Craft goals for 2014

  1. Finish the Shelter sweater
  2. Quilt, bind, and label the big Follow your dreams quilt
  3. Sew knit clothing – go into more detail with that one.
  4. Couture dress to be finished
  5. Do old dress muslin
  6. Baby quilt or two
  7. Weave more dishcloths and handtowels. Weave regularly.
    1. After the kitchen, do some stuff for the bathroom .
  8. Knit brother sweater
  9. Knit handspun sweater
  10. Spinning study maintenance
  11. Spinning more fall colors to go with orange yarn
  12. Knit a batch of hats, for me and to sell.

Doesn’t include scrapbooking, but that’s not a fiber craft. Maintenance there will be satisfactory.

Hmm, no embroidery included. I think that means that this year it will continue to take a back seat.

Staycation

Well, it finally happened…the government shut down, and since I work for the government, I am now not working. It’s an unplanned, unpaid staycation. I’ve always dreamed of a staycation – though not one that was unpaid – but never had the leave time to take it without giving up something else. So there has been a positive aspect to it. What? Well, I have enjoyed some time off, with lots of reading and relaxing. And, well, finally getting the chance to confirm what I’ve always suspected: I wouldn’t be able to enjoy unending leisure time for much more than a week. I’m starting to get busy.

We’re starting the second week of this shut down, and I am finally establishing a bit more of a routine and working out how to achieve my goals, which is to use this time properly. So I have been getting busy. I’ve been slow to do this, I think, for two reasons: one, I did want some rest; and two, not having any sense of how long this thing is going to last makes it hard to plan my activities. To a certain extent, I have to plan day to day, while still balancing my enjoyment of time alone with the need for some social interaction. I may be an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also enjoy people.

Last week, I mostly rested and relaxed, with intervals of doing chores like cleaning and cooking. This week I have planned a bit more. I have a list of things I would like to get done. I want to:

  • do a good bit of scrapbooking
  • make a baby quilt for a baby shower at the end of October (piecing all done, quilt sandwiched and ready to go)
  • maybe work on purple leftovers quilt? or quilt on the big quilt that is ready to be quilted?
  • work on the couture dress
  • set up my loom for weaving with the warp that is currently wound
  • catch up on my spinning study
  • as well as spin some on the brown Romney
  • install the SSD in my old laptop, and get Linux Ubuntu installed
  • kill weeds, then pull weeds
  • scan a lot of old paperwork so I can get rid of it and/or organize it
  • get rid of some furniture and other items at the thrift store or via Craislist and/or Freecycle

And of course, enjoy myself with reading a lot. And maintaining my regular schedule of eating right, exercising regularly, Bible study, and reaching out to some friends for visits, especially some that I haven’t seen in a while.

I have a feeling I won’t get it all done, but I’ll give it my best try.

Project list, aka, ideas

I’ve got a lot of fiber projects going, and I suddenly realized that I am feeling slightly overwhelmed, so I need to re-establish my list so that I can see the priorities. So…

Items in progress

  1. Summerweight sweater, very close to being finished – take this to work
  2. Socks #29, just started, can be done leisurely, as they are not a high priority
  3. Pine & Ivy shawl, just need to plug along on it a little at a time
  4. Shelter sweater, need to focus a bit on numbers so that I can finish sleeves and put it together – take this to work
  5. Baby quilt, needed for end of October as baby gift
  6. Baby sweater, another kimono, to use up some yarn and have a gift ready
  7. Bedsize quilt, called Forgotten dreams, I think, which is ready to be quilted and then gifted. However, not a TOP priority
  8. Do next row on French braid quilt, which is meant eventually for my own twin bed.
  9. Purple leftovers quilt, which needs to be measure out a bit more precisely
  10. Blocking and/or washing of several knitted and handspun projects
  11. Need some knitted flowers to put on a baby hat for selling at Christmas craft fair
  12. Couture dress
  13. Dragged down old princess-seams dress
  14. Shorts in knit fabric
  15. Spinning Romney fleece, almost done
  16. Handspinning sampler project: finish Cheviot and move on to October sample
  17. Wool felt applique wall hanging

Bolded items are taking top priority.

