Friday, January 16, 2015

"Sick Bed"

It is amazing what a difference a week makes!  Last week I was sick with a cold or something like it, and looking at a mountain of half done projects and a half recognizable studio.  Once I had put it down on "paper" though, I all of a sudden, had the mojo to do something, even if it wasn't everything. (In truth, I was sick only from the neck up, no fever, and no other aches and pains, I never even felt like I could take a nap!)

I went upstairs and took a look around, I put all the spinning wheels that had been crammed into the studio, on the landing between the two rooms, so that I could hear myself think.  I have several shelving units in the main room, and two of them are the wooden type with two narrower shelves up top and two deeper shelves on the bottom.  For some reason I had put carpet warp up top and books down below.  Which makes no sense whatsoever!  So that my friends, is where I started.  I first pulled out all the carpet warp and put it on the floor.  Then I filled those shelves with weaving and spinning books,(I found books I didn't even know I had!) they fit perfectly!  Then I dusted off the lower shelves and filled them with the 8/4 carpet warp.  I even gathered more 8/4 from around the room and put it all together in one place!  Then I stepped back and took a very satisfied look, it was amazing!

 The next step was the bags of stuff that I had on the floor at my feet.  I picked up a bag and began to sort thru all the stuff in it.  I found knitting stuff, weaving stuff, spinning stuff and stuff that just needed to be in the garbage.  I emptied each bag and put all the things away as I did so, and I ended up with a pile of empty bags and containers in the corner that I can use as I organize my way around the studio.

I was happy with my afternoons work, and I made my way downstairs with the inkle loom and some really thin pearl cotton.  Ever since I got this loom, I have been second guessing my decision to get it.  I of course, tried to first put on a really long warp of 8/4 weaving, in a difficult "pick up" pattern, that I ended up having to cut off because it was too long and too hard to rotate around the loom.

This time around, I followed the instructions that came with the loom.  Imagine that! I used a variation of a pattern I found in "the Weaver's Inkle Pattern Directory".  It is a simple pattern, that is not "pick up" weaving or anything, just plain weave.  I started weaving and found that it wasn't easy to keep the band the same width, it seemed like the more I fussed with it the worse it got!  I decided that the best thing to do was to not even look at the edges and try to find the "zone".  Once I found the zone, all my edge problems disappeared!  I also found that I was able to weave at a much faster pace, in fact it wasn't long before I had finished the piece!
 If you want to find this pattern it is on page 22, at the top right of the page, it is called "Single flowers".  I adjusted the pattern just a bit by switching out 2 of the pattern repeats to make it symmetrical.  The finished band is a testimony to my experiment.  On the first half you can see that I started out good enough, but the band quickly got wider as I went along.  Then you can see where I decided to switch tactics, immediately the band was the width I wanted it to be and stayed pretty even the whole rest of the band.

In between studio work time (see more on   and inkle weaving time, I spent a lot of time this week working on some long white stockings.  These are the "above the knee" stockings that I am making for 3 of us crazy weavers that do demonstrations at the Museum of Appalachia, and other places as well.  I finished Lou Ann's pair in November, and started this second pair.

These go well above the knee, and if they fit my friend Linda, they are hers!  If not, they are mine, and I will get her measurements and start her pair right away.  (I need to get the 3rd pair started before I change my mind!)  The pattern is a free one I found on Ravelry.  It is called "Stockings in Rhyme"  It was written in the late 1800's, and it really is a treat to knit from a poem.   You can almost hear the mother patiently writting out for her daughter.  I will soak and block this pair this afternoon so that I can take them to weaving on Tuesday.

I woke up yesterday morning, and I knew that the worst  part of this cold was over, I have to tell you it was a relief!  I was thrilled to put on real clothes,  (I stayed in my P.J.s the whole week, I called it my cocoon once I was well enough to put real clothes on!) and go out and about once again, but I wasn't disappointed in my time on the "sick bed" at all, in fact, I was amazed at what I was able to accomplish when I was forced to stay quarantined  at home.

This afternoon, I am going to try another band on the Inkle loom, I want to go even thinner than before, but maybe a little longer, it will again be plain weave, so that I can find my "Zone"!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina


Linda said...

I can't wait to see the stockings! Thank you!!

LA said...

You are an's time to get my yarn organized!