Thursday, October 29, 2009

A yarn to weave

No, I am not going to weave a story, rather I will tell you about yarns that we can weave with on our handheld looms. Some of the yarns work so much better than others and I have tried many of the ones we carry in the shop. There are some such as the Kertzer/Shepherds 100% wool that weaves very easily and felts so well too. We have at least fifty different colors from which to choose. I have used it for scarves and purses and plan to do an afghan in the near future.
The purse you see pictured here is made from this wool. This had started out as the "sheep" but I had become discouraged with it and converted it into this purse. Much better use of the squares. Love the colors in it.

The "life style" yarn is a merino superwash wool made in Germany. It would be great for baby afghans and scarves but will not felt. The colors are so pretty and we have quite a few of them. You would probably want to double it for making a scarf. It has one hundred seventy yards so you could get about twenty-one four by four inch pieces from it or fifteen of the four by six inch pieces.
This just came in recently and I have not used it yet but have used other of our merino superwash and liked it.

Another one that I have used and enjoyed working with is the New England Shetland yarn. The skein has two-hundred seventeen yards and is found to felt well. The colors are fibrant and deep and would work well in purses I double it also to weave.

The Paint Box is similar yarn but is multi-colored and gives some varied colored pieces from the same ball. It has approximately one hundred yards and also felts well. If the yarn feels a little harsh to you, soak the finished item over night in white vinegar and water, I used one to four ratio, and it does a great job. I did some Noro yarn and it soften up a great deal. Actually, if you are felting these yarns do not soften the item because the felting will soften it.

I love to weave and create using the multi-colored yarn.
The scarf lying on the basket of Ranco is an example. The yarn is found in our sock yarn collection but is so soft and fun to use. The content is wool and polyamide and can be washed and in cool water there should be no felting. After all, it is for knitting socks. There are three hundred seventy-five yards, so even when doubled you can get twenty-three pieces of four by four.

The Mochi Plus has been calling my name ever since it arrived in our shop. I have resisted it, not because it may not work but because I have too many other "yarns in the fire." Ha ha! It is sooo soft and really lovely multi-colored balls. It is machine washable, wool with nylon, and has ninety-five yards. It is bulky enough to weave single. I look forward to using it. Let me know if you are weaving with it and how you like it.

We have received some more of the four by four looms and a couple of the two by two. These are for sale though I will keep mine here in the shop for you to come in and use here for a few little pieces. I am making copies of some of the textural patterns found in old pattern books. I can not sell these but will give them to you since we not receiving the books which I have tried so hard to carry and the owner of Buxton Brooks is not coming through. Unfortunately, these I have available for you are for the four by four looms but you could incorporate them into the larger pieces. If you need help, I am here for you.

Halloween tonight, can Thanksgiving be far behind? I hope that you and your childre, or grandchildren do not get sick on the candy. Or from the flu that is around this year. Keep well and at peace with friends and family.
Love to all, Elaine

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Starting the 83rd

There was a time when I thought that anyone who was eighty-two was old, but now I see it as an accomplishment. There are so many of us and the number is growing, even our children are getting "old." The last couple of years I was teaching at Donnell in Findlay I was the oldest one on the faculty, I was late fifties. But now I do not see age as an excuse to stop teaching, that is why I enjoy teaching you to use the handheld loom. I am even tutoring a seventh grader in algebra, what a joy.

Doreen gave me a Charley Harper jigsaw puzzle for my birthday and we will have it to work on here at the shop. The cats at home make it difficult to work on puzzles there. It is one of his famous ones of birds in flight, really lovely.

Enough about me. The sheep that I had started to construct of squares to copy an entralac pattern has presented more difficulties than I wish to deal with and so I am using that brown and black fabric to make a purse, what else? A friend brought a lovely entralac purse in last evening and gave me the inspiration to do it. You will see the finished product on the next blog.

That picture of a bunch of little things might give you ideas for gifts; pin cushions in shapes of humbugs or hearts, hearts used for sachets or little purses, or small purses for coins or phones or whatever. And of course there are always scarves. I am working on one now that is great. The sock yarn needs to be doubled but weaves very well and is so soft. You will see it next week also.

I finally put straps on the purse that goes with the felted hat I did several months back. I have included them both to show you how nice they are. The strap for the bag is a leather shoe string. I purchased a couple pair from Meijers and use one that picks up the yellow in the purse but I also got some brown ones to use sometime.
If you felt the purse, you can go ahead and punch holes in it where you want the straps and string them through. I used knitting needles to punch the holes.

We went for a ride this morning before coming into the shop. We went up along 315 then over to Riverside and down to Leatherlips Park before heading back to Powell. The color is so great this year and we saw some beautiful trees. God paints these lovely murals for us and we need to thank Him and sing praises. Go forth and spread His love to all you meet. Love to all. Elaine

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October, the greatest month

Yes, I do like the Fall and the month of October the best. Maybe it is because I was born the middle of this month but I really think that the colors and smell of the month speak to me. There was even some frost on the grass this morning. And I could start to wear clothes that are favorites.

Notice that the purse I am showing has Fall colors and notice also that I even lined it. My first lined purse. I used two yarns, the wool and silk combo and a marled wool.
The Tibet yarn is a little difficult to weave because it catches on itself. I love the effect it gives and have used it for coasters. Makes great ones.
Here is an idea for Christmas presents, eight four by four pieces in pairs and felted. They make very good and pretty coasters. I included the picture of those also

I am showing you a series of five pieces that follow the way two different yarns can be woven to get different effects. In looking at them left to right: the first is totally the plain yarn; next I warped with it and then wove with the multi; the
middle one was warped twice with the plain and then finished warping and weaving with the multi; the fourth piece was warped with the multi and woven with the plain;

the final piece was all the multi. I find the different looks can be combined to make purses, scarves or whatever.

I just had a very pleasant hour with one of my "weavers" who has had a rough couple of months but is up and around now. She shared the afghan she has been working on and we discussed how she will complete it. It is made up of many colorful pieces and is quite beautiful. I ask her to share it with us when she finishes it. I love to see what each of you are accomplishing with your weaving.

It is so lovely outside, sun and clear sky. Take a walk, breathe in the fresh air and smile. We are so blessed, let us give thanks. Elaine