Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Tisket a Tasket, a Shawl and a Basket

I must be going through a purple phase.  When I uploaded these photos I noticed that I had a color theme going here, including the African violets I picked up at the market last week.

This shawl is the second project I've made with my Ashford Rigid Heddle loom.  I warped all the spaces in the 8-dent heddle with two skeins (about 520 yards) of TLC, an inexpensive acrylic.  Then I wove with more of the same recycled variegated acrylic and wool yarn I used in my first project.  The results are a large (22x64" excluding fringe) and drapy shawl that I took to my mom when I visited my parents over the weekend. 

I'm still practicing getting my edges even, but I think for my next project I'll bring out some of my better yarns and make myself a shawl.

I also made a second fabric basket, using the same very helpful Craftstylish tutorial I used before.  This time I coordinated the colors: green and violet, one of my favorite combinations. The straps are attached with kilt pins so I can carry it like a tote, but I think it may end up as a cat bed.  I've got lotsa cats, and they like soft sunny places to hide out and sleep.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Hard Stuff

This is my new toy, a 24 inch Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom.  RH looms are the knitter's gateway drug into weaving.  They're relatively inexpensive as looms go, and are very user friendly.  They also help one to use up the stockpiles of yarn many knitters acquire.

The Ashford comes with a very handy booklet that lets you start weaving as soon as you get it out of the box.  I warped my loom with some ancient sport weight acrylic, and I wove with a fuzzy yarn I recycled from an acrylic and wool unraveled sweater. 

The warping, which scares lots of people, was a simple process I completed in about an hour and a half:  not bad for the first time.

Then I wove this scarf in a couple of sittings. 

This is going to be really fun: I'd like to make shawls, hand towel, place mats, pillows, and table runners.  When I get tired of that, I can weave yardage and make garments. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

Quilt Smackdown!

I made these blocks yesterday as part of Debra's Quilt Smackdown, organized to make quilt tops to be donated to a veteran's service program.  Debra and others made pyramid quilts, but I got inspired by a pattern I saw in an old magazine and decided to use up some of my big stack of 5" squares.

I set out these basic nine patches made up of the 5" squares. Choosing mostly greens and blues, I decided on red stars.  I had a lot of olive greens and the stars are a rusty red, so I avoided it looking too Christmas-y.  I really love the pops of turquoise and orange.

For the star points I sewed red 2.5 inch squares to four of the patches.  You could make the points from larger squares if you like.

Sew the small square to the big square diagonally.  I have one of these sewing guides designed to let you do this without marking, which does make things go faster.

Press the small square over toward the point.  Some people would clip away the layers under the small square, but I don't bother.

Voila!  A simple star block.  Eight down, only twelve more to go. 

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...