Sunday, November 24, 2013

One Order Done

I am not very good at getting things done.  I seem to do it in my own time instead of in the time it should be done.  Anyway, I finally have the first shipment done.  
Box of nine pieces
I really enjoyed weaving these fabrics.  I liked the alpaca yarn, and I got to make some clothing pieces that I had not done before.  It took me a while to figure the "shrug."

I ended up with nine pieces; three shawls in Bronson lace, three ruanas in twill and three shrugs in point twill.  The shrug is an interesting piece, a cross between a jacket and a shawl.  It stays on your shoulders, but doesn't button up.
The shoulders are a little extreme on this manikin 
I like the way the piece fits and it seems to look good on a lot of body shapes.  My sisters seem to like it, so maybe I need to weave up some for me to give as gifts.  (I know I will hear from my sisters with that statement.)  The three fabrics were slightly different with the different wefts.
I really like the gray and beige on the right.
The shawls in Bronson lace are very light and airy.  Light enough to where in the summer and in cold air conditioned buildings.  I think I would like to try weaving some in Huck lace also.
I had several colors of natural alpaca to use on the pieces
Two of the shawls ended up white on white and one is tan on white.  Maybe I should have done a gray on white also.

The ruana took a lot of weaving.  I like my pieces with a lot of coverage.  I will have to make some short versions on the next batch.  
These are long enough and light weight enough to belt up.
I like the look of them belted up.  They have a seam down the center back, so it is not the pointed shawl back like on some versions.  

And they cover enough to be warm over a dress or jacket, but lightweight enough to wear on a summer's evening.

All three fabrics came out great.  
I like the shoulder stripe on the ruana, it brings you eye up to the face of the wearer.  

Anyway, these were a great series to.  I am now working on the second series using dyed yarns.  All of the yarns have been spun by a local mill...Spinderella.  They have a high quality yarn and I have enjoyed weaving it.

I have also got some things done for me...unfortunately not anything on my house.  But a shawl that I spun is finally photographed.

This started out as two hand dyed bumps from my LYS, before she closed and moved to fresh opportunities.  The yarn spun up easily and the color change is wonderful.  I call the piece "Rose Red."
I have knitted a version of this diagonal lace before and liked it.  With the color change here, the diagonal is really emphasized.  

I signed up to do a SAL/KAL on Ravelry using Greenwood rovings, and found a couple of them in my stash.  I have not been able to get started on them, due to my commitments, but at least I finally got a picture of the fiber to post.  After my second series of alpaca is done, I can get started on it.
Two rovings and pattern
The shawl pattern starts in the center back, I am trying to decide how to split the roving so that I will not have a pool of color at the start.  I want short sections of color at the first with the short rows and long sections of color at the last where the rows are long.  I should be able to figure something out...I think.

Finally, here I am at the castle in Napa Valley.  We had a great time on vacation last August; drinking wine, visiting San Francisco and seeing big trees...

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Long Lasting Cough

I have a history of a cough that lasts months.  When I was working full time I was on the phone all day.  So when I had a cough, there was really no time to get better, and I spent lots of days with cough drops and small humidifiers in my cubical.  (I also got walking pneumonia two years in a row for a January surprise.)  So now when I get a cold or cough, I panic. 

I am now teaching a couple of nights a week.  (Well, a week ago 4 nights, the cough came at the end of that week. Then the last week three nights of classes, and the cough just got worse.) Now I am working toward the end of the quarter of classes, so there are only two classes a week.  To help the cough and prevent others from getting it, I have stayed home and kept the talking down for a few days.  (I had invites to two family baby showers, people that I have not seen for a while.  So I felt bad missing them...but the chance of giving coughs to two pregnant girls sounded awful!)

I did ride over to see my DS's new house.  He bought a townhouse...he was tired of paying rent...great place.  He is really disappointed with the counter space in the kitchen.  It is a good sized room but not well designed for cooking.  No matter where you stand, you are working in your own shadow.  It will be fun to see what he does with it

After several days in bed, reading, watching video, I have to get to work.  It is one thing to be take years to finish my projects, but when I am doing projects of others, they need to get done.  I wove the first warp of ruana's, and got it off the loom.  They look good and I think I can check the fabric (cut any loose ends) and sew them this week.  
Last of three ruana's (six panels)
I tried fulling them on the felt roller and it worked very good.  It is fun to try something new.

I put on a second ruana warp and this time the color changes are random and mixed instead of striped.  
Here's that beautiful warp on the warp beam
I had some trouble with the color choices.  The yarn had been sitting on the Bergman and I would take down different cones and play musical cones with them to see how they looked together.  This warp is mostly in the mid-value range.  Now what color on the wefts...there are three ruanas so that means three different wefts.

Here we are all threaded and showing the first weft and pattern.  I like the diamonds and X's on the pattern, but it is a 16 shot repeat and during the cough medicine period, I could not keep track of the repeat and had to stop weaving!  It's awful when you are not able to count to 8 and back again.
Nice natural brown weft

Here is the row of cones that are left.  I will probably do a mid-range green for the next weft on the ruana, but I am not sure of the third one. 
I decided to use the light value yarns for some lace shawls and I think the black and dark value yarns for another warp of three shrugs.  Black is always a great color for clothing.

Beautiful row of dyed and natural colored yarns from Spinderella

My other project to finish is some felt.  I have had the felt roller of some time on loan, and it is now time for it to go back to the owner.  I was supposed to felt yardage and I did the first run and mailed it off.  Then the second run got felted and things sort of fell apart.  

Two weeks ago I went through boxes to see where I stand and what it would take to finish this order.  One box had four finished pieces, about 50" by  125", then two large boxes contained batts for four more pieces.  I managed to finish one piece before the cough got too bad, then I was our of commission for a few days.  Last weekend I finished another piece, a great white piece with a mauve pattern on it.  That bag turned out to have enough batts for two pieces so I am working on the second of those today.  I hope to have the fourth piece tomorrow...that would only be one more piece before they pick up the roller!!
Mauve 1 finished
When I was felting Mauve 1, I had the roll of felt start loosening on the roller.  I re-rolled it several times but it continued to loosen.  I finally realized that the piece was too wet.  I got a few cups of the water out and it rolled just fine after that.

Wetting out the alpaca is a test each time I do it.  I have started letting it soak for 30 minutes or so before I start the felting.
Mauve 2 wetted out
The white areas in the felt are either dry spots (not enough water) or air bubbles (not pressed down enough).  Either way those areas will not felt as well and the finished piece may have loose layers in those areas.  On Mauve 1, I added more water and I guess I ended up with too much.  This time I will be more careful to wet out well, smooth the wrinkles and get a good felt.