Funny Farm

A fearsome foray into my fiber follies. I talk about weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. Some chatter about the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.

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Location: North-east PA, United States

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving is over, so back to work!

(notice the new heddles?)
The Union is beamed for 3 rugs. Two will be denim runners. I cut the denim strips 1" wide and will lay two strips in each shed. That's the plan today. I'm undecided what to use as weft for the third rug. I have Pendelton "worms" in this colorway so that is a possibility. I also have some acrylic chenille that could be doubled or tripled. I could use the chenille and the worms. I still need to thread the heddles and sley the reed. Hey, a girl can only do so much in a day.

Another double weave blanket. This is ready to be woven. Since the last photo from last week, it remained untouched until today. I wound it on and it's tied onto the front. It's a "go".

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Three of the four Evil Spawns came, along with my son-in-law and two grandsons. The boys helped Bob burn many brush fires and chop down saplings. Nothing like child labor.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Saturday: my Ewethful 3, or three isty ugliers

Sunday: after our walk about
Getting ready to leave and I can't shut up!
Monday: an it's still snowing

no progress since Friday

Dalis, blogless Bev and Ann dry and wet felted unphotographed (because I forgot to) flowers that were awesome. I felted balls because that is all I can handle. Introducing my fuzzy balls. I'm sure Dalis took pictures because her camera didn't leave her hands very often. They're not up on her site yet because she probably is on the couch with a cold cloth on her forehead after her visit up here in lala land. Bev and Ann promised me they will start a blog. Ha!

Time to get my day going and finish up the loom or at least work on the placemats. The evil spawns and grandspawns may begin to arrive Tuesday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Next up, but with a delay

I wound a warp for another double weave blanket last night. The reed is sleyed and I hope to get some of the heddles threaded today. I probably won't get back to the loom until Monday. Three "ewe"-th-ful friends from MD are coming up tomorrow for the weekend. I miss living near them. They are responsible for this crazy weaving and, in fact, my spinning. They're now into felting and I refuse to succumb! Dalis has a blog, but the other two are blog-less.........which is a shame and perhaps something I can change! They are all so artistic, talented!
My four children, at least one spouse and two grandchildren will be going over the river and through the woods and will arrive here sometime late Wednesday. The traffic sucks this time of year and they all have to go by D.C. I was 4 hours closer when we lived in MD. I really do like it here, but I'm so %&()# far away that I don't see them often.
But I've gotten away from the weaving. So, I won't be weaving until they leave sometime next weekend. Not weaving will be a good thing. I need a rest. However, the placemats and runner won't be ready to send back down South, wrapped in festive paper.....but will have to travel via the post office. Obviously the blanket will suffer the same fate.
I hope to get some pictures of the Ewes felting and knitting and spinning! They won't be coming up with their looms. I don't think they will. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Woolen Shawl

I wove this shawl for my forever chilly daughter. I dressed the loom Monday and wove it yesterday.

The wool is 2/4 Highland Tweed, Starry Night. The other wool is unknown, but is a deep violet.

I warped alternating the blue and violet yarn and wove stripes 1" wide, again alternating the two colors.

The shawl was 25" in the reed, set at 8epi and woven plain weave for 72". I left 6" at each end for fringe. Final dimensions 20.5" x 67". Fringe is around 4.25".

After twisting the fringe I filled up the washer with warm water and a dash of detergent. I allowed it to agitate on gentle for a few minutes then let it soak because something good was on TV and I forgot about it. I think it soaked about 30 minutes longer than I would ordinarily let it soak. I spun out the water, removed the shawl and filled up the washer again with warm water for the rinse. It agitated only about 2 minutes (heart palpitation time)and set the washer to spin. I filled the washer a final time and added a healthy glug (1C?) of vinegar to the water. I emptied the dishwasher and came back and spun the shawl for the final time. I threw it into the dryer set on "air" and let it flop around for a few minutes. I read somewhere that this will eliminate any creases caused from spinning the fabric in the washer. I put it on the washer to dry overnight. I'll hard press it today, or eventually. The blankets have yet to be pressed.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blanket off the loom

I've only woven double weave once before and wasn't all that pleased. This time I am and will certainly do this again. Easy, easy, easy! The center fold is not at all evident, much to my surprise.
It measures 48 x 72 plus 3" fringe at each end.
My fringe twister is wearing out and I fear it's time to search ebay for another one.
The wool is mill ends from Webs
Kraemer Textiles, Inc.
4/8.0 W.C.
sett 9 (18 doubled)
ppi 9

