Kool Aid Dyeing!

My first attempt at dyeing with Kool-Aid! 🙂 I’m very pleased with the results. It was really easy!

Overall, I think I’ll definitely try this again. I have some alpaca/silk yarn that I was thinking I’d use for a scarf (or scarf set) but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I may try to overdye it using Kool-Aid and do a pinwheel color and weave if I ever manage to get 8 shafts on my loom. (who knows when that’s gonna happen though…) I am really going to need Ben’s help to switch the things over. And probably more space. We’ll see. You can google instructions for how to dye with Kool-Aid. But it only works on protein (animal) fibers. The cotton won’t hold color.
~JoAnna

Hit a snag

I am either going to need someone stronger and more mechanically inclined than me or an instruction manual (which does not currently exist) to figure out how to take apart and put back together these looms I have so I can get the new shafts on!!

Until that happens, I’m at a bit of a stand still. Since it appears I have a bit of waiting to do (like for Ben to be able to help me) I decided to try and get a scarf warp on Mac before I make all the big changes. I haven’t gotten very far though. 😦 My back has been really hurting lately (along with my knee which I’ve popped out of joint several times…Actually I’ve popped both knees out several times, but my right knee is currently the one giving me problems.) Anyway, I’m trying really hard to take care of my back and not injure it further. I don’t want to end up with a back so bad that I can’t do anything at all someday. It just sucks because I’m not tired or mentally unable to do this stuff it’s just that it hurts too much to sit at my loom and work! URGH! It’s annoying.

I’m trying to come up with other knitting projects. Having knitted something like 20+ hats, I feel there are other things that I could knit then felt. Oh side note: when you knit to felt it’s actually not referred to as felting. I can’t remember what it’s called but a friend that is doing her senior thesis on felting informed me of this. 🙂

Anyway, the main problem is, I really don’t know much about knitting…like at all. haha. This is because I really just do knit stitched hats. My mom has a book called Knit One Felt Too. I borrowed it a while back but it seemed too complicated and uninteresting to learn something else, but now I’m thinking it could be good. I have a bunch of yarn now and I’m getting a bit tired of knitting hats. Or at least the same type of hat. I’d like to knit the kind that has the ear flaps. 🙂 Those would be fun! Oh and I want to knit house shoes. That would also be fun. These are my knitting goals. Both of those projects are in this book I speak of. I wonder if you could weave house shoes…

Lately when I’ve been typing “I wonder” I’ve been accidentally continuing the word and making it “I wonderful” which makes absolutely no sense. It’s funny how our brains just do stuff like that sometimes. Hmm…What else? I suppose I could knit (and then felt) coffee cup cozies. Like those cardboard things they have at coffee shops for to-go cups, but it would be one you don’t throw away. I’ve seen them before, but they were crochet. I have no idea how to do much of anything besides single crochet, so knitting would be where it’s at. We’ll see. I have to figure something out because I love knitting but I don’t want to make hats anymore!!
~JoAnna

Thoughts on projects and books

I seem to have lost all motivation to do ANYTHING today. I’ve accomplished a bit of cleaning (well straightening up) and 3 loads of laundry and that’s about it…

The books finally came!! I already had one that I told mom to get (Mastering Weave Structures) but I really felt like it would be a good idea for her to have a copy. It’s an excellent book. I didn’t really get much out of the Rigid Heddle book (which was mom’s choice. Duh. They’re her books!) But that’s okay. There may be some interesting stuff that she finds and shows me when she has time to look through it. The book Time to Weave was probably the biggest let down. 😦 It’s basically just off the loom, over/under weaving projects. Just the kind of “artsy/crafty” things that I dislike. I feel guilty because I convinced mom to get that particular book and it’s not even really about weaving…well…not loom weaving. 😦

The 8 shaft pattern book (The actual name of it is escaping me right now…It’s something about 8 shafts and pattern and book something or other) Anyway, it’s great. I was a bit…well…not frustrated…intimidated?? By the second half of it because it goes from regular drafts to profile, block drafts which I basically know nothing about. I guess you could kind of describe it maybe as shorthand? Like it just shows blocks of the pattern, the tie up and threading. But it’s lettered instead. I read the chapter on block drafts from Learning to Weave something like 4 times and I STILL don’t know how to read a block draft. And I’m not really sure what a profile draft is; definitely don’t know how to read it!! There are sections in the book that look like they explain how these other drafts are used, but I didn’t read them in detail yet. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure it out…
     Oh she also got a book on woven shibori that looks interesting. Oh my GOSH you can do some beautiful things with that! It looked like most of the sample fabrics were with tiny yarn (like 20/2 cotton) which is frustrating. It takes a lot of ends to weave stuff that small. I love the look, but I get intimidated to do projects that are 10 inches wide and have a minimum of 300 ends.

