stash, so no worries about running short. While knitting, I contemplate maybe dyeing the whole thing once it's done, but I'm not sure how the wool will take dye. Like swatching, a test sample is called for.
Spinning: I decided to take a week away from spinning while I plot my next project. I have a lot of Tunis red roving that I spun up a while ago. I didn't like the results, so experimented with mixing in various amounts of white, gray, and black. But now I've decided I *do* like the plain Tunis red, three plied in what feels like an Aran weight yarn. Hopefully, I can duplicate my effort.
Weaving: I am almost done with the first towel on the current warp. I'm toying with the idea of double weaving the second towel, to create a heftier fabric. It's not uncommon to double warp a loom, so I think this will work, or work well enough.

It's been a year since my last outing, which was to the Jay County Fiber Arts Festival. This year's event was cancelled. However, they plan to have a virtual festival on April 24, with virtual classes and the marketplace. There is a class on fiber prep that I just might take, given I have several fleeces in the garage, just waiting to be processed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Black merino top

A while back I was fretting about plying superwash merino with non-superwash merino. I decided not to, which I think was the right decision, as the superwash came out darker than I expected. Instead, I spun and plied the non-superwash merino to use in conjunction with other colors in either weaving or knitting.

Fiber: DMFibers merino top dyed black
Wheel: Ashford Joy 2
Technique: Nothing special
Spun: worsted, Z-twist at an 8:1 ratio
Plied: 2-ply, S-twist at an 11:1 ratio
WPI: 10
Yardage: 494 yards
Weight: 237g (8.36 oz)

When skeining, I wrap up 50 yards at a time. When weighing each skein, I get an idea of how consistant I am across the whole effort. In this case, I am happy to report that each 50-yard skein was within a few grams of the others. Not bad for an amateur.

There is definitely enough yarn to do *something* with. Black goes with just about any color and helps them pop. While black may be a boring color to spin (and difficult to photograph), I think I will make good use of this yarn.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Art day

Yesterday my 10-year-old granddaughter and I had an "art day". We stopped at United Arts and Education to make a few purchases (including a stuffed penguin I had promised her around xmas and a new jigsaw puzzle for me), then we had a "touchless" visit to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art to see the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards exhibition, followed by a stop at the Allen County Public Library to take a gander at the Three Rivers Gem and Mineral Society display and the Fort Wayne Artists Guild members show. Whew! There were several "paintings" done in needle felting at both the art museum and the guild show, which inspired my granddaughter to create her own after we returned to the house.

Knitting: I've completed 25 out of 60 inches on the Reader's Wrap. Almost halfway done (except for the pockets).
Spinning: The black merino top is finished; separate post to follow.
Weaving: I'm about halfway done with the first kitchen towel.

The local spinning guild includes a member on the west coast who is creating a digital magazine with a colleague in New Zealand. It's called tinyStudio: Creative Life. A free special edition may be found here. Both these talented ladies were able to attend our most recent meeting to describe the magazine and talk about creative fiber arts in general. It was a unique experience for our guild and one that would not have been possible without Zoom and a reason to use Zoom instead of meet in person. Both the fiber guilds I belong to are talking about having hybrid meetings going forward - in person AND via Zoom - as many members do not live in town or may be unable to attend in person for one reason or another. It's a new era.

I received my first Covid vaccination this past week. It didn't hurt a bit and I experienced no side effects at all other than to feel surprisingly optimistic about the future. My second shot is in several weeks, but even then, precautions must continue to be taken. However, with a little luck, we will return to some semblance of "normal" soon.

Sunday, March 07, 2021


I have several fleeces in the garage, stored in feed bags. While out there the other evening, I saw the top of one of the bags MOVE. A mouse or vole popped up. Finn, my indoor/outdoor cat, had been wanting out in the garage lately, and now I know why. I let him out there and left the light on for him; hopefully he did his job. The next day, I dumped all three fleeces out, but found no evidence of nests or droppings, so the little bugger must have been just helping himself to some bedding. Ugh.

Knitting: I have knit a total of 18" on the Reader's Wrap; 42" to go.
Spinning: I am halfway through plying the black merino top.
Weaving: I wove a couple more inches on the towels. My 24" rigid heddle is a bit much for my shoulders. I'm experimenting with some mock waffle weave on my Samplet loom.

The waffle weave experiment came about because the waffle weave study group made a presentation at last week's weaving guild meeting. I have not been attending the (Zoom) meetings lately as the programs have all been about harness loom weaving. Most of the waffle weave program was for harness looms, but they included a bit on how to do it on a rigid heddle loom. I've been working from a book and struggling a bit, but at least it has sparked my interest in weaving again. Next month's program will be presented by the inkle weaving study group. Inkle weaving is another technique I enjoy but have neglected.

I am scheduled for my first Covid vaccination this week. My SO has had both doses, had a mild reaction after the first, no reaction after the second, and reports that he feels better, less anxious, than he has for a while. Of course, masks are still necessary, but the vaccine provides an extra layer of protection. I'm psyched!