Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Night Jungle

Finally!  It is done!  My friend Dave Adams is building a frame for it so it can hang on the wall.  I LOVED hooking this rug.  Sure, I got stuck on it in a few places, and it took almost 18 years.  But hey, there was a family to love, triathlons to race, sweaters to knit, yarns to spin, bunnies to pet, and cookies to bake.
I dyed a lot of the wool for this rug, and Pam dyed some too.  It has cuts from 3s to 6s.  Torre cut a hole in it when he was small and it has a patch on the back that was hard to hook through, but it was like doing lots of different rugs. Years after he was done, the tiger's face got stained with red, I am still not sure how that happened. All I can think is that he took a bite out of the giraffe't butt!  He looks real enough, thanks to Pam!  I had to rehook that with a clean white face!
 There was not too much of any one thing so that the hooking constantly changed.  I LOVED hooking the greenery, and the giraffe.  I got stuck on the dark purple flowers on the lower right and on the elephant but it is done and I love it.  Thank you so much to my teacher, Pam Bartlett who helped me hook it. Without her it wouldn't be so awesome!  Where will I ever find a rug this interesting to hook for my next project!?  This one was designed by Bev Conway.  I sure hope she has something new for me to do!  She is in Middlebury, VT!  Small world!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Art Ideas:

Dk weight raglan sweater with large stripes.  Stripes filled with turkish patterns.

Worsted weight yarn sweater raglan with plain wide stripes to keep the thickness in the sweater down.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Natural dying with purple reed flowers?

I tried natural dyeing today with purple reed flowers.  I soaked them in water in the sun for a week, pouring hot tap water over them to start. I was scared to use boiling water, as it was in a glass jar.  I used the tops of the plants and the water was dark marroon when I poured it in the dyepan.  I used a small skein of homespun cormo I believe, I washed and soaked it first.  After 2 hours the skein was a tan.  It started off stark white.  After 2 hours I added some vinegar, I didnt see much change and the dye water was still marroon. So I sprinkled baking alum on the skein.  This turned the dye water cloudy and the skein did get darker, I kept it on the stove for another hour or so but finally gave up, and put the pot on the porch. I will check it in the morning.  At no time did the water get over simmering.  Mostly it was just below simmering.  I have no reason to think these flowers would dye other than the color of the dye water, I cannot really find any info about dyeing with these. I suppose I should start with documented colors like goldenrod and indigo to make sure I know what I am doing.  I have a big jar of milkweed flowers/plant tops soaking now.  Will be a week tomorrow.

Friday, June 4, 2010

We felted a hat!

My son had to do a project for school, from around 1805 and chose felting. I havent done much felting, other than knitting very large and tossing it in the washing machine, so we both learned a lot. We wet felted some fabric, molded it, then needle felted some embellishments. I have even started a new felted quilt. I am needle felting it first and then I will wet felt it to finish it. I will post pics of that shortly. Here is the hat modeled by my handsome son!

I really am still beading

We moved, and of course things got all discombobulated. I kept my beading front and center though, just not able to bead as extensively. Here is my latest project, moving along, at a much slower pace but still progressing. Notice the pics of my workspace, how I lay out the beads, I read the pattern on a magnetic board with a magnet strip, and my forever faithful blue plastic piece of a plastic folder.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I am weaving a bracelet!

I never thought I would, it is too quick, too easy and too fancy. But it is also too fun! and too pretty! I cannot wait to wear it. I hope it is more fun than fancy.....

Bead Weaving Withdrawal

In planning my next bead weaving project, and talking to Claudia at Mirrix looms, I realized that I needed a bigger loom. My ideas were getting bigger than 9 inches, I needed more dents than I could get in a 16 or 18 dent spring. And lo and behold, I actually do own a 22 inch Mirrix loom, but it had a tapestry in process on the loom. I am too cheap to cut it off, and I like it, but I want to weave beads right now. I moped around the house for a few days, but with no beads running through my hands, life seemed less shiny. Claudia told me that I could take off my tapestry and set it aside. I could put it back on the loom whenever I wanted. What a magical idea! Perfect. She gave me some ideas, and I mulled over the best way to do it for days. I also did a bit of tapestry weaving, thinking I could finish it up, but my heart wasn't in it. I ordered a bottom spring set and 2-16 dent springs for the 22 inch loom, and took off the tapestry. If I had thought it out better, I would've continued weaving the tapestry until the order came in, but my hands knew better than my head. Here are pictures of how I took it off. I took off the heddles and heddle bars, loosened the tension extremely on the loom and slid the whole thing off the side of the loom. Then I sat down and realized I had days before the package came, and I could not continue my life without bead weaving. I warped my 12 inch Mirrix and began a bracelet. I have never done a bracelet before. I am not fancy and do not go anywhere fancy. But weaving a bracelet is so fast, easy, fun and satisfying! I love my bracelet! I just got fancy!

