Friday, May 25, 2007

And some odds and ends

Thanks Christine and Valerie, for your comments on the beaded weaving. I'm still not sure where I'm headed with it, but there will be pictures when I get there!

Another jail rant: I got my first phone bill since A started calling me from jail ("Hello Dad? I'm in jail now! Say hi to Mom, from JAIL!" --Was, Not Was). A could only call collect, there were no other options. Two calls, 25 minutes total, cost $32.00, including the $2.49 per call to put them on my bill. I don't have any problem with A calling me, I do, however, have huge issues with her not having any choice but to call collect. Luckily the mail service was reasonably fast, so I could get information to her about treatment options, but she was very limited in how she could contact the centers since she couldn't call them. Plus, there's not a lot I hate more than a monopoly; when a phone company has a monopoly on collect calls, they get to charge you $2.49 to put their charges on your bill. That chaffs my hide.

In other news: I have officially spent money on beads to do something other than knitting or weaving. I have an illness. The Crafty Syndrome. Or something.

I am taking text week off. Nope. I'm not going anywhere, I'm staying home and putzing. Putzing will certainly include planting the garden, maybe weeding, possibly cleaning, some cooking, most certainly knitting, reading, playing with beads and weaving. I seriously doubt it will include posting, so have a good week!

Yellow and Purple Iris 2

Baby Sweater

I don't have much to say about this little baby sweater, and apparently it did not want to be photographed, since all of the pictures I took (and I took a lot of pictures) are pretty lousy:

Baby Sweater

The colors seem to be pretty accurate, so that's something. The pattern is the cover sweater from Knitting for Baby. The yarn is Mission Falls cotton.


The buttons were kind of an issue. I bought some very pretty ones at a local yarn shop, but they were really too big, so I started trying out buttons from my stash (as it turns out, I have a lot of buttons!) I settled on these, which are fine. Since I made him sit through the entire process, Len decided he completely understands why I get a glazed look when he starts going on about home repair.

Fashion Shot

And here is a shot of it on my very messy desk. The edging was supposed to be a simple pick-up/cast-off in a contrasting color. I decided to go with the picot cast-off to fancy thing up a bit. I think it turned out nicely enough. Now I just need to get it mailed off.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More Fun with Wire

I have to admit that the inkle loom, with it's wire warp, has been neglected since the last time I posted about it. Oh, I have excuses: the shawl needed to be finished quickly, then I wanted to knit a quick baby sweater (more on that in a future post).

But let's be honest. When have I ever let a deadline (especially a self-imposed deadline) get in the way? Once the excitement of warping and figuring out how to weave with the wire had faded, so did my interest. Meh. Wire. Yawn.

So. I've been thinking about beads and I've thinking about ways to make the weaving more interesting. I started trying to figure out how to put the two together, which isn't altogether obvious. The main problem is the weaving on the Inkle loom is warp faced and the beads would need to be added with the weft (on this warp anyway, since it already exists). In a perfect world, you don't see the weft, but this isn't a perfect world, and the weft is quite visible on the wire weaving. It occurred to me that could work to my advantage, so I went to the bead store (otherwise known as, to me anyway, House of Sin) and found some flat beads which seemed likely to work. I threaded them onto the weft and, after some fiddling to get the spacing to work, this is what I came up with:

Weaving with Wire and Beads

It still isn't hugely exciting, but I think there is a lot of potential here. This is only 8 inches long, which isn't quite long enough to make a cuff, so now I'm trying to figure out how to lengthen it in the finishing (I have plenty of unwoven warp on both sides).

Friday, May 18, 2007

In Lieu of Actual Knitting Content

I present pre-knitting content:


Monday, May 14, 2007

Bad Knitting Dream

If my dream life is any indication, I am suffering from a serious case of knitting envy: Saturday night I had a dream that we had a baby shower for one of the researchers here at work. Several of us gave her hand-knitted baby sweaters. Mine was a Baby Surprise Jacket (one of my standard baby sweaters), everyone else made fine gauge Fair Isle or cabled sweaters. The people that made those sweaters don't even knit!

My only explanation is that I am making a baby sweater for a friend of mine, and I am feeling a little guilty because I am so not on time. She had the baby two weeks ago.

Another possibility. I want to start submitting pictures to public groups on Flickr, but I am lacking self confidence.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Confession

I am currently obsessing about beads.

I have not yet succumbed.

But I want to. Bad.

I am a dumbass.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007



I finally managed to block the shawl. It seems I started this April 7, this picture was taken May 2. That might be a record (for me, anyway).


This is the "More than Circular" shawl from Best of Knitter's Shawls and Scarves, knitted with hand dyed 10/2 cotton*, with #5, #6, #8 and #10 needles. I meant to weigh the shawl and the leftover yarn to give you some idea of how much I used, but didn't manage it. I suspect between 600 and 800 yards.


I, painfully, shoved a bead onto each of the points, and managed to tie a knot. That was a long, convoluted process, which I am happy to forget. The beads are a nice decorative touch, and serve to weigh the shawl down, making it more likely that it will stay on the shoulders. I, myself, think it came out nicely.

After I dyed this yarn, Valerie had said not to judge it before sampling. She was so right. I was very unhappy with the yarn when it was in the skein; but knitted up it is so bright and cheerful, and the ugly faded bits blend in nicely.

Edge Detail
Fade to Black

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Home #4


This is a view from a park about a half mile from our house. It isn't visible from the road, you have to walk up into the park.

Wire Weaving

An update, for Barb! Well, to be honest, I've been planning to do a post about the wire weaving and my (abject lack of) progress. I've been focusing on getting a shawl done -- it is now off the needles and waiting to be blocked -- so I haven't been as attentive to the weaving as I should be.

To recap, the warp is 28 gauge silver and brass. There are 24 silver ends and 22 brass ends. I didn't have any kind of plan when I started, because I didn't really know how to plan, so I just warped until it looked wide enough for a bracelet. Even that is hard to see, since the wire doesn't lay as neatly as cotton. It turns out be about 1/2 inch wide.

Not-So-Bad Wire Weaving
This is my first attempt at weaving, using some of the brass wire left over from the warp. It got a little easier, and better looking, as I figured out how to make the wire behave. I didn't want to stick with the brass for the weft, since I have silver warp on either side.

Bad Wire Weaving
I happened to have some 24 gauge wire hanging around and tried using that for weft. It doesn't work, at least not with something this narrow and warp-faced, it is too thick to bend into the necessary sharp turns.

Silver, 28 gauge warp. This is still plain weave, I'm planning to try some pick up in the next bit that I do, but I wanted to get a feel for the wire before trying anything else.

Something's Wrong

And this is how the wire looks when the tension is loosened. Yeesh.

What does not show up in the pictures is that the weft is clearly visible through the warp. It is still warp dominant (rather than balanced the way a mesh would be), but the weft does show up. I don't know how to fix it (maybe a finer gauge weft?) or if I care very much, at least for this project.