Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Archive for the ‘Weaving’ Category

Sunny Saturday

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Today was a very full day. Despite a couple of inches of snow that we woke up to Friday morning, it’s starting to smell like spring around here. Most of that snow, and the accumulated snow from all winter, is all melted away now, and it was 44 degrees today! Yep, that’s right, in Duluth, when it gets to be 40 degrees, we all crawl out of hibernation and do things outside like take walks by the lake and wear shorts. Well, I myself do not wear shorts, not even in the summer, but other people were.

Anyway, this morning started with a fiber rummage sale. I wouldn’t have even known about it if Chris hadn’t spotted a sign on the side of the road! The fiber rummage sale was held in the Duluth Art Institute’s building in west Duluth. It’s an old vine-covered brick building that used to be a library. It’s awesome! I grabbed up a whole bunch of fun stuff.

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Various types of yarn. Big cones of wool, smaller cones of cotton, one of which is labeled as “rug warp,” balls of “weaving wool,” and three things of linen yarn. I’ll probably weave more scarves with the wool. I got the bag of cotton yarns because I’ve been wanting to try out tablet, or card weaving. I got the book Card Weaving by Candace Crockett last year and then later happened across a pack of pre-made cards for it, so I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. Inexpensive random yarns from a rummage sale seem like just the thing to practice with!

Then, for a total of $8, I got this:

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and this:

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The first one is labeled “raw wool” and the second is alpaca fleece. They both need to be washed and processed before becoming spinnable, but I decided this will be a learning experience. I figure that there’s a high chance that there won’t even be any very good, usable wool in that $3 bag, but it was a $3 bag of wool! It’ll be a good summer project to learn to wash and process it. I have high hopes for the alpaca, too. It’s full of VM, or vegetable matter, but already feels super soft.

After our short stint at the fiber sale, we went out for lunch, then ran home and got the pup for a walk. We went down to Canal Park and walked him on the lakewalk. We discovered that he likes going in water. Many huskies do not. Gru made many friends, human and canine, on our very long walk today. He’s so pretty and then when people approach him he flops right into them to get pet, so he’s a charmer. We couldn’t have asked for a better dog.

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All in all, a very nice sunny Saturday.

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Written by nikkinbird

April 3, 2011 at 12:35 am

All warped up

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Got the warp all set up for my next scarf. Sadly, it’s been about a week since anything’s been on the loom. My nights seem too short now that I get done with work at 6. By the time I walk the dog and eat dinner, it’s 8 and feels so close to bedtime! I’m an early to bed, early to rise kinda person.

My next project is a scarf woven with Knitpicks’ Chroma. It’s a beautiful 1 ply, slow color changing yarn. They also have it in a couple of solids, and that’s what I chose for the warp.

When I got the warp all wound on, I discovered that my two warp chains were slightly different lengths. What happened here? I’m guessing I just wound them on the warping pegs slightly differently, but this has never happened to me before. I just shrugged and trimmed the longer one to match the shorter. Hopefully this won’t come back to bite me in the ass later.

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Some of the yarn looks like this, the one with the really thick fuzz halo around the string. I’m nervous about these parts, because the heddle might abrade against it and wear at the yarn as I weave. However, Chroma is stronger than I expected, because at one point I tried to break a strand of it just by pulling it apart. This usually works for wool yarns, but was more difficult than I expected, maybe because Chroma is 30% nylon.

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And here it is, all tied up and ready to weave! The grey yarn is just the waste yarn that you start with to get the warp threads all even. Tomorrow, pics of the scarf with the pretty colored yarn!

tied up warp

Written by nikkinbird

March 29, 2011 at 1:25 am

Two green “Springtime” scarves finished

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Well, I seem to be slipping a little on my post a day aspirations for the year. However, the goal of a post a day has kept me posting at least a few times a week. This week, I started adjusting to a new work schedule. It’s only a half hour later, but getting done at 6pm makes the evening time pretty short. Now, with a dog, I’ve been getting up at the same time I got up for the earlier schedule, but adding a morning walk into it. Pair that with a good length evening walk as well, and I’m pretty unproductive at night!

My goal this week, weaving wise, was to finish the scarves I had on the loom. I wound enough warp for two scarves, and had only about 8 inches left to go on the second scarf before I was done. So this morning I finally sat down and finished it.

Here you can see the gap I left between the first scarf and the second. I wanted to leave space long enough for both scarves to have a decent amount of fringe.

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I didn’t get very far tying off all the fringe. So far all I do is either tie it in knots so it has groups of fringe hanging down, or if I’m in the mood I braid it. I haven’t learned how to twist it yet, but I should because I love the look. I took a break because I felt a cold coming on and had a strong desire to nap. I decided that, since it was the weekend, I don’t need to force myself to stay awake, especially if the rest might prevent a full blown cold! When I came back into the office, I found Tashi lounging in the sun patch in the windowsill behind my empty loom.

