Baltic 5: Thin and Fast

I have now done another inkle band and it was also a Baltic pattern. Now this time around I did figure out what the number stands for. It is the number of pattern threads in the warp. Seems simple enough but took me quite awhile to sort that on my own, and it did make this ole brain befuddled for a short bit.

Beginning my second Baltic pattern

Beginning my second Baltic pattern

But back at the ranch, I looked through the patterns and picked a simpler one than the last one and picked black and green threads. I really like the pattern and the colors. One great thing here is that the pattern was easy to see what one was to do next, so I didn’t need to keep the book out and could just work away at it. There was only one line that I tended to mess up, but it didn’t take but one more row to catch it. So easy to go back and fix.

Original homemade shuttle and new one

Original homemade shuttle and new one

I did decide during this that the original homemade shuttle needed to be retired as the points were getting torn and catching easily on the warp threads. So got another box from the trash and made a new one. It actually is thicker, but i don’t think it will last as long. Will have to see. I think the next one will be out of plastic, if I remember to save some next time some comes in here. Actually, can’t wait to have my own wood shuttles again. Lots of things I can’t wait till again, but the Lord is saying wait some more, so wait some more and making do, we are.

Finished band

Finished band

Amazing how fast this one was to do compared to the last one. Now, only dealing with 5 pattern threads does make a difference and a simpler pattern helps. It does seem so much longer than the other, but I know that has to do with how thin it is.

The two bands lying together

The two bands lying together

So here are the two bands together. I do love how it looks if I were to sew them together. I am contemplating several bands sewn together for a larger piece. If I go with this I need to do another of this one. Alas I did learn something laying them out – despite thinking my beating was consistent, it very much wasn’t. This part looks better than some. but the waves do not line up perfectly across from each other.

Always something else to work on. Does anyone ever become a total master of their craft?

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Baltic Style Inkle Finished!

Finished and still on the loom

Finished and still on the loom

Ok, I did finish the inkle weaving I wrote about last. I must first thank Barb and Diane for giving advice after my last post. It went much better, and I think I got fairly consistent with my selvedges. I actually wove more of the warp than I ever have tried on the loom. Only about 3 inches not woven.

Close up of pattern and weaving

Close up of pattern and weaving

Several things are seen in the above photo. One is that rough beginning I wrote about before. Hopefully you can tell it did get better in the lower runs. And you can see in the top right corner one problem I had near the end. Yes, one warp thread for some reason, unknown even now, came quite loose. It didn’t untie from its other end but must have come loose enough anyway. That did make that last bit of weaving a bit of a chore. I was always having to pull it straight and fiddle it to make it lay right but we did manage it just so we could get as far as we did. Sometimes I just get something in my head and so continue when really one should quite and call it good. But despite probably pushing it too far, I was quite pleased that after the rough start my pattern and the book’s looks very much alike. Yippy!

The completed band

The completed band

So here is the completed band. And though at one moment I was done with Baltic weaving – Guess what? Yes, I already want to try another one in the book and maybe weave several to sew together and make a larger piece. I do like to dream big so will see how it goes.

I must say one thing this picture does for me is show improvement and for that I am thankful. So will the next one be perfect? Hardly I doubt, but hopefully will make this look sad in comparison.

Oh and the colors here are better than the other post. These are how it really looks.

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Baltic Style Inkle

I started this awhile ago and got discouraged as it just didn’t come out right. So then I just did it straight with the spotty look but boy were my selvedges ugly. Well, tonight I got back at it finally and studied the pattern once more and the ways of Baltic Style inkle weaving and tried again. Now I have one repeat of one really nice pattern. Alas the selvedges are still a bit on the uneven side but the pattern looks good. So now to remember how it works and continue on.

One repeat without a single mistake in it

One repeat without a single mistake in it

I needed to be successful at something right now and this is feeling good. Alas it is past bedtime so I better head that way instead of continuing though I might come back to it once I get ready. Once you’re on a roll it is hard to stop.

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Ball of Yarn

Ply magazine Worsted

Ply magazine Worsted

My big accomplishment here of late is a ball of yarn. So not something big and grandiose to remind myself of later as I read this, but I did try something new and achieved an end result. I had bought some grey Jacob wool and have spun one ball of it. But then I I bought the Ply magazine on worsted spinning. Interesting and one can learn a lot in there, but the article that caught my eye for the moment was one about a plying ball when using a spindle. Hey, that I can use right now. I had done one ball by andian plying, but if there is an easier way that would help plying on the spindle? I am all for it.

So I spun two spindles of wool and read again the article on The Plying Ball and set about to create one with my wool that was desiring a better home than what it had been reduced to. This was accomplished outside. I had taken the Wildlife out to enjoy the sunny day. Yes, we are still in the condo looking for a place and so Mattie doesn’t get to spend all the time laying outside in the sun as she loves to do. So a special treat for her this afternoon.

