Monday, November 23, 2009

Scarves are Done!

I finally finished my multi-fiber warp scarves! I bought beautiful chenille and ribbon last winter (pictures here) and managed to finish the scarves in time for winter and the holiday bazaar at the ArtSpace. So... here's a picture:

I was hoping the ribbon would really pop out because of its shine and unique texture compared to the chenille, but instead it just compressed in with the design. The red ribbon is mixed in with the silver stripes. You can definitely tell there is ribbon in the scarf by the fringe, but not in the actual pattern. I didn't get any close-up shots, but will try to post more pictures later.

I am going to explore some old issues of Handwoven to see if I can find some techniques for using different fibers in a way that allows the texture to come through. My guess is that I should not have woven the ribbon in every pick, and instead let it float. I would love the advice of any experienced weavers out there!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm Back!

So I have no real explanation for why I haven't posted in SO long other than I was busy getting engaged, buying a house, and applying to law school. But now that those things are just about done, I can get back to the more important things in life like fiber arts!

In the past few months I have continued to make progress on my multi-fiber scarves (they will be complete on Tuesday, woohoo!), crocheted my first pair of socks, and experimented with sewing in preparation for the ability to sew my own woven fabrics. I seemed to have misplaced photos of the socks I made, so I will have to take some more pictures and upload them another time.

Here is a picture of a small tote bag I made on the sewing machine:

Here are two crocheted bibs I made for a girlfriend's (soon-to-be) twin boys: (this was my first try with crocheting images and I think they turned out pretty well!)

I will post about the woven scarves on Tuesday when I complete them at the ArtSpace. Speaking of the ArtSpace, we are having our annual Holiday Bazaar on Friday, December 4. The ArtSpace is in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, so if you're in the area, save the date!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Fiber Blues

DC is so hot and humid and it makes me lose my motivation for weaving/crochet/anything fiber related! I know a lot of folks can work on their projects in the comfort of AC, but just looking at yarn makes me hot. Having said that, I did finish this crochet bag from Interweave Crochet:

I also bought some new cotton yarn from the newly opened Fiber Space in Alexandria, VA (which is fabulous, by the way)! I have two friends who are pregnant, so I want to make some fun baby items. Any pattern ideas out there??

I am hoping to make it back to the ArtSpace soon to finish up my red chenille scarves, but I will be on the road for the next two weeks. I need a road project ASAP! Any crochet baby patterns are very warmly welcomed!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Too Long + 1 Year!

I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted on this blog. In that time I have been from East Coast to West Coast, but still working on projects! (I promise) I also hit the one year mark of the blog, so that's exciting!

I was in New England for 10 days and managed to check out two yarn shops: The Wool Pack (in Littleton, MA) and Sheep to Shore (in Nantucket, MA). Both of these shops were spacious and the ladies who helped us were warm and friendly. This seems to be a trend in all of the yarn shops I have visited in New England!

In Nantucket I also met Karen Sheppard of Island Weaves. She inspired me with her wonderful towels and blankets with colors of the sea. She also made me want to move to Nantucket and weave full time! I hope to return to the island to learn the production method from Karen.

It has been a busy month, but I am close to finishing my multi-fiber warp scarves at the ArtSpace and I am close to finishing a crocheted bag with new yarn from the Wool Pack. I hope that I still have some readers despite my long absence!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back to Business

After a long hiatus due to LSAT prep, I am back to work on my various projects. During my time of non-posting, I continued weaving my multi-fiber warp scarves at the ArtSpace, but neglected projects at home. But I finished my exam on Monday and now I'm back to work!

I am almost done with my crocheted sweater: (just one sleeve left to crochet!)

I also warped my inkle loom for some bookmarks in the colors of my Alma mater:

I have also drawn up some plans for cotton towels for my tabletop LeClerc at home. I am hoping to make it to the ArtSpace this week to wind the warps for those. Jon asked me why I don't just buy my own warping board. I would love to have my own to speed up my projects, but my apartment is about 300 square feet. I can barely have looms in here, not to mention all my yarn, bed, desk, dresser, etc! Hopefully my next home will have room for all the necessary weaving accessories.