Things I want to do that I haven’t really started yet

  1. Handweaving some more dishcloths, then some dishtowels: a warp wound but not on the loom
  2. Weaving a lacy stole on rigid heddle with some of my handspun, multiple skeins (gray wool, purple/gray bamboo/silk, beige camel/silk) – do a sample and/or get input from guild members
  3. Inkle loom weaving of shoe laces? playing with patterns, really
  4. Gray sweater with handspun
  5. Brown sweater with the Romney handspun mentioned above
  6. Purple Cascade yarn for cowl; hat from leftovers, I hope
  7. Leftover Shelter for hat? scarf?
  8. Creatively Dyed yarn for sweater
  9. Leicester longwool yarn for knitted stole
  10. Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn for orange raglan cardigan (use the Knitter’s handy book of top-down sweaters)
  11. Enough heavy laceweight or light fingering weight yarn for four or more shawls
  12. Another large quilt. I enjoyed the last one I made, and small quilts, though nice in the visual sense, are less useful.
  13. Sewing some knit shirts, skirts, and shorts. Maybe pants? New Craftsy class that I just bought!
  14. I want to sew some skirts and dresses, especially re-creating some of my favored clothes that are showing signs of wear.

    Other things demanding my attention

  1. Money needed for Thanksgiving travel
  2. Visit friend travel
  3. Roof replacement
  4. Antenna for tv
  5. Scrapbook work
  6. Organizing for 16th birthday celebration
  7. Electrician work
  8. Underclothing purchase
  9. Contact teenager re: mowing and tree-cutting
  10. Air conditioner maintenance

Project planning mind dump

I have too many ideas…

  • Dishcloths for weaving on floor loom — high priority as I would like to do some for Xmas gifts
  • Cowl for me — linen stitch?
  • Hat for Mom — or maybe a headband? Make sure it is super soft!!!
  • Hat for me! — I want ear flaps
  • grey handspun sweater — shaping my ideas
  • I would say brown handspun sweater, but it is till being spun
  • Charity knitting: preemie hats — need to check my numbers
  • Inkle bands with leftover sock yarn? — I need some time to focus on the new patterns in the book
  • Rigid heddle scarves
  • Pinwheel quilt — idea testing stage
  • Felted wool applique quilt — in process
  • Christmas stockings? Request from a family that I am willing to consider (for pay!), but it needs some idea shaping
  • Stole with combination of lace and cables; I can’t seem to get a creamy white out of my head, even though I’m really not a white clothing person.
  • Baby sweater or two, or maybe booties? Hats?
  • Finish off friend’s quilt (for pay!)

Okay, I think that is all that has been floating around in my head. When I look at it, I can prioritize.

Crafts progress 2011 to 2012

I’ve suddenly realized that I haven’t done any kind of real craft update on the blog for a while, other than as part of the roundup. I think it’s time to consider what I’ve done in the past year.

Also, I DID have some goals — I’ll have to go find them. I know I didn’t achieve some of them, so it’s time to re-evaluate for next year.

Knitting projects completed in 2011

  • Socks #22 (gift for Mom)
  • Baby kimono #3 (finished and gifted)
  • Wool Peddler’s shawl
  • baby kimono #2 (finished and gifted)
  • Socks #21 (wearing and in the dirty clothes)
  • Chemo hat for a girl at church (finished and gifted, although I’m not sure she likes it)
  • Socks #19 (wearing and in the dirty clothes)
  • Candleflames shawl
  • Bamboo skirt (I’m still weaving in the ends and have yet to line it, but all the knitting is done)
  • Now it’s to be felted (a piece of knitted fabric that I hope to use in a bag)
  • Always on hand baby sweater (finished and gifted)
  • Socks #18 (wearing and in the dirty clothes)
  • Baby blanket (2X) for charity (finished and gifted)

Huh, that’s thirteen knitting projects finished in 2011; I find that rather gratifying.

Items still in progress: Summerweight sweater, boiled wool jacket, Shelter sweater, Socks #20, Pine and Ivy shawl, and Socks #23. Already finished knitting Baby kimono #4 in stockinette version, just need to sew together and block.

