Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Friday, December 31, 2004

What's in Your Resolution

To keep the list from getting too detailed and therefore overwhelming, I limited myself to a five minute jotting of what I'd like to do this next year.

Make a sweater on the knitting machine
Make charity blankets (warm up america) on knitting machine

Try several things on the triangle loom
Regular shawl with commercial yarn
Regular shawl with hand spun yarn
Felted shawl with handspun wool
Blanket with wool locks (two triangles)

Work through the knitted squares in the Great Aran afghan book

Locate and buy Barbara Walker treasury books (I have one volume already)
Read Barbara Walker non knitting books from library

Go to the main library more often! (great collection of needlecraft books)

Wash four complete fleeces and document spinning of those fleeces

Write comprehensive article on doing the breed sampler
Research any breeds missing from sampler

Finish daughter's cotton sweater
Start sweater for me in handspun

Felted cat cuddler in handspun

Play with beaded tapestry crochet design idea

Sewing projects
Tree skirt with exchange blocks
Blocks for floral spring exchange
Scrappy quilt top
Corduroy slacks for me


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Machine Knit scarves

A sampling of the 18 scarves I made on my knitting machine.

OK, so they are basic, not fancy and acrylic. Still, they were welcomed by everyone that got one for Christmas, and I had lots of fun feeling productive. I used the thin yarn my standard machine needs, knit them twice as wide as needed and doubled the scarve longways and sewed a seam. I left the ends open but once I had turned the scarf inside out, I closed the ends with the fringe.

I am still at the base of the learning curve on my knitting machine, and I get frustrated everytime I try something new. These scarves gave me a project that required no new learning, gave me the fun of seeing the yarns I bought turn into cloth and satisfied my need to give handmade gifts to my husbands large family.

Machine knitting is deceptive though. One thinks a project can be whipped out in a fraction of the time it takes to do by hand, which is true. What a knitting machine does not do, is cut the finishing time on that project. It takes just as much time to finish a machine knitted item as it does a hand knitted one. I think my knitting and spinning buddies thought I was going to be putting fringe on scarves till the day after Christmas, it was my constant project over the month of December meetings.

Still the finish work is what makes the project look good and it is worth the time in the long run. When I had all 18 scarves all washed, fringe trimmed and a final pressing, folded up and ready to wrap, they looked great.

I really need a challenging project now on the knitting machine. I have the time and no pressure of gifts to give. I think I need to paste a picture of these scarves by the knitter, just to keep the enthusiam they created into the next project.


Wednesday, December 22, 2004


We have said in our spinning group that every woman needs a tiara. So for Christmas, I made one for everyone!

I have discovered that in the world of machine embrodery there is someone that sells just about anything digitized for sewing. Several months ago I found a source for sewing out these freestanding embroidered tiaras.

I started these on a whim, as a joke for my spinning buddies. As I worked on them though, I found I really enjoyed seeing the tiaras develope, and had fun digging through my stash of ribbon and shiny stuff to decorate them.

The tiara itself is sewn onto a stiff water dissolvable plastic called Romeo. It is put in the hoop, the software for the tiara design transferred from my computer to my Pfaff machine, and then sewn out with shiny embroidery thread. After the stitching is done, I could pull away the big pieces of Romeo, and then soak the tiara in hot water until the Romeo between the design areas dissolved. This left the embrodery stiff and if I propped them up in a curved arrangement while they dried, the fit the curve of an ordinary headband. I glued ribbon to the headband, and then lashed the tiara to the headband with more ribbon. The final touch was to glue 'jewels' on spots that the embrodery widen to allow just such decoration.

Everyone was very pleased with their tiara. The fushia one went to Anita, who will now forever be called the Knitting Goddess (she does know just anything you want to learn about knitting). The green one went to Theresa, our gardening goddess. The black and silver went to my once goth daughter, now fantastic knitter. One is a very pale silver, that went to Viki, our spinner of cobweb (I thought silver was like spider web in the morning). And finally to the center of the fiber universe, Annie, a white one, which she promptly had to hand over to her future heir and daughter, the princess. Maybe she will get it back, while the princess sleeps.