Category Archives: fiber arts

Life, Pondering, Carrying On

My last post was quite emotional and I ended up deleting it. I’m not a very good blogger. I am way too emotional and let it out in the wrong ways sometimes.

I will start to blog about good things only, as that’s what I want my life to consist of.

I haven’t posted about this on this blog (I do have a blog over on Blogger), but both of my dogs have been diagnosed with different but similar issues.  Evan had Calcium Oxalate bladder stones removed in May. He’s doing very well at the moment though recovery was rocky.  Gabbi had very high protein in her urine, leading the vet to put her on medication and she went back yesterday to get checked, and she too, is doing very well.  The last 3 months have been extremely stressful for me.  I’ve now decided that I will take each day as it comes and work the best I can to do the best I can by my dogs.

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping busy inside because it’s so stinking hot outside.  We have had some crappy weather this summer.  First it seemed like it was never going to stop raining.  Days and days on end of rain, then, HOT and HUMID!  We did have 2 very beautiful, low humidity and temp days about a week and a half ago.  Boy, was that a spoiler!  The positive side of this is, I’ve been very busy with knitting and beading!  I have made several woolen hats – easy when you’re sitting in the AC! – and I’ve made some acrylic hats as well.

I have also been busy beading. For some reason, I’ve been binge making mutli-strand bracelets.

knitted hats handspun

5 woolen hats – all hand spun Blue Faced Leister yarn (spun and knitted by me)

Wild hat

Wild and crazy – but you can’t get lost in a snowstorm in this hat! (acrylic) 

Hats to the left and hats to the

 

 

right!

 

 

 

 

IMG_5698

This had was self striping – not sure how I did it because the next hat of the leftover yarn didn’t do this. I must have cast on just i the right way to get these cool patterns!

For some reason, I’ve been binge making multi-strand bracelets. I have a lot of beads from when I was weaving the flute wraps which I’ve not done in awhile.  I do like weaving the beaded bands, but I need patterns and making the patterns was quite time consuming and I lost interest in making the patterns.  The bracelets are fun and pretty easy, though a bit time consuming, but it is a good distraction when I’m stressed.

These are only a few of what I’ve made, and I sent 2 of them to a friend in CA and she seemed very pleased with them!  🙂 I have many, many more! I love wearing them – either singles or multiples – they don’t weigh a lot.

I also got into making a couple of Mala necklaces.  For me, they are sort of a cross between a rosary (Catholic upbringing but not practicing), and worry beads!  The first set is all black and I need to restring them because I don’t like the way I did them, and also because the thread has stretched. I don’t think I have a photo of them.  Trust me, they are boring.

The second one is one I really love – and I hope to make some more if I can find the colored wooden beads again.

New Mala Bead necklace

The beads above are very light even though they are wooden. I even made the tassel – my first one.  I had the blue and white beads in my stash, and they are wooden as well. I left this one out overnight during the full moon and I feel like it has a special vibe to it.

I’ve also been watching the hummingbirds – they have really been crazy.  At the beginning of summer, I put the feeders out, but they weren’t coming around.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw the hummers start coming around, so I made fresh food and put the feeder out, and they have been crazy busy eating and chasing each other away from the feeder.  I got some decent photos.  I still need to work on how to properly use my digital camera….

This is a series of photos that I was lucky enough to capture.  They are my favorite for this year.

 

DSC_0248DSC_0250DSC_0251

That’s enough for today.  I will be blogging about travel soon.  We’ve named our Class B Winnebago Travato van “Herbee.”  As in, HER BEE.  I am, after all, the one that is most excited to have this little comfy van……

We will be going away soon as well, and I can hardly wait. We’ll be going to my favorite place, and we’ll be gone a good while, so I will be fat with lobster, shrimp, cod, flounder, haddock, and probably some sweets along the way. The good news is, I’ll also be doing a lot of walking and working off all that wonderful food.  More on that when it happens.

Advertisements

Pink Scarves

We recently moved from the farmhouse to a community.  I haven’t been able to create in awhile, due to everything being packed, then unpacked, then a lack of energy!  However, getting back to weaving has been wonderful.

