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51  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / First Attempt at Crocheted Socks! on: February 11, 2011 02:04:42 PM
I've been crocheting for several years, but usually shy away from making any apparel item for an adult that needs to actually fit a body part.  Scarves, OK, sweaters, no way.  Baby sweaters are just about the only clothing items I've made.  I decided to attempt some wool socks for myself.  It was hard to find a pattern for crocheted socks that didn't use uncomfortable worsted weight yarn but I finally found a free pattern here:  http://www.crazycoley.com/2009/01/basic-crochet-sock.html  I think it's a great pattern, and I'm sure it'll go faster with a second pair.  The yarn is Lion Brand Sock-Ease in "Red Hots."  I've worn and washed the socks -- here they are after their first wash:

52  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / I spun the yarn then crocheted the scarf - "Flirty Ruffle Scarf" on: January 28, 2011 08:38:31 PM
From this blue merino wool I spun and plied with brown thread:



To a scarf made from the free "Flirty Ruffle Scarf" pattern on Lion Brand Yarn's website.  My son is my model:


The scarf is so lightweight and soft.  I gave it to a very good friend for her birthday, and I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I crocheted using two strands held together.
53  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Question re: loom prices on: December 08, 2010 01:12:17 PM
I'm wanting to get a Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom.  I've been watching ebay and craigslist and haven't seen a single one pop up.

My question is, am I better off buying one before the end of the year, or waiting until January?  I'm thinking since I have some spare cash I should buy it now, because it seems like weaving and spinning stuff never really goes on sale, and don't manufacturers often raise prices effective the first of the year?  Seems like often those price jumps are significant.

Basically, I'm needing to know whether you seasoned price-watchers know what time of year is best to grab the best price.

Thanks!!
54  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday -- November 12, 2010 on: November 12, 2010 09:00:54 AM
Wow -- this is my first time starting a Fiber Friday!

This is my most recent yarn.  I call it "Secret Garden."  
It's 204 yards of a very overspun thick and thin single.  My son and I oven dyed the roving with Wilton's.  This was my first time using a black & white roving from Sheep Shed Studio and the black stripe felted TERRIBLY during dyeing which made for a challenging spin.  It was hard to draft the black wool, which made for the thick and thin, but I loved how the colors turned out so much I didn't mind.  I'm very happy with the yarn, and think maybe I'll make it into a hat.  With the black and white roving, next time I'll spin it first and dye it later to avoid the felting.

Here's another view of the yarn:

And a view of the predrafted roving before I spun it:

I can't wait to see what other lovely yarns you all have this week!

ETA: I hung the yarn from our silly swinging gnome, b/c it was the only sunny spot in the yard when I wanted to take pics.  It also cracks me up, because it looks like he's in a nest of yarn.
55  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Can you weave rugs on a rigid heddle loom?? on: October 01, 2010 10:09:50 AM
I've been getting conflicting information, so I thought I'd ask here.  I'm thinking of buying a 32 inch Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom.  I have a 10 inch Beka rigid heddle loom that I've played around with a bit, but it doesn't maintain its tension very well, and I'd like the flexibility to do wider projects without having to sew strips together.  I also don't have the space or budget for a table or floor loom.

I've seen snippets on the web about folks weaving rugs on their rigid heddle looms, and the manufacturer's description of the loom mentions rugs.  But my mom said that when she took a weaving class she was told you can't make rugs on rigid heddle looms.

I'm a spinner, and thought weaving would be another good way to use my handspun yarn, other than just crocheting with it.

I think the majority of what I make would be scarves or shawls, and maybe table runners, but I do have an interest in trying rugs too.  I would either be using yarn for the rugs, or else maybe thin strips of fabric, so they should be quite lightweight.  For fabric, I'm thinking I would use either strips of fabric spun into yarn, or else maybe 1/2 inch strips of old t-shirts that I'd pull into "strings."  Would these materials be too heavy for a rigid heddle loom?

Thanks for your input!
56  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / What is the deal with Sulky Solvy? I HATE IT!!! on: September 20, 2010 07:05:06 PM
The most frustrating part of embroidery for me has been finding a decent transfer method.

For light-colored fabrics, I've decided I'm happy with the transfer pencils, because I can get a good image and they wash out.  But for dark fabrics it has totally sucked.

Tried glad press and seal -- gummed up my needle and was hard to get the little bits out when I was done stitching.  Tried sulky iron-on tear away stabilizer.  It didn't adhere to the cotton fabric well.  I got uneven stitches because the stabilizer was kind of pulling away from the fabric, and it looked terrible.

So...I just tried Sulky Solvy and I hate it!!   Angry  According to the scanty directions in the package, you are supposed to be able to iron it on to fabric.  I spent forever and a day tracing patterns on to the sulky solvy with a white gel pen (gel pen worked great for working on dark fabrics BTW) but the solvy would not adhere to my fabric at all!!!  I honestly had the iron at the exact setting called for in the directions.  I tried using a piece of paper over the solvy and it ahered to the paper.  I tried pressing right on the solvy,and it just shriveled up and didn't adhere to anything.  I tried both sides of the solvy.  There's one sort of smooth side and one sort of bumpy side.  The directions didn't specify which was the "right" side to put against the fabric.  Neither side adhered.

