Sunday, November 27, 2016

Christmas projects progression

I am making progress on my projects!  Not as much as I'd like, of course, because things like household chores and grocery shopping get in the way.  Nevertheless, there has been some knitting and some weaving.

I'm making progress on the elephant hat!  I think there are only 4 or 5 pattern rows left.

After that one I'll be starting the Panda hat.  I have already picked up yarn for that one; just need to make sure I have the right size needles, in a 16-inch.

I started weaving.  My dad asked me if it's something for him.  I told him, if he likes it, it could be for him! Of course, right after I started weaving it I found a threading error.  There was one thread that went through a heddle that should not have been heddled.  I fixed it, changed the thread path, and hopefully that will be the end of it.

If you look closely, the light color on the left of center appears uneven compared to the light color on the right side of center.

Now I'm just working on making the weaving and changing of the sheds a little more smooth and easy - especially as I have at least 2 more of these planned!  I think the selvedges look good, with the exception of one small spot on the left-hand side about a third of the way up in the above photo.

I have also found some absolutely fascinating tablet weaving designs that I may have to try!  Two of them look like little trees!  I'm wondering if I should warp up my Structo loom for card weaving.  I could remove the reed and beater bar (it just lifts out) and move the heddles to the sides, then warp through the center.  I think I'm going to be going out shopping for something like crochet threads or perle cotton hanks sometime very soon.  At least it's far more interesting than grocery shopping!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Knitting & Weaving

I'm still working on Christmas.  We have most of the gifts either finished or purchased, with just a few kids left to buy for.  I still have 3 hats I'd like to do - one is half done (the elephant hat - aka Rose & Lily).

The other two are Pandamonium (with pandas!) and Witch Cats Hat, which I plan to do in pink (with black cats).

Yesterday I watched the first set of David Mullarkey DVDs, on Card Weaving (aka Tablet Weaving).  I think I may eventually be able to wrap my head around that technique.  Tonight I warped up my inkle loom for a guitar strap.  If it comes out good, that may also end up as a Christmas gift.

Looking forward to starting the weaving tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Productive Day!

Two finishes, and a chore accomplished!

First up was a hoodie I finished for my grandson about a month ago.  It has been sitting around waiting for a zipper. I ordered one online, only to find it was much too long (by about 2 inches!  I have no idea how I measured that!)  I ordered a new zipper online last week, and it arrived 2 days ago.  This morning I spent some time pinning the zipper in - which includes unrolling the edge of the knitting, pinning in place, setting up the sewing machine (with zipper foot), finding the gray thread...  I held the edge of the knitting in place with the point of my scissors as I fed it into the sewing machine, an inch at a time.  I had to stop frequently to take out the next pin, reposition, etc.

After the first pass I turned the sweater over and sewed another seam from the edge of the zipper inside the sweater.

It turned out good!  I stitched the edges of the zipper down on the inside, then had a few stitches to sew (with the original yarn) to attach the ribbing of the hood to the top edge of the seam near the zipper.


Grandson is pretty happy with it!  It actually fits pretty well - just a bit big, and he will certainly grow into that!  Should fit him nicely through next spring, I hope.  The yarn was Patons Canadiana (purchased at Hooked Knitting, in Essex, MA, during the Knit North Yarn Crawl earlier this year).  The pattern is called Moera, purchased & downloaded from Ravelry.

The second finish is a baby sweater.  This is the Baby Gansey Crossover Coat, from the book One Skein Wonders for Babies.  Last week I had finished most of this.  I had just one sleeve/side seam and the buttons to attach.  

I finished this one this afternoon, too!  The giftee is supposed to be picking it up later this week.

The chore was switching out the coats on the sheep.  They were outgrowing their coats (growing a nice coat of wool for me to spin next year!) and needed larger coats.  Last week I ordered a new set of coats from the Gypsy Tinker.  I have seen her set up at NH Sheep & Wool, and had a chance to talk to her when I went to Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool last month.

