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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Recycle silk shirt becomes silk scarf on: January 16, 2013 11:38:21 AM

Recycle Silk Shirt becomes Silk Scarf

I've had this idea to make a scarf out of a silk shirt. This is a silk shirt from the thrift store. Cost $3 The collar looks funny because I was testing my scissors on it.

I loaded up the sewing machine with black silk thread. Cost $4
Then I sewed the darts (?) closed around the bottom hem of the shirt.

I folded the bottom hem of the shirt about six inches and sew along the bottom hem making a tube.

I cut the tube away from the shirt. I make a couple more tubes out of the remaining cloth.

Tube on the left is inside out. Tube on the right is right side out.

To connect the tubes I slide a right side out tube into an inside out tube. Then I square off the end with the scissors.

I join the tubes together by sewing around the inside of the two tubes.

Turn the long tube right side out, tuck in an inch at the end and sew the end closed.

The scarf turned out to be a little over six feet long. I included the shirt pocket in the design.

That's the scarf experiment. I like my new sewing machine. I found that I had to adjust the tension on the bobbin holder thingie. Then I had to adjust tension on the machine to almost Zero or the thread keeps breaking. And the needle threading device does not like the silk thread. I have to thread manually. Yeah, I know how to do that. That's what the glasses are for.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Sacramento Calif
2  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Fast Sprang Frame on: August 05, 2012 11:31:33 PM

Continuing the Twisted Adventure

Testing an idea for a fast sprang frame.

Left: At the 99 cent store I bought a plastic basket (13.5 inch x 11.5 inch x 3.5 inch) , a bag of square dowels, and a ball of acrylic yarn.

Center: I tied the dowels to the basket and wrapped yarn around with figure 8 wrap. The string on the left will the "safety string."

Right: Sprang. Test complete. Cost of materials $3

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
3  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Sprang Bag With Handles on: March 04, 2012 10:19:27 AM

My latest cardboard sprang frame has holes punched on the side so I can adjust the size by moving the sheets of cardstock. A piece of string holds the position and rubber bands help prevent it from flopping. This is adjusted about 13 inch long.

Here is the frame with a warp on it. The red yarn on the bottom helps hold the yarns in position.


Here the sprang completely covers one side of the frame. The frame was adjusted to about 12 inch. See the red cord that holds the yarn position from the beginning.


This is the other side where the two sprang rows are coming together. With about 7 inch to go, I divide the sprang into two columns which will form the handles.


As the sprang gets closer and tighter it is difficult to get my fingers in the sprang so I used a chopstick to work the yarns. I put a little groove in it and tapered the point. (Shout out to Umeko Buffet, Chinese & Japanese Food) http://www.umekobuffet.com/

I used red yarn so you can see how I sewed up the sides. I also used yarn to close the sprang at the bottom and at the top of the handles.

The bag is big enough to hold a water bottle. The yarn ends will be tied off and cut. I was testing an idea for a little bag that had it's own handles that could be made on a the cardboard frame. And no cutting!

My recent sprang activity was inspired by the release of Carol James' book:
"Sprang Unsprung: An Illustrated Guide to Interlinking, Interlacing and Intertwining." http://sashweaver.com/store.html

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Sacramento, CA
4  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Little Green Sprang Bag on: January 06, 2012 09:54:18 PM

Another little sprang bag. This is done with cotton crochet yarn. 60 threads are being worked on this bag. The thick white and blue strings are used as spacers for the rows.

As the space gets tight I use this afghan crochet hook to work the yarn. This hook is longer than the average crochet hook and is very useful for this project.

The middle row gets a long thread to hold the shape of the bottom, then the sides are sewn up and knots are tied. bag is turned inside out to hide the knots. Double loops of single yarns are used to close the bag, making a less bulky top hem than a three strand braid would have.

There is five rows with Z twist, switch to 4 rows S twist, switch to 4 rows Z twist, close up the middle. I will definitely work this yarn again. These small bags will be handy for practicing different patterns.

Most of my sprang work right now is done on my way to work. I ride public transit (bus and train) so projects have to be small and portable. So the little cardboard frame works well. My sprang work really took off after getting a copy of Carol James "Sprang Unsprung"

You can read more about sprang at my blog. Search for Franco's Fiber Adventure.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Sacramento, Calif.
5  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Blue Sprang Bag on: January 01, 2012 06:14:21 PM

Starting a small sprang bag. Cotton yarn (Sugar and Creme) wound around cardboard while on the light rail train during my commute.

I twined the yarn at top and bottom to keep the yarns in order when I move the warp. The pencil helps hold up off the cardboard while the twining is done.

Using yarn at top and bottom of the piece to hold it in place. The pencil will help hold the layers separate. Safety strings will help keep the rows protected and will help maintain spacing of each row.

Working the sprang on the bus. The interlinking works on top and bottom rows creating the sprang. My right hand would fit that the group of yarns as I work.

Working more and more rows. It's getting harder to work in the area that is getting smaller in the middle. I need to find my crochet hook to work on this. The erasers on the ends of the pencil help keep the pencil from sliding out during the work. The small bundles of blue yarn (butterfly) near the bottom will be used later to sew up the sides of the bag.

As the two sides of the sprang start to meet in the middle, it is difficult to get the fingers in there to interlink the piece. Can't find the crochet hook so I'm going to link a couple more rows with the pencil. I can work the pencil like it's a finger. That little white string knotted on the right edge is how I mark the edge thread to help me keep my edges in order. After I'm done it will be untied and removed. Easier than using a bead.

