Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lucious Hounds Tooth

  I really love the way this hounds tooth turned out!

I tried something new to try to make my weaving better.  I wound a towel onto the beam as the warp first wound on. I have noticed that my weaving often ends up with a U-shape because the nylon cords change the shape of the weave once it hits that area.  This towel really worked wonders!  I like how square my weaving ends up being.

On this warp I also made the edges different colors.  One side has black and one side has white.  Usually I make them both the same.  The reason why I did it differently this time though was because I ran the black yarn up the black side and the white yarn up the white side.  It really made it look better, not be too bulky, and not be too bright by having the opposite color.  I'll have to remember this for next time.

Time to wash.

Next time I'll cut and serge, and sew the edges!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

sparking ideas

Monsieur David and I had the best brainstorm session today while working.

Picture this.... 2/2 twill hounds tooth as a doubleweave blanket in worsted weight yarn....

mmmm... yes!!!  And I can do it on my 8-shaft loom!  Plus, being 2/2 twill, it will hold together so nicely!!  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Smaller is better

 Sometimes I feel like an evil scientist trying out my experiments!


Or a magician during a magic show... doing tricks!  "And now, for my next trick..."

I am really loving this 2/2 hounds tooth twill.  This current project is a 3 yard warp and it's made of 8/2 cotton from WEBS.  I'm having so much fun with it that I'm almost sorry I didn't discover this weave sooner!  I'm not even sure why it took me so long to try it, I think I just assumed it wouldn't be as good.  Yes, the hounds tooth design is smaller, but sometimes smaller is better!  It definitely has a good feel to the fabric being only 2/2.  The floats are only as long as 2 threads, but in the 8-shaft hounds tooth, the stretches are 4 threads long, and sometimes that is just too much space.  This cloth will certainly hold together well.  I should try redoing this design using something thick, like the worsted weight peaches and creme.  At one point, I made some place mats for my sister using 8-shaft hounds tooth in peaches and creme cotton, and yes, they were really cool.... but... they were also really loose because the floats were so long and you kind of have to mold them into place on the table and hope they will stay.

Before this project, I thought I was being really clever and doubled up my threads of peaches and creme cotton and made a really huge houndstooth, only to find that it was a super bad idea and the cloth was extremely flimsy.  I ended up "saving" this awful project by quilting it to hold it together and then calling it a bathmat.... it works...

My to-do list is ever growing, but I do want to explore this design just a little bit further before I move on to the next best thing!  Possibly two more projects were just added to the list... a 2/2 hounds tooth in peaches and creme cotton and also a 2/2 hounds tooth in 12/2 cotton.... oh and possibly a sewn pair of pants for David made from one of the smaller cotton hounds tooth pieces!

Parting shot....

David enjoyed the local quilt show.  He was mesmerized by all the quilts and enjoyed looking at each one. I couldn't believe how long his attention span lasted.  And... he truly was the youngest person in attendance! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Major Misconceptions

I've begun to look at things through a different light.  I'm not sure what brought it on, but it is a good thing!

I don't know how many of you are signed up for interweave press weaving emails, but in May, I wrote an email article for them about twill, more specifically 2/2 twill.  I mentioned my blanket that I wove a few years ago, and how I used the scraps to make David handwoven pants.

Here are a few pictures of the plaid I made in July 2011:

Here is a picture of David in his pants made from the plaid!  David was actually getting ready to go to the doctor's office when this picture was taken, and he had a huge diaper blow-out on the way to the office so the pants actually didn't last long... *sigh*... It's the story of our lives now!

Anyway, the other day he was wearing these pants (I should say he was crammed into these used-to-be-pants-and-now-they-are-shorts because they are getting a bit on the small side...) when I was looked down and saw this in the design:

What?!  I spy a houndstooth print in 2/2 twill!!!

In my whole weaving career, I have always thought that 2/2 houndstooth was not worth my time, that certainly 8-shaft would be so much better only because it was... well... 8-shafts.  Who have I become?  I am sorry to say that I have become that cranky goody-two-shoes weaver that turns her nose up at what she thinks is inferior stuff if it doesn't use all the shafts on her biggest loom!  I remember this time before I got my floor looms when I was in the public library checking out books on inkle weaving.  The volunteer librarian, who had to tell me that she was a member of the local weaving guild, said a very snide remark about people who weave without large looms and how it's not worth her time.  It left such a bad taste in my mouth that I have never joined the local guild in my area.  Anyways... I have become her... my lousiest weaving-person memory ever.

