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21  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Beachy Rug! on: March 15, 2008 06:06:20 AM
Hola!  I got done weaving a rug yesterday. I did it on my Ashford rigid heddle loom, plain weave, nothing fancy.  Smiley  I started out with these yarns:

They're all cotton.  The ones without ballbands (skeinbands?) are ones I dyed last week.  I wanted this rug to go in my kitchen, so I thought to make the whole thing out of cotton would be a good idea, so in case it got funky, I could just throw the whole thing in the wash.

Warping the loom...

Oooh, stripey!

When I started to weave, the texture in both the warp and weft yarns prevented me from getting the fabric as firm as I had originally intended.

But when it was all done and off the loom, I figured I would go ahead and use it as a rug anyway, even though it seemed a little thin.

Thanks for looking!

22  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Slightly Sloppy Armwarmers (Handspun goodness!) on: March 09, 2008 02:05:28 PM
Last summer, I spun up two smallish skeins of handdyed viscose.  It was my first time ever working with the viscose, and it came out really shiny and soft, but felt kind of fragile, so I wound up not doing anything with them.  Fastforward to this week, when Lufahsman dyed the most beautiful viscose roving on the face of the planet.  I spun up about 4 ounces of it and it's so fantastic I could almost cry (pics of it are posted in my Flickr and in the last Fiber Friday down in the Spinning section).  However, since I still hadn't ever knit or woven with any of the first skeins of viscose yarn I spun from last summer, I decided to go ahead and knit something out of one of the skeins so I could get an idea of how well the yarn holds up.

A few days later, and I've got these:

I'm calling them my slightly sloppy armwarmers since I knit them kind of loose and floppy (intentionally - all of the other wristwarmers I've knit have been fitted).  The viscose has a great drape to it, so it seemed suited for something like this.  Here's a close up, so you can see how shiny this is:

The yarn held up way better than I thought it was going to.  There were times when I thought that surely the fibers would drift apart, but no, they were all, "What were you worried about?  We're stronger than you think we are!"  So, yay for viscose!

I used just about every inch possible of this yarn.  Here's what I had left over - this is the excess yarn I had after I weaved in all the ends.

I think there's a total of about 5 inches there.  At most.  That was pretty nerve-wracking.

Thanks for looking!
23  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Today I wove a rug! on: March 01, 2008 04:47:24 PM
I'm really trying to stashbust this year, so today I found some yarn that I was pretty meh on individually (due to color and texture) and combined them to make a nice, kind of sedate rug.  It turned out a little long - 55" x 28".  I got kind of carried away with the length of the warp, I think.

Here's some pictures of the process.

The warp, using the oddly colored yarn (it's kind of obnoxious, but also kind of dull - it looked worse in real life than in the photos):

In the middle of weaving:

And finally, the FO:

I like the way that from far away, the rug just looks like it's white and gray, with bizarre colorful fringe at the ends.  However, when you get close up to it, you can see all of the happy flecks of color that's in it.

Anyway, nothing really fancy with this one, but I'm pretty sure the yarn and weave is sturdy enough to put up with being used as a rug, so yay for a functional object!
24  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / No more cold hands! on: February 29, 2008 01:03:42 PM
Trader Joe's has recently started selling quart size containers of Ben and Jerry's for really cheap, which is awesome.  We bought some, but had a duh moment when we realized that our B&J pint cozy wouldn't fit.  So, today, I knit up some quart cozies for our ice cream so we don't freeze our hands while we're eating.

I used size 10.5 DPNs and Cast on 30 sts, knitting in a K1, P1 ribbing.  I used up some yarn that I've had hanging around for a while.  The white is a rough, kind of lanolin-y wool, and the multi-color yarn is just some leftover handspun bits (I knit them holding 2 strands together).  I knit the ribbing for a little over 4" and then bound off in pattern.  Mmm, ice cream...
25  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Little Red Boat in the Big Black Sea (FO #2! Plus 2 bonus quilts!) on: February 21, 2008 12:34:11 PM
Hey, I got another quilt done!  Hooray!  Again, it's another small wallhanging, about 21" x 27".  I'm calling it Little Red Boat in the Big Black Sea, for reasons that will soon become apparent.  Smiley

The fabric is all cotton that I dyed.  I finished the top in late spring of 2005, and was one of, if not the last, quilting things I did before The Great Hiatus.  It was the first time I did anything in this style before (most of my stuff before this was largely geometric using bright, bright colors, typically orange and blue).  Anyway, if I get back to piecing together quilts, this is more along the lines of things I'd like to do.

Here's a detail shot, and one of the back:

The back is kind of messy, and there's a fold in some of the backing fabric where my basting went wrong, but I tacked it down and I think it's okay now.  Besides, it's a wallhanging, so no big deal.

The swirls in the sky are stitched using 4 different colors of thread, including a metallic silver (which really sucked to use, so there's only a few swirls of it).  After it was quilted and bound, I went ahead and added the beads in the centers of the swirls to make the stars.  Sewing on the beads was kind of a pain to do, too.  Tongue

I learned a lot doing this quilt, which is cool.  Specifically, I'm not too crazy about how tripped out the sky looks.  In retrospect, I would have used black and dark gray thread instead of the lighter grays and metallic I used.  However, I didn't have any dark gray on hand, and I'm trying to use up the supplies I have before buying new ones.  I actually dyed the same gradation of grays in silk, with the thought of maybe replicating this quilt in silk at some point.

