Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Littlest Loom

A couple of weeks ago I started attending a new weaving class. In this class I'm learning how to do double weave, which means I can weave two fabrics at once. I know, my brain trys to leak out of my head every week at the end of class. Needless to say my floor loom has warp on it to do the home work that I need to do for class so, I can't do any other projects for awhile. I noticed the other day that I started to twitch, and knew that I needed to do a little weaving. So I thought now would be a great time to get acquainted with my newest loom the "Inklet" from Ashford. I bought this little inkle loom in order to work with some finer threads, and it is a bit more portable than my bigger floor inkle loom.
It's only 14 1/2 inches long, and 7 inches tall. I really like it. This is my second inkle band that I've woven on it.

The warp that I've put on is just sewing machine thread. This so far is the finest thread that I've worked with, and I hope to start weaving with silk threads soon.

This is a close up of all the warp threads. I used four different colors for this band.

This what the woven band looks like. The width of this band is 1 inch, and it will be about 50 inches long. I really like working with this loom. I've been thinking about what I can use the bands for and this is a list of things that I've come up with so far.

Hat bands

Garter Ties, (re-en actors really want these)

Shoe Laces.



Straps for bags

Guitar straps

The loom is so simple, that the possibilities for designs are almost endless, and because of it's small size I don't feel intimidated to experiment.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Go Team USA

Last Friday the 2010 Winter Olympics began. To coincide with this wonderful event I found a memory project to work on while I watch the Olympic games. I ordered the kit, and on Friday, (yes on the opening day of the Olympics) my package arrived.

Inside the box was 22 balls of yarn,
and the instructions to make this. . . .

I really like this sweater for a couple of reasons. One it was named after the 2002 USA winter team, second that was the year that the Olympics were held in my home state of Utah, and third the colors and design are just stunning. The company that makes this sweater and others like it is Dale of Norway, and I bought the kit from Allegro Yarns.

So far it seems to be coming along nicely.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Baby Blues

Remember this roving? I spun this up about a week ago, and I showed you the finished yarn. Well here is the finished project
This little baby sweater turned out really cute. The yarn after it was spun, was plied in a way that it made self striping yarn. The sweater was knit from the top down, in a raglan style so as not to interrupt the striping pattern.
This sweater is a for 0-6 month old baby. It's squishy, soft and warm.

Now that this project is finished it's about time to start a new one. I received a large box of yarn in the mail today, so I'll let you see what's new in the next post.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pop Goes The Weasle

This is some roving that I purchased at the fiber fair last September. It is wool from a corriedale sheep. My friend Judy Gunn is the dyer, and the color is called Outlaw's Playday. There is about 4 ounces here, so I thought I would spin it up. This is my wheel that I use at home. I really love this wheel. It's made by the Schacht Spindle Company of Denver Co. This is my first wheel and only wheel I like it that much. When I was looking for a spinning wheel to buy I tried out many wheels, but this wheel just seemed to fit my style of spinning. I also wanted a wheel that would grow along with me as I learned to spin. I have never regretted buying this wheel. It does everything that I need a spinning wheel to do.

This wheel is a castle style wheel. As you can see the wheel and the flyer and treadles are all square in front of the spinner. The wheels that you normally see in fairy tales are called Saxony style wheels. On a saxony style wheel the wheel is off to the side and you need to sit a little off center to spin. A saxony style wheel is what I spin on at the village, even though the castle style wheel was common for the time period as well.

This great little machine is called a weasel, and I use this to wind the yarn off the bobbin that is on the spinning wheel. The weasel also measures the yardage of the spun yarn. How does it do that? Well the circumference of the spokes is 72 inches, every time the spokes make one complete revolution you have two yards. You can count the number of times your hand goes around, but this weasel also has a built in counter.

The box that you see has wooden gears inside, after the spokes have gone around 150 times, a small wooden piece inside makes a thump, or you guessed it, a "pop". All you then have to do is count the pops to know how many yards of yarn you have. One pop equals 300 yards. And now you know where the little rhyme came from for "Pop Goes the Weasel". This yarn winder also has a small dial so you can see quarter increments.

This weasel is very special to me, because when I first purchased it, it didn't pop, so I took it to my good friend Mr. Shepherd who is a master wood worker and he made the necessary repairs. What was really special about this is that when Mr Shepherd removed the box cover to repair the gears, he noticed that the original craftsman that built it, and the original owner had signed their names and dated it. Guess what the date was? 1865. When the weasel was delivered and I unpacked it, my husband thought I had been taken. He said it looks to be in to good of shape to be that old, but the proof was there inside the weasel itself.

If you look closely at the top spoke you can see a small knob. That is what I hang on to turn the spokes around with. The other tool that you see on the floor is a Lazy Kate. I'm not sure how that tool got it's name, but there you have it. It's purpose is to hold the bobbin so that I can wind the yarn off the bobbin.
After all the yarn has been wound onto the weasel, I then tie it off and twist the two yard circle over and over building up twist, then put the two ends together and they form a hank of yarn.
This is how I store my hand spun yarn until I'm ready to use it. There ended up being 306 yards in this hank. I do have plans for this yarn so I need to go get started. I'll post later what it turned out to be.