Speaking of 20/2, I believe I mentioned that my 20/2 silk came. 🙂 I’m currently trying to come up with a project that combines silk and 8 shafts. I think I’m going to end up weaving a pinwheel/houndstooth pattern on 8 shafts (once I get the other 4 on there after Wednesday) That will probably be my first project on 8 shafts. I don’t want to do anything super complicated at the beginning and get all frustrated like when I attempted overshot with a slippery yarn I’d never used and without reading up on exactly what overshot entails. Oh dear. That was a disaster. 🙂 But I got a lovely scarf out of it. haha. Anyway. I think I’d like to do that. I could fairly easily tie on with different colors later if I wanted to.
Now if only I could find the motivation to get something done today…
~JoAnna

Waiting and waiting…

Urrrgghh. I can’t wait for the time to pass!! Today (being Monday, the 19) I am waiting for the weaving books that my mom ordered (and I am sharing) are FINALLY coming after OVER 3 weeks!!! I guess Interweave Press is slow or something. I may have said this before, but how is it that I got a book from CHINA in a week but it takes 3 WEEKS to get several books to me from Colorado?? This makes no sense to me. I’m using too much punctuation.

Well anyway, that will help me decide exactly what I want to put on my loom as my first 8 shaft project, which brings me to waiting item #2! MY NEW LOOM!! Which really isn’t going to be a loom, rather more shafts for my current loom and then I’ll hopefully be selling the frame for some amount of money.
Anyway that’s happening Wednesday. I bought it from a guy a week and a half or two weeks ago and my brother is bringing it up with him THIS WEEK!! I have been kinda nervous since I bought it that, for some reason or another, it won’t work out. Like it’ll fall off the truck or it will turn out to be the wrong size or if it is the right size it won’t be possible to use the shafts on my loom. All these thoughts!! I’ll be ready for that saga to be over.

The next thing that I’m waiting for ALSO comes Wednesday. After calling the post office and FedEx, I found out that they WILL be forwarding my package that I accidentally shipped to my old apartment to my parents house. Yay!! I’ve also been a bit concerned about that. I’m so glad to know that I don’t have to think about it anymore. I just get to be excited when it comes. 🙂

I didn’t get much done over the past two days. But that’s partially due to the fact that my back has been hurting quite a bit. I hunch when I sit at my sewing machine and I’ve been sewing a lot lately…Anyway, I decided to take a break for a day on Saturday and not do much. And then Sunday, Ben and I overslept and missed church so we turned the morning into British TV day. We watched a bunch of episodes of The IT Crowd and Primeval. (Two of our favorite British TV shows) Then when my parents got home, we had a Unit and Moonlight marathon (Two shows we’ve been watching together) and so basically, I spent all of Sunday in front of the tele. haha. But that’s okay. My back really needed to recover. It had gotten to the point where nothing made it feel better. Heating pad, pain reliever or alcohol; nothing worked.

Anyway, my plan for this week is to switch the shafts over, start an 8 shaft project and sew at least one more bag from my hand woven and hand dyed fabrics. I am looking forward to it. I have to clean the house up first though. Mom wants it clean before my brother gets here. I figured I’d be her little house elf and help her out a bit. Cleaning reeeealllly doesn’t sound fun right now though…
~JoAnna

Productive day? I think yes.

I’ve been feeling productive today. After yesterday’s frustrations, I really needed a good day. So far I have:
Run errands in town
Made one of the smoothest cheesecakes I’ve ever made.
I’m halfway through sewing another bag (With my “inspired” idea from yesterday. haha)
Scoured more fabric
Currently dyeing more fabric (should be ready to rinse soon)

My mom said she thinks I should be able to sell one of the mock ups I made. She said it’s that nice. 🙂 That was encouraging. Also, she wasn’t mad at me for cutting the fringe on her table runner. She was really sweet and said we can most likely find a way to fix it. How do moms always know exactly what to say? I hope someday I will too.

