Awesome hat!

I finished knitting Ben’s hat. 🙂 It looks super cool. I was able to finish it and then felt it immediately because I was at mom and dad’s when I finished!
Felting it was a lot simpler than I thought it was going to be. Mom has a front loader that locks whenever you start the cycle (they probably all do that, I just don’t know these things so it seems weird to me) anyway, usually when we felt stuff we have to hit the pause button, drag the stuff out while dripping all over the floor and making a complete mess of the laundry room. This time it was SOO simple! She said she had talked to a woman that just runs whatever the item is she wants to felt through the entire wash cycle start to finish instead of stopping to check it.

We decided to give it a try and it worked beautifully! She felted two sweaters to see what they would do and I felted 4 hats. (One of which was Ben’s)

Today I sat down and figured out how I’m going to line these hats with the micro fleece I have. It’s actually very simple. I think I ended up with about a 3 inch band. I think it probably ended up about 21 inches long to go all the way around the hat.

Initially I attempted to just sew it on there using my sewing machine…Well I didn’t like that you could see the stitches on the outside of the hat. So I opted to hand sew it using a whip stitch. (well…I did a janked version of a whip stitch, but it totally worked) I didn’t have to hem the fleece either.
When I first sewed it on there, I wasn’t holding the hat and fabric on tension so there was no room for expansion for when a head got put into the hat! I discovered this after I’d sewn the bottom half on. When I started sewing the top half of the fabric strip on, I pulled the hat over my knee so that it would mimic a head being in it. Once I did that, the stitches on the bottom broke in some places and I had to go back. Good thing I figured all this out before I tried to sell it someone!! 🙂

Anyway, it took a while, but it looks really good. You can’t see the stitches on the outside of the hat and it makes it SOO much more comfortable to wear because the scales of the wool to scratch at your skin anymore! I can’t wait to line my hat and finish my other one. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep my first one. Good ol’ Blue. I’m thrilled about the colors for my new one! It’s mostly black like my Spyder jacket (brand whore, I know) and since my jacket is accented by white and a really bright green, I decided to put stripes of white and avacado yarns in. The avacado is just the name of the color. It’s just a bright green. 🙂 It’ll look pretty good hopefully. Well I’m pretty tired. I’m still battling a cold and trying to sit there and sew that liner on wore me out. (that’s sad. I feel pathetic) So I’m going for now. 🙂 More yarns should be on their way soon and then I can finally have my 10.5 DPNs to finish my hats with!!
~JoAnna

Advertisements

Oh my….

I went around town today looking for US Size 10.5 double pointed knitting needles. I checked the hobby store, Wal-Mart and the local yarn store. NONE of them had them!! Okay, the yarn store did, but it was $17.95! For 4 needles!! I asked my mom to check Knit Picks for me to see if they had them for cheaper… They did. They had a set of 5 bamboo DPNs size 10.5 for $6.00!! Are you KIDDING?! Well then I started adding a few things here and there that I needed. A cable needle, a couple of row counters so I can have them on more than one project at a time and I found this great kit that teaches you color work. (I’m a bit scared) But super excited. All this came to about $25.00…The thing with Knit Picks is that you get free shipping on orders that are $50+….So I texted Ben to let him know that I was ordering more stuff from Knit Picks and told him about my shipping dilemma. He is probably the sweetest man in the world. He told me to just go ahead and order the $50 dollars worth of stuff. WHAT?! Really?? Okay. So I did. They didn’t have the color that I wanted in the fair isle kit so I ordered some yarns for that and more yarn for felted hats. Oh my….I’m going to have SOO much knitting to do!! I have to get these hats knitted up and sold!! I’m probably going to get another huge box of yarns in the next week or so.

I’m intimidated by how much yarn I’m amassing, but I’m so excited because I love all of it and I love making the hats. 🙂 I have lots of micro fleece for liners. But here’s what I need to play around with: I was in the outdoor store today buying a new splash guard for my Nalgene bottle (I know, I’m totally a brand whore. I can’t help it…I’m also a good advertiser for all these companies I love!) ANYWAY! On some of the wool hats that were for sale they had sewn in a band of fleece that was just on the rim. It was basically so that the scales of the wool wouldn’t itch on the forehead. Well originally I had thought I would need to line the entire hat with the micro fleece, but now I wonder if I should just line the rim. I do think if I just line the rim, I’ll need to use a taller piece than what was on the commercial hats. I don’t think it would cover the whole forehead and you might still get some itching. (Not cool). I need to try actually sewing with that stuff…Well…Lots to do! I have to finish Ben’s hat and start mine! Ack!! Then I have a million more to knit up!! haha.
~JoAnna

Warp Knitting!

