FOFriday 11-2-18

Yikes! Can’t believe it’s been a month since I posted. I don’t even really have a good reason for it as I should be fairly well into the swing of the new house and activities by now. This does mean that I have quite a few FOs though from last time’s WIPs.

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Finished uni-sex baby blanket. The first project on my new square frame loom. I really like how the crocheted edge gives a nice finish and the pale yellow pulls all the colors together.

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The re-woven blanket for my sister and her husband. I love how the plaid matches up so well between the squares. I used a Fibonacci sequence for the color changes because I just like doing that. Even with the border I still have quite a bit of the burgundy color left.

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I didn’t have enough of the grey yarns to make more than 4 squares for the re-made blanket, so I wove a color-block pillow with the remainder. It was very close. I only had a couple of yards of the lighter grey left and none at all of the darker. The back of the pillow is done solely in the burgundy color. I was pleased at how well the panels fit the purchased pillow form.

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The finished origami basket. It is the perfect size for my weaving projects, including the weaving hooks and small scissors. It’s very helpful to have everything in one spot. When I’m done for the day I just set the basket on top of the cushion I sit on in front of the loom and everything is both out of the way and ready to go the next day.

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Decided to have a “home” for all the cat toys. Interestingly enough, they seem to play with a wider variety of the toys now that they have to go get one out of the basket. They don’t put them away again, but I didn’t expect they would.

WIPWednesday 10-10-18

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First blanket on my new square frame loom. The first picture is from last Friday (the loom was delivered Thursday afternoon) and the second from this Tuesday.

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Seaming in the last triangle for the woven fabric box. I’d already folded and sewn in the first side of three edges before I realized I hadn’t finished seaming the center. D’oh!

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This will take a bit. I’m taking out the weaving on the dog-chewed blanket so I can reweave it on the square loom. I’m planning on setting the loom to the 2’ setting and am fairly confident I can get 4 squares out of the remaining yarn for a 4’X4’ lap blanket. If there’s enough yarn in decent shape I will try for 6 squares and make it 4’X6’. I think that may have been the original dimensions though, in which case it’s unlikely there will be that much good yarn.

FOFriday 105-18

I completely spaced out doing last week’s FO post even though I actually had some finished projects to show. Going through previous posts I also realized I hadn’t shown the completed carpet or “Joseph’s Coat” shawl, so I’m taking this opportunity to remedy that.

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This is a V-stitch (I think I mentioned recently that I’d been doing a *lot* of V-stitch) sleeve crocheted from handspun hemp. I really hated spinning that hemp because the smell was so awful, but after about 10 years it has pretty much faded. Although this portion is finished I would like to make a couple more and connect them together to create a hanging holder. I had thought I had a couple more peanut jars to do that with, but either I was wrong or they didn’t make the move. I will need to eat more peanuts or use another type of bottle if I want to get done any time soon. For now though it works just fine as a needle holder.

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The Joseph’s Coat shawl. I did end up using the pale purple kid mohair for the last portion. It needs blocked, but in general I think it worked out pretty well.

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The finished carpet in use, for some reason EK has a terrible time getting pictures of carpets that don’t end up looking like they hanging on a carpet-covered wall. I’m actually starting to kind of like the shape it ended up, but have no intention of doing another carpet in this manner ever again.

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Finished woven baby blanket. I think it worked out pretty well.

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Double layered water-stopper although the bottom layer of woven plastic strips isn’t really visible. I’m wondering if the concept would work for picnic ground covers in large size and/or in a small size to put under plants and vases.

WIPWednesday 10-3-18

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I took last week’s project completely out and restarted because I was planning on changing the color of yarn I was using. Once I liked the other things I changed I decided that the color would be okay to do the entire project in after all. Major changes were; cutting the bags used as the base in half, and having only six points of increase instead of eight. Cutting the bags in half means that the supplies last longer, but I also just find the proportions of each round much more pleasing. With eight points of increase the project had started to get “ruffley” instead of having an even edge due to there being too many increases for the height of each row. After seven rows I started only increasing on four points to create a rectangle and I think I like this much better.

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This project will take a while. I have to take out the hems and seams on a number of old sheets and pillow cases, many of them my grandparents’, so that I can rip the fabric into ribbons for weaving. The ball on the left is an example of the finished material ready for use. This was the sort of thing I used to have EK do but now she has another job so I need to do it myself.

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One of the projects I’m using the fabric strips for. The plan is to make a total of four triangles and join them at the sides to form a square. By leaving a wide border unseamed I can then fold the corners to create a box shape. I think it will be a useful accessory if my concept is valid.

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I’ve been doing a lot of V-stitch crochet lately. The borders of the woven blankets That will be for the FO post are V-stitch and this poncho of handspun wool is as well. This one is going to take a bit since I can only do about one row a day if I don’t want my hands to bother me.

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It’s very hard to tell, but this is a bath pouf in the making. I’m also using V-stitch in this and am hoping it turns out well and is fast enough to work that it will be worthwhile to make more.

WIPWwednesday 9-26-18

A lot of weaving and recycling going on this week.

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After decades of crochet and knitting I have quite a few bits and ends of baby yarns from different projects. I’m combining those with a blue/pink/shiny-white baby yarn that I got a lot of at some point and weaving baby blankets by combining two triangles pieces at the hypotenuse. I will then crochet a border in either pink, blue, or yellow to give the blanket a sturdy finished edge.

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Because I’m using plastic loops in this weaving I can join the new piece to the first one as it is woven. I’m curious to see both how visible and how strong the join is. If it makes for a weak join I will just seam them together at the end, like with regular yarn, in the future. This is part of a two-part project that also involves a square woven from torn fabric. The concept is a washable “puppy-pad” for house training or to go under a water dish. The fabric square could go in a washer and dryer, while the plastic square makes it more water-proof and can be rinsed and air-dried. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to join the two pieces for use though.

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The start of a base for a basket. The core is made of plastic vegetable bags. I don’t keep any gross ones, but the reasonable ones have been building up in the pantry. There are also some handles from grocery bags which are cut off in making the loops for weaving and otherwise discarded. I’m trying to use as much as possible, so was happy to think of this use. The yarn is an acrylic end that I’ve had lying around for quite a while, it may even have been given to me as I have received a couple of stashes-of-the-deceased in the last few years.

FOFriday 8-31-18

We are finally nearly moved in to our new house and working on figuring out what our new weekly schedule will look like (things like baby-sitting youngest niece on Mondays) and how to work a re-opened shop into that.

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Basket for outgoing items. The base is a ramen box and the covering is essentially a sock. I used one of the Joseph's Coat balls, knit a rectangular bottom, and then picked up stitches and knit in the rounds until the tube was long enough to go up the inside, over, and down to the base. I finished off with single crochet. This was a good project for watching videos as it was pretty basic.

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Basket for bits and ends. This idea still needs some work as I'm not really satisfied with the finishing on top (like that the plastic base is visible where the body of the work ends and the edging begins. This started life as a large yogurt container. I cut the solid rim off and made 37 ribs (I didn't count when cutting, just wanted them about equal) and then wove manufactured yarn through the plastic warp. The plain weave areas needed an odd number of ribs and the squares needed an even number so I overlapped the same two ribs when ever I needed to make the number even. I finished the edges by folding and tucking them under the weft on the inside of the basket and then crocheted in a manner that was intended to attach to the weft and *not* show the base, but  couldn't find a way that really accomplished that.

FOFriday 7-6-18

This is a Noreen Crone-Findlay Friday since both projects were inspired by her videos on YouTube.

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The completed Tenerife lace. I used a standard sized crochet cotton that I had tea dyed a couple of years ago. The color change from the tea doesn't show up much any more, there are just a few small patches that are more brown than the rest. The thin cotton gives the finished piece more "body" than I'd anticipated. I'd expected it to be extremely floppy and it's only about half-floppy. Whether or not I starch it will depend on what I decide its final use is. If I use it in a beach-cover or other garment it won't need starched at all.

I liked the idea from the video of only putting in half of the spokes to start with so that the center isn't too dense to work easily. Adding spokes when the space between gets to wide for tidy work makes the darning stitches more effective as well as giving wider design scope. I'm quite happy to have found another possible use for the knitting looms since I really do prefer to do my knitting on needles.

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The plan for this bag came from another of Crone-Findlay's videos. I only watched it once and that led me to make a couple mistakes in construction that meant one of the possible pockets had to be on the outside or else closed all together. Making a wider crochet border that starts a little above the bottom corner was my answer to try to secure any items that would be in that pocket. Over all I'm not dis-satisfied with the final item, but there are definite changes I would make to bring any subsequent items more into line with the one from the video. 

If I were to line the bag I might *need* to put the pockets on the outsides, so I'm not sure if I would line it.

WIPWednesday 7-4-18

Happy and blessed Independence Day

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I'm trying to average a four-row repeat every day on this shawl. I changed my mind on the secondary yarn. I found some of my  white handspun silk so that only the spin texture changed. That was important because the other yarn ended at almost exactly the same spot so having as little change in the second yarn as possible helped keep continuity. Once the white handspun was gone I used some Koolaid dyed handspun silk. I used Grape flavor which means that it isn't actually purple but shades of blue, pink, and grey. I'd like to use the pastel soy-silk next to continue the sheen and increase the purple, but it's very fine so I don't know if I can. After that I have a light purple kid mohair that seems like a good candidate.

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Actually getting close to finished. I have hopes of getting done by next week, although probably not in time for Friday's post. The edging makes a huge difference in the look. It doesn't do anything to regularize the shape though.

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Approximately the sixth start of what is intended to be a Faroese style shawl using recycled cashmere yarn. Faroese shawls have a unique shape that somewhat resembles a butterfly.  They are traditionally worked from the bottom up, but I never know if I'll have enough yarn so I play it safe and work from the top.

WIPWednesday 6-27-18

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Moving along on the shawl. The silk secondary thread is almost gone and I decided to use the pastel soy-silk that was the main handspun at the beginning of the shawl.

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Nearly finished with second triangle. I think I'll just make the two and use them in a mini-bag instead of making several triangles into large triangles and then a full-size bag.

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Combining the ideas of the Dutch channel on weaving with a knitting loom and Noreen Crone-Findlay's video on using a hexagonal pin loom to make Teneriffe lace led to this sample. It seems to work pretty well, although I think I may work any subsequent pieces with the pegs facing the other direction since the working thread keeps getting caught on them.

FOFriday 6-22-18

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Saori-style Magic Ball vest is finished. I did a single crochet border on all edges to make them less likely to stretch out of shape due to the varying thicknesses and textures of yarn. Victoria doesn't approve of this random approach *at all* and I have to admit that I'd rather so much of the heavily textured novelty yarn hadn't ended up on the left shoulder. Over all, I do think that the shape and general idea works pretty well but I'm not sure about this particular example.

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A continuous weave sample using a large circular knitting loom as the frame. The idea was from a Dutch (I think) YouTube account. I had to watch a few times to get the hang of it, but that was my own fault because the demonstrator does a very good job of showing exactly what she's doing at every step. This was made with two strands of worsted weight yarn that I wove double, as with the triangle, and I don't think anything thinner would work and the doubled weaving was also necessary or the final piece would be much to floppy (I believe the weaving term is "sleazy"). Nearly the entire edge is securely fastened during the weaving, but there is a bit on one side that needs secured in some manner, in this case a knotted loop of yarn. That is because of the back-and-forth weaving in the middle of the piece but if I'd been willing to cut the yarn I could have made sure that was secure as well. Because I didn't want to cut the yarn used in the sample I used a crochet hook to draw loops to the far side. The edge the loops were drawn from is secure because it is still interwoven with other strand, but the edge they were drawn *to* needed to be secured.

WIPWednesday 6-20-18

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The new pattern for the brioche bag. I think the braids work pretty well.

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Decided that the two panels would be sufficient. They will be seamed half way for the back and then the front angles will be seamed to continue the angle of the back points.

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Took this out and completely restarted it because the slip-stitch outer edge wasn't expanding fast enough to keep up with the inside edge and was going to cause pucker. Went the opposite direction by adding a seed stitch band with an extra chain stitch at the end of every row.

FOFriday 6-8-18

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Bias-lace knitted blanket with crocheted border. 

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Knitting loom brioche sample. I accidentally changed something a few rows in that reversed the angle. Although it is very much like a needle-worked brioche I think the final product is too loose for most of the things I make and that, combined with not knowing what made the angle change, makes me think that I will probably stick to regular brioche. 

WIPWednesday 6-6-18

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Handspun combined in a Magic ball along with a thin manufactured silk are being run together, instead of trading rows like with the other Magic Ball projects, using an Afghan Ripple stitch to make a shawl. Not sure what I'll do when I run out of the silk. Fortunately there's a lot of it for how tiny the ball is.

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The tutorial I linked Sunday mentioned weaving a denser fabric by having two loops on each nail, so I'm seeing how that works. I'm using cotton yarn that was originally intended, and cut for, washcloth warp so there are a lot of tiny knots. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with the piece when finished, but I'm considering making the triangle bag that Doreen Crone-Finely showed on YouTube.

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This is intended to be a knitted kurti made with a number of strips seamed together. The very different thicknesses of the cotton strands make the motifs much flatter and lighter than if I just used the thick pink yarn, but also gives body and speed of work that it wouldn't have if using only the light thread. This is experimental, but I've wanted to use the pink cotton yarn for a tunic ever since it was given to me and I'm hopeful this will be a good way to do so. Iris Schrier's book Modular Knitting has a scarf that gave me the general idea as it is made of two rows of the knitted squares that are seamed together.

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The brioche shell for a bag with a light sage green lining that has been on my mind for about a year. I've actually restarted the base since this photo was taken and will now be working a braided-look stitch pattern. Hopefully this will be the last restart though.

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The saori inspired Magic Ball vest is on to the second wide panel.

FTS Congo radio spot leads to freedom

A radio was one of the few contacts with the outside world for three Congolese village girls who had been lured with the promise of jobs as waitresses only to find that the cafe was actually a brothel. Along with many general ads was one from Free the Slaves alerting the girls that there was a Community Protection Committee in that area. Somehow one of the girls was able to contact a member of the committee who called the police.  The girls were freed and their rescue led to the closure of not only the place they were held at but also six others. It is very heartening to see these community based organizations really stepping up and producing results around the world.

Textile Sunday 6-3-18

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Since I mentioned continuous strand weaving last week when talking about my sister's blanket I need to repair, I thought I'd do a post about that. This YouTube video gives a good explanation of the mechanics of the weaving as well as some tips on how to handle different thicknesses and textures of yarn. There are also videos on weaving using square, rectangle, and hexagon looms that I've spent a lot of time checking out this last week.

FOFriday 6-1-18

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A Magic Ball of handspun and one of manufactured yarn. The one made of handspun has no other criteria so the yarn is of many lengths, thicknesses, and colors. The one made from manufactured yarn has the Painted Desert colorway between each of the other colors which are all hues found in the colorway. The Warm Brown colorway will be the contrast color in this case.

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The knitted portion of the blanket is now finished. I will add a crocheted border using a baby-weight yarn that has pink, white, blue, and yellow to bring all the colors and textures together.

WIPWednesday 5-30-18

Photos that went with last week's post now that the camera is working again.

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And now for this week's projects. There are a lot of them because I had a bit of a brain-storm late last week and started a bunch of new projects that are somewhat experimental.

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The first edge of the carpet is wrapped and the only thing needed is to use a needle to hide the ends of the yarn joins. Looking up ways to make the joins without long ends is what led me to making a bunch of "magic balls" and prevented my getting any further on the carpet.

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One of those Magic Ball projects. The plan is for there to be three center-increase panels of this width, two for the front and one for the back, and two narrower ones for the sides to make a vest. I made this ball random other than needing to have a smooth yarn between every heavily textured yarn so as to make the joins easier. The product reminds me a bit of SAORI weaving (link goes to YouTube playlist since Wikipedia didn't recognize the term) with its combination of yarns and textures balanced by a plain warp, or in this case the cotton yarn.

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A slightly rectangle lace baby blanket knit on the bias. I separated each length of colored baby-weight yarn with a white yarn and then used pale pink as the balance yarn so that the blanket could be used for either a boy or girl. I will add a border when the knitting is done.

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There's not enough on the finished side to show what's going on here so I just had EK get a photo from the top. This is a sock knitting loom that I don't really use because I've found it easier to just knit the socks on needles. I found a YouTube video on loom knitting brioche and decided to try it since brioche on needles is very time consuming. This is pretty much experimental right now as I will have to see what the finished product is like before I can decide if it is better or worse than what I currently make.

WIPWednesday 5-23-18 (late)

This is late because EK has spent the last two days trying to get the camera to connect to the cloud to upload the project photos she took. I hope the issue isn't that the connectivity hardware/software in the computer is going bad, although a major electronics manufacturer having their servers down for a couple days isn't good either, as wireless is the only way provided to upload photos. In the future I may consider it worthwhile to pay extra for direct-connect capacity through the computer, if that's even still available.

So, although there's no photographic proof, I have finished the weaving-in of ends for the carpet and have now moved on to the edging. I did start the herringbone as threatened, but my yarn seems a little too thin to get complete coverage of the edges so I moved to doing crochet after all. I do owe a debt of gratitude to the YouTube video that showed the herringbone edge because I hadn't realized I needed to fold the edge *towards the front* and would have done it incorrectly.

I am also starting work on repairing, as much as I can which is uncertain, a blanket that I wove for my sister about ten years ago. The repair is complicated by many factors. There is both old and new damage, her "bugs" (Boston Terrier/Pug mixes) chewed it almost as soon as I gave it to her and, although they never purposefully damaged it since, get their chew toys and such caught in it and, being dogs, aren't careful in freeing them. That would be a problem no matter what, but the blanket's construction is what creates the level of difficulty. It was woven as a 3-color tartan twill on a triangle loom and then all the triangles were seamed to make a rectangle. The different colors would make the thing interesting enough in terms of finding ends and trying to keep the pattern reasonable but the triangle weaving, where the warp is integral to the weft and is done as the work progresses, means that the yarn changes direction repeatedly. It is especially interesting whenever a direction change indicates the edge of a triangular piece since the seam with the adjacent piece must be carefully negotiated to not cause further damage. Over-all I'm fairly sure I can improve the condition of the piece, but I'm also quite confident that it is impossible to entirely repair.

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