These are my two Jacob girls, wearing their old coats, along with the new coats I want to put on them.  I lured them into the stall with some corn, then shut the door.

I usually just grab one sheep (horns are convenient handles at times) and hold onto it between my knees while I try to replace the coat.  This time I decided to use the sheep/goat halter to tie up one sheep at a time while I changed the coat.  I had to remove the rear legs from leg straps, pull it over the head (requires untying the halter from the wall), put the new coat over the head while the sheep is untied, then attach the halter to the wall again as I get the rear legs into the straps.  It was much easier with the sheep held stationary!  Here is a picture of one in a new coat (light colored) and one in the old coat - next in line (tan coat - it's actually a different color, not just very dirty).

Second sheep done, just before I took the halter off and let them back outside.

Last of all, I have finished making up all the corn bag heating pads!  I made 50 of them all together, and will enjoy handing these out for Christmas gifts!

As of today, I have 3 Fair Isle hats I would like to finish for Christmas, and (what seems like) plenty of time to do it!  After that I can get back to warping my loom, and working on my cross stitch piece, "Master."

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Getting ready for Christmas

I have been quite busy lately, and loving my crafts.  Not all of it has to do with Christmas, but I am enjoying making things!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a 4-harness counterbalance loom from my friend Diane.  I picked it up in parts, assembled it in my bedroom, and have so far wound a warp.  This is a vintage loom of unknown age or provenance, although Diane told me it came from Pennsylvania.

The warp I wound is from a towels-of-the-month club from Cotton Clouds.  I got a year of those, about two years ago.  I started winding one, ages ago, and decided I didn't want to do the calculcations to make it fit on my Structo table loom.  The one I started working on this time is called Roller Bird Bumbaret Towels.  The warp is a little complicated (lots of color changes) but was fun!  Now I need to finish my Christmas projects, and get the barn ready for winter, before I continue.

For Christmas, I'm doing corn bag heating pads again.  As of yesterday I have all the muslin pockets sewn (they hold the corn) and all the outside flannel cases, and I'm about 2/3 of the way through filling the corn bags and sewing them shut.  I need to get more corn.  You take the corn bag (in its flannel pillowcase) and microwave it for about 2 minutes, and put it where you need heat.  Also works if your hands or feet are too cold!

For a couple of people I am making some hats.  One pattern has elephants, one has panda bears, and if I have enough time, one has cats.

I'm waiting on new coats for the Jacob sheep, because they have really outgrown their current ones.  I thought they'd be here yesterday, but now I'm hoping for tomorrow, as they're only coming from Vermont.  I bought the new ones (size 34) from the Gypsy Tinker.  I met her and saw her coats when I got to take a trip to Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool last month.  (That was such a fabulous vacation day!)

Today I'll be cleaning bunny cages (four bunnies; three of them are fawn!) and cleaning around the stall doors so it will be easier to open/close them when it snows.  The goats are in the small stall for now - the two Pygoras, who had their first shearing in September, and a new addition yesterday - Margot, an Alpine doeling.  She's about 8.5 months old, and bred to a very handsome LaMancha buckling.

I got about 10 ounces each from the Pygoras' first clip, after skirting.  I'm sure it's going to spin up gorgeous!

I also traded guitars recently.  I still have my beloved purple Ibanez, and my Taylor, but I traded the Martin (with which I never bonded, for some reason) for this gorgeous Breedlove Oregon Concert!  I adore this guitar, and it is - for me, at least - easy to play.  I still have difficulty reaching the frets for the C chords, and changing to C from other chords, but the neck of the Breedlove seems to make it a little easier.

It's made from spruce and myrtlewood.  Absolutely gorgeous figure, and great sound!  I recently subscribed to the Yousician app as well, and have enjoyed adding those exercises to my practice.

The only thing I haven't had time for lately has been the cross stitch, and I am really itching to get back to the Yoda chart, "Master."  Unfortunately, like some other things (warping the loom, for example!) that will have to wait until the Christmas projects are finished.