NaBloPoMo Day 17: a non-post post

I'm too tired to write a real post. I spent the day on a field trip with the second graders with Stefan in tow and then I had a night meeting for our preschool and now I'm warping a loom. I need to finish it before I go to bed or it will end up woefully tangled tomorrow, I'm certain of it. I was hoping to go to bed early, but I guess not.

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NaBloPoMo Day 16: photo from yesterday, weaving

I had a post in my head for yesterday, and I even took a picture to go with it of my fake seam in progress.

The fake seam is in the middle of the underarm bind off and the seam went in smoothly but for some reason I miscalculated several times how many stitches to bind off and how they should be divided between the fronts and the back. It started because I was working on it too late at night and somehow it just escalated. Three tries later, I had the number of stitches I wanted bound off (22) and they were divided as I wanted them (10 from the back, 11 from the front and the 1 seam stitch) and I started the left front. I love the fronts of a sweater like this because it's decreasing fairly rapidly and it just goes faster and faster. I'll probably do the right front immediately because it's so fast and satisfying but also so I don't forget what I did on the left. The final advantage will be that if I do the two fronts first when I finish the back I'll be ready to attach the shoulders. I'm doing to do a three needle bind off, I think. I am a fan of the three needle bind off even for shoulder seams. I know others feel that's not strong enough.

I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Before any of this can happen I need to finish off the two woven pieces on the Beka looms and rewarp. The cricket still has a bit of warp left on it so I'm not going to rewarp it yet. We have three more weeks so after this coming Thursday I'll rewarp it with a bit of a longer warp. I'm torn about the Bekas. I'm tempted to just warp them with the same length and let each kid do a bit less so that the end result is pieces that are about the same length. We'll see, though.

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NaBloPoMo Day 12: woven

Today was the big day, or first textiles class of the year in a different format than usual. First of all, the kids usually weave on individual frames where the woven piece stays attached and they take it home at the end. This was the first time I had attempted to teach them loom weaving. Then I had my trials and tribulations of figuring out the Beka looms which I detailed here and then I wasn't sure the kids were going to be able to do it. I was sort of right, it was much more fiddly than the Cricket loom but the kids handled it fine and most of them didn't get very frustrated or anything. I think it helps that I was only expecting them to work on it for a few minutes so if they were having too much trouble I just sent them back to the other projects.

One thing I didn't expect was that they wove all they could on the Beka loom pretty quickly. There's a fairly large space on there that is unusable, as far as I can tell. I'm going to warp it longer for the next group. I also can't figure out how to get it to hold the warp snugly enough. You have to push the heddle up and down yourself (There's no up and down spot to rest it) and it pushes the warp threads loose every time. Maybe it's the warp but maybe it's just the way the loom works. Who knows. I think the piece on the Cricket looks better but it might be that the other is pulled out of shape right now by the loom. I need to weave a couple of waste yarn picks and then cut it off and see how it looks.

My sweater is also progressing. It's now 12 inches long and I have started the increases on the waist shaping. Four more inches to the armholes then I'll have to divide it up for the two fronts and the back. Exciting! I love watching a sweater grow.

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NaBloPoMo Day 11: warped!

I warped (and rewarped, in one case) both of the Beka looms for class today. I inherited some weaving yarns from the same friend who loaned me her warping mill (by way of another friend). I think what I used is mercerized cotton. It is thinner than the acrylic yarn I was using and stiffer so I could actually thread it through the heddle without using the dental floss threader. I didn't discover that until I was into the second loom but… live and learn! This yarn (thread?) isn't stretchy at all, though, so I'm not sure my tension is exactly even and the use of this loom seems somewhat more fiddly than my Cricket. We'll see how the kids handle it.

I have no pictures today because you've already seen the looms warped and my knitting is still a big dark blob of a sweater. Not much to see. I'm finishing the waist decreases on the next row, just to give you an idea of how far I've gotten.

So… boring, eh?

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NaBloPoMo Day 5: finishing socks, scarf, not sweater

It turned out that I needed to knit a few more rows before I could bindoff on my socks so I did that last night and didn't end up knitting on my sweater at all. I have a cool new pair of socks though. I love them so far. I am curious to see how this yarn holds up because I have definitely durability issues with some cotton sock yarns. Time will tell!