Knitting goals? Finish sweaters in progress; knit sweater out of gray handspun; do more shawls, a cowl, a hat, and plenty of socks. Figure out one or two of Cat Bordhi’s new sock structures so that I can adapt them. Right now I’m just following a pattern, and I want a certain amount of mental independence from that for socks.

Weaving: did some inkle loom weaving and messed with the shawl on the loom, but actually did very little. I want to focus on this more.

Weaving goals? Do two projects on the big loom. I don’t care if they are new or old, just DO TWO. Maybe take a class?

Quilting: finished the denim quilt, but did little at home. Did work on the feathered star wall hanging, but I would like to FINISH it. Also worked on French braid quilt a bit.

Quilting goals? Do some machine quilting on finished sampler top. Also finish the feathered star. Finish French braid top. Get to the quilting of it if I can. Figure out a new hand project to do at work. (I’m thinking of wool felt applique, which will be a nice blend of quilting and embroidery.) Maybe take a class?

Spinning: worked on some stuff off and on, but nothing with much consistency. Did finish the bamboo/silk blend earlier in the year.

Spinning goals? Just keep working on something as steadily as possible. Right now it is the camel/sick blend. Eventual goal is to get to that lovely brown roving for a sweater.

Cross-stitch/Embroidery: Finished Dragon and castle cross-stitch of many years. Started Celtic cross blackwork embroidery.

Embroidery goals? Just work on the blackwork project. I have no specific goals with this, even though I may choose to play with Take a stitch Tuesday. But that will be PLAY, not commitment.

Sewing: messed around with some stuff, but didn’t really do any sewing.

Sewing goals? Finish two garments. Probably a skirt and a dress.

felted fabric

I’ve had an idea.

I found that if I knitted the Harrisville yarn that I had used for weaving, then felted it, it made very nice felted fabric. And it could be washed to the point where it would not shrink any more. And I like felted fabric, but wasn’t feeling inspired by the thought of non-knitted felting (at least not now, maybe one day).

So what do I want to do with it? I want to make some cardigan with the felted fabric. This is basically the same thing as the boiled wool jackets that I have already, and I love them. I wear them a LOT in the winter. I have one in green and one in blue (indigo-dyed from a cream white, but it was getting so many stains, it needed to be dyed so I could keep using it without looking icky).

So I am going to knit a whole lot of stockinette and then throw it into the washer and dryer — multiple times — to create some lovely fabric that will then be cut up and sewn.

Here’s the experiment where I checked to see if it would work: Felted fabric from knitting It made a nice, dense fabric, not too thick, that will work nicely, I think. There are still decisions to make — edging? handsew? — but I’m looking forward to having a yellow one. I just hope I have enough yarn! It’s leftovers.

Weaving project from the snow

I also call it the guild leftovers project. The wool warp came from a guild sale about two years ago. The alpaca weft came from another guild sale about a year ago. I finally did something with them.

green warpThe warp was from four different shades of green, warped in a consistent order of darkest to lightest. It was a nice, thin laceweight. But because it was leftovers, I only had one small amount of each color, so I warped it long and thin. Had I thought through the amount consequences, I probably would have done something shorter and wider, but — oh, well. The alpaca weft was a lovely tweed green that blended nicely with the greens in the warp. (I like green.) Alpaca green weft

So, next comes the result, which is a long, narrow piece of cloth that I’m not quite sure what to do with. The original warp was about nine yards long. What’s produced is more like 8 yards long, but only six inches wide. Challenging to do anything with. I’m thinking a skirt, but I’m not quite sure there is enough material. I might be able to make some complementary fabric to go with it and use as inserts and/or a waistband. I still have plenty of the alpaca, and some of the original wool leftovers as well. I attempted last weekend to do a waistband on the inkle loom, but that was a signal failure, due to the extreme stickiness of the wool. I’m frustrated enough with that that I am inclined to cut it off and call it a learning experience. Though, I’m not exactly sure how to make wool on an inkle loom work. I’ll have to ask the ladies in the guild if they have any experience with laceweight wool on an inkle loom — does it work at all?

But anyway, I thought I’d show you the finished product. It was a lovely quiet project to work on during the snowbound week in February. I had already started it before that week, but most of the weaving was done during those quiet days at home, and I very much enjoyed it. I’m already setting up the next project and planning something else in my head.

Finished green warp

The long warp in all its glory.

Ignore the mess behind it, please.

Summary of work

Summary of work that was finished back in October 2009. Why I hadn’t yet published this????

Have I finished anything? Well, actually yes!

  1. Weaving dishtowels — I finished two and got the warp off. My beginning status definitely showed clearly.
  2. Spinning silk — Finished! Looks good.

    Silk spinning finally done.

    Silk spinning finally done.

  3. Domovoi shawl — Done with that too!!!

    Domovoi shawl done and blocked

    Domovoi shawl done and blocked

  4. Socks — Having regained stitch covers, I have worked on several socks since then.
  5. Lochinvar sweater — still hibernating until I pick up the arms
  6. Top-down sweater — done!
  7. Scarf — Frogged and still contemplating. this one is turning out to be a problem. But I think I may have finally have the solution: double knitting. Now to find instructions.
  8. Baby kimono — Done!
  9. Dragon crossstitch — All stitching done, lots of backstitch done, but still need to work on the dragon backstitch.
  10. Quilting of denim quilt, done by hand, moving along slow but steady
  11. Sampler quilt for machine quilting — I need to baste it
  12. Crazy quilt — still piecing
  13. French braid quilt for bedroom — still piecing
  14. Bag for DNiece1 — holding
  15. Nightshirt for learning about sewing with knits — did one successfully, now I need to do some unsewing on the second one
  16. Muslin for dress in style I really like — still undone
  17. Baby hat, using up leftovers — did two
  18. Weaving done after February class.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I need to take a look around and see what I’ve done since then.

Work continues

I haven’t been very talkative this summer so I thought I’d share a little of what I’ve been doing.

Crafts-wise, I am continuing to do little knitting projects (baby sweater, another pair of socks), spin a little alpaca, plug away at my handquilting and cross-stitch projects, and warp the loom for the next project (I finished the sampler). I just finished that last night, and boy! was that an adventure. Frustration!

Why? Well, of course, being the ambitious person I am, I decided that for me, the next good sampler was simply some dishcloths, trying out different twill patterns, using finer cottolin thread. In and of itself, that wasn’t really difficult (although I did have an annoying moment winding the warp, when I realized I had wound precisely half the warp and had to go back and wind again). Sleying the reed took comparatively little time, since I had decided on a fairly plain pattern of wide 5″ white with 1″ blue stripes, but threading the heddles — whew! — that took a while.

Then yesterday, I finished that little bit of threading that was left and finally started to beam the warp. I was trying the front to back method, since I had done the back to front method before. Conclusion: either I made some nasty mistakes or the front to back method and I do NOT get along. I am quite sure I lost some warp length in the process of getting it to hold taut. Next time, I wonder if it would work better if I had a second pair of hands to help? I’ll certainly ask about that at the next guild meeting.

In the meantime, I am keeping busy with the renovation of my front bathroom. Drywall is up and the next project will be tiling the shower. Today I must mud the joints for the second time and also try to get the silicone around the edges of the inset shelving for the shower wall so that it is ready for tiling on Saturday. Plus, today, I should be receiving the prefab shed which is going up in my backyard soon. Which reminds me, I think I need to call my HOA to nag about trimming the trees next door.

It’s home improvement year.

Weaving project begins


Weaving project #2 (1)

Originally uploaded by bibliotecaria2

Starting the next weaving project, I’m warping the loom here. Lots of playing around with ideas before I settled on the basic idea of dishcloths that have a basic twill threading, so that I can play with tie-up and treadling for all kinds of different possibilities.

Of course, I made an interesting mistake of winding my warp, starting to thread the reed, and suddenly realizing I had only wound half of what I needed. I don’t know where my brain went that day, other than mentally asleep with exhaustion. (It had been a long day of home improvement work.)

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