Friday, October 30, 2009

Ants in my Pants

I'm really dying to get my hands on some new fiber!!! I don't have a stash like most spinners- at the moment I'm stuck purchasing just enough at a time to keep my wheel with something to spin, which isn't hard since I limit my spinning time to make what I have last for a while. I'd just loooove to get to the point where I have at least a small stash of lovely things to play with and experiment with. I'm off today so I plan on finishing the rest of the Redwood Forest since I got too busy last week with my grandma going into the hospital. After I finish with the Redwood at least I have about 2-3 oz. of the Corridale left. Whew!

I also want to finish at least ONE Christmas prezzie this weekend. I'm not doing so well in the gift making so far, being slightly obsessed with getting, cleaning, and learning about my new loom the past couple weeks. :-) Oops. I can probably make a lot of progress on the set of butterfly washcloths for Stefani though, I just wish I could remember what color her bathroom is! (insert rolling eye emoticon here) I'd like to start on the filet crochet breadcloth as well. I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes out using black crochet thread instead of white as shown in the pattern picture. I need to grab up a couple skeins of some bulky weight yarn for Annemarie and Brittney's gifts too sometime in the next week too. Those should be fun- I love playing with cables!

Speaking of Annemarie, I finally found the tablecloth I started for her!! It somehow got lost in the move last spring and I'd been trying to find it all summer. Well last week while looking for green felt to make my little sis her Peter Pan hat for Halloween I found it buried in my craft closet. Woohooo! Thankfully it's a little farther along than shown this pic! :-D

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Western Reserve Spinners and Weavers Guild

I stopped by the meeting Tuesday night, arriving a few minutes late which was actually kind of lucky for me. On the way in I met a lovely lady named Liz, also late, and sort of a newbie herself. She's been to about 3 meetings so far but was able to show me the ropes. We went in and arrived there just after the speaker had begun. Okay, now I know it's going to sound completely dorky, but the discussion was about moths. I know, I know. I can just see the looks on some of your faces. You're wondering something along the lines of "What the hell is she talking about", but it really was interesting, especially for someone who stores yarns, fibers and fabric- aka "the perfect lunch" in moth world. After the hour long talk/slide show it was time for the actual meeting to start.

While the speaker was gathering his things this gave Liz and I a chance to talk for a few minutes. She told me about the previous meeting that she attended and about the demos and workshops available both during the meetings and at other types of fiber events. I also learned that she has an alpaca farm and is hoping that the guild will give her some new outlets for fleece sales. I shared my interest in purchasing fleeces and wanting to play with and learn more about different fibers. Well, how excited do you think I was when she said that if I'm planning on coming to the next meeting she will try and bring me a bit of her alpaca to experiment with! (insert dancing banana emoticon here) At this point, being on a time constraint, I really needed to get going. I stayed long enough to introduce myself to the group and sadly declare that I had to leave, but not before getting a business card from Liz and signing up for the monthly newsletter.

From what I can tell it seems to be a pretty interesting group, and informative too. There was even a woman spinning, one knitting and another doing some card weaving during the slide show- so that's fun. It looks like I'm the youngest of them so far, out of the 30 or so people that were there. Oh, the wisdom of all things fiber arty that must be collected in such a group! I'm really looking forward to getting to know everyone and learning some great new things.

She's all clean from top to bottom! She was pretty dingy - the towel I used was looking pretty rough when I got done. It's a vast improvement for sure. Now that it's all done though I just need to order my replacement parts. One will be the reed (shown here) You can't really tell but the edges ares a little on the rusty side and some of the slats in the middle aren't looking too hot either.

The other pieces are the 600 heddles and some new pegs for the back beam holding the warping threads. The ones on there currently are a bit brittle and keep breaking off. :(

Here she is though, all bright and happy! I'm hoping to be able to order all the parts in a couple weeks and be weaving by the end of November! In the mean time I can be good and start working on Christmas prezzies again! :)

Tonight is the Guild meeting too. I hope i can make it. It'd be nice to be able to get started learning a bit and then by the time next month's meeting rolls around I'll have my loom all set up and can weave on my merry way!

Monday, October 26, 2009

This is all that's left of the Redwood Forest to spin up! Then it's time to set the twist on 3 bobbins full!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shiny "new" toy!!!

I picked up my loom today (thank you Rich and Aaron!!!) and brought her on home. Hmmm...not sure why I think it's a "her"...but ah well. :) Getting her into the house was a lot easier than I expected, there was just enough room to make maneuvering a breeze, though she's damn heavy! The guys did a great job getting the loom in the house and set up in the right spot. I still had to head back to my dad's afterwards so by the time I got home I was beat and almost ready for bed. I did some cleaning with Murphy's Wood Oil soap on all the accessories though and they're looking better already. Tomorrow I'm going to tackle the loom and do a bit of oiling on the gears and metal bits. There's a lot of cotton warping on the back so I think I might be able to set it up and make sure it works properly. The heddles are a bit rusty so instead of trying to clean them one by one I may just buy some replacements on Woolery.

Thanks to a fellow Blogger for finding this pic of Reed Loom Company Weaver's Friend loom working it's magic! Very cool.