I am counting down the weeks/days for my trip to Massachusetts in July. We are planning a visit to WEBS in Northampton, the Fiber Loft in Harvard, and any yarn shops in Nantucket. I better start saving my money!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Multi-fiber Warp Scarves

I have made some more progress on my multi-fiber warp scarves. I used chenille and ribbon in the warp and am using the same chenille for the weft. I had no idea how the ribbon would look once I started weaving, but I am pleased with the results.

If you look at the close up of this image, you will see the stripes of ribbon really packed in nicely with the weft. It does not bubble up or create any strange lumps/bumps in the scarf. In fact, I don't think you can even tell that it's ribbon!

Although I am really happy with how these scarves are turning out, plain weave after plain weave is getting really boring! I have enough for two scarves in this warp that are each two yards long. I will be weaving until it is warm enough to actually wear them...

Special thanks to Kristian Whipple at the ArtSpace for taking the photos for me!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I would rather be weaving...

It has been a long time since my last post, but sadly, I do not have any progress to report! I am taking the law school admissions test (LSAT) on June 8, and every spare moment I have outside of the office has been going toward studying. It is really sad.

I still attend my weaving class at the DC ArtSpace on Tuesday nights, and am happy to report that I have finally started weaving my multi-fiber warp scarves. I will have photos ASAP. These scarves use both chenille and ribbon and are so soft! I have enough warp to make two scarves - I will definitely be keeping one of them for myself.

This is my first experience using a floor loom, and I have mixed feelings about it. I am very short (5"1"), so I have trouble reaching the pedals unless I sit at the edge of the bench. However, after about 30 minutes of this, my rear gets a little numb!

Are there any petite weavers out there that can offer some advice on using the floor loom? We have limited bench options at the ArtSpace, but I am definitely open to suggestions!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!

Today I experienced my very first Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. The rain was pouring down, but we made it! Almost my entire weaving class enjoyed the festivities in Howard County, Maryland. My favorite part (aside from all of the tempting yarn) was watching the border collies chase the sheep around! If it had not been pouring, I could have watched them all day.
I am proud to report that I managed to leave the festival with NO new yarn purchases. I bought a couple of small gifts for folks, but no yarn! I'm actually disappointed because the reason I did not buy any yarn was that the majority of vendors at the festival were incredibly unfriendly. Given the tough economic times and the fact that it was raining cats and dogs, you would think vendors would be especially keen on selling their products. It seems I did not fit the profile for the ideal shopper, because my interest in the products was met with very rude vendors. So I bought nothing.
I did manage to take a few photos of the sheep, however!

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crocheted Sweater Update #1

I received a couple of requests to post about my crocheted sweater project. This is my most ambitious project as a beginning crocheter. I am making the "Big Bow Cardigan" (without the big bow) from the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Crochet. Because this is my first clothing item, I decided to use a less expensive yarn, so I'm using the Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Olive:

The green is a little brighter in person than in the photos. In this picture you can start to see the shape of the sweater (3/4 length sleeve on the left):

I have been diligently working on this project bit by bit each day in the hopes that it will be ready in time for sweater season. :) I'm really excited about making something more complicated AND I'm actually making it for myself! I hope that I get the sizing correct (otherwise it might be for sale in a couple of months).

In the weaving world I have made no progress. Between a bad head cold and a busy couple of weeks at work, I haven't been able to plan out my next project for my loom at home. My loom at the ArtSpace is dressed and ready to be wound on Tuesday. I will be weaving my mixed fiber scarves in no time!

Jon's dad did some rehab on my inkle loom last week, so I am also planning to get some inkle pick-up weaving started again. I need to evaluate my yarn options and find some patterns for that project.

I am also excited about the upcoming Maryland Sheep and Wool festival! This will be my first time attending, and I can't wait! My birthday is coming up, so I may be buying myself some early birthday gifts.

That's all from Desiweaver-land! As always, your comments are welcome. I love hearing from strangers and realizing that people actually read my blog!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lunch Bags Complete!

Wow, it has been too long since I last posted! I have been busy, though. I finished my second round of woven bags made from plastic bags. I made small bags suitable for carrying lunch to work. Jon has already claimed one bag and most of the others have been claimed by a former colleague. I made a total of 5 bags:

You might not be able to tell from the photos, but I also made the handles. The blue handles were woven using my inkle loom and I crocheted the green handles. Once again, my mom helped me sew up the bags with the family sewing machine. Here is a close-up of a bag using Target bags (I did stripes alternating between regular white bags and Target's holiday red bags):

Here is a close-up of a bag with an orange accent:

I have also started crocheting a sweater! I have never taken on an ambitious project like a sweater, but I'm excited! It may be a few months before I have it even close to finished, but hopefully my loyal readers will keep bugging me about it.!

