Saturday, July 12, 2014

David (and friends)

Another kitty is done!  I made this one during several of David's nap times.  It is a black kitty made from Red Heart polyester yarn and an H crochet hook.  At first I was afraid the stuffing would show through horribly, but I didn't pack it tight and you can't see it!  I also sewed little pouches to hold the plastic beads that are in the hands, feet, and bottom of the kitty so they won't fall out the crochet holes and get eaten by a little guy!  Overall it made for a much better kitty than the pink one.  It's more flexible and soft.  I hope David will enjoy the crocheted kitties for many years to come!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

In the summer, in the desert

Daily walks are included here!  Before this little guy was born, I would exercise anywhere form 4-6 miles daily.  And I never stopped!  I swear this is what made my recovery from the c-section go so well.

Here are just a few of the things we need to survive a walk in the desert.  It's only 6:30 in the morning, but notice we have the umbrella for shade in this desert heat.  It is also wind-proof up to 55 miles an hour... which really is a concern here!  It's an amazing object and now that I've experienced it, I'm not sure how I did without it.  I have yet to try it out in the rain though! The pants and socks are to shade the baby's feet and legs from the sun... because really, I can't see his feet very easily to make sure they're covered all the time.  Also, we have a water pack that holds my 2 liters of water, plus a bottle for the baby and a bag of formula  and a diaper... because you never know when or where you will need those things.  Furthermore, the baby carrier equipped with a binkie on a ribbon for just in case.  And lastly, Australian sunscreen for super sensitive skin that has absolutely no smell and you can't even feel it on you.  And that friends is how you dress for success in the summer, in the desert.

After our walk, we usually come inside and play before nap time!  I love how giggly David is getting during play time.  I made him a crochet cat the other day after seeing some online.  They are so much fun!  The pattern is from Hello My Name is Amineko and it's a very easy pattern to make.  I tried it first with pink yarn and a small crochet hook, but the cat is pretty stiff so next time I might try a bigger hook.  David loves his kitty and loves cooing at it and talking to it!  Too bad it's pink though... that's all I had on hand.  I'll have to search around for some other more "boy" colors!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


 oooooh!  aaahhh!!

The experiment of 2/2 twill hounds tooth woven in worsted weight polyester yarn worked out so well!  The weave is so incredibly stable!

I think I will do it as a blanket in doubleweave...  in black and white!

Now I just need to figure out the doubleweave pattern!

And to go with that snazzy scarf, here is a new outfit for a great day out on the town!

I made all of these things this week while the little guy napped! 

I love sewing for him!  He's like a real live doll to play with!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The lure of hounds tooth

I don't really know what the lure is of hounds tooth, but it is a really neat classic design!  I feel like I have definitely woven my share of it!

Right now I am working on a 2/2 twill hounds tooth scarf in worsted weight yarn sett at 8 epi.  I am hoping to get a feel for what a doubleweave blanket would look like woven in similar yarn (maybe different colors...).  What I really like the most about this weave is how sturdy it feels compared to the 8-shaft version with floats that are 4 threads long.  The 8-shaft version feels so flimsy and the yarn can catch on rings, zippers, or other things.  As 2/2 twill, the longest floats are only 2 threads long, and I really like how solid it is weaving up. 

And now, a word from our sponsor.... bubble boy!

Friday, July 4, 2014

no more

Before the baby was born, I had several weaving jobs lining up, with more potential on the way.  Baby wraps were popular, woven stuffed animals, and people wanting dishtowels.  I have had a lot of random people contact me for work, and I used to take every job I could find and think I was pretty lucky for having it.  However, right before the baby was born, I became completely burned out on weaving.  Partly it was my hands going numb from the water weight, but it was also because all I was weaving were things for other people, and not from inside my own head and heart.  And the money was only somewhat enjoyable.  I have decided to weave only for myself now. 

Also, another change that I have noticed in myself lately is that my warps are a lot shorter.  When I would have put a 7-8 yard dishtowel warp on, now I'm choosing 3 yards and making fewer.  This is partly because my time is more limited, and also my attention span seems to have changed.  I keep getting such great ideas that I want to act upon, and if I have too much on my loom, it's frustrating.  This current warp for hounds tooth is only 3 yards, and it is a perfect size!  I've already planned 4 other projects while weaving it!  Every project I do seems to multiply as I weave it!

This little guy keeps me so busy! And it's so worth it!

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: