Monday, February 24, 2014

Passing it on

I give credit to my mom, grandma and great grandma for planting the seeds of craftiness in me. As kids, my sisters and I would groan dramatically when mom announced we were headed for Hobby Lobby, but I guess something stuck. I think, for me, it comes down to a desire to make things instead of relying on buying them. To make something with love and thought, because I can. God blessed me with two beautiful boys, but my husband thinks I'll ruin them with too many "art-jects" (as my 4 year old calls them). But I try to encourage them to make things with their hands, whether it be a drawing, Legos, or painting.  Here is today's art-ject:
He made a beaded necklace all on his own. :)

My sister delivered a sweet baby girl last week, and I've finished up her new blanket and hat:
I'm hoping to get to drive up and see her soon, and I'll have to take some photos with a sweet newborn as a prop. 

On my needles now: I'm in the final stages of the 2 color shawl I've been working on. It's quite tedious at this stage. There are 681 stitches in each row and it goes sssssllllllooooowww, but it looks good!  I'm liking it more and more as I go. It's too big to stretch out on the needle, so sorry for the rumpled look. 

Just started today, I'm also working on a blanket to be made of mitered squares. I had a small mountain of leftover wool yarn, and this is going to be a great way to use them.  I have many colors to use so I'm hoping to do a random color block assortment that will be attractive. 

The woven wool stadium blanket is finished!  I learned so much with this project. 
Problems I identified: the knitting yarn is stretchy, and the joins are having a tendency to slip out. I ordered new yarn and didn't even check how close they matched. 
One night I decided I was going to buckle down and finish the blanket. In the poor light, I couldn't see the new batch of yarn has a more cream-like appearnce. *grumble, grumble*. 
But this sucker is warm. My sweet little dog Elsie, who faithfully sits beside me while I work on everything, got too hot under the wool blanket when I was twisting fringe, and left panting. I've pretty much decided I'll give this one away as a drawing at my first craft show. 

I have calculations done for version 2.0 of this blanket, changing sett and width, and I'll do plying of the yarn at joins. When I get a chance, I'll get to winding on that warp. The yarn is all ready to go. 

My table loom with the placemats is 99% threaded. I obviously miscounted when adding heddles to the shaft in preparation for this project, and I ran out of heddles, just 2-3 heddles shy. Come to find out, it's impossible to add heddles to this loom once it's threaded. Impossible. And I'll be darned if I'm gonna rethread!  So I called the best yarn shop in the country (Yarn Barn of Kansas), and they shipped me out some repair heddles that I can snap onto the shaft without removing it. Once those arrive, I'll be back in business!!

One more: my class loom is dressed and ready to start weaving on Thursday. I'm so excited to actually start the double weave process and see for myself how it works!  

In other news, my ever-thoughtful husband got me a large branded stamp with my company logo on it for Valentine's Day. I used it to stamp the logo on my shopping bags to take to craft shows. 
Isn't he great?  I think they're fabulous. It's a nice personalized touch. I'm working on gathering all I will need to do a show, and plan on attending several local ones this spring and summer to scope them out. I do plan on entering the Whimmydiddle in Scott City, KS in September. The pressure is on!

Have a blessed day! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cold Winter Blues

It has been quite the winter.  Last year, it was unusually warm and dry.  I guess we're making up for it this year, and Oklahomans are certainly not the only ones.  With so much cold and wet, my kids are well into cabin fever and onto destructive, drive Mom crazy stuff!  I'm hoping for warmer weather soon.

I also have been in not-so-great health lately.  The kids had RSV, and I'd been dealing with some back pain that I initially attributed to weaving and poor posture.  I've always had back trouble.  I started physical therapy and all sorts of medications.  But a few weeks ago, it moved into my chest as well and began hurting constantly.  The exact diagnosis is still to be determined (I see a surgeon on Wednesday), but they're considering a gallbladder issue and stomach ulcers.  Fantastic, huh?  It's been a whole 5 months since I've had surgery... guess it's time to do it again.  But I'm hopeful that we'll get to the bottom of it and I'll start feeling better soon.  This all has really limited my desire to be weaving and knitting, so my production has suffered.  But I do have some updates for you.

I've missed the last 2 weeks of weaving classes due to these illnesses, so today, Chris watched the kids while I went down to the weaving studio.  I spent 4 hours making some progress on dressing the loom.  As a reminder, I'm  making a doubleweave stadium cushion.  The 5/2 cotton colors are Scott City, Kansas' high school colors (where my parents live).  I was able to finish sleying the reed and am approaching halfway through the threading of the heddles.  I bet I can finish up the loom dressing this week in class (IF I get to go...), and start weaving the following class.
On my floor loom at home, I'm over halfway through weaving the stadium blanket in K-state colors.  I ran out of wool, so had to place an order for more.  It arrived today and I'm ready to get going again!

My sister is expecting her second baby this week, a girl.  She requested a baby blanket, so I started up this cute chevron blanket in cheerful, bright colors.  I think she'll like it.  If she reads this before I get it sent to her, it'll ruin the surprise!!
Also on my needles is a two-color shawl.  I'm really liking how it's turning out, too!
With any luck, I'll feel better and will finish up some projects soon.  A return to normal would be much appreciated!