Okay. This post is gonna be a complete throwback to the 80s/90s. Be prepared. Oh I’m also completely embarrassed at the quality of the pictures. (Tara, I have decided I hate flashes too…)



So in my textiles class we were talking about knitted fabrics. I gotta say, I love learning about textiles stuff, but knitting? Oh it’s so boring. I love to knit, but learning about it is just no fun.

We were talking about weft versus warp knitting. Weft knitting is what every hand knitter does. (The loops connect next to each other, horizontally, in the weft direction)
Warp knitting, as far as we knew, could only be done on commercial knitting machines. But then our teacher reminded us of a little thing called Loopers. Remember these?? If they weren’t a part of your childhood experience, it’s okay. I was all too happy to see a bag full of stretchy nylon rings just waiting to be made into something.

One of my friends even discovered how to make bracelets! After leaving lab that day, I immediately went home, cut up t-shirt sleeves and made the lovely necklace that you see around my neck. It made me so very happy. 🙂

So I decided to have 90s throw back day. I feel it was a huge success. I suppose it really should just be vintage day because the shirt I’m wearing was my dad’s…Probably from the 70s. HA! LOVE IT! It’s this weird fabric. Like some kind of thermal something. Not normal t shirt fabric. Still awesome though.
Just wanted to share. 🙂 If you want to become completely addicted to these little nylon rings, you can buy a potholder loom and loopers at Harrisville Designs. (you could probably get some at a craft store too, but I haven’t checked there)
~JoAnna

Ode To Mac

No, not Apple. Mac as in my wonderful Macomber loom which I affectionately refer to as Mac. 🙂

I discovered he was built in 1977. I was really excited to find this information out!! It was a simple matter of emailing the Macomber sales rep. (her blog is macomberloomsandme.blogspot.com)

At first I was a bit concerned because she emailed me back and told me that they were unable to find the serial number I had given them. She asked me to check to make sure all the numbers I’d given her were correct.

After another few days she emailed me again and happily reported that they had found the serial number and that Mac was built in 1977. He’s in great shape for being built 33 years ago!! As I’ve said before, I’ve had to do some minor repairs on him. Mostly just adding aprons to the front and back. (my own construction. I refused to pay $150 dollars for 2 yards of canvas, 4 steel rods and some string)

His next upgrades will most likely be new treadles. I’m still considering whether or not I want to actually BUY treadles, or attempt to make them. A friend that also has a Macomber made some wonky treadles for hers, but they work. And they don’t cost $25 dollars each.

I also need to figure out a way of making some treadle rods for him. The rep. said they cost $1 each. That seems a bit high. It’s just bent metal. They look simple enough to make. I’ll just have to find the tools to do it. Or just use string like I have been doing. One benefit to using the string to tie up instead of the treadle rods is the string doesn’t jump off like the rods do if you tromp too hard. Of course there’s the trade off of the strings breaking…But I’ve been weaving on this loom for nearly a year with one treadle tied up with string and they still haven’t broken. 🙂 I was resourceful and used the strings from the old aprons I removed.

I would also like to try to find different rods to use in the warp and cloth aprons. The ones I have tend to get rusty which rubs off on the fabric I weave. Hopefully I’ll be able to find something. I’m not very actively looking.

On a completely unrelated note: My knitting yarn came today!! The box weighed something like 3.4 pounds. It was a lot of yarn!! But all the colors are sooo nice. I shall be making Ben a hat very soon. A friend from the clay dept. wants me to make her a hat also. I informed her I would bring the yarn with me to class one day and she could pick which colors she wants.