Here I am pulling the safety cord through the sprang. I'm going to use two cords each time, one for the top row and one for the bottom row. This may seem compulsive but I use the safety cords to regulate the spacing of the rows so they come out even. I am using cords for four rows on top and four rows on the bottom. After each row I will pull a cord from top and bottom and move it to the middle row. I also left a safety cord near the top and bottom rows to help hold the shape near the twined edges. The twining will come out when I finish this bag.

This is about as far as I can go with the pencil. I think I'll pull a couple of safety cords through it then go find the crochet hook to loop the bottom and finish it. Then find a needlepoint needle to use the extra long edge cords to sew up the sides. This is the first time that I get a real appreciation for the sprang process that builds two rows each time I go across!

Before I found my crochet hook, I found a little bundle of tools for sale at the Goodwill Thrift Store. Some crochet hooks, an afghan hook (long hook), some regular and double point knitting needles. All for 4 dollars and the money goes to charity.
The afghan hook is the right size so I used it to hook the middle of the sprang. This will be the bottom of the bag. It was recommended that I should run a string through the middle to make it a non-stretch bottom, but I want to try hooking the middle row. I was surprised to see how the piece shortened. Then I removed the safety strings. Sorry about bad color, flash did not go off on this picture.

Using the extra long edge cords I crocheted up the sides. Then I braided a drawstring and threaded it through the top. Then I saw how the bottom stretched out. Not expected.

Also not expected is how the bag does not fully enclose a bar of soap.
Okay, so I'll do the next one longer, narrower and make the bottom less stretchy.

Inspired by the new book "Sprang Unsprung" by Carol James

I found the book to be very helpful during this phase of my fiber adventure.
You can see more at my blog which is called Franco's Fiber Adventure.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
6  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Potholder loom adventure on: May 02, 2011 06:58:54 PM
A sort of blog about my potholder loom adventure.

Have a good day!
7  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Twined weft bag on: November 16, 2010 07:50:00 PM

Twining has been on my fiber adventure list so I moved it to the top. This is the first part of a twined bag I am making. Twining is an old craft that can create fabric without a loom. Twining is usually started by stringing a line around two poles. I wrapped a string around some cardboard that is 8 1/2 by 11 inch. This makes it portable enough to carry. Then I attached some warp threads down with a larkshead knot or loop.

The first few rows I misread the directions and I twined around each warp with white yarn. Then I realized I was supposed to twine around warp pairs, so I started with the yellow yarn. You can see how the yarn is twining around the warp pairs in this picture. I twine all the way around both sides of the board so I will have a bag when I am done. The yarn is labeled Rug Crafter's Rug Yarn, 100% acrylic and I bought it cheap at the thrift store for this kind of project.

And here is another bag that I have started.

You can see more about the bag on my blog

Have a good day!
Franco Rios

8  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / $2 Thrift Store Loom on: September 20, 2010 10:05:14 PM

$2 Thrift Store Loom-part 1

Back to the fiber adventure. Above is a needlepoint stitching kit I bought for $2.00. It has a mesh background with a printed pattern to follow that is tacked to a wooden frame measuring about 10 inch by 8 inch on the outside. It includes over a dozen hanks of embroidery floss. I bought it to make a loom out of it.

Here is the wooden frame. I attached pencils with clear plastic tape to raise the warp and give me some room for tension adjustment. If the tension gets too tight, I'll remove a pencil to give some slack.

Here is the frame with a continuous warp of #10 cotton crochet thread, about 100 ends. I tried to weave some floss with a crosstitch needle. I quickly realized the warp was too close and many of the warps were crossed over each other.

The warp is wrapped around the front and back of the frame. I followed the warp around and around the loom making sure all the warps do not cross over the one next to it. Once it was straightened out, I set the cross using pencils and safety strings. The knitting needle was helpful in picking up threads.

Once the crossed warps are straightened out, I need ot spread out the warps. So I put three rows of twining on the warps. This spread the warps very well. You can also see the string heddle on a pencil.

In this picture you can see I am using the knitting needle to open the shed to make room for the ruler I am using for a shed stick. When I turn the shed stick it opens the shed (spread upper/lower warp apart) so I can push the shuttle stick, which is the pencil with the red floss wrapped around it.

Here you can see the pocket comb I am using as a beater to push the warp into place. Right now I'm getting a very uneven spread of weft, too far apart then very close. Very gauzy in spots so I now have one way of doing gauze which is on my list. I am thinking I should use double floss to fill in the weaving more.

Have a good day!

9  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Structo loom on: August 18, 2010 08:31:00 PM

This is a Structo Artcraft Loom I bought yesterday on Craigslist.

I've heard about these and now I have one. Now I have to find out how to weave on it.

It has the number 600-15660 written on it.

Another adventure.

I think I am missing handles for the beams. It's about 20 inch wide inside the harnesses.

Now I can do 4 harness weaving.

Just had to share.
Have a good day!
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Info wanted on chullos, the earflap hat of the Andes on: July 30, 2010 10:03:48 PM
History of "chullos" - need clues

I was looking in the archive for references to chullos, the earflap knit hat of the
Andes. Great looking hats!

Does anyone have any experience with knitting these items? I saw a reference to
using bicycle spokes for needles. I'm looking for clues to knitting these in
tradtional patterns.

Right now, all I know is stockinette stitch, but I'm willing to learn because
the traditional patterns are awesome! I can find examples online in pictures and
will learn to convert to patterns.

Any clues would be appreciated.
Have a good day!
Franco Rios
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