Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Paige vs Loom

So a few weeks ago Peg decided she was going to take a weaving class and that I should take it with her. Sure! Why not? So bright and way too early on Friday morning I grabbed my basket of oddballs that are the plague of my stash and took them to the Trading Post in Pendleton. The class was taught (and very well I might add) by Benita Story, and if you ever have the chance to take a class from her, I might beat you over the head with a rigid heddle if you don't take it. And I say that because I totally know what a rigid heddle is now.

Day One:

We started out on pre-warped looms (which I still think is totally the way to go having warped 2 and a half looms- will get to that on day 2) and learned basic things like the difference between and Tabby and a Twill and a few other crazy things. I busted out the yarn basket and started playing around with different fibers to see what I liked (sari recycled silk), didn't like, what worked, and what should never be repeated for the sake of humanity (bright blue eyelash). I went a little nuts and with the help of some bulkier yarns, got all the way through the sample warp and wove until I couldn't get the shuttle through the shed. If you have no idea what I'm saying, that's probably best since I'm just guessing anyway.
Day Two:

SUCKED. We started off by warping which is quite possibly even slower than watching glaciers melt. Okay, it didn't suck but I had a serious Murphy law going on- anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. And some stuff that couldn't go wrong went wrong anyway. Just that kind of day.

Started by painfully warping a little over 300 yards of deliciously purple Cascade. Cut it in the wrong spot. Started over. To make up for lost time I used a table loom (which happens to sound like a dying toaster), which supposedly is faster to warp. Sure. Got a few warp threads crisscrossed and tangled in the back, which I naturally didn't notice until I got 3/4 of the way through the scarf and couldn't get the shuttle through the shed. Fortunately, day 2 was good for vocabulary, so I was able to express my problems without the use of "dohickey", "thingamabob" and "whatchamajigger". Always look at the bright side. But long before the discovery of crisscrossed heddle mess, I discovered that getting a balanced weave would be rather impossible with the awesome Fuzzarelli handspun I had chosen since I was getting 17 rows to the inch instead of the suggested 8, which is nuts even with Paige-gauge in action. Had to buy more yarn (which is totally the anti-purpose for learning how to weave). Once I bought more yarn and finally got on a roll, I discovered the heddle mess and Benita (very very patiently) unwrapped the warp from the back and held for a while as I wove. She then told me how I can tension it with a weight and weave at home if I want to finish the scarf. Which I totally did. And then I liked the scarf a lot better. It's name is Penelope because it reminds me of the scarf Christina Ricci wore in the movie "Penelope". I know- very original.

Day 3:

Was better. So much better. So much better that if you put day 2 on a chart and then put day 3 on a chart next to it, the chart would crap its paper pants. That good.

Since Janet over at Eighteen Stitches finished her awesome houndstooth crazy fast, I decided that I couldn't live without a houndstooth scarf of my own. Or that I just had to make one and then would pretend to give it to my dad since I skipped out on Father's Day to take a weaving class. Anyhoo, I warped again (and cut in the right place this time!) and loaded up my bobbins (or are they spools?) and got that beast of a loom warped with deep red and black yarn. And I wove. And I wove. And I wove until my eyeballs were about to bleed, but darn it, I had a houndstooth scarf to give to my Farter (not a typo) on Father's Day.

And then I felted it. The fiber Gods have a sick, sick sense of humor.
(If you have any suggestions on what to do with a tragically felted scarf, I'd love to hear them!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TNNA: The Knitty and the Gritty

I know a few of you were following random facebook updates from my past few days at TNNA, but in case you weren't, here's a few of the highlights (without pictures- no pictures at TNNA):

1. Finishing Salmon-ella, the shawl of doom for the Temptation display.
2. Meeting the hotties over at Lantern Moon. Having dinner with one of the Lantern Moon hotties. Having drinks with that Lantern Moon hottie. Having a late walk back to my hotel with Lantern Moon hottie...etc. I did get made fun of for being back and alone at a reasonable time though, so it obviously didn't go tooooooo well.

3. Meeting some of the people that have accounts with us that I've only ever spoken to on the phone.

4. Having dinner with Della Q, Edie Eckman and Gwen Bortner.

5. Meeting some super-famous yarn people, most of whom are super-nice, and a couple of which were... probably just caught at an off-moment. I guess super-famous-yarn-people are still just people after all.

6. Starting a new project with some fabulous alpaca yarn.
7. Getting a stellar deal on a couple della Q bags (gotta love that Cash & Carry!)
8. Did I mention I got to hang out with the Lantern Moon hotties? Oh, and I've got some Ebony and Rosewood needles on the way.

9. Talking to the editor of a brand new Indie needlework magazine about a column. Oh yeah. I'll just have to try a lot harder in the column than I do on my blog :p But yeah...that's pretty darn exciting for me!

10. Coming home to find this:
So I've got to go...I've been waiting to watch the season premier of True Blood for 3 days and I might just explode if I don't do that. I'm out- happy knitting!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm Off to TNNA

So I'll leave you with this tragically hilarious picture of granny squares gone wrong until I have pretty pictures to show you on Tuesday. Until then, crochet responsibly. Please.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mulberry Footprints and Cucumber Flowers

I love summer. Not because of the heat and pools and boating and flip-flops (which are all great of course) but I love the way the plants are just exploding with flowers and if you're lucky, vegetables! So today when I got home from work, I decided to take advantage of the awesomeness of my backyard and make a mulberry pie from the mulberry tree. An hour later (and with a belly full of mulberries) I realized that I needed a few more picking sessions to get enough fruit to make a pie. I also realized that my feet were stained bright purple. Mulberry fail.So after a brief peroxide-soak to avoid purple juices on white carpets, I decided to walk around and weed/water the rest of my plants that I grow for food purposes. I had a couple new baby tomatoes, a couple baby peppers, some crazy mint and basil and lots of cucumber flowers!
I know most of you don't get in to veggies the way that I do, so here's a little knitting content: "Salmon-ella" Shawl, pattern is "Forever Yours" by Sharon Winsauer, yarn is Temptation by Alpaca With A Twist, and this beast needs to be done by Thursday. This might suck a little bit. Garden Frog agrees.