I put a cardboard separator in the shed

In the bottom picture, you can see the heddle bars are out and the heddles are loose in the warp, just waiting for me to pull them out.

The top picture shows how I released the top spring, but I left it in. It keeps every warp thread all separated and in order. I also kept the bar on top of the warp threads. Now they cannot fall out the front or the back of the spring!

I rolled the whole thing up after I took it off the loom and it is ready for putting it back on the loom, which I predict might be sometime in this century, hopefully before I die.

Monday, April 12, 2010

And another finished project

I just cut this one off my Mirrix loom so I still need to knot the ends. It needs its 24 hour rest first though, to let the threads relax. This one feels much tighter than the other one and it varies by 1/4 centimeter in width from start to finish as it was buckling so much at first that I really spread the warps after a bit. It was so squished that it deformed the 18 epi spring. The first one was done at 14 epi and I like the hand of it better but I admit it feels a bit loose. Just a bit. I think I need a 16 epi spring, 2 actually. I am all ready to warp the loom for the next project, pending the spring decision and as I am ready to go I will probably go with something I have ready. I am short on patience and love to weave these beads on my Mirrix.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A finished object!

It is all woven, knotted and off the loom. This is my first loom-woven piece that did not all fall apart after I took it off the loom. Could it be that Claudia, at Mirrix looms, taught me correctly and now that I actually know how to do it, I will be OK? I love the feel of this piece, I would love to wear it. It feels heavy and cool, like reptilian skin. It was set at 14 epi and my new one was at 18 but it was too tight so I have been fiddling with the way the warps set in the spring. When I take it off, I am eager to see which one has a nicer feel. My prediction is the first one will have a better drape but that the second will be tighter, stiffer, more like a rug?

The latest beaded oriental rug

I am liking it. I have been working on it just over a week, and I am not quite half way done. So many beads, so fun to see the pattern come to life. I weave mostly to podcasts so I am getting so smart while I weave...history, politics, fiction, health, etc. Having fun. Will be hard to have a husband again! My time is so my own right now.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jungle Rug

This is just the funnest rug to do. What I am doing changes often, there is a just a bit of this kind of bark, one small animal then another. E ven I cannot get bored, everything is so different. The leaves and moon were great! It is moving along so quickly. 4-5 cuts, handdyed wool on monks cloth.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bead Weaving

This is my latest crazy oriental rug woven out of beads. It is fun, I love it! It is on a Mirrix loom, which I set up and got started on with Claudia Chase from Mirrix looms! It is not quite halfway done and I started it almost 2 weeks ago so it is going quickly. Miyuki Delica beads size 11, C-lon thread, 12 inch Mirrix tapestry loom.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My wonderful Mirrix Loom

I started this tapestry years ago, it is hard to find the yarns to continue. I like th project but I want to be finished so I can try bead weaving at Claudia's mirrix class on Feb 6th! If I would only work on it, I could finish it but so many obstacles. and i would hate to take off the warp with so little done on it. What to do? Buy another Mirrix of course! One for beading!

My spinning area

Currently spinning an amazing shetland lamb fleece, black tips, every color all over the rest. and soft as butter, Woody from Lenore. I can't wait to knit something out of this, I havent figured out what yet. I am carding it right before I spin it so it spins like a dream. and my handsome son is behind the wheel, always ready to help me!

Current Rug Hooking in process

Here is my celtic rug. All hand-dyed wool. Remind me how I hate burlap! I am stuck on the border. I have experimented with a few options, hate them both. Currently not hooking because the other rug, well, I need to dye more background and I cannot remember how I did it. I might have more of this already dyed, up in the attic, but I have to go through someone else's apartment to get it so that is less often than I would like. Also up in the attic, the blues for more of the scrolls. I remember the scrolls were troublesome. Looking at them now, years later, they don't look too scary. The cotton monk's cloth is nicer to hook on though. Burlap just doesn't stick to my frame well. I have been using little bungys and that helps. I would like to finish the celtic but the border is too small for outlining, I was thinking yarn for the celtic knot, but I have to find the recipe for the brass. If only I had some of the yarn left that I whipped the oriental with. It is the same color. Again...look in the attic. I cannot wait to have a room that I can get to, organized, with all my stuff. Walking in the unheated attic makes me feel so creative and inspired!