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Note to Anna

Anna, here is the information you wanted for the placemats. The warp is 8/4 cotton rug warp from Leesburg Loom. The sett is 12 and is 16" wide in the reed. I weave a hem using the 8/4 cotton for 1.5" at each end. I "paint" the hem edge with a water soluble glue (1:1 water to glue) to hold the weft between the loom and the sewing machine. The fabric is cut 1" wide. Weave the fabric strips for 18. I use a contrasting yarn between the placemats by throwing 2 shots. After the mats are woven I zig zag the edge of each hem, then cut them apart. Fold the hem in half and sew the fold. Fold in half again and stitch near the edge of the fold where it meets the fabric. I also stitch the little sides of the hem for a neater appearance. Good luck and let me know your placemats turn out!!!

chugging along pre-Christmas

I woke up to this! We won't get any significant accumulation, but it marks winter's arrival.

I'm weaving another blanket, double weave this time. I'm always nervous when working with these colors. I don't want the resulting fabric to look like a sofa from the 1970's. We'll see. Specs: 28" wide in the reed
Set at 9 epi (18, because it's doubled). This is intended for one of the boys......unless it looks like a herculon couch.

Placemats for a(nother) gift

A Pink gift. Pattern from Claudia's September newsletter.

Hey! It's dark and dreary and this is the best I could do. Pattern from Yarn Harlot.
I had to add another 1/2 repeat. I used Lopi, and don't think this yarn was quite bulky enough. Must check the stash as I think I have some really chunky wool fermenting on a shelf. This is a quick a few hours. If you're a really fast knitter, probably knit in an hour. It's knit on US 10.5. Both hats are free patterns.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

All Fixed!

Don't you love it when a plan comes together? The errant panel has been successfully shortened!

carefully cut the weft at each side of the panel and pull out the length.

When you're 3 rows from matching the lengths, stop cutting the weft shots at each end and carefully pull out a continuous length. This will be the yarn for sewing the hem stitch.

Making the hem stitch.

Locking in the stitch

Hem stitches completed

All matched up!

A very pink hat

Now it's time to wind off the next warp. Tonight I'll twist the fringe and wash the blanket.
Sharon, except for the past two weeks, I can honestly say I completed more projects when I worked. I managed my time much better than I do now. I can procrastinate now and that is not a good quality. I have a room I started painting, oh, about 3 years ago and still haven't finished it. I ran out of primer and asked Mr Princess to take down this huge gun of some importance off the wall. It's still mounted and I have yet to get the primer. We won't talk about the cupboards in the old kitchen that haven't been finished, or my bedroom walls that are in serious need of paint. You're working, making money and will retire well. I will move my refrigerator box to your farm to retire !!!! Now settle down, make some soap and smile!

Friday, November 02, 2007

seaming panels

Insert needle into the weft at the edge of the panel. Pull the yarn through and insert the needle into weft "loop" on the second panel. Pull the yarn through.

You're not going blind. The camera doesn't do close up very well.
Here you can see where I joined three weft turns on each side.
Snug up the stitches gently. You don't want to pull the stitches too tightly.
Two panels are the same length and the middle panel is considerably longer. Stay tuned for possible solutions.

2 more completed projects

This years new hat for me! The pattern is by Claudia from Countrywool.
A fun hat to knit.

This is the blue-black ikat blanket all woven and waiting to be sewn together. I like sewing the panels together when it's wool. The seam disappears once washed.
A fast weave: 3 days
4/8 wool from Webs
10 epi
plain weave
3 panels 80" long

I'm really pleased with the blue-black dye.

The three panels are laid out on the table ready to be sewn. After looking at this for a few minutes I think next time I'll create ikat sections that are no wider than 1.5". Wide sections work fine (usually) with painted warps, but I believe the ikat has lost its "punch" in the wider areas.

The weft dyed unevenly and looks fine, actually good, in the dark areas. However, and isn't there always a "but", where it runs through the white areas, it almost looks like weaving errors. It isn't as obvious from afar, but upon close inspection it looks like this:

I measure each panel with register tape as I weave and I've always gotten consistent results. Not this time. Two panels match and one is one inch longer. I guess it's from inconsistent tension on the warp. This can be easily fixed, hidden, but noteworthy.

I'm waiting for new heddles for the Union, which is warped, so I can weave off that warp and throw on another for two commissioned rugs and two rugs as gifts. Or so the plan.

I'm knitting another hat, in pink, a Giftmas gift. Too cute. I must get busy sewing so I can wind another warp for another blanket! Busy time of year.

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