chenille scarves

A year ago I got a warping board. I was so excited I made a warp chain that I now realize was about 5 yards long (!). After cutting off the alpaca/mohair disaster, I threw this on the loom and had it warped in about 90 minutes. 24 hours after that I had about 4 and a half yards of scarf. I cut it in half and now have two lovely, fluffy scarves.

Pre-scarf: I ordered a zillion ounces of chenille a few years ago. This is what is left over after weaving, actually. I could weave a yurt with this much yarn!

Under tension on the loom:

8 harnesses, but I like plain weave, thank you very much.

Out of the washer and dryer, it's a totally different fabric:

This is the scarf back when it was one big honkin' thing:


evil cats are ok

Though it's strictly against this blog's mandate, here is a cat post. I present "Evil Mo". Admittedly stolen from the Ugly Dolls, I made a cat template, and felted some white roving I had to make a Mo-sheet. I added a dash of black alpaca top to make the Mo stripe. It dried over night, and today I cut and assembled Evil Mo in time for Miss Carousel's impending birthday.

"Come here, I want to rip your face off."

Pedomorphic to suit current tastes.

The real Evil Mo, and the Mo Sheet.

failed scarflet

I am leaving in less than two weeks, and I feel the urgent need to finish my non-knitting projects before I go. I have a Hanne Falkernberg kit waiting for me, and I'm going to make myself wait until I'm in Jordan to start it. Thus...

It seemed like a good idea at the time. A few years ago, Handwoven had a wonderful issue in which they explored weaving patterns such as music, or numerical patterns in weave structures. Being a big fan of Pi, I decided to make a Pi scarf. If you look at the scarf and have the patients to count, you will see that from left to right there are first 3, then 1, then 4, and on and on, ends each of the blue mohair. I made a warp of KSH in that weird blue color they have, and of the brown/rust alpaca lace yarn from Knit Picks. First bad idea. I had such a time warping the loom. If I wanted a seersucker fabric, I would have loved the scarf, but I didn't! I had to repair broken ends several times. The weaving tension was only good for the first inch of the fabric. I tried to make a good attempt of this. I actually had the idea over a year ago, and set about right that moment to make the warp chains, and begin weaving. My loom has sat in our spare room for a year untouched. I decided to drag it upstairs this week (not a small feat), and finish this thing. It seems like blue and brown or tan are in right now, and this scarf would had been perfect! But, I couldn't take it anymore. I cut it off the loom two days ago. I had a big ole' warp chain of this nice rose/tan/black chenille. So, I put that on the loom in an hour, and with in 24 hours had two nice scarves. Those will be posted later. With a week and a half free from teaching and school, I've been so crafty that I have a backlog of projects to post.
It's too bad, the fabric I did get out of the mohair/alpaca fiasco was soft, thin and yet dense. Arghhh.



I haven't knitted socks in years. They bore me. I currently have three single socks that I never made mates for. I have thought about wearing them anyway. I started these on our road trip two weeks ago, and by the time we returned I had 1.5 socks. I finished up sock number two a few days ago. These have been run through the wash once already. They feel a bit more soft.

These are made from two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepard's Sock in the colorway Vera. I have liked this colorway for a while, but I never resorted to getting two skeins from eBay. I saw these skeins at a great yarn shop a few weeks ago, and I decided to get them for our road trip. I knitted them toe up so I could use ever bit of the yarn, but in the end I had a bit left of both. Most of the socks that I have knit were with a slip-stitch heel. I can do that no problem. I really prefer the look of the short-row heel, or what ever this style is called, but I've never once been able to knit it without ending up with little holes at the corner. What is the trick? I think I like cuff-down socks, less to bind off, no worries about an elastic edge on the cuff. In both pictures you can see the differences in the colors. They are the same lot, but I guess hand painted yarn can't be too consistent. Does anyone actually switch back and forth between two balls for each sock?


felt purse

I made my first big sheet of felt. This morning I decided to cut into it and make a little bag. I need to buy a snap to sew onto the purse so it will stay shut. I made the felt a bit thick so that bag would last for a few years, but as a consequence the flap won't stay shut. I have not ironed this bag. Once I do that, I'm sure it will keep a shape better. I mostly used merino rovings I had, and I added a little bit of silk from a sliver of silk I picked up from Treenway a few years ago.

