Friday, October 08, 2010

Proof of Activity!

Earlier this week I finished the weaving on the plaid pillows project. Now that I have it off the loom, I'm less certain about making it into throw pillows. The colors are awfully strong and I'm not sure they would fit in to many living spaces. I do like the resulting fabric: it has a nice weight and handle. I'm just not sure yet what it should ultimately become.

Some details:
Woven on my Ashford Rigid Heddle loom, with a 7.5 dent reed.
Used Tahki Cotton Classic, in blue, green, and yellow.
Finished weaving: about 20" x 68"

There are definitely a few screw ups and glitches, but it's all part of the learning process.

I stumbled on some mystery yarn in my lair the other day. It appears to be a wool/acrylic blend.

I think it's a color my mother in law would love. I'm making the Leaf Scarf by Mary Beth Temple from the book 60 Quick Knits. This is my kind of lace! Very easy to memorize and intuit and action only on the right side rows. I like the stability the garter stitch columns give the finished fabric and the way they contrast with the lace panels.

I also did a bit of spinning that defies photography. Seriously, this mini-hank must have a photographic deflector shield. It was an attempt to turn some crappy fiber into something better, but I wouldn't say it succeeded. Several years ago, my friend Fern and I bought a large lot of spinning fiber from a local spinner who needed to clear out her stash fast. There was a big batch that she told me was polypay and really only good for felting. After our move, I was looking at several large balls of purple roving from that stuff. I wondered, how bad could it be? I tried to spin some and instantly understood why she said that. It had a lot of little nups that were unsightly and frustrating. Then I wondered if I ran it through the drum carder with something else, would that help. Well, it did help, but probably not enough to be worth the trouble. I made a very wooly three-ply mini-skein from my sample bat. I'll knit a swatch out of it and decide then if it's worth pressing onward. Otherwise, I'll have a whole bunch of lavender-purple roving suitable for felting to give away.

Friday, October 01, 2010

More Words Than Pictures

So, it's been a while, eh?

I've been weaving a bit, knitting a bit, puttering in my fabric, thinking about piecing a quilt top, trying to establish a new lair in the new house.

Also, I had a small ventral incisional hernia repaired on Sept 14, which has healed up pretty well. Even relatively minor abdominal surgery can make you pretty uncomfortable for a bit. Mostly, I was tired, though. My mom came to help out for the surgery.

The very early morning of the day she left, we had a big hail storm, so since then I've been thinking about the roof, lining up the repairs, talking to the insurance company, finding out the bank's protocol for getting access to the money the insurer will be sending to pay for the roof. It turns out that on large claims, the check is made payable to both the home-owner and mortgage holder; I guess so I don't just pocket the money and not do the repairs. But it means the bank has hoops for me to jump through, too.

Also, since we still own our other house, which has generated very little interest in this very dead market, I've had a little money anxiety, too. I know how to be a tightwad, but we had gotten out of practice. And I must say, tightwaddery does not come naturally to my husband or kids.

So, we are very happy in our new house. I wouldn't say completely settled. When you have as much crap as we do, that takes a while. But getting there. The Little Guy is much happier at his new school. I think his new teacher is a much better fit for his personality than the one he had last year. Owen seems happy to live so close to his school and so many of his friends.

Owen took Driver Ed and got his learner's permit in August. That was pretty hair-raising (or greying?) at first, but he's doing pretty well at it now. He can get his actual driver's license in February when he turns 16.

Mr. SABLE succeed in obtaining a shitload of grant money for his employer, so his job security is pretty good these days. Even if this company doesn't make it (unlikely), having gotten these very large grants will look pretty impressive on his CV/resume.

So, that weaving up there... I was itching to get my loom warped with something colorful and easy. I really like the hand of the fabric I wove for my messenger bag in February. I dumped out a box of cotton yarns and picked out a few for a little attempt at plaid. These are Tahki Cotton Classic. I'm planning to make some throw pillows out of the yardage when I finish weaving it. I screwed up my intended pattern when warping, and didn't feel like backing up to fix it when I noticed the error, so now it's a design feature, as they say.

I've been knitting some socks, working on a (very dramatic) hat for Owen, spinning a bit more of the yarn in the previous post, and thinking about a project for that yarn. Also, early in the summer, sewed a plush microbe for the Little Guy, and have managed a few other small sewing projects along the way.

And now, we're into October. The school year is well under way: the kids are accepting the daily inevitability of it. Everyone's sleep is just about on a school year schedule. I've been doing little jobs for Knitcircus: photos, drawing schematics, and such. I hope to get focused on designing again, but for me, that takes a certain amount of solitude and time to let ideas percolate.

Stay tuned.