Tuesday is the monthly meeting of the Western Reserve Spinners and Weaver's Guild so I'm pretty excited about the near instant gratification of getting information from people that have been doing this for a while. There's even a Spin-In an hour before the meeting. I bet I could finish up the Corridale top I'm working on if I get to make it early enough!

On a side about I found a missing pair of handwarmers in a lovely self striping sock yarn that I made last year. I had been wondering where they went! With them were my US size 3 straights. Woohoo! On the straights is another (though not quite finished) hand warmer. Just gotta make the other one and I have a matching pair, and just in time for chilly weather. :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009


While browsing the Fiber Friday thread from last week on Craftster I got the urge to jump on Craigslist to look at wheels and bobbins. Obviously I'm not in the market to buy anything, being quite content with my Ashford Traveller, but I couldn't help checking out the local scene. On a whim I decided to check out looms as well, just to see what people were looking to get rid of since I'm pretty keen on learning the age old art of weaving. Much to my surprise I saw a headline listing a vintage "Weaver's Friend" loom. I checked out the listing, saw the photos, and my jaw dropped to the floor. I swear it had to be a misprint. There was no was way on earth that the price could be correct for that size loom! It gave a number to call for more information, so call I did! I got a call back shortly after and spoke with a lovely woman who explained that the loom was purchased in an estate sale and was going to be used for a small side business that she and her mother wanted to start. In an unfortunate turn of events her mother was recently diagnosed with cancer and has since become wheelchair bound. The dreams of their business together were dashed and it has since become an item of regret, taking up a good portion of the living room. Really she just wanted it gone, but to a good home. Having an evening off of work I set off to take a look. You know that old "love at first sight" story? Yeah. It can happen. I stayed and chatted for a bit then had to make my way home, but not before paying the mere $150 asking price and setting up a time on Sunday to go pick up my new toy!
I was so excited that I couldn't even think of anyone to call who would understand how COOL this is. Then I decided one of the best people to tell first was my dad. He was really excited for me, our family being really interested in history and keeping the trades of the past alive. The loom was made by the Reed Loom Company in Springfield, Ohio which stared back in the late 1800s. Shortly after Mr. Reed's death it was taken over by Paul Linker who kept the company open until the mid 70's when he passed and they stopped manufacturing them. Basically, at the youngest possible age my "new" loom is at least 30 years old!

I think I may go back to French Creek Fiber Arts to learn some loom basics since that's where I took my spinning classes. Peggy was a great teacher and her shop is fantastic. It's kind of a long haul from here, but I think it'll be worth it since I'm already familiar with her and she has really reasonable class prices. Although I did find the Western Reserve Spinners and Weaver's Guild. They meet at the Farmpark (about 20 minutes from my house) once a month. As is turns out, their next meeting is a week from today so I may just check them out first and go from there.

Another issue to work out is where the heck am I going to put a 52 x 52 in. loom?!? lol I'm really too impulsive sometimes. :) It should fit in the back room of my house, but just to get it inside I think the front door may have to come off! Luckily there's enough room to do some rearranging of the furniture.We're just going to have to wait and see how it goes on Sunday. Improvise will be the name of the game I think. Thank goodness that's one of my talents!

Spin Spin Sugar

Current spinning project: 8 ounces of hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester top, in Redwood Forest that I picked up from Frabjous Fibers. Soooo lovely to spin. It's making quite a fine laceweight- my first.

I really have no idea what to make with it so I may put it up for sale. I'm working on a solid dark teal Corridale top as well and can't decide if I want to ply it with the Redwood Forest. Do I want to go for two gorgeous singles with lots of yardage in each or a ply the two complementing yarns and end up with less yardage but a really striking colorway?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


They come in many forms. Even crazy Finns. Meet mine: Riku Rantala and Tunna Milonoff
These guys take in the world the way that I could only dare to dream. Hopping from country to country, to me they are living the ultimate high life.

Perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to even get a taste of life on the road as they have been doing it for years.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Persuasion Multnomah

I'm in a KAL for Jane Austen's Persuasion. The theme being water, waves, blue, oceans, etc... I found my inspiration close to home. Living about a 10 minute walk from the shores of Lake Erie, I took a stroll and ended up having a lovely evening reading, with this as my view:
Realizing that my Opal yarn would be perfect for this project my plans of making a pair of lacy cream colored fingerless gloves were swapped for a lovely, small shawl which can easily double as a fantastic neckerchief. With winter coming up I find this to be a most perfect accessory.

I've chosen the Multnomah, a beautiful little shawl with the feather and fan border representing the waves along a shoreline. The yarn I’m using for this is inspired by the shimmer on the Lake. It’s a thick and thin 2-ply. The thin, shiny yarn is the shimmer and the slightly puffier cream yarn reminds me of the little cloud fluffs. The light color also seems to fit the feel of Persuasion for me as well -the simple softness and beauty of Anne.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Foray into the North and South

My first attempt into the wide, wide world of double pointed needles went swimmingly! I was always so wary of trying, thinking it would be fussy and annoying to work with so many needles at once, but oh how wrong I was!

I am absolutely in love this new world that I've discovered. There are so many more things that I can knit now! Gloves... socks... hats... legwarmers.... oh la la!