Dish Towels – Getting Ready to Weave

Happy New Year!

I took down the Christmas tree yesterday and now it’s time to bring a loom into the living room for the winter.  It’s been a while since I have woven anything and can’t wait to get started. So this afternoon I found some thread, brought the warping board into the living room and got started. I just finished winding the thread on my warping board for new dish towels. I am using a natural 8/2 cotton, 503 ends and 4 yard warp.  This will make 3 waffle weave towels.  I will add color stripes in the weft.  Triple Yeah!  My sweet husband is going to help me move the loom in a bit. Then this week I can get the loom all threaded and ready to go.  I can’t wait!!

Check out the picture below.  I’ll post some pictures as the project progresses.

Until next time, Happy Knitting and Weaving……Caroline

Towels on the Warping Board

Posted in Weaving | Leave a comment

Secret Project Number 2 Revealed!

The other secret project I worked on and completed this year was a counted cross stitch eagle I started in 2000. Yikes, that was 15 years ago. I started this project when our oldest son, Zach was in high school. I think he was a sophomore. I figured I had 3 years to finished it and I would give it to him for graduation. (In the interest of full disclosure I probably had delusions I would finish it for his birthday, Hahahahahaha.) Needless to say I did not finish it for his birthday or his high school graduation, or his 1st Associates degrees, or his 2nd Associates degree, or his Bachelors degree, or his graduation from deputy sheriff school. Sigh.

He would ask casually in passing every once in a while when I would finish it. Sigh.

Last Christmas he got to come home for the holidays and once again he asked me about it. This time he asked, ‘Mom, how many degrees do I have to get before I get the eagle?’ Well that did it. I was on a mission now to finish it for his birthday, the one in 2015!

You may ask yourself, what the heck took you so dang long to finish it. Did I fail to mention it was on black, 14 count cloth? Fourteen tiny black squares per inch. And many, many shades of tan and brown. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. I started devoting my Saturday’s and Sunday’s to working on it, in front of the window, during daylight under a high powered LED lamp. (Evenings were devoted to knitting 8 cowls.) The good news was I got to watch the entire series of Gilmore Girls and Grace and Frankie on Netflix, plus a bunch of NCIS shows. Yes, I finished it and had it framed in plenty of time for his birthday. It was pretty good timing, we got to give it to him in person after the wedding. He just bought his first home so of course I told him that’s what I was waiting for all along. He didn’t buy that story.  😊 I think it’s safe to say he liked it. He probably thought he would never see it completed. I was beginning to think that too, but sometimes guilt is the perfect motivator. Check out the pictures below of the final product.

Happy Knitting and Weaving! Until next time – Caroline

Unframed Eagle

 

Framed Eagle

 

Posted in Counted Cross Stitch, General | Leave a comment

Secret Project Number 1 Revealed!

It’s been a very busy year and I have been working on some secret projects. So secret I couldn’t even whisper about it here. But now I can! Our daughter got married in October and I knit 8 cowls for her and her 7 bridesmaids. There were 4 in a burgundy color and 4 in a pretty burnt orange color. The pattern was a simple one, knit in the round, with 3 rows of lace, one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the end. The pattern is Dew Drops Cowl by Kelly Kingston at mmwww.tangledyarns.com.au. I figured if I was going to knit 8 of them the pattern would have to be a balance between easy but not boring, not hard but interesting enough I wouldn’t go screaming into the woods after finishing two. I do believe this pattern meets those requirements. At least it did for me. I think the other trick, besides the pattern, was alternating the colors. One burgundy and then one burnt orange.

I used Cascade Superwash yarn for three reasons. It’s washable, they have so many colors to choose from it was easy to find 2 colors to match Sam’s wedding colors and colors the bridesmaids would wear through the Fall and Winter. And it is very reasonably priced.

It was so sweet, I think the girls really liked them. Making these was a gift of love, for Sam and her bridesmaids and I really enjoyed knitting them. I finished the last one while we were in Ireland in May with 4 months to spare! But because they were a surprise I had to wait until after the wedding to post about them. Dang that was really hard to do too. I am a really good secret keeper with everything excepts gifts. I get so excited I want to give them right away! I took a couple of pictures of each color after they were washed and blocked.

Happy Knitting and weaving! Until next time – Caroline

Yarn

Wrapped finish cowl

Finished cowl

Posted in General, Knitting | Leave a comment

Totally Off Topic 1

I was in town this evening for my weekly errands and stopped in McDonald’s for dinner. After I gave the sweet young lady my order, she handed me a disk and said ‘Have a seat, we will bring your order when it is ready.’  And they did!  As I got up from my seat when I was finished, a very nice, polite young man kindly took my tray and said he would take care of it. Wow!

Did I accidentally step into the twilight zone?

