Monday, December 29, 2008

Yarn Yarn and More Yarn!

I just returned from a restful trip to Massachusetts where I enjoyed my first "American" Christmas. I finished a crocheted hat and have started another hat. I will be doing a full post on crocheted hats once they are all complete (and photographed). I found a wonderful weaving/yarn shop called The Fiber Loft in Harvard, Massachusetts. I left the shop with mill ends, wool balls, and cotton, oh my! I am now instituting a moratorium on yarn purchasing.

I have started a Google map to track all of the yarn and weaving shops that I have visited. Check out the map here. The blue bubbles are weaving shops and the pink bubbles are yarn shops.

Do you have a favorite yarn or weaving shop? Let me know!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bored of My Yarn Stash

I have been warned about this situation - more yarn than you know what to do with, yet none that is quite right for a project. I'm SO there. I have cone after cone, skein after skein. Yet, I can't seem to find the right color, the right weight or the right amount for the non-existent project in my head. What to do? The last thing I need to do is buy more yarn, but it is so tempting!

My chenille scarf is still hanging out on the loom. I am hoping to finish it before 2009. I have finished all of the crocheted projects that I planned for Christmas and look forward to posting photos of the finished works with their intended recipients in the coming weeks!

I am contemplating the following weaving projects for the coming months:
  • Another set of bags made with plastic bags
  • Cotton towels with the random cones of 6/2 cotton that I have laying around (any pattern recommendations are highly encouraged!)
  • Shawl made with weft made from my mom's old silk saris
I hope all of you have a nice holiday season, whatever your faith tradition may be.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Scarves Galore!

I have made some (very little) progress on the chenille scarf, but I thought I would post some photos anyways. I really love the blue on the black. I am doing a basic twill pattern to avoid worming of the chenille. I am happy with the pattern, but not thrilled about the edges. It would have been nice to have the selvedge threads, but since I don't, I'm working with what I have. This is a learning process...

I am also working on a crochet scarf to give as a gift. The yarn is so soft and a fun color, so I'm hoping that its recipient enjoys it this winter!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Often Do You Weave?

I am constantly reading other weaving blogs and am always impressed at the quality and quantity of projects folks are able to produce. How much do you weave? Please let me know via the comments section.

I try to weave a few hours a week on my loom at home. I weave or work on other fiber projects at the ArtSpace for two hours each week. Overall, I find that it takes so long to complete projects on the loom, but I just don't know when I else I would make time for it. Obviously, I am a beginner and warping up takes a while, but I feel like a snail compared to you folks!

As an update, I have woven about 5 inches of my 70 inch+ long chenille scarf. Sigh. I still have a crocheted scarf and two sets of crocheted mug rugs to finish before Christmas. I suppose I should stop blogging and start working!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Social Media

I am attending a social media conference for work this week and one of the major topics is blogging. I am new to the blogging world and I am wondering how folks have been able to up their readership. I use GoogleReader to subscribe to many weaving blogs (some upon the suggestion of the magical reader). I know I have sent the link to this blog to my various friends, but has anyone else found this site?

If you know of folks in your "social network" who might be interested in my various projects, please send my link to them! I am hoping to plug into the weaving social network through this blog - I have learned so much from other weaving bloggers and hope that others can also find some inspiration in my work!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Frustrating Warp

I have started a new project after the very successful recycled bags. This new project is a bit more frustrating. I have decided to do a short warp for once and make a cozy chenille scarf (just 1!) in time for Christmas. I think I got a bit too excited and was a bit careless.

I set the yarn at 15 epi in a 10 dent reed. The chenille is so shiny and black that I had a really hard time making sure I was threading it correctly. Then as I was winding the warp the selvedge threads slid out from the paper forcing me to take them out entirely. Well then, just when I thought I was ready to go, two of the threads were twisted together between the reed and the heddles. Sigh.

After all was said and done, I was able to get the loom ready to go, but now I don't feel like weaving! I'm so afraid that it's not going to look nice once I start weaving. I am going to do a twill pattern, but I'm worried about "worming" in the yarn. Sometimes I really wonder if I am meant to be a weaver. I have no patience for dressing the loom, planning out all of the calculations, going back to fix errors, etc.

Here is the warp. I will be using a light blue chenille weft with the black warp.

I have also procured even MORE yarn from Craigslist. I received two cones of black chenille and one giant cone of white chenille. I'll be making chenille scarves until 2010! Does anyone know if you can dye chenille? I like the white, but would love to make something colorful! Any advice would be great.

Until next time!

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Monday, December 1, 2008

The Bags are Finished!

After a marathon weaving session right before Thanksgiving, I successfully completed the recycled bags from Handwoven magazine. I took them home for finishing on the sewing machine. I was a bit nervous that the weft would get torn up in the machine, but I was overreacting. As you can see from the photos, the sewing went off without a hitch! There are four bags in all (one is missing from these pictures, but I will upload it to the Picassa album later).

<---- Inkle woven handle, Target bags for the weft.

<--- Crochet handle, various bags (CVS, generic Thank You bags, etc.) for the weft.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I finished weaving the bags tonight. There are four in all. I am taking them home for Thanksgiving and plan to use my mom's sewing machine to complete the project. I'm a bit concerned that machine may not work on the plastic bags. I am keeping my fingers crossed and even wove a little section for practice purposes, but I am still paranoid!