I cut the strap on the bias (such as this exists in a felted fabric). I like the way the contrasting colors cut through here and there.

If you look closely on the flap and the strap you can see that I stitched around the edges. I used a beautiful hand painted wool and silk floss I purchased years ago.

Here is the back. I like the splash of silk across the top there.



I made another felt scarf. I think this one is much better than the first. I followed the directions in my new felt book, and I'm pleased. Using bubble wrap is really effective.

In the fluorescent kitchen light:

In the California sun:

Close up:


back from vacation

K and I intended to drive the coast up to Portland, but we only made it as far as Sonoma. What a wonderful trip. Our first stop was at Village Spin and Weave in Solvang. I got 8 ounces of a wonderful blue roving to take with me for my move. I also got Poetry in Stitches and a great book about felting called Felt Making and Wool Magic. Really great pictures. I don't care for most of the projects, but the instructions alone make it worth while. Then we made our way to Berkeley where we went to Lacis. This shop alone is worth an 8 hour drive. They have everything a fiber enthusiast could want and they have reprinted all the best old how-to books from the last 150 years. I also finally got a copy of Art to Wear! Yikes, what a book.
The haul from Solvang and Berkeley:

Then we went to a shop about 2 miles east on Adeline from Lacis called Tale of the Yak. They have expensive ribbons and soaps, but we go for the amazing case of jewelry. It's really fantastic. Every time we go they always have wonderful (if expensive) eye miniatures. Amazing.
Then we went back to San Francisco where we stopped in at Britex Fabrics. 4 floors of fabric to pet. They have crapy craft fabric, and they have yarn-dyed herringbone cashmere, and everything in between. The fourth floor is all notions. I went for buttons for the Hanne Falkenberg jackets I have. It's disgustingly fun. Right down the street from Britex is a great place called Artfibers. They have a little shop up some narrow stairs, and they yarn is wonderful. They have great natural fibers that they dye. They folks who work there are friendly, and they will design a pattern there for you and put together a custom kit. I love the colors, and I love the lure of a custom cardigan, or shawl, or even a skirt. This little shop is worth the chore of finding parking in downtown on a weekday.

Yarn from Artfibers:

It all started with this ribbon on the left:

And, I made 1.5 socks from the Lorna's Laces I picked up last week.


i have a new hobby!

K got me that wonderful Simply Felt book a few days ago. Man, try googling "Simply Felt" and prepare to find some weird porno, and very few finished objects. I felted two sample squares that I didn't photograph. One looks like tissue paper, and the other is almost that good. I really like the Zig Zag Muffler pattern, so I thought I'd give it a try. The first one I made is a hard tube of lint. I put lots of silk wisps in that one, shame about that! The second one is not as felted as I'd like it to be, but I worked on this thing for over an hour and one end and parts in the middle are felted. I actually like that it's light and tissue-ie. K thinks it sucks. It's my second attempt at a scarf. I can only improve! I liked this project, though. I've never felted before, and it's not like I don't have several pounds of roving to use.

Most of the scarf in awful fluorescent light:

Still awful light, but you can see some of the silk pieces. I just set them on top of the wool roving strips, and it is now stuck.

The other end. You can see that the first two strips felted, while the rest is not quite there:

Silk parts stuck to wool parts:


Fair Isle

As I prepare to go to Jordan I'm vexed over what knitting I can bring to keep me occupied for one year. I have 4 ounces of Cashmere top my mom got me a few Octobers ago. I could dye it and spin it one my drop spindle, then knit some hideous lace thing out of it. I worry that this may take only a month since I tend to knit a lot when I'm stressed.