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Scarf details:
100 warp ends on 10 dent heddle
72″ long on loom, haven’t measured off loom yet
Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in color “Springtime”

Written by nikkinbird

March 20, 2011 at 2:19 am

Organizing my yarn stash

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This is the chaos in my living room right now:

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I’ve never thought of myself as having a yarn “stash” before. I think that’s probably because I don’t have a lot of yarn that isn’t leftovers from something. I guess I do have several untouched skeins that were purchased for a specific project and never started, but I don’t normally buy yarn with nothing in mind. Unless it’s on a trip, then I get souvenir yarn.

I’m calling it a night and finishing this sorting in the morning! Tomorrow afternoon, we go on a road trip to get our puppy! Right now he is being transported by a lovely group of volunteers relaying him all across the country to get to us! We’re meeting him in Eau Claire, WI. The person keeping him overnight sent us this picture of him:

gru

Up until now, the only picture we’ve had straight on of his face was very sad looking, so we are happy to see that he has an adorable doggie smile. I can’t wait! We’re going to have a dog!

Written by nikkinbird

March 13, 2011 at 5:01 am

Cones of yarn, yay!

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So I think I may have discovered a yarn for making the scarves I’ve envisioned all along. I wanted these scarves to be similar to a couple of shawls I got in Argentina and Uruguay. Both were made of heavy worsted 1-ply yarn in a simple, plain weave. One of them is a gorgeous ruana that I got at the Manos del Uruguay shop in Colonia, Uruguay. My eyes zeroed in on that logo like only a knitter’s could. It’s like my mind was saying, “Hey, that picture reminds me of yarn. It does mean yarn, doesn’t it?” It turns out that in Uruguay, Manos del Uruguay doesn’t sell yarn itself, but sells lots of stuff made from their yarn. My ruana is gorgeous and heavy and warm to wear around the house in the winter. I’ve also worn it as part of an outfit with a wooden shawl pin that I also got in Argentina, but it’s quite bulky and floppy, so is difficult to wear as part of an everyday outfit. Here’s an unflattering picture of me in it when I was trying to take pictures of my hat. I thought the shawl made me look frumpy here. But you do have to admit that, while it may be frumpy, it’s at least cozy.

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Anyway, I rather liked the look of the plain weave with the 1-ply yarn, and have been wishing for an affordable yarn that would work with my 10-dent heddle. I found Brown Sheep Lanaloft Sport weight from the Woolery. Funnily enough, on the same order as the yarn, I also ordered an 8 dent heddle, so I could’ve ordered the worsted version of the yarn, too. Today my yarn order finally came. I’m still waiting on one that’s backordered, because apparently the mill is having issues with the dye running. But two 1lb cones are enough for me to play with for awhile! I do notice now, though, that my attempt to order spring colors for my scarves resulted in me having a lot of pink and green yarn. I must have forgotten about all of the other spring colors. Like brown and black sand-covered melting snow. And brown grass. And mud. That’s spring in Duluth.

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Weekend weaving

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This Saturday, I attended a childcare conference as part of the in-service hours I’m required to complete for the year. I was able to wake up early and start winding some yarn onto my Harp-as-warping-board for a couple of new scarves.

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After the conference, I finished the warp chains and started putting the warp onto the loom before heading off to a friend’s birthday dinner. This morning, I threaded the warp ends through the holes and started tying them onto the front beam.

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This is my least favorite part of warping the loom. I tie them in groups of ten, starting on the far right, then to the far left, working my way inward. I hate this part, though, because of trying to get the tension all the same. I tie everything once, then go back and fix the loose groups of yarn, and then by the time I do that, it seems that the rest have gotten loose. Today I alleviated some of my frustration by clipping my fingernails, which had gotten too long. It’s actually funny that my nails were too long, because I am normally a chronic nail biter and they were only long-ish because I’m getting better at not biting them! Anyway, tying those groups of warp ends in a bow is difficult to do without letting the yarn slip and loosen while you’re doing the bow part. But I got it done and then wove just over 51 inches of scarf today!

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That means one scarf is almost done, but I wound on enough warp for two. I’m exploring ways to make my weaving more efficient, since it will need to be if I want to be able to price things well for craft shows. So, because I’m doing two scarves, I’ve actually got to measure as I go! Usually I measure the warp, then weave until it runs out and hope for the best. This time, I have to measure the weaving I’ve completed. It’s kind of nice, actually. It makes me feel more purposeful in what I’m doing.

Written by nikkinbird

February 28, 2011 at 1:34 am

Success! Summer blooms scarf finished (mostly)

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My goal for the night was to finish the Summer Blooms Scarf, and I did it! It’s off the loom, but I need to tie off the warp ends and wet finish it. However, I’m going to leave that for another day. I want to get all the sleep I can for our epic road trip tomorrow! I got the day off so that we can go see Atmosphere in Bemidji. The Atmosphere show in Duluth sold out a half hour after the tickets went on sale, so we got tickets to the show in Bemidji. Since I was able to get the whole day off work, we’re driving early and possibly going on a short hike before the show. It should be a fun, eventful day. Anyway, on to the scarf picture!

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It’s pinker in real life, but hopefully I can get a good picture of it in natural light that I can show off later. It’s sooo soft, even before wet finishing, so I’m excited to see what the drape is like after I finish it. Now I want to knit socks out of the Knitpicks Stroll sock yarn!

Written by nikkinbird

February 23, 2011 at 3:49 am

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