Here are three pink scarves I wove in the last week.  Our realtor is a breast cancer survivor and has asked me to make a pink scarf.  I have experimented with each scarf, and plan on making several more, because I now have tons of pink yarn !  That seems to happen – when I get on a project, I have to buy all the things that go with that project…..

DSC_0075 (1024x683)

I recently viewed a video that has to do with Chanel Tweed.  It was very inspiring to me.  Here is the link to the video.  Chanel Tweed

This is why you see all of the interesting weaving inclusions in the above photo!  I will be on the look-out for more fun yarns, lace, and other inclusions as well.

Meanwhile, using what I have and what I can find in the local stores, I have done three scarves.  For me, weaving is always a journey, and a learning experience.  Since I’m self taught, I see something and I want to learn how to do it, but since I can’t afford lessons and I don’t know anyone in the industry, I find YouTube, Facebook and Ravelry to be interesting resources.

Here is the first scarf I made.  This scarf has ribbon (as seen on the spools in the above photo); ribbon yarn (the dark burgundy with the bits of small color in it near the bottom of the photo); all weights of cotton yarn, and some acrylic yarn. This scarf is the one that was really inspired by the Chanel Tweed video.  I learned a lot of lessons on this scarf, and will incorporate those lessons on a future, similar scarf.

It can be worn a few different ways.   There is a space that I wove in.  That doesn’t really make sense, so I guess you’d call it a hole – an on-purpose hole.  You can see in the left photo that I have one end of the scarf slipped through the hole.  It avoids tying the scarf in a knot, which would be a bit bulky with this scarf.  On the left I just have it draped around the neck, which is also nice.

The warp on this scarf is cotton.  The weft consists of all the inclusion yarns and ribbon, although not everything shown in the photo above.  I used those yarns and ribbons on a different scarf, which is below.

PS3 (683x1024)

You can see from the fringe that it has lost of fun stuff in it.

PS3 closeup (645x1024)

A close up:

PS3 upclose (1024x683)

There is some sparkle yarn which is difficult to see in the photos, as well as one strand of eyelash yarn, ribbon, cording, and four strands of cotton yarn in the warp.  The weft is a lightweight cotton yarn.

This is the third scarf.  I used ribbons and yarn in this warp as well.

You can see above, that the ribbon shows well through this – I used a much finer cotton yarn in the weft of this scarf.

I plan on making several more, as I said above, because I have lots more pink yarn to use up.  I will start mixing in some other colors along the way, I think, and I will also be making some scarves in other colors with the same methods.

All of these scarves will be for sale on my  Facebook page

Thanks for checking in.  I will be posting more regularly now that we are settled in the new house.

Take care,
Martha

Dream Catcher Jacket (2)

I started weaving cloth for another jacket.  I knew right off I’d weave 8 yards, leaving me plenty to play with for a new jacket.

DSC_0002 (2) (800x533)DSC_0003 (2) (800x533)

I used some variation of purple in each section, except one. It was my intent to use it everywhere, but I got carried away winding bobbins and trying colors.  I wound the bobbins with more than one thread.  I mostly used two, but there were a couple of places I used three threads on a bobbin, and three threads on the floor, and did clasped weft.  I really love the handle this gives the cloth.

DSC_0011 (2) (800x533)DSC_0009 (2) (800x533)

Colors include 2 shades of green, 2 shades of blue, and turquoise along with various shades of purples.  Some of these pictures don’t really do the piece justice, but these were when it was still on the loom.

Below is something that was brewing in my brain for awhile, and one night, I just couldn’t help myself.  I sat at the loom, and I put this dream catcher in.  I used 8/2 white yarn, a bowl, and I stitched a circle.  Then I filled in the dream catcher the same way that I make the dream catchers.  The only thing I didn’t do, yet, was put a bead in which represents the spider on the dream catcher.  I may also use beads on the threads hanging from the bottom of it, but I’m a bit worried about putting beads on, because if someone wants to wash this, it would then have to be washed by hand.  As it is now, it can be washed on a gentle cycle in the machine.

DSC_0006 (2) (800x533)

Here is the finished jacket.