I also just can't believe that I designed this plaid and stared at it for how many hours, and never saw this little hounds tooth hiding in it.  And I can't believe I have dismissed 2/2 hounds tooth twill without even giving it a try!!  One of the benefits of a 2/2 hounds tooth would be a stronger structure.  In an 8-shaft hounds tooth, the hounds tooth are HUGE and easy to spot across a room the size of a gym, but it comes with a price.  The 4/4 twill done in huge worsted weight yarn is a very "sleazy" and holey weave, in other words it leaves lots of places to snag on jewelry... or slimy kids who like to stick their fingers through things.  Another benefit of 2/2 twill hounds tooth is that the
pattern is much smaller.  I am thinking a new pair of pants for David done in hounds tooth would be fantastic... but smaller hounds tooth would be even more fantastic because they would look more realistic and adult-like and there would be a lot more hounds tooth per square inch of fabric!  I'm also thinking that this would make an excellent dishtowel for my sister, who LOVES this design!  I have already made her a huge collect of hounds tooth stuff... this would only add to it!

Onwards and upwards... right?  I am now on a quest to try 2/2 hounds tooth twill... I hope it's everything I wish it to be!  Here is the game plan for all you other fellow weavers out there who wish to join me in my new quest of weaving Hounds Tooth Mini:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Winter Woolies in Summer

Like I said before, I don't know why I make scarves in the summertime heat!

Speaking of summertime heat, who is enjoying their little summertime sun-hat?

This little guy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Late? Or Early.

I don't know why, but I do most of my scarf weaving in the summertime.

I'm either really late... or really early for winter!

So far, I like the way this one is turning out, even though the yarn is so fragile.  I'm hoping it lasts until the end of this warp.

And this little man has a new handmade train shirt!  The yellow one from last time was fitting so tightly that I decided to make a few new ones in the next size up.  David looks like a little professor!

Or a country singer... 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Twenty dash two

Sometimes I think I'm nuts.  

(Or maybe I was nuts sometime in the past.)

I had bought this 20/2 wool a few years ago thinking it was a great idea because 1.) it was nice and thin, 2.) there was a lot of it, and 3.) it was super cheap.

I pulled it out this week to make a scarf and I think to myself, "What was I thinking?"

This stuff is super thin!

I have 3 strands per dent on the reed, and it tangles real easily and breaks even easier.

I'm excited to make a super thin scarf, but...

...there are certainly drawbacks to the 20/2 wool!

And I have so many cones of the white... Ugh!

Here is little dude in his suspenders and bow-tie!  He was wearing his awesome handwoven pants at the same time and I don't know why I didn't get those, too!  Oops!  Oh well... maybe next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

2 months ago on 4-14-14

It's been 2 months to the day that we put our gray kitty down.  It's also been 2 months since I've been able to talk about it without bursting into tears.  I miss that happy little kitty!

This is the last pic I got of both of our kitties together, back in mid-February.

Back at the end of February, Scout looked and acted like he was getting sick with a cold or allergies.  In Arizona, we have such a warm climate that things start blooming in February, so I just assumed allergies.  He sneezed, and sneezed, and sneezed.  In March, he was still sneezing and also showing other signs of being ill, like his nasal area was starting to protrude.  I called the vet and took him in myself thinking it would probably be some routine thing.  It ended up being a very hard appointment and I am traumatized from having to deal with it by myself.  The vet took one look at him, and from her experience she knew it was probably a brain tumor, but she treated him with antibiotics and steroids... but he never really improved.  In fact, he only got worse.  I called the vet again at the end of March, and they saw him again, but emphasized that most likely it was a brain tumor.  I didn't want to put this poor little innocent kitty through awful tests and try to drag his life out longer than it meant to go, so when he took a turn for the worse the weekend before the baby came, we decided it must be time.  Poor Scout started acting strange, and not himself.  He wouldn't come when called, he stayed his distance like sitting by himself in dark rooms or corners, and he started using the kitty bed as a cat box, which didn't work out too well for him since he stopped eating and drinking.  He lsot 7 pounds, and he was having bloody noses all the time and leaving stains all over the place.  One morning before work was very scary to me because he was bleeding so much.  I sent my mom over at lunch time to check on the poor kitty, who was doing somewhat better at the time she went over there.  In fact, I started my maternity leave a week earlier than planned so that I could try and nurse the cat back to health.  At the time, I felt like a failure when I couldn't get him well again.  I'm over that now that I see the whole picture and I'm not jaded by pregnancy hormones.

