Ice Castle

Ice Castle

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Things are getting better

My DH is doing much better, but there still are problems that we need to overcome.  I hope his body is able to recover more as the time goes on.  I still have the guilty feelings that I should have known or should have realized that there was serious problems, but I am getting better about it.  One interesting side benefit is that he is upstairs with me all the time, we are talking more and reacting more like we did in France.  That has to be good for our relationship!

I had two classes start this past week and they are both going great.  I enjoyed spending some time with my Mom and "the Sisters" had our "Sister's Date".  Once a month I meet with my sisters and we do various crafts.  This month we talked about the up coming birthday party for Mom (it's her 90th!) and we planned a quilt.  

Mom found some quilt blocks that she had done years ago, both pieced work and applique.  We laid the blocks out and found an arrangement that we liked.  Mom had some left over print fabrics and I think that we will be able to put a narrow band of the pink print between the blocks and use the other colors to make the border.
24 beautiful blocks

Mom did such a great job on the blocks, the corners are cleanly done and the applique is beautiful.  I love the "Sun Bonnet Girl", I will have to get a close up shot of her.  I only took pictures of the lay out so that we could remember it.  

One sister took the fabric to cut into strips, but she said that she was not sewing it.  I figure that is our March Sister's date...bring sewing machines and work on the quilt top.  We need to decide if we want the quilt machine quilted or hand quilted.  I am leaning toward hand quilting because the blocks are so beautifully made.  Mom knows someone that will do it for hire.  None of the sisters want to hand quilt this big of a would take us years to complete!

And I emptied another loom...yeah.  This was my table loom that stays at the Craft House studio.  I was weaving the overshot samples that I showed last month.  I finished several samplers that I will use as examples for my class.
Four samplers
And I finished five examples of the overshot patterns.  I have these patterns on handouts for my students and it is good to have examples of the design so that they can pick out which one they want to weave.  

Five overshot patterns

Wow I should have changed the tablecloth before I took the pictures.  An indigo shibori pattern really makes a busy picture!

Last month, I won a guest towel on Susan's website,  I was so excited and because it is my birthday this month, I decided that this towel will be a birthday gift to me.  It is beautiful and feels so soft.  It is a cotton/bamboo blend and the bamboo makes it "silky".
New Guest Towel..or Towel for ME!
I love the beautiful detail on the hem, a double hemstitch and hem turned under.  Susan does wonderful finishing on all her pieces and I get great ideas about how I can make my pieces look better.
Beautiful finishing really makes the piece.
I continue to work on my bobbin lace edging when I watch TV, I am continually running out of thread on the bobbins.  It is really time to be done with this linen thread.  I am over three yards now, and there is still plenty of thread on the spool of linen, but it is a pain to constantly be adding bobbins.

Friday, January 29, 2016

And we continue

My husband was in the hospital for nine days, that seems like such a long time.  I think they wanted to keep him there a little longer, but he decided that he had enough.  He has stabilized and is doing much better, but I am worried that I will not be able to do what is needed.  It doesn't help that I need to be in another town for three days this week for teaching.  Luck for us my DS is off work most of that time and will be able to be here.

My week of alone time was supposed to be a time to get things done.  I tidied the house, cleaned a kitchen floor that really needed it.  But I had trouble working on anything that needed attention (scrubbing floors takes no thinking and that was great). 

I did some bobbin lace, I have been doing this pattern or a variation of it for so long it is almost automatic.  
I finished another rotation of the pillow.
The picture shows the join on the pattern.  The marks on the upper left are the number of times I have finished a complete round of the pattern.  Each round is just over twelve inches, so I figure I have about three yards done.  I plan on five yards so I am more than half way.

I tried to work on the Swedish Art weave, but I made more mistakes that progress.  However, I did turn the loom over and take a picture of the halvkrabba.  After I was almost done with it, I realized that I did a similar variation of the same pattern on one of the other pillow tops, oh well, it is a little different.

You can see the the next pattern started that I kept making mistakes on.  It should look great, but I need some stress-free time to work on it.

Another weaving that I had problems with is the overshot sampler that I am working on at Pioneer Craft House.  I need to get this warp off the loom!  I am weaving several different patterns of overshot for class examples.  I finished the third one.
Sample # three
After I finished the sample, put some lease sticks in the back to hold the cross, then cut the piece off so that I could rethread for the fourth sample.