Since I've finished 2 wallhangings, and have limited space in which to hang things in my house, I've moved some stuff around.  So I took a few pictures of some of the older quilts I completed that I had hanging up.  The first is a paper-pieced version of the county courthouse where I live.  Commercial fabrics, but the pattern is my own.  Smiley

I made that in February (I think) of 2003.  The other one was made in March or April, I think, of 2005.  This one is pretty typical of a lot of the stuff I did, using the hand-dyes and going heavily on basic geometry, except it uses machine embroidery (the butterflies) and some yarn embellishment, which was kind of a new thing for me.

You'll notice the blue and orange theme.  I think for about 2 straight years, everything I did featured bright blue and orange together.  It was madness! 
26  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / First finished quilty thing in about 3 years! Yay me! :) on: February 19, 2008 02:04:10 PM
Sorry, I'm just very excited.  Smiley  I used to do a ton of quilting - I worked at a quilt shop, and had my own business selling handdyed fabrics.  I would always wind up making a ton of quilt tops, and only every finishing about a third of them.  Then I got interested in yarn and knitting and spinning, so I haven't done any quilting at all.  But now I'm sick of having 12 million unfinished projects in my life, so today marks day one of trying to get them completed.

Anyway, I had a quilt top for a wallhanging that was all pieced together.  It just needed quilted and bound.  It's a small piece, only 32" square, so I was able to get both done today.  Here's the finished quilt - I'm calling it Delirium Tremens, after the beer  Smiley :

Besides the black fabric, all of the other fabric used in this is cotton I dyed about a million years ago.  Here's a few detail shots:

And a pic so you can see what the back kind of looks like:

The back fabric is more of a darker, berry purple than in the photo.  Anyway, one quilt top down, about 12 thousand left to go!  (not really)  (maybe)  Thanks for looking!
27  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Lost Plushies! on: February 10, 2008 10:21:38 AM
I like the TV show Lost.  I'm not obsessed with it, and it's not my favorite TV show, but I almost always find it enjoyable.  So, I wound up making the following 3 plushies inspired by Lost.

There's the polar bear (I tired to put a Dharma patch on its butt, but it turned out kind of sloppy.  Oh well):

John Locke's kidney:

And my favorite, Sawyer's fish biscuit:

All of them were made out of wool.  I have ideas for some more Lost crafts, I just need to get up the motivation to do them!  Smiley
28  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Rustica shawl (pic intense!) on: February 09, 2008 02:34:03 PM
I collected these yarns together last summer with the intention of weaving a shawl.

However, due to how different the yarns were from each other, I was too scared to do anything with them... until today! 

Lufahsman helped me warp the loom... (I'm using an Ashford 32" rigid heddle loom, by the way)

Then I started weaving...

A few hours later (because some of the yarn was really chunky and huge), I was done!

It came out to be about 18 1/2" wide and 64" long.  I had the thought that it was going to be so obnoxious and insane that I probably would never wear it, seeing as how I pretty much never wear shawls anyway.  I thought I would wind up just hanging it on the wall and making wall art or something.  However, even though I don't look real enthused in this photo, I think I love it.  Smiley

There are areas where it looks pretty loose-woven in spots, but fortunately, nothing looks like it's going to fall apart or anything.  I just want to snuggle up in it and be a ball of happy.  Smiley  Thanks for looking!

29  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Hand-spun and woven kitty bed! Pics galore! on: January 21, 2008 08:47:31 AM
So, I made this bed for my kitty:

My husband and I both spin yarn, and we've accumulated a bunch of small little skeins that were too small to use for one project.  I also have a bunch of leftover bits of commercial yarn from things that I've knitted.  So, I wove two big pieces of fabric using the commercial yarn as the warp and the handspun as the weft and used up a lot of little yarn chunklets that I had:

After the fabric was made, I started cutting and sewing.  My idea was to sew a big cylinder, leave one end able to open, flip the thing inside out, smash the top onto the bottom, and then stuff.  That way I'd get a kitty bed that had nice, firm walls on it so Ellie (my kitty) could get extra snuggly in it.

Here's some pics of the construction.  I used foam to support the walls and bottom:

I cut the foam with an electric carving knife.  It was a lot easier to do that than to use scissors!

I also made a round pillow with a pocket on it.  The pillow was stuffed with a bit of polyfil to make an extra soft next, and I put some catnip into the pocket.  The pillow then got put inside the bed on top of the foam circle.  Here's the pillow before I stuffed it:

Finally, I sewed on these two wool appliques on the outside, because I thought it was cute Smiley

Ellie loves it and sleeps in it all the time now!  This type of bed was really easy to make, and you could do it with any type of shape (make a big cube and then smash it down on itself to create rectangular walls).  Here's a pic of the bottom - I didn't even put any velcro or buttons on it to keep it closed, since it didn't seem like that would be an issue:

It's nice to be able to tear everything apart in case I ever need to wash the bed or replace the stuffing or foam.  Thanks for looking!

30  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Emo Day Plushie! on: January 21, 2008 08:10:14 AM
So, I was reading this story on CNN yesterday about how some professor came up with a formula that says that January 21st is the saddest day of the year.  My husband and I were all, "Oh no!  It's Emo Day tomorrow!"  When I woke up this morning, I decided to make an Emo Day craft, so I whipped up this little plushie:

He's made from some felt I've been making the past few days that has wool, silk, sparkle, and some other weird stuff in it.  I ran his face and the little teardrop under the felter to incorporate them into the fabric without having to sew them on, but I did wind up sewing the Emo-Hair since it was a bigger piece.  Then I just handstitched the edges and stuffed with polyfil.

Hope everyone has a great Emo Day!  Smiley .... or Cry
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