Just had to share that one.  🙂

Have a nice evening – Caroline

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Ireland 2015

My husband and I spent 2 weeks in May in the beautiful county of Ireland!  Oh My, if you want some inspiration, this is a wonderful place to visit.  The people are very friendly and speak English.  The countryside is absolutely gorgeous.  In May, the weather was still cool and people were still wearing wool sweaters, hats and gloves.  We spent hours in the wool shops in every town we visited.  There were so many sweaters of all kinds and different designs and cable patterns.  There were hats, scarves and blankets of all colors. The first couple of days it was overwhelming.   We would look and look and then head to a pub and for the best Guinness on the planet (in my humble opinion).  Then we would go back to the wool shop and try to decide which sweater we liked best.

The sweaters and hats were knit but many of the scarves and most of the blankets were woven.  I was in heaven!!  So many beautiful knit and woven items.  It took me forever to make a decision on what to buy and for who (whom?).    My husband loved the sweaters also.  He found 2 he really liked.  I must say he looks quite handsome in those sweaters.  Of course, we will have to wait until Winter to wear them.

More on Ireland later. But here are a few pictures.

Happy Knitting and Weaving…..Until next time – Caroline

Ireland

C Irish sweater

Ireland1

Posted in General, Knitting, Weaving | Leave a comment

What I Learned Today…….

Do NOT knit during take-off on a little bitty plane when you are nervous but think you are a big girl and are totally not nervous.

Why you may ask?  Let me start at the beginning.  I had to fly to Austin for work (my day job) so we searched for a reasonably priced ticket from one of the 4 airports within 5 hours of my house. (Remember I live in the middle of a very beautiful nowhere.)  We found a great deal on a direct flight from a small airport just 2 and a half hours from home. Yeah!!  It kind of went down hill from there.  We got to select my seat, one of 30 seats on the whole plane!  Only 30 seats!! I am not sure if I have mentioned this but I am a bit claustrophobic and prefer big planes.  Ok, I can do this, so I select a window seat so I can see out.  I am a big girl, I am a big girl, I can do this.  Good price, direct flight. Ok got it.

Twenty-three hours and 58 minutes before flight time I log in the airline’s website to check-in.  I can’t find the check-in place anywhere.  I kept looking and finally found it, you must check-in at the airport, not online. Alrighty then.

This is my first time at this airport and to get there you have to drive through some very fancy neighborhoods and golf courses, in the middle of nowhere.  I finally arrive at the airport and find the airline counter to check-in.  Finally my turn at the counter and guess what? I have to pay $10 for my carry-on bag. What?? I have never heard of this. The clerk patiently explains the plane does not have an overheard compartment.  What?? Geez how small is this plane.  Too late now, I have to be in Austin first thing in the morning and there are no refunds on this ticket.  I pay my $10 bucks and head to gate 2.  The other only gate is gate 1.  I told you it was small.  There is a cart for our carry-on bags, now called gate checked bags.

Now it’s time to board the plane.  No biggie, we walk outside, across the tarmac and up the stairs (or ladder) into the plane. I find my seat, get my knitting out and put my backpack under the seat.  Still feeling a little nervous about this whole little plane flying to Austin adventure. I think, knitting will calm my nerves, not that I am nervous or anything.  After all I am a big girl. And besides it’s a project in the round and this section is straight knitting.  What can go wrong? As we start to taxi to the runway, the flight attendent starts her safety spiel.  I cannot believe what she says, ‘In the event the cabin loses pressure I will let you know and then you push the button on the ceiling above your seat and then the oxygen mask will fall and you put it over your mouth.’  Wait what?? You push the button, on the ceiling?  What happened to automatically falling from the ceiling?  Wait…I can’t reach the ceiling! (only 5 ft. 1 inch here.)  Ok, I am a big girl, how often do planes lose pressure, hardly ever right?  Ok, I am a big girl.

So I keep on knitting and knitting,  then crapadoodle, just as we leave the ground I notice I dropped a stitch at least 12 stitches back.  Geez, I hardly ever do that.  Ok, I will admit I might have been a little nervous. 🙂

I actually learned 2 things today.  The first thing is do not knit on taxi and take-off on small planes, no matter how many times you tell yourself  you are a big girl.  And tsecond thing is in a pinch you can use your little finger to hold a dropped stitch while  you unknit the stitches to the dropped stitch because you did not bring a crochet hook to fix dropped stitches.  Yikes!

The good news is I made it to Austin and home again safe and sound, obviously. Yeah!

Have a great weekend!

Happy Knitting and Weaving – Until next time……Caroline

 

 

Posted in General, Knitting | Leave a comment

Knit and Walk? At the Same Time??

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day!