These are the Upstream Master pattern from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways book 1. I think it might be my favorite architecture. The increases happen on the sole and there's something about it that makes a sock that hugs my foot well.

I also finished a woven scarf today. I started it waaaaay back in May when I first got my loom and just kind of lost my oomph. I will be teaching the kids at Niels' school how to weave this week, though, so I need my loom for the class and had to finish off the project that was on it.

I thought we had enough of the loom that you can half see in that picture for the class, but I was wrong so I am going to be taking my Cricket in so we can have several kids working at once. The loom pictured is a Beka 10-inch rigid heddle beginner's loom. Here it is with my Cricket.

They are both the same type of loom but the Beka is much simpler. I have to work on getting it warped over the weekend. I'll probably also weave an inch or so on each loom to make the starting easier for the kids. I got Weaving Made Easy out of the library this week. It happened to be in the new craft book section, I wasn't actually seeking it out and I really like it. It's simple projects for rigid heddle looms. I might actually try to make the bag in there after the kids are done using my loom. It will depend on me being able to warp it long enough for the bag. I have to figure out a way to clamp the warping peg farther away without taking up the whole house with my warp yarn. Perhaps a warping board would be more useful at some point. Not yet though.

My sweater continues to grow. I have started the waist decreases but the edges of the fronts continue to increase more rapidly so the quantity of stitches is still growing fairly quickly. I can take it though. I'm tough like that.

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This morning I went and helped to set up the Textiles portion of the kids' art show at City Hall. We hung two of the quilts from the banister and I think it looks really cool.

quilts at the art showquilts at the art show

The other two hung on the panels with the other various projects that we did. That worked out well, I think, because the two on the panels are the ones with more quilting on them, which would be hard to see if they were up high.

quilts at the art showquilts at the art showvarious textiles mediavarious textiles media

I love the way we hang up the dyed silk circles. It's like stained glass.

This afternoon I went over to Purlescence to get something and I must have had sewing on the brain because I came home with a sewing book.

Then I made this:

Which Stefan liked.

Then I went to JoAnn and bought some more fabric to make one for Niels' friend who is having a birthday this weekend as well as a reversible tote for myself. I guess I'm officially sewing stuff now. We'll see if it sticks this time or if I send the sewing machine back to Mom and forget about it until next fall.

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slipstreaming away

Sorry I've been so quiet. I've been busy with the arts class at Niels school. Our art show gets set up tomorrow so all of the quilts had to be finished. Mom bound the two from the first session and I bound the two from the second (after spending a lot of time a couple of weeks ago putting them together). I think they look good.

quilt 2, fall 08quilt 1, fall 08quilt 2, spring 09quilt 1, spring 09

The kids from the first session were into the piecing (we have two 12-square quilts with enough for a pillow from one of them!) and the kids from the second session were more into the quilting. I only put 9 squares in each one, and a lot of the squares weren't all put together but they quilted like crazy. It's funny to see the difference.

As far as knitting goes, I have been pretty monogamously knitting on my Slipstream. The back and both sleeves are done and pictured below. The front is up to the straight section of the waist, so I'm getting pretty close!

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cutting fabric, buying yarn

I had to go to JoAnn today to buy fabric for the textiles class I'm helping to teach at Niels' school. I always have to swing down the yarn aisle because I want to see if they are carrying the Lion Brand organic cotton yet. At least, that's what I tell myself. They weren't carrying it, but they did have the new Sugar 'n Cream self-striping yarn. I'm curious to see how it actually stripes up. I plan to make ball band dishcloths from both of the balls I got, perhaps together, perhaps not.

lime stripestie dye stripes

The rest of my free time today was spent cutting fabric, basically. I had to cut out 100 or so 8" squares of quilt cotton, which had to be ironed first. Then I cut out 30 or so pairs of 9" (sort of) of polar fleece for pillows. I hope I don't have to cut any more fabric for a while. That was kind of a lot of work! Look how pretty, though.

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