Sunday, January 30, 2011

A New Month Right Around the Corner!

It's hard to believe.  Its almost February.  Someone asked me the other day, does it seem like January has gone on forever?  Yes, it does seem that way.  This has been a very long mont.  I'm really not sure why....I've been able to go visit the grandbaby about once a week.  That is so much fun.  I do wish I could be closer to visit more often.
January is supposed to be the month when the days start getting longer.  Why doesn't it seem that way?
February is a short month.  At least in theory.  Then it's March and that is usually Spring time.  That's what I'm waiting for.
But, on the other hand, I don't want to wish time away!
I'm really enjoying my weaving.  I don't have anything on the loom at the moment.  I'm in the process of organizing my craft room.  It's going slowly.  Ever so slowly.  But, that's the way I do it.  I get things out of spots, then walk away.  I think about what I want from the space.  Eventually, the right answers come to me.  Trying not to spend $ on new things - the room isn't that big.  There are already too many tables and 2 dressers in there.  
The main focus will no longer be the quilting - I really didn't get that big a kick out of quilting.  Cutting up beautiful fabric into tiny pieces, then trying to sew it together again where everything meets up, then sewing those pieces to other pieces and all those seams.  Just too much work.  Not enough fun for me.  
I've been going thru my fabric.  I have some pretty fabric.  Eventually, I do want to use it for something....I have a ton of fabric I spent good money on to make a quilt for our king sized bed.  I guess I'm going to HAVE to do something with that. 
I do wish I had a large floor loom to make rugs on.  That would be nice.  Or even weave a blanket for the bed instead of sewing it.  But, that's not what I have, so I am going to have to make do with what I do have, and what I CAN do.  :-)
Not quite sure what my next project will be on the loom.  I have some fun yarns to put together for a project - but I don't know what I want that project to be.....and I have to at least have some idea because I have to know how large to make the warp.  Maybe a bag.  I need a new bag.  That way it's not seasonal and I can show it off every time I go out.  Yep, I think that's what I wanna do.

I have ordered some more 8/2 cotton to make dish towels out of.  Spring dish towels for a towel exchange on Ravelry.  I'm excited!  I'll get towels from others too. 

I have my eye on a new (to me) loom.  There is a studio going out of business down near Richomond.  I really need my saddle to sell in the saddle shop so I can go see this loom and decide if I want/like it.  I was told by the owner it's not a loom to make rugs on.  Guess it's not sturdy enough.  I don't know where I'd put a floor loom either.  It would be too heavy to put upstairs I imagine.  Besides, I wouldn't want to take it apart to put up there.  Wonder if Honey would have an issue with it going in the dining room?  Haha.  Would have to remove the dining table and chairs.  Not like we use it that much.  Maybe I should sell THAT and then I'd have room for a floor loom AND the money to buy one!  Haha!

At any rate, that's about it for me. I'm going to change my heading photo because ever since I put the one up there with winter on it, it's been ugly winter here.  So now it's time for something beautiful!

Have yourself a wonderful day, night, weekend, week, or whatever is upcoming when you read this.  
Next post will have some projects on it - when I have time to post them.  I have been neglectful of the blog, but will try harder to be better about it.  The weather is supposed to be ugly on Tues and Weds (this is Sunday as I write) so I can post then.  Tomorrow is a trip to see the daughter and grandbaby.  YAY! :-)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another project finished

Well, I got another project off the loom.  No photos - it's 9:00 at night and I still have to knot some of the fringe, wash and dry it.  It's a shawl for my ill Aunt.  I hope it drapes nicely when I get it all done and out of the dryer.  I think it will.  I'm very pleased with the color.  Even DH said that he thinks the colors are perfect - not too bright and cheery, and not dull.  :-)  That means a lot to me that he even commented on it.
I'll be taking photos and adding them tomorrow.
I feel really good that I got this done.  Monday is a holiday so I won't get it in the mail till Tuesday, but that's ok.  It means it'll be with my Aunt by the end of the week. :-)

Till tomorrow...................sweet dreams. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy New Year

Yes, I'm a tad behind the curve.  But hey, Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!  :-)
This is what happened on December 21, 2010.