Bad Cross
Yes, in my over stressed condition, I put both sticks in the same side of the cross...and I tied them together without even looking to make sure I was correct.  I had to thread very carefully, and again I read the pattern wrong and had to start over threading a couple of times.

I did finally get it threaded correctly the next day and started weaving the pattern.  I want to get one more sample off the loom and then I am done and have another empty loom.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Change of Plans

We were supposed to spend the weekend in Bryce National Park.
Bryce in the Winter
This is the first year Bryce has opened it's lodge for winter visiting.  My son saw the advertisement and got us reservations.  This was our Christmas gift this year.  

Instead, I spent a lot of time at the hospital.  My husband is on the ninth floor of the tower.  
It was a different weekend than planned.  My children did head down to Bryce and had a good time, but I stayed here to check up on his progress.  

It took a few days to get him stabilized, we did not realize that he was in such problems.  We knew about the liver problems, but he had developed kidney problems also.  I spent most of my time feeling guilty for not seeing what was happening to him.  

I did see it, but did not know what to do.  Health is such a delicate thing, you feel like you are doing well and all of a sudden, it is gone.  He is doing much better, I hope I can feel better too.  

Life is always surprising you.  You think you have it all figured out and then "BAM" it hits you with something new.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A New Year and Weaving Continues

I got good news twice this week.  First I won a towel from the drawing on Susan's blog,  I love using handwoven towels and this one will be added to my drawer.  

The second is the notice that I got from AVL looms.  The additional four shafts are ready to ship.  I will need to get the AVL Home loom fixed up and add the new shafts, that will make the loom an eight shaft and it will be fun to have available in the PCH Studio.

A not so great thing also happened.  I was working in the extra room, I had put all my knitting books on the shelves.  I reached for something on the top shelf, and the whole thing collapsed on me.  I was hit in the head, but not very bad and most of the books went on the floor.
Mostly empty space and holes where the brackets were.
I moved the fallen books and checked under them, my inkle loom was there, again, I was lucky, and the loom was not hurt.
Some of the stacked books, the 2nd bracket and shelves in the back.
My son told me the shelves were not strong enough to hold that many books.  

I went to the hardware store and got heavy duty toggle bolts to put the shelves back up.  And I will try not to put so many books there.

I finished the bumberet warp and am pleased with it.  I was only able to get six towels, the last one was too short.  I figured, if I put apron strings that are 6 inches longer on that loom, I will not have as much loom waste.
Bottom shows the weft addition, then six towels, then the short one.
They are going to be an interesting group of towels.  I did some variations in the treadling, from the workshop with Leslie Ruby.  And I ended up liking the yellow and the dark ones more than I thought I would.
Dark towel before washing
I think these towels will wash and hem up well.  I remembered to use the fusible thread on the last half of the towels, so I will need to stitch the first ones.

Weft audition
The section of the weft audition will be cut up for samples for my tea towel class.

Today I went to the Midway Ice Castle with my children.  We had fun walking around and taking pictures, but it was cold.  Since they keep building it, it might be fun to see it in about a month.  Also, they have internal lighting that looks great at night, we were too cold to stay and see it this time.
My children at the fountain in the Ice Castle.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of the Year and Playing with Lace

When I was clearing some the of clutter in the weaving room at my house, I found the first piece of "costume" lace that started this whole series.  Along with the frill, I found the list of what different sizes of lace I wanted and the amounts that I needed.  This plan was made several years ago and, in fact, I had not been working on that lace for quite a long while.  Any way, I started lacing on this piece and then decided to stop the wide flat lace at three yards.  The plan that I found said to do two and a half yards.  Was it stuck in the back of my head for all this time?  And I thought I couldn't remember anything that I've been doing!  And this narrow lace that I decided to do five yards (I thought I pulled that length out of the air), on my plan it calls for just over five yards.  I'm amazed that I came so close to the original plan I made so long ago.
Three different laces
On the bottom of the picture you can see the original frill, on the top of the picture is the wide lace and in the middle, wrapped around the storage bobbin, is the narrow lace.  