Current Knitting Projects

These are a few of the sweaters I am actively knitting on. I have a ton of unfinished items. The multicolor is Summer in Tokyo, by Marianne Isager using her Alpaca 2 (I absolutely love this yarn but it is all hand-dyed. I like bright colors. I already did this sweater in her regular colors this spring and loved it so much that I had to make it again. I don't usually ever repeat a sweater!

The other is a Viking Knit from Elsebeth Lavold using a silky wool in a color that will look sickly on me, but I still like the color. I am hoping a good color turtleneck or a scarf will help me out and if all else fails.....I will dye.

Felted items

Here are some felted mittens I have made. The purple and red were made for my daughter about 13 years ago out of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride bulky. My son wore them too, years later. The slippers I just made Christmas 2009. I knit them out of unspun romney roving. While trying a dye experiment for rug hooking, I had a pot left over of red dye I bled from wool fabric so I stuck one pair of slippers in before felting. These worked up so quickly and felted very easily. They are very popular. I made a 3rd pair, for my son, using a mix of yarn and roving that came out great also. I cannot find them at the moment. I would make these again anytime. It took about 2 days of leisurely work per slipper.


Here is some spinning I was doing. Usually I spin first then dye, but it is always fun to change things up.

Skippy John Jones

This is my fiber bunny. He is not mine exactly but I helped pick him out, encourage his mommy to buy him, I take care of him when she has to go away and I get some of his fiber. Isnt he a yummy cutie pie!

Who Me?

I am not the only one who likes my hooked (in process) rugs. And isnt she cute?!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Here is a Stained glass lamp I made. I love celtic knotwork. It is repeated in quite a bit of what I do. Oh, I wish I didn't have to work so I had time to do all of the things I love to do, including stained glass. I stopped for a bit when my son was born, and it is harder to get back into it, but not impossible.
The lamp sits on my husbands bureau. Note the dirty, but handknit UNMARRIED socks sitting by it. What happened to their mates? I suffered through Single Sock Syndrome for this?!

This is a fruit rug I did under the tutelage of Pam Bartlett. I don't know why I picked out a fruit rug, or such a plain background. I must have had different tastes back then. Not that it was THAT long ago. I hand-dyed these wools also. I like to dye. I am very unscientific about it. I try to write down what I am doing so I could duplicate colors if I needed to but the fact is I go by eye, while in process!

This is an oriental hooked rug that I did a few years ago. I handdyed most of not all of the wool for it. I learned a lot from this. I wanted to do a large rug but my teacher, Pam Bartlett, made me do a little one first. That was probably a good idea. Who knew that every little thing had to be outlined?!

A paper-pieced quilt I made for my son's birth. I havent quilted much in over 10 years, but I am feeling SOOO creative lately, I can feel the possibility to quilt coming back. I love the colors in this quilt.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This is amazing, and I want to make one!

It is a mongolian felted wool rug.
This is the back of the rug. I made a muslin label, which I hand appliqued to the back, leaving the sides open, so it can be used for a rod to hang the rug. I was going to hand letter the label with sakura pens, but my employee reminded me that I should embroider it, as that is what we do at work. So here it is, professionally embroidered. Ready to send to it's new owner. I like it, I will miss it but I will definitely use the things I learned here in future rugs.
I belong to Yahoo Rughookers. They had a Christmas swap. I have seen their swaps before but never tried one. This year I decided to do it. I hadn't been hooking as much as I used to and figured it would force me to get back into it. I was right. At first I was going to do a loon/mountain/lake scene but I really love the look of squares. I love how when you alternate where the light and dark go, the squares seem to change sizes. Then I tried log cabin filling the squares for the leaves. This was fun too and gave even more movement. This was so much fun! I used mostly left over hand-dyed strips from other rugs, 3 and 4 cut mostly. In case you need the interpretation, the bottom is water, the middle is autumn leaves and the top is sky. The cloud was done is wool roving. There was also some yarn mixed in here as I recently went to an ATHA meeting and was so enthralled my the look of a rug I saw there, that mixed yarn and strips in wavy rows. It was mesmerizing. Anyway, thanks to this swap, I am totally back into hooking!