New Year Weaving

For holidays, my mom sent me an Ashford Inklette loom. It comes flat in a box and you have to do some very basic assembling. Sand the edges to smooth everything out and utilize some wood glue and a rubber mallet to insert the pegs into their holes, then screw the base in. Nothing major.

Putting the inkle loom together
assembling

Before you can warp the loom, you have to make string heddles. Inkle loom string heddles are used a little differently than string heddles on other looms — you fold the heddle over the warp thread rather than inserting it through the heddle. I used some plain white cotton rug warp — smooth and not stretchy. I wasn’t very methodical about tying them and wondered if I was going to have issues making clean sheds or not (I didn’t).

Tying heddles haphazardly and watching Netflix on my Surface...
tying heddles

I read a bit in the book and online about warping. Many tutorials suggested adding the heddles after warping the loom, which seemed a little fiddly to me (especially on my small size inklette loom). Instead I opted to heddle as I warped, which I think made mistakes easier to catch.

After that, I warped a simple band based on Single Flowers, a pattern in The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory: 400 Warp-Faced Weaves (p.22). I had some issues warping, mostly with changing colors and keeping the crochet thread taut. I also had issues with the first and last warp thread — I wasn’t sure how to tie them to be taut. Inkle warp doesn’t wind onto a beam like other looms. In order to advance the warp, you move the band along the loom path. This means you can’t tie the warp to the starting peg, since it has to move when you advance the warp. I tried tying the first warp thread to the last warp thread but that didn’t work out so well. I also tried tying the first and last warp thread to the warp thread next to it, which is how I ended up doing it. It didn’t work great either, but it was passable.

Obvious to see where I started to figure it out
starting to figure it out

I had some issues at first because I didn’t realize how tight to pull the weft or when to beat it. You can see in the above picture how much of a mess it was at first and how I slowly started to figure things out.

Comparing beginning to end...
first inkle band

The band wove up quickly and by the time I got to the end of the warp, it was much tidier. I did have an issue at the very end where a warp thread came loose.

Part of the reason I jumped right in was so that I could figure out what I didn’t know. I had four major questions at the end:

  1. what is the best way to deal with color changes in the warp?

  2. what do I do with the first and last warp thread?

  3. how do I tidy up the selvedges?

  4. how tight should I pull the weft? is there a particular method for picks that I should use?

I searched around and found answers for the first three questions and I’ll try it on my next warp. I am thinking about trying some pickup and letters.

Mittens and Mittens

image

Finished knitting a pair of mittens while wearing my flannel mitten pjs. Yay!

Sore throat, sipping tea, hoping tomorrow is a productive day.

Squishy Mitten

squish

In between yardwork and Thanksgiving, I got a little bit of knitting done. I finished a mitten! Now to hunker down and get its mate done.

Artsy and Craftsy Learnin’

As a kid, my first exposure to fiber arts and crafts was at home. Mom crocheted, cross-stitched, sewed, and then some. I learned bits and pieces from her — probably as much as any short-attention-spanned kid. I also remember learning macramé from the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework (I found a copy of this book at the used book store a couple of years ago!).

I stopped doing anything fiber artsy when I was in high school and through college. It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I picked beading back up and then a couple of years later, crochet.

stashing
not really related, but pretty

Finally in 2005 I decided that I wanted to knit socks. Knitting. I didn’t know how to knit. I didn’t live with anyone that remembered how to knit. 2005? Where do you learn? I don’t like to fail at things with people watching. Of course the answer is online.

I would call myself a fairly advanced knitter at this point, with almost all of my learning either from books, drawings and descriptions online, or videos (I learned how to use a weird yarn today on youtube!). I have attended one class ever — at Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat in February 2009.

As I get older, I seem to be slightly less concerned with failing at things while others watch (see: hockey newbie) and put more value on learning from others, especially when it comes to my hobbies. I initially skimmed the class list at Madrona Fiber Arts for 2012 and decided that I couldn’t take a class. I had a change of mind when I revisited the class list and saw a class on dyeing fiber with lichen. I registered for it yesterday.

Lichen! Dyeing! It should be fun, learning from real live people that I don’t know.

Finished A Thing

ugly hat

I finished a hat. A very ugly hat. It’s soft and comfy though and I think the recipient will enjoy it.

Limited

all the blue knitting

Exhausted from hockey last night and the time change. I have no brain power to write. I’m tired of all the blue things I’m knitting. Why is everything blue??!

Not Always What You Want

ugliest hat ever

Back in June 2008, I bought this yarn on a trip to Seattle. I had no plans for it, I just liked the way it looked.

I still do — except knit up. It looks awful! Colors vomiting and spiralling up the hat tube.

I’ll finish the hat and maybe someone will love it and take it off of my hands.

Today’s shot, taken during a dog walk at a local park before the weather turned nasty:

autumn

I love autumn. And now I’m off to upgrade my laptop to Ubuntu 11.10.

Mostly Animals

I’ve started leaving my camera in various spots around the house so I can just pick it up and take some shots periodically through the day. It’s meaning a lot more animal pictures…

happy birthday with cat

Happy birthday to my dad (who would have turned 50) and my dad-in-law, both cat people. I love that they share a birthday. (14/365)

stalk

Ginger stalks something in the bushes.(15/365)

rainbow

I was feeling sad about the anniversary of my dad’s death when I turned around and saw a rainbow. Thanks, world. (16/365)

pug jumps

Boris runs back to the house after the last potty break of the day. (17/365)

sleeve

I am excited working on my current knitting project. (18/365)

Cold Catchup

I’ve had a cold for over a month that is pretty minor but will. not. leave. So while I took pictures every day, I missed a post the past two days.

5/365

go jackets!

My alma mater played in a bowl game. And lost.

6/365

knitting surgery

I worked surgery on a simple knit project.

Quilt

quilt

My friend E (Poking My Eyes Out) and I have been doing some antique browsing lately. I have been looking for a quilt for picnics that was well-used. I found one in Renton. It’s beat up but I love it.

hand quilted detail

This hand quilting has me tempted to try my hand at hand-piecing and hand-quilting. I love the tiny stitches.