I have been using the same bobbins with the original 90/2 linen for all three of these, as I probably planned to do.  So now a bunch of those bobbins are running out of thread and I need to splice some more on.  I really don't know the correct/standard method of splicing, so I use my weaver's method.  I double the thread for a section and then start using the new thread I added.

Two Pair
You can see the right hand pair has a bobbin out of thread.  I wind a new bobbin with the same thread and attach it temporarily on one of the pins.

Extra thread looped around a pin
Replacement bobbin tied to the original
I tie the two bobbins together so that I will remember to use them as one bobbin.

One stitch done with the two pair
You can see on the left side that instead of two threads I have a single and a double in that pair.  I usually work the pattern for a section to make sure the new thread is attached well.  I like to work it in the ground pattern, because it does not show so much.  It can also be worked in the spider, but it looks bad if it is worked in the half stitch shell.

doubled thread worked in ground
After I have worked enough lace for the repair to come off the pillow, I cut both ends to make the lace look like there are no mistakes...well, at least, look less like it has mistakes.

Using the linen in our dry climate, I have to spray water to keep the yarn strong.  When I forget, I get a break in the thread.  These are a little harder to correct.  I can add a new thread, but the old one is usually very short and I am not able to work them double.  A few times I have un-laced to get an end to work in, but not all the time.  

To repair this error, I need a needle to weave it back into the web and very good eyes.  I have lots of needles, but need help with the eyes.
Tools to use for repairs
I got a magnifier from my Dad's old things and it comes in very handy when I need to see things clearly.  I use it for repairs on my weaving also.

Needle showing the repair.
I have more than a few breaks on the wide lace, so I will be doing a lot this type of repair.

Several of the pictures I have on here do not look clear and sharp.  I don't know if that is because I have been taking them at night when the light is not so good or if I am shaking the camera.  I may have to rely on a tripod to get the pictures to look better.

Well, the 31 day challenge is over and I did not do so well.  However, I learned what I want to continue to do on my blog and I want to keep producing information.  I like to share what I do, but I don't do enough to share every day.  I may still resort to a wordless day and just show pictures now and then, but I don't want to do it that often.  If you just want a picture, you can follow me on Instagram.  Here I want to show what I do, and hopefully how I solve some of my problems so that you will not have trouble with the same problems. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Holiday Season

This year we did not have the big family Christmas party.  Lots of reasons, it just didn't happen.  So each sibling had Mom stay over or come to their house for a party or such.  Since our family is just the four of us, we don't have the big groups some of my siblings have, so I decided to have her come down and see the lights at Temple Square and stay the night.  It didn't turn out as I would have hoped.

Mom, me and my DS walked around and then went into buildings to warm up.  The lights were great, they have so many lights and lots of things to look at.  We were there on Sunday, so some of the buildings we usually go in were closed, but we had a great time.  We went out to eat after, dropped off my son and came back to my house.  Mom's purse was gone!  We realized that it had been taken at the parking lot while we were seeing the lights.  So, we drove back to Mom's house, since her keys and address were in her purse, and I stayed the night up there.

The next morning, we went to all the places we could think of to get replacement items;  driver's licence, medicare card, bank (the cards were canceled the night it happened) to check on any charges...yes there were only two, and getting locks re-keyed.  I guess my sisters and I will be replacing things for the next couple of months as Mom remembers all the things that she had in her purse.  So it was not exactly the relaxing holiday experience that I had planned on.

After a couple nights of bad dreams, I got back to my crafts.  (I had taken some knitting up to her house to sit and knit while we did the waiting required with our replacement travels.)
l'enveloppe the second time
I had finished the knitting on this piece about a month ago, but it looked a little small.  So it has just been sitting.  When I checked the size, yes, smaller than expected.  Then I checked the gauge.  This pattern gives you the choice of several sizes and several gauges.  My gauge sample, yes I did one, was 13 stitches and the finished piece was 15 stitches in four inches.  No wonder it was too small.  So I unraveled the whole thing Christmas eve and started again.  That is why the ball is so large.  I had spit spliced the three skeins together so I got one big ball when I unraveled it.  I rechecked the gauge on this new version after a few inches and this time it should be OK.  (Actually, I have re-checked it several times just to make sure.)