For any of you readers (all three of you) in the D.C . area, the place where I take my weaving class is having a holiday bazaar on December 5, 2008. Information about the bazaar and the New Community ArtSpace can be found here. The sale will include various fiber arts, pottery, photography, and much more!

I look forward to reporting back on the status of the recycled bags later this week. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bag Progress

I am attempting to finish all 5 (or 6?) bags before I leave town for Thanksgiving on Thursday, but am taking a break to update my readers (all 1 of you) on my progress. I decided to use Target bags for the weft of the next bag and am regretting not using them earlier! It weaves really nicely with no space between picks. More pictures from this project can be seen here.

I used the inkle loom to make handles for this bag. You can kind of see the twill pattern in this photo.

Here you can see the Target logos (Target bags - yet another reason I love Target!)

Piles of pattern weft.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Recycling 101

I have decided to try Handwoven's bag project from June 2008 using old plastic bags to weave a small grocery bag. Each plastic bag is cut into strips to use as weft instead of yarn. I am also weaving in handles using a strong yarn and to create either braided handles or crochet handles. The project is coming along slowly but surely. As usual, I put enough warp on the loom to make a lot of bags (which means I will probably never finish this project...):

Warped loom. I am using a sturdy purple cotton yarn for the warp.

For one of the bags I am using leftover plastic bags that Jon collected from United Health Care during the Federal Government's open season. In this photo you can also kind of see a red and white weft. These are from CVS plastic bags.

Close-up of a woven section.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bookmarks Complete!

My first inkle weaving project is finally complete! I made a number of bookmarks and experimented with the pick-up technique for a number of them. You can check out close up photos of the bookmarks here. I love the end result and am kicking myself for letting this project drag out as long as I did! I am looking forward to warping the inkle loom again with a new project. I am taking requests!!
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

My studio is officially a studio

My various and sundry projects have officially taken over my apartment. It all started with a day trip to East Berlin, Pennsylvania where I officially created a weaving yarn stash thanks to "The Mannings." I bought so much yarn, I don't know if I'll ever get through all of it. So I decided to start everything at once.

I have the (same) project on the inkle loom. I have started my mystery project on my LeClerc and I had 2 crochet projects going. Luckily, I have finished another crochet scarf, so now I'm only down to one crochet project.

It is amazing that I have been able to fit so many projects into just 325 square feet of space. My tiny apartment is holding up, thanks to the large bay window that plays host to the LeClerc. Hopefully my newly created stash of weaving yarn will not strangle me at night!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back from my Hiatus

After starting this blog back in July, I promptly forgot that it existed. So... I'm back. During that time I also didn't weave for a while. I switched jobs, apartments, and it was 100 degrees every day for like a month. I have trouble doing fiber arts in the heat, I won't lie. But I'm back now. I turned my studio apartment into my own little weaving/fiber arts studio.

I have started doing crochet again since weaving is such a long process (see the scarf above). I also tried my hand at the inkle loom (see the first bookmark above - it's the green and cream one).

Yesterday I warped my inkle loom with a more exciting warp than my first try. I am hoping to make some bookmarks that are actually attractive and won't ravel.

I am realizing that the holidays are coming up and I need to get a move on with my projects. I have a number of UFO's (un-finished objects) laying around that either need to be discarded or just finished. I am also trying not to let myself buy any yarn to crochet as I have a huge stash from my old boss. This sanction does not apply to new weaving yarn, however. :)

My work at the ArtSpace is moving along slowly, but surely. I am starting a chenille shawl with over 300 very delicate ends. I have a feeling this project is going to test my patience in ways I am not really prepared for. My goal is to have that project done by Christmas. I'll report back on that project in the coming weeks.

Jon and I are exploring a business venture on my LeClerc at home. I'm going to begin this little experiment next week. It may involve a sewing machine, however. The last thing I need is another large object in my tiny tiny studio. I'll report on the mystery project as things get started.

Check back for more updates!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Starting a Weaving Blog

I have only been weaving for about a year, but I am already hooked so I decided to start a blog. I am a young weaver (25 years old) and have no family background in weaving. My mom and sister are talented knitters, but I never managed to pick that up. So... here I am with my weaving blog.

My journey into weaving began in the summer of 2007 when I wanted to take a pottery class at the ArtSpace in Washington, DC ( Unfortunately, there were no classes available at the time and I was encouraged to try the Fiber Arts class instead. I began on a 4 harness LeClerc table loom (we call it "Clangy" because it's so damn loud). My first "project" was a twill sampler from the green Davidson book. I am still surprised that I didn't quit after a few weeks. It took me many hours to wrap just 80 ends on a warping board. Then I had to pull each of those treads through tiny holes in a reed?! And THEN I had to pull those through heddles?! Yikes. After many weeks I was finally able to start my sampler and see some results. My edges were a mess and I didn't have a good eye for the colors. 3 yards later, though, and I was finally done with my sampler. It just sits in a plastic bag now, but that's ok. Ms. Maybelle guided me through the process with much more patience than me and she is responsible for getting me hooked. As I began my first actual project (placemats above), I found myself searching ebay and craigslist for used looms.

In March of 2008 I bought my own Dorothy LeClerc 4 harness table loom. My first project was a set of mug rugs (see above).

In July of 2008, my boyfriend's father gave me a handmade inkle loom. I am glad that I started weaving on a table loom as it makes me appreciate the ease of using the inkle loom.