Ben’s hat will be my first experiment with lining the hats I make with micro fleece. I have something like 4 yards of the stuff. That’s a lot of hats! I shall update as I work on things.
Oh. I also started knitting with the yarn that my little sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. I’m making a larger cowl to see if I like them. 🙂 I’m pretty excited to see how it turns out. It’s so nice to knit again.
~JoAnna

Tired shoulders

Yesterday was a busy, fiber filled day! Jeanne was not in class again. (By “again” I mean that she was sick Tuesday and thus class was cancelled.) So yesterday, she was still not recovered. Hopefully she’ll be back to full strength soon.

We all still came in to the studio to begin work on our samplers. I’m extremely excited about all of them. We are working in pairs (except for one unfortunate soul. But we all helped him out and he still got his warp on just fine.) Anyway. The samplers are as follows:
-A skip dent sampler using 30/2 linen
-A collapse weave sampler using 20/2(?) spun silk and shetland wool.
-A canvas weave sampler using 4 ply wet spun linen
-A thick/thin sampler using noho cotton (slub cotton) and 8/2 Tencel.

My partner and I are doing the noho/tencel sampler. There are 5 blocks of Tencel each 2 inches wide which are separated by 4 ends of the noho (so 6 stripes total) The noho yarn is threaded two ends to a heddle which causes them to act as one yarn. It gives it an interesting effect.

Now that you know what’s going on in class, here’s what we did. My partner and I worked together winding off warp, sleying the reed and threading. We each wound off half the warp, I sleyed the reed while she threaded. It was a good system and we worked at pretty much the same speed. She had another class after weaving so she left. I decided to finish the process by tying onto the warp beam (in the back) and winding the warp on. One of the guys in the class graciously offered to help me wind on. And I then returned the favor! He has the skip dent 30/2 sampler and no partner to help him! So after we wound my warp on, he finished tying onto his warp beam and together we wound on his warp. I should mention that we also fixed his brake system that wasn’t working properly. Mine wasn’t either but we called maintenance to help with mine.

After assisting in dressing two looms, I sat down and wove off the rest of the waffle weave scarf (another 30 inches). And then when I got home, I decided to try tying on to a previous warp. So I had to wind off more warp for that. (only 60 ends.) All in all, the dressing time of tying back on to this warp was about…an hour. It’s a HUGE time saver! I plan on weaving up a few more scarf warps at this width (6 inches) as I said in yesterday’s post, I used a boucle yarn. It’s a sort of honey color. I also have some red boucle that I may put on and weave up to see what it does. It makes putting on a 3 yard warp sooo worth it! Nice, quick sample. I plan on doing this same thing for other projects as well. I wish I had known about this sooner!! 🙂 I may try putting on a longer warp to weave up more scarves if I like how the boucle turns out. It’ll be a quick way to build up some inventory.
(Which I really need to do!) And since I’m not particularly fond of bumpy scarves, I (hopefully) will not form any attachment to these scarves and will have no problem selling them. 🙂
~JoAnna
PS: Pictures are of the boucle yarns. The honey color currently on the loom and the red that will go on next. 

Another lovely discovery!

Okay so I discovered another WONDERFUL thing that will make my weaving life oh so much easier!

Tying on to the previous warp!

Here’s how it works: When you’re done weaving and you’re at the very end of your warp, if you aren’t changing your threading or width, you simply wind the warp off as normal (same number of ends as previous warp), put it on the lease sticks and instead of sleying the reed and threading, you just tie each end to one end of the previous warp. Then wind the knots through the heddles and you’re all set to go again. It’s SOO easy!! It also wastes less yarn since you can pull the new warp further forward.

I had the blanket sampler warp still hanging on the loom and I decided to try putting a new warp on. Since my sett was really loose (10 epi) I decided to try a bit of a bulkier yarn. I bought some rayon boucle just after Christmas and I hadn’t tried it yet. I know it would need a loose sett and so I’m trying it with the previous “settings”. It looks pretty good so far! I shall try to put pictures up sometime next week. My back is aching a bit from dressing a loom for a sampler at school, weaving 30 inches on the waffle weave to finish it and then putting this boucle warp on. What a lovely day though. 🙂 All around fiberly. Just how I like it.

Oh! And my knitting yarn should be here by, like, Wednesday of next week!! I’m SOO excited!! AND! One of my friends from clay wants to buy a hat from me! Yay!!!
~JoAnna