Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Here's what looks to me like the traditional grouping of reds, blues and greens. I have dark blue, dark green, light blue, and some print sheets in shades of lavender, grey, and light blue for the rag wefts, and these are the colors I had in mind.
This one is beautiful, though more orange in the center than red. And this one might be the best model - lots of red, with touches of gold and blue.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Perhaps for most knitters, but especially for me, who knit very loosely, struggle to get gauge without going down to the tiniest of needles, and wear a smaller size, this book was a savior. I could start with wherever my gauge was - and then figure out from there details such as the length of the sweater, how long to make the sleeves, and what kind of neckline or button band I wanted. My goal was for this sweater to be a tutorial: a chance to see how the basic pattern worked up, whether it fit or not, and from that information, be better able to make the adjustments needed to get to from the sweater in my imagination to the finished object.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
And the appeal of the muted browns and blacks of the Japanese textiles versus the happier colors of a Kaffe Fassett piece. Oh, the choices. How can one person have such diametrically-opposed tastes?
But I do love this site - Sri Threads - a Brooklyn gallery that sells Japanese and Indian textiles. And the blog: one beautiful textile after another (especially this Ralli quilt).
Monday, December 21, 2009
Source: Davison, Handweaver's Pattern Book (the classic stitch dictionary for weavers)
Warp: Maysville 8/4 Cotton Rug warp in a deep purple and a chartreuse, warped in stripes based on the Fibonacci series: 3" chartreuse, 1" eggplant, 2" char., 17" egg., 2" char., 1" egg, and ending with 3" char.
Number of warp threads: 216 (this includes a doubled floating selvage on each edge, to keep the borders straight)
Weft: one set of full size sheets from the resale shop (may be a cotton/poly blend, I'm not sure); ripped into 1" strips and sewn end to end on the sewing machine before use
EPI: 8 (ends per inch for you non-weavers - this is the number of warp ends, or lengthwise threads, that go onto the loom and capture the weft, or horizontal threads)
Width on loom: 27"
Finished size: 25" x 45"
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
While we celebrate Hanukkah, I liked the idea of adding to the menorah lighting something more ancient than candles to commemorate the Jewish festival of lights.
Unfortunately, knit without swatching and much too big, even without blocking, and lace opens up a lot. May decide to rip it out and use it instead for a scarf. With Chicago winter in full force, I'm craving something long to wrap around my neck and nose when I walk the dog.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
Yesterday we drove west from our condominium to check out some of the beaches and snorkeling areas. This is Secret Cove: a tiny, lava-rock beach where many come for weddings or pictures. I saw a young woman in a beautiful, long white hippie-style dress having her photo taken. And the water and the rocks, just beautiful, too.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Instead, I ended up with two wonderful crocheted, granny-square blankets - the kind of thing that I will never make, and looking for a good home. The Goodwill is like visiting a handicraft version of the Island of Misfit Toys. The most poignant thing was a half-finished piece of cross stitch bagged up with instructions and leftover embroidery floss: it was a novel in miniature. Who did this belong to? Why didn't she finish it? How did it make its way to the Goodwill?
I resisted this sad story and focused on the blankets, where there were lots of electric blankets without controls (remember those?) and some acrylic, granny-square afghans. Not being a crocheter, I scored a small blanket in blacks and whites for one room for $6. And a large lampshade, in perfect shape, for $2 (these go for at least $45 or $50 brand-new). On the way home, I stopped at one more resale shop about to close for the day. Score! Another blanket for $5, and this one larger and a happier color palette.
My goal this week is to get a warp onto the loom. I have always loved Randall Darwall's work and am trying to focus on something with lots of color, but using the material already in the house - several small cones of 10/2 cotton in blues, a clay color, and a gold-yellow. Today I discovered Unravelling and MegWeaves and am feeling inspired by her Desire/Euphoria scarves.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I say "ooze" because, despite his size (recently analysed as a cross between a Lab and an Irish Wolfhound, but I prefer the Lab-German Shepherd guess), he can silently, slowly extend himself like a snake and wend his way from the floor onto the furniture. At the same time, he carefully avoids eye contact with any human nearby, as though to suggest that he's not actually climbing onto the furniture.
I need to slipcover the couch so that I can throw the coverings into the wash after his muddy paws make contact. I'm thinking of something super-easy, like just using the left-over navy linen or extra ticking fabric I found from a long-ago slipcovering purchase, and making large envelopes for the couch cushions with twill ties on the back to keep them closed.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
At the moment, I'm knitting a square of yellow, orange, brown, and possibly dark green. The last color is a cooler shade, but it reminds me of pumpkins and Halloween.
Friday, November 13, 2009
You start with three or four different fabrics. Seam them together. Cut them apart, preferably in an asymmetric fashion (meaning not into nice, neat, matching pieces, but - for example - into one third of one end and two-thirds of the rest).
Seam those together. Easy, peasy machine sewing, straight stitch, in a thread color that will blend into the background. (I used a vanilla white with fabrics of blues and greens and creams and pinks and yellows. Worked fine.) Press open the seams with a hot iron. Cut them apart again. Seam those pieces together. At this point, you should have some fun stuff going on as well as some areas where you wonder how you managed to put that strong floral pattern in so many places that, no matter what, it seems to lay up against another flowered piece in the "partner" piece you are bumping it up against.
Continue until you have the look that you want. If you stop sooner, you'll have nice, long stretches of a pattern with the occasional little block of something else popping up, a quirky surprise. If you continue along for a while - perhaps four sets of sewing and cutting - you'll have a more random look, somewhat crazy quilt and somewhat, dare I say, Gee's Bend-ish. (Ann and Kay, please leave a comment if you read this, pro or con!)
Here's what my patchwork looked like on the wrong side after three go-arounds. And below (I need to write this on my forehead, or at least somewhere on the computer: Blogger loads your photos in the opposite order of whatever literary development you'd planned for the written entry), the fabric after two repeats of cutting and seaming. Still at the rectangular strip, larger block stage of the process.