Here is my question: Have you seen those bag thingys that hold your yarn and then you hang them on your wrist?  This is so you can walk and knit at the same time. I have seen them around for a few years and I think that is a great idea….for others.  Me?  I don’t think so.  Have I mentioned I am a super klutz?  Seriously, I trip, I run into things just walking and that’s when I think I am paying attention. I can’t imagine knitting and walking.  I think I would forget to walk or forget to knit.  I would definitely run into things or people, maybe walk off a cliff.  Heck, I use circular needles whenever possible because I keep dropping one of the straight needles and losing them in my recliner, in the couch, under the car seat, under the plane seat.  The plane seat can be especially problematic because they tend to roll under the seat or seats behind you.  It’s very embarrassing looking for them.

Has anyone tried them?  Can a person really knit and walk at the same time?  Is it hard? Is it safe?  I analyze injury data in my day job but I must admit I have never seen knitting related injuries.  I sure do not want to be the first.

Let me know what you think!

Until next time…Happy Knitting and Weaving – Caroline

Posted in General, Knitting | Leave a comment

A New Yarn Store Discovery

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is check out the local yarn stores.  I got to visit my son in Ft. Collins, Colorado recently.  I have visited there many times and have a couple of favorite shops I usually visit. My family is used to me dragging them into yarn stores all over the country and now I think have an appreciation of them.  I am not sure I should say this out loud but I think they may even enjoy them now.  They have learned to appreciate the different types of fiber, understand which ones are best for warm hats, glove and scarves and enjoy the feel and colors of the yarns. But I digress.

This trip I wondered if there were any new shops or ones I overlooked.  My internet search popped up ‘Your Daily Fiber’.  How could I have missed this one?  My son and I stopped in on this very snowy Saturday.  The shop is very open and airy and lots of yarn, weaving and spinning supplies.  The owner Elaine was there that day and we had a wonderful time talking with her about the shop, their llamas, yak and other animals on their ranch.  It was a wonderful way to spend a snowy afternoon.  One of the products they carry are jackets, vests and wraps made from llama fiber by the Altiplano company.  I had never seen anything made from llama fiber before and fell in love with it.  It’s soft and light like fleece and much warmer than alpaca and other fibers.  I found a fantastic wrap in charcoal gray.  When I left home my husband said if I found anything cool I should buy. So I did!!

If you are in the Ft. Collins area, definitely check out this wonderful shop.  I can’t wait to go back for another visit.  If you are not going to be in Ft. Collins you can visit the shop online, www.yourdailyfiber.com.  The llama fiber and clothing website is  www.altiplanoinsulation.com.   There is interesting information the Altiplano company, llamas and llama fiber. You can buy their clothing here also.

Until next time….Happy knitting and weaving – Caroline

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Cast Off Chemo

There is a very interesting article by Carol J. Sulcoski in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Knit Simple magazine on page 9.  It’s about the Cast Off Chemo nonprofit organization. Their mission is to help fund University of Vermont researcher Dr. David Krag’s breast cancer research through the yarn industry. His research is how to use the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.

The Cast Off Chemo organization is backed by some big names in the yarn industry, Denise Interchangeables, Cat Bordhi, Webs yarn store to name just three.

For more information check out their website www.castoffchemo.org

Until next time…Happy knitting and weaving – Caroline

Cast Off Chemo logo

Cast Off Chemo logo

 

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Towels That Would be Shawls?

I have been working on some wonderful pure natural cotton woven towels for about 3 years.  Now obviously I wasn’t working on them the entire 3 years or I would have finished them much earlier.  But they were on one of my looms for about 3 years in two different houses in 2 different states.  Thankfully my looms fold up very nicely for relocations of all kinds.  I am not really sure why it took me so long to finish them.  The pattern was an interesting 12 row repeat.  I think the color, which was natural, may have been the problem.  I do believe that color for me is definitely an indictor of how quickly the project will be completed.  The more color the faster it gets done.  It’s just more fun to work on.

Anyway I finally finished these 3 towels.  The pattern was a variation of waffle weave, very textured.  I finished them right before Christmas.  I had to finish them, the loom was set up in the spot where the Christmas tree goes during the holidays.  I washed them and lovingly hung them in the master bathroom. Only one problem….they just didn’t absorb enough water.  Geez, how the heck can you use a towel that doesn’t soak up water? The short answer to that question is You Can’t!  It just doesn’t work.

On to Plan B!  The dimensions of these now non-towels are 52 inches x 23 inches with 3.5 inches of fringe.  So guess what?  They are now beautiful natural cotton shawls! Perfect for those cool Spring/Summer evenings or too cold air conditioned places.  Check out the pics below.

The morale of the story?  Even if your project doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, you can always find a way to use it.  I think I have to think up a name other than Towel Shawls though.  Got any great ideas?

Happy Knitting and Weaving…..Caroline

Towel Shawls

Towel Shawls

Close-Up of Towel Shawl

Close-Up of Towel Shawl

Posted in Weaving | 1 Comment