Winding my ply ball

Winding my ply ball

This took quite a bit of time to get accomplished and Sam, who doesn’t particularly like to lay out in the sun. Quite the inside boy he is. Decided it was time to bug mom to take him inside.

Mom, it is way past time for going back inside!

Mom, it is way past time for going back inside!

Now I know that Amelia is a great spindler, but she never touched on a problem I had as I neared the end of winding. You see my two spindle fulls were not the same length. I checked but no, as far as the article is concerned they come out the same so it was up to me to decide if I was going to just cut the longer one off and let it be or go ahead and try to match them up.

Yikes, why couldn't you have come out perfect?

Yikes, why couldn’t you have come out perfect?

Well I decided to wind the leftover around my hand and then join the two ends and continue and so I drove myself crazy and did it and managed to have one complete plying ball completed.

One finished ply ball

One finished ply ball

Now it was completed, and Sam could be happy as I packed things up (books, magazines, spindle, yarn, wool, and chair) and got us all together to go back up to the room. Mattie alas wasn’t so happy with me, but que sera we all headed inside. I then started spinning my ball. It went well at first and even practiced starting the spindle with my foot – all going well. Quite happy. But then I learned one lesson with this method. Better to spin half spindle fulls and then ply to one spindle. There was way too much yarn by the end, and I didn’t want to stop it. But this was on my homemade spindle I made since being here in the condo and having my spindles in storage in Dallas, so on we tramped. Before we do this again though, I do need to find a way to cut a notch in the shaft. A half hitch just couldn’t hold on as the spindle got quite full and heavy. I ended up finishing by pretending it was a support spindle and managing through a few mishaps to finally spin it all onto the spindle.

One very full spindle

One very full spindle

Alas Mark got home from work toward the end of this, and I hadn’t seen a clock in a few hours so had to stop at this point and get some supper on and spend some time together. Then as he took the Wildlife for a walk (Mattie is not a happy girl at night until she gets a walk with her daddy), I got back to working on my yarn. Now I wound it into a ball on my homemade nostie. Ok, so not so much homemade as home found. A toilet roll tube serves the purpose quite well and so a ball of plyed wool is completed today.

A complete plyed ball of wool

A complete plyed ball of wool

Now I am wanting to make something with this but it really needs to go into a project that … yes, … is in storage in Dallas. The theme of my life right now. So it will wait till then and join a bunch of other handspun into my Zoom Loom project that is pretty awesome in my head.

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The Condo Shawl

Well right after the new year I went with a friend to Yarnorama in Paige to check out the new year sale. I found some yarn that I liked. It was called Silky Wool and was 45% wool, 35% silk, and 20% nylon. It was on the clearance shelf (always a plus when you find something you like) and was 20% off. So I bought four, each a different color that went together well. They were 50g each.

Ok, enough of the dry stuff. I then had a time finding a project to use it. I did get a crochet magazine for half price the same day but I just wasn’t getting with the projects in it. I actually really bought it for the article on crochet hooks and the differences in them and why. That was a big help as I have always wondered why all the differences. I did learn one bit that I like for my hooks so now if I buy more I know what I will look for.

My really good ball.

My really good ball.

Now this is the project I did mention in my last post. It did not start well at all. But in getting it going, I decided to do each group of rows in a different pattern. Now the yarn was in skeins, as it turned out. Oh the joys of making balls, not! But by the fourth one I had saved a toilet roll and rolled it up like a nostspindle and it actually went pretty well, and I was proud of it. You can see in the back the other colors and the shawl in process waiting for this lavender color to join it.

As I progressed with this “simple pattern” about half through it I figured out one of the things I wasn’t getting and also that you couldn’t just use the graph to do it as you were suppose to be going down in crochet hook size after each group. Well, I did start doing it the new way but still think if I had done it correctly, then it would have gotten too small quickly. I had made it wider than the pattern said as it just didn’t seem big enough and am glad I did do that.

The back of the shawl

The back of the shawl

One thing I learned this morning is that light makes a big difference in how the colors look. This dimmer incandescent light is how I like the colors best the dark row has a deep burgundy look. I really absolutely love the look of it above and if you look close at it, you can see in the valleys where I figured out what I was suppose to be doing though I still don’t think I did it quite the way they wanted it done but it was closer than the lower rows. You were suppose to end up with decreases in each row and a nice little neck opening by the time you got to the top. Alas and alack. I was making this so not quite there.