So now the important question - what to weave next??? My LeClerc table loom is free and in need of a new project. The bags are a big hit, so it would be nice to build some more inventory. However, I would love to learn new weaving techniques. Any advice for this newbie weaver would be greatly appreciated!
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who Uses Etsy?

Over the past few weeks a variety of people have asked me if I sell any of my work on Etsy. Until recently, everything that I have made was either given as a gift to friends or was sold at the ArtSpace annual bazaar (with all proceeds benefiting the ArtSpace). In recent months I have had a number of requests for specific items, and I have made them accordingly. I usually only charge for the materials.

I do not mass produce woven or crocheted items, so I never have much inventory of finished products on hand.

Here are my questions to those of you who sell on Etsy:
1. Do you keep a large inventory of finished products on hand?
2. Is accepting credit cards problematic?
3. How much up-keep is required of your Etsy site?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weaving, Jewelry, Crochet, Oh My!

It has been a productive week in my world of fiber arts! Click on the pictures below to view larger images. Jon was not around today to help me with photos (he's out fishing), so the image quality is not ideal.

I completed the inkle handles for my woven bag project:

I also made progress on a crocheted alpaca hat for my dad. There was a delay on this project because of a major bird's nest of a knot in my ball of yarn. I ended up just having to cut out the knot after battling with it for an hour.

I finished my first commissioned crocheted jewelry project! My colleague Rose requested a sterling silver crocheted necklace with dark pearl-like beads. The beads are actually a silver/blue color, but it is hard to tell from the photos:

I also managed to teach myself how to cast-on in knitting, thanks to an online video. I have the knit stitch down, so now I just need to improve my purl stitches. I won't even bother posting photos of my knitting work, it is too embarrassing. On tap for this week: focus on weaving.
  • Weaving at the ArtSpace: I am ready to thread my ends through the heddles for my multi-fiber warp scarfs.
  • Weaving at home: I have to complete my bags by April 9, so I better get a move on it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Back from Italy!

I am back from a wonderful trip to Italy with my family that was filled with sightseeing, public transportation, crafty pursuits, and lots of gelato! We started in Venice where we visited Murano, the land of glass. I purchased a variety of glass beads to make more crocheted jewelry. While in Venice, we also visited a yarn shop! I have added the location to my growing googlemap of yarn shops. I purchased some very soft Italian yarn from the shop.

We continued on to Rome where we saw every possible monument in the city! We also happened upon a random yarn shop near Piazza Navona. This shop had a variety of yarns, needlepoint supplies, and bras. Yes, you read that correctly. Bras. It was very random.

Unfortunately, I did not make much progress on any projects during this trip. I sleep pretty soundly on planes, so I didn't even pick up my crochet project. I did, however, get a very excellent lesson in knitting from my mom and sister on the train from Venice to Rome. I learned how to do the knit stitch from a friend at work last week, and feel comfortable with it (thanks to some excellent teaching!). My mom and sister showed me how to purl. I am struggling with purl, but hope that practice will help me get faster.

As the three of us were working on our projects on the train, a nun walked by and spoke to us in Italian, pointing at the projects and smiling. We still have no idea what she said that day, but I am guessing she was pleased with our work!

That is all for now. I look forward to posting about some progress on various projects soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Warped Looms and More Jewelry

I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted! I have been diligently reading everyone's weaving blogs, but not reporting on my own (lack of) progress. Since I last posted, I have done the following:

Crocheted some jewelry (one of these days I am going to find a better surface on which to photograph jewelry):

And made no progress on my next set of woven recycled bags:

My inkle loom is still warped and waiting for someone to weave up some handles for the (non-existent) bags. I have also started making another crocheted alpaca hat, this time for my dad. I am also hoping to make a crocheted necklace for my sister. I am seeing all of these family members this weekend when we meet up for a family trip to Italy! I am really excited about the trip since I have never been Italy and I love to eat.

We are going to Venice and Rome. Do you know of any yarn shops in either of these cities? I can't wait to add an international yarn shop to my list!

Monday, February 16, 2009

More Crocheted Earrings

I am really enjoying making crocheted jewelry! These earrings are a little bit smaller than the first pair, but are similar in design. I am looking forward to trying other types of shapes with the wire in the future.

