I bet you saw the title of this post and was expecting to see a photo of a spiffy new loom. Well, here is the story…I ordered an SX60H Saori loom from Saori Santa Cruz. The Saori loom arrived a week or so ago and it is still waiting patiently in the box. I purchased this for my son for Christmas. I have only had a chance to sneak and inspect it. It has been really hard for me to keep it in the box! Weaving will have to wait until after Christmas. I am sure my son will love his new loom.
I made a bunch of art batts and am spinning them into a worsted/chunky weight singles yarn. The fibers in the batts are hand dyed merino, bamboo, alpaca, Wensleydale locks, firestar, mulberry silk, and Angelina. I have been spinning them on my Schacht Matchless with my bulky flyer.
I finally have the bulky flyer figured out. I have only had my Matchless for a couple of months. I ordered the bulky flyer with the wheel. I did not even have the wheel figured out before putting the bulky flyer on it. I love the Matchless. It is an awesome wheel. I can spin anything on it with ease. I did have to a bit of fiddling around with it at first. It is quite a bit different from my other wheels.
I plan on using the hand spun to make another scarf on my Flip rigid heddle loom. The cold weather is here. I am outside most of the time, so scarves (and hats!) are on the top of my list of items to make.
There is a new machine knitting website called Knit it Now. I recently attended a webinar for Design a Knit (DAK) knitting software. I was so impressed with the Webinar. I plan on signing up for all their webinars. Some of them cover topics I already know, but I know I can always learn from someone else.
The website is very easy to navigate and it up do date technology wise. I am really happy that someone has taken the time to make a site like Knit it Now. It is run by the owner of BT Yarns, Sue Jalowiec and her partner Matt. I have bought yarn from Sue before and she has always been a pleasure to work with. The person behind the website design, Matt, has done a wonderful job making the site very user friendly while integrating the latest website technology.
Knit is Now has really nice dynamic patterns for sale. The dynamic patterns can be resized to work with any type machine and yarn. They also have a learning library you can subscribe too. The learning library has tons and tons of tutorials on machine knitting. To top it all off, Knit it Now offers live webinars which cover an array of topics. You can connect to the instructor in the “live” classroom.
I could go on….but I really think you will want to check the site out for yourself. www.knititnow.com
After many distractions, I finally got my heddles threaded. I hope to have the reed sleyed and the warped tied on by this weekend.
I have already been lining up my next project. I am planning a long warp for towels which will be given away as gifts for Christmas.
Everyone hates being stuck behind a Sunday driver, but it isn’t all that bad if you are the one driving! 🙂 The weather has been really nice lately. This is the best time of the year for trail riding and driving.
I spent 5 days in Lexington, Ky to attend the World Equestrian Games. I had tickets for the driving series. The driving consists of 3 parts: dressage, marathon, and cones.
The first part of the driving series was the dressage driving. The dressage took place over two days. The judges look for a good turnout (how good everything looks) and how well the dressage test is driven.
The marathon driving was day three of the driving series. The marathon tests the stamina and fitness of the horse The marathon usually consists of 3 to 5 sections. The section E is the hazard/obstacle section. The hazard section of the marathon draws the biggest crowds.
I was lucky to find a spot in the front row at the Head of the Lake hazard. Marathon hazards include water, tight turns around trees or man-made obstacles, hills, or fences and pens. Drivers are scored on how quickly they can negotiate through the hazard. They also must find the fastest way throught the hazard. Points are deducts for too much time spent in a hazard.
The last phase of the driving is the cones. The cones is an timed obstacle course. The course must be driven with the red cone on the right and the white cone on the left. The cones are just a few centimeters wider than the wheels of the cart. Each cone has a ball balancing on the top. Points are deducted for knocking the ball off the cone.
The scores from all 3 parts of the driving series are combined to give a final result. In all three parts, scores and times are converted into “penalty points”, which are then added together. The competitor with the lowest penalty score is the winner.
For more information about the World Equestrian Games, visit www.alltechfeigames.com and www.usef.org
Here is a video of Chester Weber on the cones course.
I have been dyeing quite a bit of bamboo lately using Procion MX fiber reactive dyes. These dyes are used for plant fibers like bamboo/rayon and cotton. Since the fiber reactive dyes are a little more labor intensive than the acid dyes, I usually dye a lot of fiber at once. The dyeing is quite easy, but the rinsing can be a chore. Once I have dyed a batch of fiber with reactive dyes, I am happy to go back to dyeing with acid dyes for awhile!
Bamboo is one of my favorite fibers to use as an add-in for carded batts. The fiber is soft and silky. It adds shine and soft texture. I will be adding some to the shop soon!
I finished weaving a super quick scarf on my Flip rigid heddle. The weather has turned a bit chilly and I decided to take a break from threading my floor loom to weave a scarf.
From start (threading) to finish (tying the fringe), this scarf took about 2 hours to weave. I used Classic Yarns Cashsoft Chunky for the warp in 3 colors of purple (three 50gram balls, one in each color). The yarn was about 9 wraps per inch which made the sett at about 5. I used my new 5 dent Flip heddle which I recenlty purchased from Patty Anne’s Place.
I wanted my scarf to be 70″ long so I could fold it in half and pull the ends through to make it super warm, and keep it from falling off! I also wanted the scarf to be 6″ wide.
Here are my calculations:
9 wraps per inch divided by 2 = 4.5 (I rounded this up to 5 for a sett of 5 and used a 5 dent reed/heddle)
70″ length + 10% take up= 76
76 + loom waste of 24″ on a rigid heddle (add more if you are using a floor loom)
70+6=76 +10%= 83.6 +24 = 107.6
107.6 is the total length of each warp thread. Notice I did not add any length in my calculations for sampling. You can add to the length if you want to do some sampling.
Ok, next calculation: How many warp ends?
The woven width + take up x sett= how many ends I will need.
6″ + .6 (the 10% take up) x 5 =33
I need 33 warp ends.
How much warp yarn do I need?
Total length x # of ends
70×33=2310 divide 2310 by 36 to get yardage
2310 divided by 36 =64.16 or approximately 65 yards
I did not calculate yardage for my weft. I used various handspun yarns.
The photo above is what my warp looked like. I used 3 colors of Cashsoft.
The scarf moved along quickly. It seemed as if it was done in no time. The handspun yarns I used for the weft were mostly worsted or chunky yarns.
When I reached the end of my weaving, I cut the warp threads, removed the scarf from the loom, and tied my fringe. I tied over hand knots for the fringe. A trick I have found useful for getting the knots tight is to use a tapestry needle in the knot. I tie an overhand knot and insert a tapestry needle in the knot loop. I hold the needle up above the fell of the woven cloth as I am pulling the knot tight. After the knot is tight I remove the needle and tighten the knot a bit more. I find this makes a neater knot!
I have been working on spinning some yarn for weaving weft. The latest handspun is a blend of CVM, Wensleydale locks, merino, mulberry silk, and bamboo.