DSC_0015 (2) - CopyDSC_0018 (2) (1024x683)

The colors are pretty accurate, at least on my monitor.  It was really windy yesterday when I took these photos, so I had to take them on the covered porch as close to the house as possible.  Otherwise, the entire dress form would blow over, it was that windy!

I finished the front of the jacket by folding the center vertical edges in about an inch and a half, placing a very thin iron on interfacing inside the fold, then sewing down next to the folded edge as well as next to the selvage edge on the inside.  That helped stabilize the edges.  Eventually I’m hoping to find a nice closure for this.  Either a really special button, or a fancy frog closure.  I may just see if I can make one.  I don’t know yet.

I added pockets, and reinforced the neckline because it was pulling badly.  It’s all fixed now.

This jacket will be for sale, as will the first blue jacket I made.  Once I have enough items made and I can fill a 10 x 10 tent, I will then send in my applications for a couple of shows that have very respectable people who sell at them, and see if I get juried in.  If I don’t I think I’d be very disappointed.

I do have to say, I’m pretty proud of this jacket as well as the first one (in the previous post).

Now it’s time to get busy on the next one – not sure if it’ll be a jacket, or a vest, or a shirt….I have this need inside me to make another jacket and to get a little less controlled with the yarns, and to get a little more free with my weaving, but I also am having a grand time with being a bit traditional even though I only have a 2 harness loom.  I feel driven to continue with the jackets, even though I want to make something simpler with the next couple of projects, because the jackets really are time consuming and stressful for me to make due to the fact I am free-handing all of this – no pattern except the one I made from the first jacket – and even then, this cloth was a different width so it wasn’t very helpful to have a pattern.  I’m getting better at trusting my instincts though, as far as what to do.  I’ve also learned a LOT about what I might do differently in order to make the next garments better.

Thanks for looking.

Take care,
Martha

Finished Jacket

This is the finished jacket, made from the hand woven cloth that came off the loom.

I’m very proud of this jacket, as I had no pattern to go by, while making it.  It is fun to wear, all cotton except for a bit of binding lace I used.  I learned a lot of lessons working on this jacket, and it will now become a pattern for future jackets.

DSC_0005 (2) (800x799)DSC_0010 (2) (800x779)I’ve shown the front and back of the jacket in the above photos.  Lots of blues.  I received many compliments on it when I went to spin (as in spinning yarn) group.  I was asked if I’d be writing a pattern.  The answer is, no, I won’t. I’m not a pattern writer, and there are way too many variables in making something from hand woven fabric.  For instance, the width of the cloth – every loom is different, every fiber you weave with, be it cotton, wool, or some sort of viscose, is different.  Every BODY is different.  This jacket fits me and I’m a size 16W.  However, it would fit someone a bit larger, as well as someone thinner than I am – it would just lay differently on the body.

I added my own quirky designs to it.  I braided the fringe on the back in a style that I love doing.  I also added the pocket at an angle, and it works.

There will be many more of this style jacket as soon as I can get the cloth woven.

Thanks for checking in.

Currently….

Currently on the loom – cloth to make clothing.  Blues.  I’ve been drawn to working in monochromatic colorways.

This is what’s currently on the quilting wall.

IMG_1214 (640x480)

The colors are much more vibrant than the photo shows.  It’s hard to get a good photo because my studio is so small, and so crowded. I have to stand with my back up against the sewing machine table to get the photo of the wall on the opposite side. It’s probably only about 5-6 feet I can stand back.

I will start piecing this quilt tomorrow.  Then I will sandwich it and quilt it using a program on my sewing machine.  I can choose the pattern, hoop it, and let the machine sew it.  I hope it works well.  It’ll be my first experiment with it.  If I was smart, I’d do a small wall quilt to test it first.  Not my style though.  ha!

Went to the Art Center today.  Spoke to a friend. She suggested I bring in one or two of my wall hangings.  They haven’t sold at The Loft in the other town, so maybe I’ll give it a shot.  Can’t hurt, right?

I’m trying to focus more on the thing that bring me joy.  Weaving cloth, then making clothing, brings me joy.  I will continue to work on this and be more consistent with making.  I am a maker.

Thanks for checking in.

Martha