From the front

From the front

This is more what it looks like in sunlight. The colors all wash out and my burgundy becomes a dark purple. Now the front was to have buttons down it. Alas and alack again. I ran out of my favorite color (guess which one?) and so one placket was grey and one row of the whatever color it is. The other side is lavender on the outsides and grey inside. I did decide though that it needed a way to close to stay on so looking at the leftovers. I decided to crochet a long string with all four colors. There was just a couple scraps of the burgundy one so that determined the length of the two ties. It actually looks nice, I think, and works well.

The end of the project

The end of the project

So we made it to the end of the project and this was all the yarn leftover. Also see what the poor shawl was suppose to look somewhat like. Guess I had just way too thin of yarn to really duplicate it as the picture. I am happy with how it did turn out, just need to remember not to let people know what it was supposed to be.

Oops!

 

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A Dreary January

So I am still sitting here in the condo on a 32 degree day hating to have to walk two dogs which means out the door, down the way, down the stairs, and out to the grassy yard at the end. If all is great then they get a long walk around, if not, then it is short and back mama runs in whether they want to or not. I know all three of us will be happy when they can be just turned loose in a yard with no leashes and can stay as long as they want.

But that aside, sitting here I have some reading and fibery things to do. Alas the reading is going better than the fibery arts. Mostly.

So the colors are great but the pattern .... Hopefully by the end it will get itself worked out and look great.

So the colors are great. But the pattern …. Hopefully by the end it will get itself worked out and look great.

First I did start another inkle pattern. My eyes got big and I picked a detailed pattern from The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory. There is this beautiful pattern on page 77 called Baltic-Style 13. So I started it and it just doesn’t look well and is a devil for me to figure out each row. So it sits. I never think it looks right, though I think as it grows the previous rows will look better though the immediate ones need more around them to look ok. I did see a mistake in it though it does look ok and could be right if you didn’t know what the pattern was suppose to be. Alas and Alack. I need to get back to it.

The suppose to be easy shawl

The suppose to be easy shawl

Next I did go to Yarnorama during their end of the year sale and got some pretty yarn. So I found an easy crochet pattern and went to work. Now I really can do basic crochet. I have done lots within the whole scope of my life, but for a pattern that looks so easy I am making this very hard. I have frogged two rows and it is sitting once again at a trouble spot. No matter how careful I am I still don’t get the right number of stitches where they need to be. Can I scream?

Funny when I picked this pattern it reminded me of watching my mom and aunt back in the 70s crocheting afghans that were this basic pattern. Now if they can do it, why can’t I? This is a bit fancier with every fourth row being a puffy stitch but all the same….

Jacob wool and homemade spindle

Jacob wool and homemade spindle

So also while at Yarnorama I succumbed to a weakness and bought a bag of Jacob wool. Alas did I have a spindle in this neck of the woods with me? Of course not. They are all in storage. Why I didn’t keep one out is beyond me, but alas I hadn’t spun for awhile at home so didn’t consider it suddenly being necessary. So I had to come up with something.

I bought a dowel rod (actually a package of this length) and got some Filo clay and brought it home. Having never used the clay before, I didn’t know what I was in for but set about playing with it and boy does it take a bit to warm it up and get to mold. But I persevered and created a disk. Now was the tricky part as it just says to bake it and looking online was not much help beyond low heat and 15 minutes to an hour. How was one to know? Anyway, I made it, was happy with the results, and have a spindle.

My homemade spindle

My homemade spindle

I remembered how to do a half hitch at the top so with no more ado, it actually works. Crazy but all I have to remember is to have a bit longer leader at the top than I would on my other spindles and keep the hitch near the top and it spins nicely, and I have yarn. Hopefully I will get quite a bit plyed and then will use it in my handspun weaving project when it and I are in the same place again.

So this is where I sit at this time. I will now return to spinning and hopefully back to the other two and can report a completion of something before to many days past.

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The End of 2015

Today is the last day of 2014. It is cold out and dreary. Actually looks winter. For today I want to post here what I posted elsewhere earlier so that I have it here as well and it will go into my book when I next print from the blog. I wrote this a week or more ago and I still have to remind myself of its truths as i still sit here waiting on God to move in our lives.

——-

Christmas this year is very different than any other has ever been before. Oh yes, there was the exciting coming home from college and being in a colossal wreck that no one involved will ever forget. And the fun times at grandparents with cousins and all. The trips to places like Bisbee. But this year is very different.

We are in the process of a move. So we have sold our house and after living a week in a low end motel were able to move into a small condo. Not home at all in feel though we have laughed that the use of the word “home” seems to be where ever the suitcase is sitting at that point in time. But with most all my things in storage in Dallas I feel rather destitute. Though…..

