Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Taking Pictures

Today was my day off and I have not got the studio cleaned, nor is all the laundry done.  I have been taking pictures.  I took everything out of my drawer of scarves, shawls, etc.  I spend the morning taking pictures of them.  I will be putting them on from time to time.
This is a scarf from several years ago.  My hand painted "Evening Sunset" scarf.  I enjoyed weaving it and wearing it.  The original design is a framed piece with the painted weaving coming out of a solid colored weaving.  This scarf was made from the "left over" of the warp.

 This is a shawl I wove with cotton chenille.  I thought it was rayon when I bought it...how could I not know the difference?  The shawl is heavier than I wanted (cotton!), but I may wear it some time.

Even though I have not been weaving, I have finished a couple of knitting projects.  These got their pictures taken today also.  
It took me a while to finish  my "Work Socks".  This is the Jaywalker pattern that is found on Ravelry.  I call them work socks not because I wear them to work (although I often do), but because I knit them at work.  So instead of taking me a few days or a week, these take me months.  These have taken me even longer, because we are busy at work and I don't have as much time between calls.  I guess I will hit the stash and find another pair to start at work.  Maybe the phones will slow down and I will get them done soon.

I have been working on the Gaia Shawl by Anne Carroll.  I used about one and a half skeins, because I wanted to make it a little bit bigger.  I also needed to "move" some colors in the skein to make the final stripes wider.  But in the end, I like the way the colors look and I think I will like wearing the shawl.  It is light weight (I made it with sock yarn), so it is all season.  There are several things I wish I had done differently.  As I told my son when it was pinned out on the floor, I usually make a project then I know how I want to do it.

Well, there is a little time left in the day.  I'd better put away the photography shop and all the projects I pulled out and maybe I can get the warp for the tartan scarves off the warping board,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mylar Balloon

I think I may have found the perfect use for the mylar balloon that I got for my birthday.  It may turn out to be the most useful gift I got.

It seems that the cat is very wary around a mylar balloon.   I had left the balloon bouquet on the kitchen table, when I got home from work on Tuesday, the balloons were in my bedroom.  It seems that the cat was so afraid of the balloon that she had not been upstairs to eat for 2 days.  It still took a couple to days and us taking her in the kitchen to show her the "monster" was gone.  I figured that keeping her out of my bedroom was fine, I don't like her sleeping on my bed when I am trying to.  (She usually only does this when Dustin is not home, as his bed is her first choice, but only when he is in it.)

Dustin reminded me of how much I wanted to "train" the  cat to stay out of my studio room and a great idea was born.  The balloon now will live in my studio to the end of it's days.  My space is now free from her chewing, clawing, investigating my yarns, fibers and all that stuff.  It is a great solution to the balloon bouquet and I can enjoy it in my room.  The regular balloons have started to droop a bit, but the mylar is fathfully continuing it's job of guarding my space!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Birthday Celebrations

I had a great weekend with my family for my birthday.  Mostly it was going out to eat.  Friday I took off work for my Birthday and both Dustin and Jennifer had the day off, so they took me to lunch.  We had a great lunch at Biaggi's,  good food and lots of fun talk about past birthdays, vacations and good times together.
On Saturday I had the birthday with my Mom and siblings.  Mom came down with Denise, Lori and Annette and Emily came with Blair and Judy.  I also brought Jennifer since she was not working.  We met at the Garden Cafe at the Grand America.  We had been there before and know what a great brunch they have.  The restaurant is quiet and we were able to talk for hours and catch up on all the happenings. 
I gave Mom and each sister and my sister in law one of the Birthday Towels that I had just finished.  It was fun to see them look for the "secret" message that I wove into the border of the scarf.  
And the presents that I got from them were wonderful.  Blair and Judy came with a big balloon bouquet and a gift card for going out to eat.  (One of my favorite things to do.)  Denise had costumed the porcelain doll that I made in a class with Jennifer years ago.  (The poor little doll had been nude for about 20 years.)  She looks wonderful in a Victorian inspired dress of lavender silk.  Annette painted a beautiful picture, her usual combination of paint and collage, with a wonderful poem about weaving incorporated in the background.  Lori sculpted a goddess doll about 18 inches high carrying a water jug, very Aquarius looking.  She is beautiful and the detail of Lori's work is wonderful.  Mom got me wonderful door mats with a pastoral scene of sheep.  They will look great at the front and back doors. I really hit the jackpot on birthday gifts.
Finally Sunday, Bruce, Dustin and I went to try out a new Chinese restaurant.  They are local and on Sunday they serve a Dim Sum brunch.  It was like the place we went to in San Francisco.  The waitresses were pushing around carts with the plates of food for us to choose.    We didn't go for anything really different, but tried several things that I had eaten before.  A great place and we need to go back for a family dinner soon.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Finished the Towels

I'm so pleased that I finished my Birthday towels before my birthday!  I had the usually setbacks...I only had a small amount of the linen.  As I had said before I was hoarding it for a while, but this seemed like the best use for it.  I suspected that I would not have enough for all the weft, and I was right.  I only had one bobbin full when I got to the last towel, and I needed 2 bobbins.  I went into the stash to get the other 20/2 linen and found that it was 16/2!!  I went through everything and there was no more 20/2, I didn't want to use the 16/2 as it was enough thicker to make the pattern even more weft dominate and it was slightly weft faced as it was.  I had 20/1 that was possible, but I really wanted the 20/2.

I put out a "help" on the local e-mail list last weekend, and within a few days had a couple of answers.  Monday night I made a drive across the valley to check out the yarn available.  One was too thin (maybe a 40/2) that was unlabeled and the other said white, but was closer to unbleached or half bleached.  The trip was not a loss, I spent a half hour with wine and catching up on families, weaving and what friends had been doing.  (Reminder to self, plan to spend time just talking and enjoying time with other, we don't need to spend all our time "doing" something.)

Tuesday I got an email from about an hour south of me.  She had the yarn and she only lived a few miles from where my son works.  So I made a call to my son at work and he picked up the yarn and brought it home.  I was able to get the final towel woven Wednesday.   I wove up to the very last bit of warp to get the six towels done.  As you can see I have the back tie-on rod right up next to the back of the heddles.  You can just barely see a couple of green threads going back from the rod.  These were loose threads that I tied and hung weights from to be able to finish.

It was great to get the towels off the loom and look at them.  At the time I got them off and I put them on the kitchen table to take pictures, I had the plumber in the kitchen repairing the kitchen leak.  We needed repair to the faucet, replace a drain and replace the disposal.  Unfortunately, the disposal was too large for the space and he needed to cut the shelf under the sink to get it in.  The vibration of the saw caused the hanging wine glasses to walk on their tracks and one fell with a crash.  The plumber was getting a little distressed.  I was just happy to get the leak taken care of and get pictures of my beautiful towels.
Here you can see the lace pattern on one of the towels.

Thursday night I washed the towels and got the hemming done on all of them today.  They look great and I am really pleased with them.

Here is how that lace pattern looked after washing.  The color is more true in this picture, too.