I think for this one project I can make it work by sandwiching the solvy design on to my hoop using another piece of solvy which is much bigger than the hoop itself.  Should hold it in place well enough for me to stitch.
 

But seriously, WTF?  What is the deal with this stuff?  Why do people like it, and how do I get it to work for me??? Huh
57  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Does anyone sell DIY-type Hackles? on: August 29, 2010 07:55:16 PM
OK, so this post is genius:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=308767.0

I'm thinking I would like to have a hackle, and thought maybe some ingenious person on etsy would be making and selling DIY hackles, but I couldn't find any.  I couldn't find a hackle for purchase anywhere for less than $100.

I know what you're thinking, I should get off my lazy butt, go to the dollar store, buy a few hair combs and get with it.  It looks easy enough, but I'm a terrible procrastinator when it comes to projects like that, (especially things that involve woodworking and/or power tools) and I would be willing to purchase a finished product.

So, if you know of someone who makes and sells simple and inexpensive hackles, please let me know.  If you are an industrious type and decide to make and sell some inexpensive (say maybe $25-30 range) hackles, let me know and I'll be I'll be one of your first customers!
58  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / What would you think of a Finished Objects stuck sticky? on: August 02, 2010 06:01:30 PM
An idea came to me today as I was searching Ravelry and Lion Brand Yarn sites for crochet patterns I thought might be appropriate to use with my homespun yarn.  Sometimes it's hard for me to imagine how homespun yarn will behave since I'm new to working with it.  My idea was, what if we had a permanent stuck sticky in the Spinning: Completed Projects section where we could post pics of any finished objects we've made with handspun yarn?  (Doesn't matter whether you spun it yourself or someone else did.)  I just thought it would be really inspiring to see how other people are using their handspun.  It can be challenging for me to think of ways to use my yarn, since my skeins are often pretty small, and I'd love to see what other folks do.  I'm not necessarily imagining folks would provide patterns, but I just think it would get the creative juices flowing to see some cool stuff made from homespun.

To date, I've only made one finished object, a cowl, with yarn I've spun.  Otherwise, today I tried winging it to crochet a scarf with another skein of handspun, didn't like how it turned out with the yarn, and frogged the whole project to make something else.  I know we all spin differently, so our yarns will behave differently, but it would still be fun to see what other folks are doing. 

I know there are separate Crochet and Knitting boards here on Craftster, but most of the projects I see there are made with commercial yarns, so I end up not looking there very often.

Does anyone else think it would be fun for us to have our own finished objects stuck sticky specifically for homespun yarn in the Spinning section?  Or is there perhaps already one I'm not aware of??
59  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Anyone read Get Spun? What are your favorite spinning books?? on: July 04, 2010 10:16:49 AM
I've been spinning on a spindle and a wheel for a little while, and I'm looking for kind of a reference book that can show me how to spin different types of yarn as my skills progress.  I'm looking for a book that'll have good directions for making different art yarns, spinning with fabric scraps, including feathers or beads in a yarn, maybe doing coils and granny stacks, etc.  Ideally the book would have lots of good photos and have pretty clear instructions.

I've perused the few books available at the local bookstore, and haven't found one that's totally grabbed me.  "Intertwined" was interesting, but those art yarns are almost a bit too "out there" for me, and so the photos sometimes turn me off, even though the instructions seemed quite clear.

I see "Get Spun" on Amazon, but there are no reviews for it yet.  Anyone read it?  The photos look appealing, but there are so many craft and sewing books out there nowadays that look really pretty but don't have a lot of substance once you dig into them.

"The Intentional Spinner" was another book that looked interesting, but didn't seem to have quite ENOUGH information about spinning art yarns for me.

So...is "Get Spun" any good?  If you didn't like that one, what book do you like?  Since I'm already somewhat competent with the spindle and wheel, I don't really need a super basic book, and I already own my wheel so I don't need a book that spends a lot of time comparing wheels.

Thanks!!
60  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Can you really set the twist on the spool? on: June 11, 2010 02:09:25 PM
I've heard folks mention that they sometimes set the twist on their yarn while it's still on the spool. Does this really work well?  I'm a little concerned about how long it might take to dry, and wouldn't want the center to go mildewy or anything.  If it makes a difference, I have a Fricke wheel which I think uses the same spools as Majacraft wheels -- the spools are plastic and there are holes along the whole body of the spool.  Anyone use this method?

(If anyone's curious as to why I might want to set twist on the spool, here's the story of this yarn -- skip it if you like.  Normally I enjoy the process of skeining the yarn and setting the twist, but my current work in progress has been a struggle all the way.  I skeined it on my yarn swift with the plan to use my ball winder to make a center-pull ball so I could ply it on itself.  Ball winder didn't work, the skein got goofy, and my yarn was an overspun mess.  I almost threw the whole corkscrewy mess away, but then I did manage to spin it in reverse to remove the extra twist, and it's now back on the spool.  I'm feeling leery of skeining it again, and I just want to be done with it before I screw it up again.)
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