I read a booklet that came in the mail this week from the group that we help support two girls in Africa with. It was all about the Christians in Iraq. With tears as I read, what do I have to complain about. I may be essentially homeless, no place that is mine. But I have immeasurably more than any of those I read about. My husband has a job. There is lots of food in the kitchen. Despite the chilling cold and wind outside I am warm inside.

One part of the story really hit me as one father was telling that the verse that the family clung to was where Jesus tells us that we will have persecution if we follow Him. Boy my verse for this time for just some peace seems so simplistic to what they are holding onto.

Last night I walked the Wildlife out across the small plaza area outside the condo over to where they could take care of business. It was a cold wind cutting into me out there. But I looked up at the small bit of sky one can see there and it was clear. Clear and only one thing to be seen. Orion was still out on his hunt after so many millennia of marching across the skies.

Orion. My favorite constellation. He would march across our driveway at night when growing up in Illinois. Watched him cross over from east to west how often. He was a close friend. When I went off to college and was lonely in a massive crowd and would rather be home, I would look up at night and there Orion was just as always. Keeping watch over me. God still with me wherever I was. A sign. And often the same thing happened again and again over the years.

Last night once again Orion was there. Right above me. The only lights in the sky visible. God is with us wherever we are. Part of Christmas. Immanuel God with Us. Where would I be in my easy distress or the Christian in Iraq or Syria who doesn’t know what tomorrow holds. We each have one truth – Immanuel God with Us. Because two thousand years ago Christ became the GodMan and crossed the divide between God and Man and made a way of salvation.
Immanuel God with Us. Merry Christmas one and all. May you know the peace of Immanuel.

So I end this year the same place I was when I wrote this. But yes, I joy in the knowledge that God cares very much about this journey and is watching and has a plan that will be awesome and just for us.

We have hauled this Christmas Cactus around with us and it has not disappointed. Despite being one sided over its trials it is beautiful with blooms.

We have hauled this Christmas Cactus around with us and it has not disappointed. Despite being one sided over its trials it is beautiful with blooms.

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Christmas Cards 2014

I didn’t plan for sending cards in my mad life right now. But then I realized I could use the Inkle band I wove in the hotel last week for cards. So bought some plain cards, stickers, and markers and set about it this week.

Variations on a theme

Variations on a theme

I was just going to write on them and use the stickers on the envelopes, but who was I kidding. I do not have a good hand and realized the stickers would look better than anything I could write. Alas some did get my handwriting when the stickers ran out.

So they are in the mail. Hopefully everyone will like them. Not very fancy but they will know I thought of them at this time of year. There is still a bit of band left if I discover I missed someone I shouldn’t have. Not much though. Guess I better start weaving again.

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In the Motel with an Inkle Loom

So we have officially sold our house in Spring but do not have a place in Austin yet. All my favorites during this journey have sold before ours, and we needed to wait on ours first.

Needless to say a person could be depressed if they had to find shelter with two dogs. Not easily done but we are in the motel Mark stayed at that was cheap and allows dogs. So we are a long way from the Ritz (as in not the same planet) but we are all together and making it work.

The Lord has been good teaching us and leading us to Scriptures that continue to show how great God is in the care of his children. My favorite right now is from Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. How people handle stress without Christ is beyond me.

But I have a project going in the room. I brought the inkle loom but didn’t save the shuttle before the packers got it, so a Cliff bar box to rescue and metal book mark. I love the way it is looking.

Inkle band in process

Inkle band in process

I had limited colors with me but I love how this black, pink, and maroon look together. The pattern is from the Inkle Pattern Directory page 22 and is named Adjacent Flowers.

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My CHH Purchase

Each year Contemporary Handweavers of Houston has a sale. The last two I have actually entered things into it. I think I did better this year than last but still have a ways to go to really feel like I have spectacular entries. But that isn’t what this post is about. You see, the last four years as I have gotten to go to the sale, I have bought one item made by someone different each year that is my item for the year. Now I wish I had recorded them each time but alas and alack for hindsight.

This year as I perused the tables and walls and hanging racks, I was wondering what I would get and would fit the budget. I do have some parameters I try and work within and so after several passes around the two rooms, I settled on a piece that is somewhat surprising. It was a table runner by Marian Carlson.

Perfectly fits my table

Perfectly fits my table

Now those who know me well, know that these are not my favorite colors. I do have an aversion to yellow. But I also do not have much of anything that is fall colors and thought this would be great for a fall table. It fits perfectly (as I like my table runners to look) so you would think she made it just for me.

An added bonus I didn’t notice until I laid it out on the table was that the edges have beads.

Beads in the twisted fringe

Beads in the twisted fringe

Such a nice touch right along the top of the fringe. This was not a quick addition to the runner. As I like adding beads to pieces this was a bit of icing on the cake. Now for the first time I have a fall table and need to go find the turkey napkin holder to put with it.

 

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