On a weaving note, I have dressed my loom at home to start the bag project #2. I have accumulated a lot of plastic bags over the last few months, so I am looking forward to turning them into weft for the woven bags. I am also making progress on my multi-fiber scarves at the ArtSpace. I am hoping to get all of the ends through the heddles tomorrow night and then beaming up next Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crocheted Earrings!

I just finished my first pair of crocheted earrings. The picture isn't great (Jon wasn't around to take photos with his nice camera), but I hope you can get the general idea. They are pretty large and sparkly in person (click on the picture for a closer look). The hooks are sterling silver. I am very pleased with how these turned out (especially considering this was my first time working with beads and wire).

Lessons learned from this project:

1. Wire is not forgiving. When crocheting with yarn, it is really easy to pull out entire rows of stitches. Wire prefers that you get it right the first time around.

2. Beading stores are overwhelming. There are so many options and everything is so shiny and inviting!

3. Beadazzled in Washington, DC is a great shop. It is well staffed with friendly and knowledgeable individuals ready to help a newbie.

Do you have any jewelry making tips, pictures, or resources to share?
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Monday, February 9, 2009

A Week of Progress

I haven't posted in a few days, but I have made lots of progress on a number of projects. Unfortunately, I have no photos to prove it!

1. I finished Jon's second hat. I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca in charcoal gray. It looks pretty sharp, if I don't say so myself! I really love this yarn and have enough for 1-2 more men's hats.

2. I finished my second commissioned crochet project. A co-worker asked me to make her a purple scarf so I made her an eggplant colored crochet scarf with more of the Berroco alpaca. I won't have a chance to take a picture before I give her the scarf tomorrow, but it is a simple scarf using half double crochet stitches. She wanted something warm, so these tight stitches are perfect.

3. I also finished wrapping the warp for my multi-fiber warp shawls. I love the way the ribbon looks with the shimmery chenille. I can't wait to start threading this warp through the reed tomorrow evening at the ArtSpace.

4. I warped my inkle loom to make some woven handles for the upcoming lunch bags.

On tap for this week:

1. Crochet Jewelry! I found a pattern in a crochet magazine and decided to buy some supplies to try my hand at crochet jewelry. Have any of you crocheted jewelry in the past? I hope that I am not adding to my growing list of crafting addictions!

2. Wrapping the warp for recycled lunchbags. I have been meaning to do this for weeks, but I am going to do this tomorrow night at the ArtSpace (for real this time...). My loom at home looks so lonely and bare.

I hope everyone has a productive week on the loom/needles/hooks/etc!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Crochet Shawl

I just finished making a crochet shawl that I might keep for myself, although I can think of a number of people who might enjoy it. The pattern I used suggested tassels along the edges. I haven't decided if I am going to add this element.

The yarn is a mill-end that I purchased at The Mannings last fall. It is 3 different fibers spun together. You might be able to see colors if you click on the close up.

Close-up of the stitches:

Spread out:
Thanks to Jon for taking all of these great pictures.

On tap this week: WEAVING. It has been too long. I am going to head to the ArtSpace tomorrow night to get a warp ready for my tabletop LeClerc. I am going to make small lunch bags using carpet warp for the warp and recycled plastic bags for the weft. This is similar to a previous project when I made grocery bags with recycled plastic bags. I will probably stick to plain weave with this project to get them off the loom quickly. I think these will make some great gifts.

I am also going to get my warp ready for my multi-fiber shawls.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Recent Projects

I have decided to post pictures of the chenille scarf I keep talking about for two reasons:

1. It's growing on me and I no longer want to throw it out the window because of its many imperfections.
2. I don't know when I'll get around to wet finishing it because I'm afraid it's just going to fall apart in the wash! (and because I'm all out of quarters)

So... here it is:

I also finished my first "commissioned" project. My boyfriend Jon asked me to crochet him a hat in Boston Red Sox Colors. I'm happy with how it came out, but the yarn was a bit scratchy. So, we bought some alpaca at Knit and Stitch = Bliss in Bethesda, MD. I will post pictures of that hat as soon as I finish.

It's exciting to make something at the request of an interested party (although I wasn't paid for this project, hmm). :) Jon did take the photos that you see on this post, however.