The fabric I dyed came out beautifully (Finishing this post a couple hours later). I used the last of the fuchsia dye I had and some of the “blurple” and combined them. It’s a good combo. I think it’ll give the liners for the bags I’m working on the pop I was looking for. I have been sketching some ideas and I think I have a few more I want to try. I really like my “slouchy” bag. (The one I finished today) It turned out well. I still have to adjust the strap a bit because it hangs a little weird on one side and I have to attach the braid and button closure. I didn’t get to it today because my back’s a bit tired. It shouldn’t take long to do those two things though.

Hopefully the cheesecake will sell tomorrow at the farmer’s market. I also would like to make another bag tomorrow. We’ll see.
I can’t wait for my knitting yarn to get here…And my loom!! 🙂 Hopefully I won’t have too much trouble getting the shafts off the new one and onto Mac. Anyway, I’m happy with all the work I’ve done today. 🙂
~JoAnna

Oh sewing….

I have finished enough yardage for 6 messenger bags and have sewn 1 thus far…Here’s the problem: I don’t want to make 6 messenger bags. I don’t think I really need to make more than 2. But the next question is what do I do with the rest of this fabric that was designed for messenger bags?

I’ve spent most of today trying to design another bag/purse/handbag/tote/carrying device w/ handles and I can’t come up with anything I really like. Well I have like one idea, but I can’t seem to translate it to cloth…FRUSTRATION!! See the problem is I really don’t know all that much about sewing. And trying to figure out how to sew a liner into a bag is REALLY annoying because you don’t want seams to show. And again, I don’t really know all that much about sewing.

I managed to make your average tote bag, but that’s not good enough for me. I want my stuff to be interesting and unique. I have this idea for a handbag/purse type thing that is kind of a semi-circle…well…curved anyway. But I can’t figure out how to get that shape and make it look good.

I guess I just need to keep trying things. I just feel like I’m wasting my time today. But I guess design and mock ups aren’t a waste. They’re valuable…It doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

On a happier note, I ordered more knitting yarn! 🙂 I have made so many freakin’ hats! It’s getting ridiculous. I think I’m somewhere around….14? And that’s not including the 5 or so that I have at the shop already. It’s a lil’ crazy. I really need to sit down one day and line all of them. I’ve been putting that off because I don’t wanna!!! But they are so much more comfortable when I line them! And the more comfortable they are, the more likely people are to buy them….I don’t need to think about more things that I have to do. That makes me feel even MORE like I’m wasting time. (Even though I’m not)

Ohhhh!! I just had an idea. 🙂 We’ll see if it works! Farewell for now!
~JoAnna

Soooo…ummm…

I don’t know how to say this….Another friend will be joining my weaving family soon. 🙂 I BOUGHT A LOOM!! *lol* no. Seriously. I did. It’s the exact same thing as Mac. The reason behind buying it is to use the parts from it to upgrade Mac. 4 more shafts, 6 more treadles, a reed (although I’m not sure how many dents per inch yet because the guy didn’t know) and anything else I can possibly scavenge off of it!

Okay here’s how it happened:
I have been looking on Craigslist for Macombers ’cause Ben and I decided a while back that it really would make a lot more sense to just buy a whole ‘nuther loom rather than buy the parts that I want/need to make Mac an 8 shaft loom. I’d really only been looking for about a week or two and I found one that was in Jackson, MS (where my bro lives) Also, the thing was only $600 dollars…CHEAP. I didn’t consider it at first cause I thought it was bigger than mine so I left the add alone for a week (also it’s been up since June 5, so I thought it had probably already sold). Anyway, I ended up emailing the guy to see if he still had it because I re-read the add later and measured my loom and realized it was the same size.

The guy said he did indeed still have it and said he was willing to come down to $500! SCHWAT?! Awesome. That’s what. I called my brother and asked if he would be willing to do me two HUGE favors: Pay the guy (once I found some way of transferring money to him) and pick it up. Okay, I guess it’s three favors cause I also asked him to bring it with him when he’s passing…um…near TN to go to a wedding in OH. Sooooo he, being the sweet brother that he is, agreed and he just called me to let me know he’s picked it up and is going to leave it at the church he works at for next week and then bring it up with him the next Wednesday, the 21st. ACK! I’m soo happy!! It’s gonna be a lot of fun to try out all these new, crazy things that I couldn’t do before. I’m a bit intimidated (like I always am) but I am confident that I can teach myself how to use 8 shafts and 12 treadles. 🙂

Here’s a picture of the new loom that is coming soon!
~JoAnna