This is Jia Michelle.  My new (and first and probably only) Grand daughter.  She's beautiful!  She was less than an hour old in this photo.

This is how she looked at Christmas:
And this is how she looked about a week later:
 She is SO teeny.  It's amazing to me.  My babies were watermelons when they were born!  LoL  Its wonderful to be a Grammie.  I don't get to see little Jia enough.  I haven't seen her in over a week now.  But I'll be going up next week for sure. :-)

I've also been busy weaving.  I love weaving.  Someone asked me how I started.  I guess putting that down here would be a good idea.

I've always wanted to weave.  I just never really looked into it before. I thought I had to get one of those big floor looms.  Come to find out, that's not necessary.  There are LOTS of ways to weave, from the potholder looms we used to use as kids (did you ever have one?), to backstrap looms, to card weaving, to inkle looms, to Rigid Heddle Looms, up to table looms and floor looms.....there are even computer operated looms!

I decided that for me, to start with, I wanted something somewhat substantial.  I decided on a Rigid Heddle loom.  I went with the Kromski 24" Rigid Heddle loom.  I sorta wanted to go bigger.  But at this point, I'm glad I went 24".  32" would have been much wider, and taken up much more room.  I wouldn't mind having a larger loom at some point.  I also wouldn't mind having a smaller loom at some point.  But for now, this is the right loom for me.

I also ordered two books.  Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Linn Davenport, and Weaving Made Easy by Liz Gipson.  I really am getting a LOT of information from the first book.  The second one is ok, but I don't know if I'll actually ever MAKE anything from it......

And, I watched YouTube videos.  Seriously!  I learned a LOT from them.  I also learned a lot by joining Ravelry, an online community forum that has so many kind people that are wonderful with sharing their knowledge and information.  Between the books, videos, and forum, this is how I have learned to weave.

So far, I've made table runners, mug rugs, dish towels, a really cool scarf, some oops projects, and at this very moment, I have a shawl on the loom.  I found out over the weekend, that my Aunt, someone very near and dear to my heart, has been diagnosed with bladder cancer.  She's going to live out her days at home.  Bless her.  I wish I could be there to help out.  But alas, she's in Maine, and I'm in VA.  I feel that the shawl will be something maybe she can use, and feel my love, while hopefully it'll keep the chill away. 
I have decided not to make the shawl out of wool.  I'm not a fan of wool myself.  I love cotton, but it shrinks too much and something this large would be heavy.  So I decided on acrylic.   A lot of people would snub acrylic, but someone on the forum, mentioned to me that she makes prayer shawls out of acylic so that the people who care for the elderly people the shawls are made for, can just wash and dry the shawls without having to worry about the fiber it's made of.

I'll be the first to admit that I have very little fiber knowledge.  I know what I like, and what I don't like.  I think at some point, I'll probalby work with wool so that I can make some things for other people.  I'm hoping that eventually, I'll be able to sell some products I make.  That would be such an awesome feeling, to be doing something I love, and to have others actually WANT it as a finished object. 

Here are a few more photos:
This is a photo of my loom with my first project on it; 100% cotton table runner.

This is the finished project:
The sun was shining thru the lace curtains - I kinda like the effect it made.

This is a Christmas table runner that I made.  I wanted to try weaving the ends in so that I didn't have fringe.  It took a little work but I like the final product (which I just realized you can see here - lol)

These are dish towels.  I went from using a really thick cotton yarn, to an extremely thin cotton yarn.  And silly me, I warped the loom for really long use.  Not a good idea the first time out.  LOL  It gave me fits but I love the outcome - they aren't perfect...but they are real usable dish towels! 

And there is the scarf.  My favorite thing so far.  It's made of micro fiber yarn - and I didn't think I was going to like it - but it's actually comfy to wear.
This is called a Pinwheel pattern, sometimes called a Houndstooth pattern.  It looks complicated ~~ but it's SO stinking easy!  I will be making more of these out of different fibers/yarns in the future.

Well, it's dinner time here.  Gonna drag out the Panini Press and make tomato and mozzerella sandwiches, and soup.   It's very cold today and I was outside at agility practice for 2 hours today.  I still haven't warmed up.

I'll be back more often.  I promise.