Warp, Weft & Whoo!

Not long ago, one of my readers contacted me and asked if I would be interested in buying his loom.  The loom made it’s way north through the postal system and landed upon my door.  After several days of staring at the parts and hinting (heavily) to my husband that I would love to come home that evening to weave, the loom got put together.   

Warping the Loom

After several more days, I got up them gumption to warp the loom.  By this point I was fairly intimidated by the idea of warping the loom.  People had told me horror stories of taking days to warp the loom correctly and how you had to have at least 2 people to warp the loom.  Add long drawn out sighs and you’ll understand why these people had me worried. 

I downloaded the Cricket instruction manual, and got to work.  It took me about an hour to get it set up, including breaks for little girls requesting juice and other snacks.  I warped the loom with some Three Irish Girls sock yarn, McClellen fingering weight for those who are curious.  To create the weft, I used another sock yarn I had in my stash.  This one was a Sock Summit colorway, a very pretty multicolored yarn. 

For the Perceptive Weavers

It was at this point that I realized I had a problem.  Somehow I had managed to warp the loom backwards.  I was kind of confused as to which end was the front and which was the back.  I managed to finangle it so that I think everything was rearranged on the loom the way it should have been.  At least I think it will work this way.  Quite honestly, I have no idea! 

Child's Play

Then, the girls and I got to work on our creation. I’m having some issues getting all the lines of the weft straight, and our tension isn’t the most consistent.  However, I think the tension (I assume that’s what you call it when you are beating the weft) issues will be worked out with more practice.  It probably didn’t help that I was letting the girls do some weaving with me. 

One More to Show Off My Kids

The girls were definitely excited about getting to help Mommy weave!  They have been enjoying playing with the shuttle.  I was surprised at how fast they both figured out which position the heddle should be in when the shuttle was on either side. 

I’m looking forward to learning more about weaving so that I can do a few patterned scarves.  Does anyone have any suggestions for weaving books?  I don’t see this becoming a weaving blog instead of a knitting blog, but it is a fun diversion.

Book Review: Knit Your Own Dog

Knit Your Own Dog is a new knitting pattern book out by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne.  I was contacted by the publisher and asked to write a review of the book.

As the authors state in their introduction, the knitted dogs are not intended as toys, although I know two little girls who would think otherwise.  The dogs are very realistic looking, from the jowls on the Bulldog to the shaggy belly on the Scottish Terrier.  It’s definitely a book for dog lovers by dog lovers. 

The book is well thought out, with separate sections for each type of dog.  I.e., hounds, sporting, terriers, and non-sporting all have their own section.  The type of yarn used in each pattern really helps to bring out the characteristics of that dog.  Loopy stitch eyebrows and whiskers set the Miniature Schnauzer apart.  Maybe you want to knit a Portugese Water Dog like Bo the Obama dog, well bring out the bouclé yarn and you can knit him too.  The yarns used are almost all Rowan brand yarns, so they should be fairly easy for the average knitter to access.  If you local yarn store doesn’t carry Rowan, Webs carries a large line of Rowan yarns. 

Knit Your Own Dog is not for the beginning knitters.  The patterns are written line by line and you do need to read each line.  If I were knitting something from the book, I would enlarge the pages on a photocopier and attack the pages with several highlighters.  The reason being that there are several rows that look like a variation of this – p3wa p3cr p3wa – cr and wa are the abbreviations for the colors the author would like you to use.  Colors that Rowan helpfully named cream and walnut.  Not as helpful if you choose to knit with an alternate yarn.  I would probably highlight each of these color abbreviations in a different color just to keep them straight.  I think a lot of this confusion could have been avoided with the addition of charts.  The finishing is also not for the faint of heart, although I think that’s to be expected with any knitted toy.  Just know going into it that there will be stuffing and sewing up and precise putting together in order to make your dog look right. 

In the comments, please mention if you would like my copy of the book.  I’ll be happy to send it to one lucky knitter.

A List

I love lists.  There’s something very satisfying about creating a list and then crossing items off that list.  Tonight, I’m in a list making sort of mood.

1.  I signed up for an all day class at Yarnover on April 30.  I’ll be taking a class from Meg Swansen & Amy Detjen.  I cannot wait, I am crazy super excited about this. 

2.  I burned my middle finger today.  Dumb.  Really really dumb.  I was making candied pecans and I tested the melted sugar with that finger.  I know better.  It makes typing very interesting since it’s on the pad of my finger. 

3.  I received my Three Irish Girls Stash Menagerie yarn club today.  It’s Springvale Bulky in Katharine Hepburn.  The girls both want a sweater out of it.  Hmmm… I don’t think 98 yds of bulky will get me a sweater for either child.  Sorry girls, this one might be for Momma. 

4.  I’ve been thinking a lot about weaving lately.  Maybe I’m nuts, I need another project like I need a hole in my head.  However, I’m still considering a little Cricket loom to start with.  Does anyone have any experience with this?  Do you know where I could pick up a gently used one? 

5.  I’m still working on the craziness that is the Helix scarf.  A garter stitch scarf with short rows out of laceweight and size 1 needles = seriously crazy.  I still love this kind of crazy! 

6.  I should have a new sweater by next weekend…. or definitely by Yarnover.