The evening before I was scheduled to be induced at the hospital, we had to put him down (4-14-14).  At first, I was so distracted by the baby and being in the hospital, but later on when I came home and things got back to normal, it was very hard to deal with.... plus that whole post-partum drop in hormones thing that happens made it even worse.  At first, I missed Scout a lot at night because he would jump up on the bed with me to cuddle.  I also missed him greeting me when I got home from being out and about.  And I miss him every time I open a can, because he used to come running immediately and meowing feverishly even though we mostly fed him dry food.

Here are Scout's last few pics in March... if you know what you're looking for, you can see the nose distortion starting.  It peaked at it's worst in April before we put him down.  I never took a really good picture of it because I didn't want to remember him that way.


The baby and Scout never met on this Earth, and perhaps it's better that way because I'm not sure Scout would have responded all that great to his crying and neediness.  Zip has a hard enough time with it, and we always saw him as super great with kids.

We had officially adapted Scout in early 2007 while we were living in our first apartment.  I always found it humorous that 9 months after we got married in 2005, Zip showed up and 9 months after that, Scout showed up!  Scout grabbed my heart from the very beginning.  He would look in the window at me in the very early morning hours while I exercised.  (The picture at right is him looking the other way out the same window he would watch me through!)  I would try to go outside to pet him, and he would run off.  It was obvious he had been in an abusive home previously.  Then one morning I noticed he was bleeding from a wound and decided to try to feed him.  He ran and hid, but when I spilled the dry food all over the porch, he was so hungry that he couldn't help himself and came up to eat the spilled food.  I started petting him while he was eating and he thought that was so nice!  I let me pet him and pet him.  We decided to help him since he was bleeding, and then at the last minute we decided to go ahead and adopt him because he was so sweet, plus our orange kitty was acting a little bit lonely and we thought he would be a good companion.  At first, the poor gray kitty would run and hide whenever Brian was around but a few years later he warmed up to him.

Here are a few pictures from March 2007 when Scout was a little guy:

When we first brought David home from the hospital, he would smile while sleeping and I think he was seeing Scout.  Whenever I saw David do this, I always told him to say hi for me and tell Scout I miss him!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Table Runner

I completed the rest of the sample warp was a table runner for my mom's birthday.  I think she'll love it!! I wish there was more warp to make one for myself!!  I'll just have to put another one on.

And in other news... for those of you who like to sew for babies, I found a new pants pattern that is out of this world!  It's $10, but well worth it!  It is called the Big Butt Baby Pants and it will definitely not disappoint!  I love this pattern already and I'm so glad I can use it until my little guy is two years old.  Here is the pic... now keep in mind he wasn't too thrilled with pics today, he would have rather eaten dinner first, but this mama was just too excited to get some pics!

I love this pattern so much, that I made some for David's cousin who is just a few months older and lives in Seattle.  I think she will love the colors we picked out for her!  It's such a summer-like combination!

I can't wait to try some handwoven fabric someday!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In my world, color brings happiness!

And for today's shot of the baby... he's wearing his finest.  The old-man golf shirt that I made for him a few months ago and handwoven pants made from scraps!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's beautiful!

I haven't had a chance to wash it yet, but I love it!

I'm definitely going to finish the sample as a table runner.  And the table that gets to display this will be one lucky table...

Parting shot:

We've been reading to him since day 1!  
I guess that's what teachers do.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It's working!

It's working!!  I had to stop for now because I ran out of white tabby thread and need to wind some more.  But I'm just so happy it's working!  I have been obsessed with this pattern done in these colors since I saw it!  I shall continue on later... right now the baby is calling and so is dinner!

Parting shot...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

An inspiration

Recently there was a post shared in the Warped weavers group on the thread called “What weaving thing have you been doing” post #24827. Website pic is here.

It is a very colorful and beautiful overshot sampler done with red, yellow, and blue in the warp and the tabby wefts are the same colors, but the pattern weft is white.  I am so intrigued by this pattern, that I want to try doing a similar project.  I found the pattern in Carol Strickler's book "A Weaver's Book of 8-shaft Patterns"pg 130, pattern #481.

 So far, this is the closest I could get to the colors, but I think it will still do the same thing.

Here's your parting shot... you know you're going to have an awesome day when your hat matches your pants!