On an unrelated note, it has been so exciting to see all of the hits on Feedjit from around the world! I love seeing where folks are reading my blog from out in the blogosphere. I am very curious about how you are finding my blog. I follow between 10-15 weaving/fiber arts blogs using Googlereader. The reader program often suggests new blogs for me to follow, which is why the list has grown. So... if you're brave enough, please let me know how you found me!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I know this is a fiber arts blog, but since I live in Washington, DC, I just have to post about today's inauguration. I was there with 2 million of my closest friends, and it was incredible. I was about 3 jumbotrons from the Capitol. I can't wait to see some of the pictures of the full crowds all the way back to the reflecting pool. Until then, enjoy one of the shots from my view on the National Mall!

On a fiber related note, I finished the chenille scarf! My loom is so bare, but it is happy to be done with that project. I'm not happy with how it came out because of the various problems with selvedge threads and then some tension problems near the end. However, I did learn a lot from this project. The learning will continue when I run it through the washer. I need to review other bloggers' lessons learned with wet-finishing chenille before I venture into that territory, however. I will post pictures of the final product soon.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yarn and the City!

I was in New York City this weekend for a fabulous weekend trip with my sister (an avid knitter), so it was fitting that we went on a hunt for yarn shops. I am proud to report two more dots on my google map of yarn shops. The abundance of local yarn shops in a place like NYC made me realize the fundamental lack of shops in DC (especially since the closing of DC's only weaving shop).

The first shop we visited was The Point. I love that The Point is both a knitting shop and a coffee shop. The set up of the yarn was just beautiful with baskets of yarn hanging on the walls and hand-painted skeins displayed in their own corner. My only problem (and this is something I encounter A LOT) was that the staff was incredibly unfriendly! I don't know if we just came at a bad time or if it's just New Yorkers, but we were very disappointed. The second shop was Purl. The staff at Purl was incredibly friendly even though the tiny shop was hopping when we got there! Purl had a lot of fancy yarns that I definitely could not afford, but it was great to look! Both shops had a lack of crochet supplies.

I also made some progress on a crocheted shawl that I started last week. I'm trying a lacy pattern for a triangle shaped shawl. Jon's Boston Red Sox hat is complete and in full use (I will post pictures ASAP). And yes, my chenille scarf is still on the loom. Sigh. I'm hoping to take advantage of some of the daylight tomorrow to weave the last few inches.

Is anyone in DC for the inauguration?! It's getting crazy around here!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fiber Day Trips!

I am at home sick today and am getting very bored, so I decided it was time to update the blog. I have been crazy busy so far this January, so I don't have any progress on any projects! This is very frustrating since I have had the same chenille scarf on my loom for a month, my inkle loom is bare, and my crochet hooks are neatly tucked away.

I live in Washington, DC and have been in awe at the number of fiber arts options within a 2 hour radius of the city. I recently discovered Lahara Textiles in Montgomery County, MD. I am hoping to make a trip to Lahara in the coming months to see their weaving studio, and hopefully meet some artists!

Are you within a few hours of DC? Tell me about your favorite spot for a fiber arts day trip! I hope to add more to my Fiber Google Map soon!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Next Project - More Chenille!

I am planning my next project for my work at the ArtSpace. It will be my first experience using a floor loom (woohoo!). I have decided to continue with using chenille, but I am experimenting with a multi-color, multi-fiber warp. I was inspired by a beautiful handwoven scarf I received at Christmas that used chenille, ribbon, bamboo, silk, and many other types of fibers in the warp. I have decided to use red and gray chenille with some red ribbon accents. These are all yarns I picked up during my trip to The Fiber Loft in Massachusetts.

Any advice on the use of different fibers in the warp is much appreciated! I look forward to reporting back on the progress of this project.
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hats Galore!

I have been experimenting with different crochet hat designs because I want to learn how to do shaped objects, but also because Jon is in need of a new hat. This was a fun exercise to practice shapes and get rid of some of my yarn stash! I will probably put these hats for sale in the ArtSpace Bazaar next year.

Close-up photos of the hats can be found in my crochet gallery.

The beanie (far right) was definitely the easiest to make, but it isn't very warm. I really like the green hat, but it's too big for my head. Jon likes the hat on the far left, so I will be starting another version of this hat using the new yarn I purchased (Red Sox colors) in Massachusetts.

If you have a favorite crocheted hat design, let me know!