Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ring of Lace Wrap

The New HeartStrings patterns arrived yesterday afternoon. I am testing a new colorway on silk bombyx and plan to use it to knit the Ring of Lace Wrap shown here. Wonder how fast it will dry?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Project(s) Along

One of the members of Christian Artisans, Deborah Lofink, suggested we all knit or weave something for ourselves after Christmas with the starting date of February 18. Since I was without a current project on the needles, I knew there was no way for me to wait that long. I plan to knit Jackie E-S's new Ring of Lace Wrap but the pattern was not here yesterday; it was a rainy night in Mississippi and no knitting project. What's a girl to do? (-: So, I waded to the studio and selected some yarns for the Troika Wrap-Around, another of Jackie's patterns, as I enjoyed the making of the first one so much and, even more, I enjoy wrapping up in it on the couch and occasionally wearing it as the drama queen. lol. It is a bit longer than the pattern!

The pattern calls for a worsted weight but, since I had successful results the first time, I decided on one of the same yarns this time, Serenity, and added River for its exceptional sheen, texture and saturation of color and Jojoland Melody Superwash Wool for a little warmth. A lot of warmth is not often necessary here in Mississippi. The differences in the yarns won't be as dramatic as is called for in the pattern but I plan to wear this a lot. The main colorway in Serenity and River, Tallahatchee Bridge, are easy to wear with almost everything including gray, black, beige, brown, blue, taupe and green. It should look equally good for dress-up or with a pair of jeans.

Now, you know that I will have to knit a row of this and a row of the Ring of Lace Wrap and hopefully, there is not a quick deadline to this project as the gals from Christian Artisans are fast knitters!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cocoon Solution

Shortly after I went to bed, a solution came, not an immediate solution, but praise the Lord, a solution other than weaving another panel and "pitching" the longer panel. Beginning at the beaded, fringed end (the hardest end!), I will match the pattern by pinning the panels together and hem-stitch, off the loom, the longer panel to match the shorter panel, remove the first hem-stitching, retwist the fringe on that end and trim it to match the shorter panel. Pictures coming soon after a little healing time for the thumbs. So many times, weaving requires adaptations.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

sometimes go awry... The cocoon fabric has been beaded, fringed and wet-finished and one panel is shorter than the other. After all these years of pattern weaving, you would think I would have remembered to count the repeats. I generally have a pretty even beat and I measured precisely. I think part of the problem is that it stayed on the loom too long. Even with tension removed when I wasn't weaving, I suspect the warp stretched as the rayon content is heavy. Surely there is a way to salvage the fabric for a jacket of some type but not the cocoon jacket I envisioned and not one for the guild show. (Sorry, Sharon.) I do have one red scarf to pull out of the hat so that at least there will be another item for our show. And the remaining warp on the loom? I will consider whether to cut it off as it has become a "dog on the loom." Or maybe I shouldn't... it would give me additional fabric and extra options for constructing a jacket. In fact, now that I think about it, there are 3 extra meters of warp and I could actually weave another panel. This time, I think I'll count the repeats and try to be a little faster about weaving it. Oh, but will the "stretch" be the same? All in a year's work.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Three Sides Down and One to Go

Just one more side to fringe-twist and bead. This is the bead detail that will be the "lapel" of the jacket. I should be able to bead and twist the remaining fringe tonight with help of the braid-twister, Lord and thumbs willing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Identify This Plant

This picture was taken on our business trip to Orlando this month. The depth of color in this plant intrigues me and no one seemed to know the name of it. Anyone know?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cocoon Jacket Progress Report II

This is the right-back that I am fringe-twisting. I have only six days before committing to the guild show. Fringe-twisting, finishing and beading should go quickly if I can set aside the time but I have serious concerns as to whether there is time to surface-design the jacket and, in my opinion, it needs it. Who said it's easier to work under pressure? (-:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cocoon Jacket Progress Report I

Hopefully, posting pictures of the cocoon jacket will help me to be acountable. I cut the fabric off the loom today and am a little concerned as I have warp left over. Hmmmm... what does this mean? Will this be a blouse rather than a cocoon jacket? I also didn't take pattern into account when I planned this jacket so, fish may be swimming in every direction. lol. And I should have counted the number of repeats (since they are fairly long) in order that the pattern would match barring any treadling errors. Surface design should help. (-; In this picture, the panels are ready to be joined in the back.

God's Paintbrush

This picture of Sierra, and pictures to follow, inspired me while in Orlando and a reminder of how awesome are the colors in God's creation. Try as I may to mix dye in the colors and in the same proportions, I will never duplicate it! Do I see a colorway here?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A different type of stitch holder

It is nice to take an occasional break. The most recent for us was business-related but I had many hours to knit on HeartStrings Scotch Thistle Lace Stole and enjoy the sun in Orlando. I realized after I got halfway through the shawl and was ready to start the other half that I did not have a stitch holder or contrasting yarn to hold the stitches so that I could continue knitting. Don's boss is a resourceful guy and provided this line for me and it actually works better than yarn or a pin-type holder and it's probably in your garden shed - weed-eater cord! The yarn is Jojoland Melody Superwash in color #MS08. I love the way the color is changing gradually and actually am looking forward to finishing and blocking.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Will a deadline help?

Among projects I hope to finish this year is this cocoon jacket I began weaving in uh... December, 2006 for a special friend's art opening where we were asked to wear red. No, I didn't wear the cocoon jacket and it is still on the loom! Next month, Chimneyville Weavers and Spinners Guild (my guild), will have a show entitled "Make It Red" with one of the goals being awareness of women's heart issues. I only have to hem-stitch the last half, join the panels, bead the collar, wet-finish and surface design the fabric. Can it be done? Will it come off as planned? Here's hoping!

Note the fish or ichthus in the fabric, 3 of which have a bird's eye. These represent 2 of my very good friends and me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

At the beginning of each new year, as with life, I often reflect on the past year, look forward to the year ahead and how I can better my life by balancing faith, family, friends, fun and rest. This next week will be spent with plenty of time to reflect, to read, journal, knit and plan how to best spend the days ahead. There is something refreshing about starting with a new calendar, don't you think?