Monday, July 25, 2011

Tired hands

This weekend a combination of taking Friday off, heat indices that topped out at 125, and Netflix informing me that both Xena and Thirtysomething were available to watch on streaming meant that I stayed home and watched a crapload of tv and got a LOT of crafting done.

First up, the thread runner! I love that moment when you finally have the pattern memorized and can put the (terrible) instructions away. I have reached that point.

A perfect square! Five rows down, eight to go.
Next up, the sock! I persevered through the scary heel instructions.

Heel flap: done!
Turned heel: done!

Back on to three needles: done!
And finally, I finished the tencel weaving project! Well ... I finished weaving it. There are still some things that need to be done.

My hemstitching is always WAY better at the end of a project than at the beginning.
Cutting a project off the loom is always sort of heart stopping. This photo is upside down...
Here's the back side.
Here we are getting ready to trim the fringe so it's even.
Buh-bye, castoff fringe.
Before I wash and press it, I need to twist the fringe. This process will likely take days. That's a couple of hours of effort right there.

Monday, July 18, 2011


It's so frustrating. I wonder if I'll ever be able to complete a weaving project without any hitches whatsoever. This many years in, I'm guessing the answer is no.

I had planned to wind the chenille warp onto the cabin loom this weekend, and maybe even get it threaded and ready for weaving.  Instead, I discovered this:

That red thread is supposed to keep the end loop in place, but it's a total mess that I can't make heads or tails of. Stupid chenille.
Tech support was busy trying to deal with a possible Flying Squirrel Situation in the attic, so I had a couple of choices: try to figure it out on my own, face the possibility of warping front to back, WHICH I HATE, or giving up and going back to my extremely enticing book. Option 3 it was.

Maybe two weeks away will give me the courage to look at it again.

Meantime, I'm making serious headway on the thread runner.

Once I figured out the basics I was able to ignore the terrible instructions for the most part. It's moving much more quickly. Pretty, yes?
And I also finished the cuff of my sock!

I'm just terribly pleased with myself.
You would be too. No mistakes!!
And then I moved on to the very scary proposition of transition to the heel flap. This involved moving half the stitches to a holding needle, after knitting a few of them, and then the very first row of the heel involved a make 1 at the beginning and end and two cable areas. So I went from 37 to 39 stitches. Very anxiety producing, let me tell you. But I did it! Now I just need to remember that every other row, where it says to knit I have to purl, and vice versa. For 32 rows.

Five rows done.
This is the heel flap chart!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

It feels good ... have projects going in all my crafty areas.

First up, the cable sock is coming along. Now that I have three or four (or maybe five) projects going at once, I'm only committing to one row a day on the sock. That'll get me where I'm going, just not at a fast pace, which is fine. I realized I forgot my cable needle this weekend, but following the advice of The Husband (who taught me to knit way back when), I used a small steel crochet hook instead, and it worked fine, with only a smidgen of angst thrown in.

The pooling isn't quite so obvious in person, I don't think. This thing feels great, even in 70% humidity.
I'm also making good progress on my thread runner, despite some truly awful instructions. I emailed Crochet World about them last week and received a reply that my concerns had been sent to the "appropriate department."  Mm hm. 

Each motif is taking me about an hour. So far I've managed about one a day, but I doubt I can keep up that pace.
And I bought starch for the first time in my life! Yikes. I'll test it out on the pineapple when I finish the edging (which is boring, which is why I'm still not done).
And finally, I'm weaving the tencel project! My diligence in making sure it was correctly threaded has paid off. It's weaving up great. I love this pattern so much.

The first repeat. It's hard to get good lighting.
A better shot of the pattern. It looks so much more complicated than it is.
This is dark but gives a better idea of the colors.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Hot hot heat

I had grand plans for the holiday weekend. I was going to work on my (new) sock, start another thread project, and warp the cabin loom for the chenille project. I did two of those things, but it was hella hot and humid in West Virginia this weekend and we don't have AC out there, so I spent my time knitting and crocheting until it was time for beer or gin and tonics, and didn't go near the loom. I'll save it for another weekend. 

On to what I did manage to get done...

I decided to go ahead and buy a different, smaller yarn to try the new sock pattern on, and boy am I glad I did. What a huge difference a slightly smaller yarn makes.

The stitch definition is so much better now, even through the variegation. I'm not fighting every single stitch, and there's much better elasticity.
Not sure how obvious it is in this photo, though. Trust me, it's better.
In fact, I feel so good about the new sock that I went ahead and RIPPED OUT the old one.
I also started a new thread project, using some of the worst written directions I've ever run across. I'm planning to email a complaint to the place I got them from. I can't imagine that someone who's new to thread or motifs would be able to make sense of the directions at all. Luckily, although the directions also lacked any kind of diagram, there was a fairly clear photograph to go by.

The first motif! Believe it or not, this is done in only five rounds.
This will eventually be a table runner. I showed the first motif to The Husband, who pronounced me insane (not for the first time). 

Husband: So where are you going to put the runner when you're done?
Me: That's ... not really the point.

I don't think he really gets Thread Sickness. 

And then I braved the terrible instructions and made a second motif.

My favorite kind of motif: the join as you go variety.