I have also been working on finishing the warp from Joanne Hall's workshop some months ago, and I did finish the third piece.  (I plan to put them on the fronts of pillows.)  But I have enough warp on the loom to do another piece.  Do I want to be weaving on this warp for another month?  I really do not want to waste that linen warp...Sooo...I will probably keep weaving and get a fourth one done.  The last design that I did on number three was dukagang.  I like the way it worked out.  But I had to be careful, it is hard to see errors on the working side of thisl
Top, working, side of the pattern.
When ever the pattern changed, I had to double check that I did it the correct way.  I ended up taking it apart several times to get it right.  Then I put the camera under the loom, on the table and took a picture of the underside.
Front side pf the pattern.
My socks are going slow, I guess because I have been doing l'enveloppe.  I should be taking the socks with me when I travel, they travel easier (they are so much smaller).  

I have also done another 24 inches of the narrow lace on the bobbin lace.  I also found the frill that I originally started with.  It was tucked in one of my bags.  I suppose I did not transfer it when I started carrying the lace guild bag.  And the frill had a paper showing my original plans for the lace.  I know that I had started doing the lace to put on a costume to wear when I demonstrate crafts, but I usually do not wear a costume now.  I will have to think about that and how to use this group of three different but related lace pieces.  Since I want to have this narrow one about five yards long, I will have some time to think about it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Planning a runner and Planning

I have been getting a few more things done.  I have been staying home, the weather has been snowy and wet.  I used it as an excuse to stay home and work on the stuff here.

I did get the plan for the new runner in rep.  It will coordinate with the smaller one I made in the class.  I wish that the narrow one could have been a little longer, but it should work on the sofa table.
Narrow runner on the table.
I am not completely pleased with this, but it will match the winter rugs and such.  So now I want a wider one to go on the coffee table.  When I started winding this warp, I thought that I had figured it correctly but I wound too much of the first three sections, so that there was no room for the third color.
Three top layer colors and dark green for the bottom
I had extra warp that I didn't use for the class sample.  So I want to incorporate this warp into the new runner warp.  I double checked my figures this time so I hope that I get it right.
Sample showing the blocks.
My goal is to have the light green replace the beige in the center two blocks.  Then I will add an additional "point twill" section (the one in the rust color) on each side to get more width.  This should give me enough for the two additional blended areas.  So I would have rust, rust/beige, beige, beige/light green, then light green in the center and reversed on the other side.  I think it worked out that all the sections need to be a little narrower, but that should be close enough that they will both look good in the living-room.  If there is enough, I may do a square one for the last table in that room.  But we will see how that goes.  

The first problem is figuring how to wind and put on the warp so that the extra warps from the first piece will fit in well.  I warp mostly from back to front and I want to do this one that way.  I'm willing to do front to back warping if that would make it easier, but I hate to sit in the back of this loom to thread.

The Swedish piece is coming along well.  I have the loom set up on the dining room table, so it needs to be put away before the Christmas eating binge.  
Weaving side of the pillow top.
It is hard to see how the piece is going when the top side looks like this!

Now that my children are older, cooking and eating are the main things we do at Christmas.  If I can get time with them, I would like to go up to my Mom's for a day or two after Christmas day.  There will still be the lights at the Christmas Village, and we have not gone there for a couple of years.

My big "Plan" is to get the studio cleared enough to actually work in there.  All of my weaving lately has been on looms that are not in my studio.  I have woven lots on the looms at the PCH studio, or in other rooms in my house (thus the loom on the dining room table), but the studio has been a "catch all" room.  I go in there to get the teaching materials, and sometimes put them away after.  I put things in there "for now" and they build up to stacks of mess.  The main reason that I stayed home, using the weather as an excuse, is to clear that room up.  I want to be able to work down there...I want to be able to walk around in that room without fear of tripping and killing myself!  Working two days, I have got about a fourth of the floor cleared up and most of those things have either been thrown out or put away.  No more stacks.  I took some pictures, but I don't think I can face them on here.

At Pioneer Craft House, we had a spot on a local TV show.  This is a morning show.  I had to be there at 5:30 AM, and I got all set up to talk to the guy, show him some weaving and finishing and making presents for Christmas.  As it turned out, they scheduled all the segments with other teachers, and I did not get on.  The closest I got was his intro on the program while he was standing in the weaving studio.
Oh well, we did not get to see weaving, but we did have looms in the show.