Friday, October 4, 2013

Lost in the Land of Saori

Yup.....that is exactly where I've been since my last post.....lost in the Land of  Saori!

I'd like to say it's been a peaceful journey, but my path has been fraught with ups and downs.  In the beginning.....Excitement! 

Borrowed a warping board from my friend Terri (in to much of a hurry to wait for hubby to make me one) and blindily plunged in.  Thought it couldn't have gone better. 

Next step "dressing the loom" (taking what I'd just measured on the warping board and actually putting it on the loom).....still in "Excitement" but quickly came to a screeching halt.

Not really understanding the process of measuring a warp, I found I had doubled the amount of ends....yikes!  I couldn't even get them all on my loom.  From "Excitement" to "Confusion" in the blink of an eye.

After much research, and whining,........messaging to Terri and Ms. Wonder Why, and whining,...... being just short of depressed and whining,........not sleeping and whining.......notice a recurring theme here?  I was no longer feeling "Excitement or "Confusion", now I had traveled into the land of  "Frustration"!.  What in the world was I going to do?  How was I ever going to get back to the "Excitement" part of this journey?

Not knowing what to do, I finally just sucked it up, unwound everything I had done, removed all the extra warp threads and started over.  Now I had hit the "Determined" part of my journey. 

Not sure of what I would find at journey's end, I slowly moved on. Tried some fun techniques and the "Excitement" started to return.

In a surprising short period of time I found myself at my journeys end.  Not only had "Excitement"  returned but I had also found "Accomplishment".
When I started, I thought I'd be more than up for the journey.  I was quickly brought back to earth with the fact that even though "weaving" can be exciting, knowledge about the technical parts of "measuring a wrap" and "dressing the loom" is an invaluable skill.  On the advice of more experienced weavers, I purchased Floor Loom Weaving by Janet Dawson from Crafty.  It is amazing.

Now I'm working on my second Saori yardage and am happy to report it's going pretty well.  I'm still having problems understanding "measuring the warp" since this time I didn't have the amount I was hoping for. Way better than having twice the amount though......LOL.

Next up......a little non fiber related project I started this week.  I took a class on painting furniture on Wednesday using CeCe Caldwell chalk paint from Shizzle Designs in Byron Center.   It also was an amazing class.  I picked my colors with Ms. Wonder Why in mind....Kissimmee Orange and Traverse City Cherry.

My piece before painting...

 Two coats of Kissimmee Orange....

Painting on the top coat using Traverse City Cherry....
You can really see the difference at this stage between the Cherry and Orange but once the table was completely covered, I couldn't believe how pink it looked.  Almost Pepto Bismol pink!
This was a 5 hours class and by the end I was getting really tired.  I still had to distress the piece and try out the final step which is waxing.  Hurried along but realized I was not going to get it completed by days end.  I decided to just put some wax on the center section of the back.  Couldn't believe the difference in the final color.  My
red was back!  A nice deep Cherry red.....sweet.


There was another person in the class who used these same colors except she put the Traverse City Red on first and Kissimmee Orange for the top coat.  What a difference...
You can see little pops of the Kissimmee Orange showing on my table on the front leg next to her stool and on the picture above showing the back.  I'll have to take some close up pictures once I've done more distressing and have the wax applied.  So glad I was able to take this class and learn some different painting techniques.  It was a welcome break after being Lost in the Land of Saori!

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Saori - A New Adventure

Wow....I've got lots to share this week since my last post was at the beginning of August.  I'll start by sharing a little about my class in Saori weaving at Michigan Fiber Festival from Chiaki O'Brien.  What a fabulous, fabulous day it turned out to be.

I've had a rigid heddle for a few years but felt weaving just wasn't going to be something I would be passionate about.  Boy was I wrong.  Once I started weaving in the Saori class, I found myself thinking of all kinds of weavings I could create.  It was just plain fun and look what came home with me from festival.......a used 4 harness loom....a totally unexpected purchase!
Oops, got a little ahead of myself, back to class.  I thought I'd taken pics of everyone's finished work from class but found I hadn't.  That was a little disappointing since our pieces all turned out so differently.  
Some of us brought some of our own yarns/material (yup, one lady actually brought some material she ripped into strips) to weave with and Chiaki had a whole table full of different yarns for us to add into our pieces if we wanted.  Just can't say enough about how inspiring this class was.
So now I'm on a Saori adventure with Terri and Ms. Wonder Why.  Terri came over on Wednesday afternoon with her warping board to give me guidance on my first warp.  Here it is on her warping board......
and today I'm going to tackle dressing my loom....Yay! 
It's probably going to take me quite a while since I really don't know what I'm doing.  I figured I might just as well make this a long warp so I'd have some material to make into a piece of Saori clothing.  I ordered a book from Chiaki and it arrived yesterday.  Spent last night drooling over all the wonderful garments.
On the knitting front, I've been working away on my Star Lily and just started a mystery KAL using a pattern by KellyJ from her Up North Collection.  It's called Strolling
This is the first time I've tried a mystery knit and I must say it's been putting my comprehension skills to the test.  I made an error at the beginning of Clue 1 so I've been very cautious since then.  I didn't realize how much I use the pattern picture to help figure out if I'm on the right track. 
We get a clue every 2 weeks and lucky for me Kelly posts a spoiler picture after the first week.  This is how I found I'd made a mistake and had to frog back.  Clue 1 done......
Working on Clue 2 but pictures can't be revealed until next week.  I decided to use some of my sock yarn stash....yup!  Told myself I couldn't buy anymore sock yarn until I'd used up some of that stash.  Now I can see that stash making it's way into a Saori weaving....LOL.
In my last post, I mentioned I was working on a photo album for our daughters birthday.  I decided I'd try my hand at making this album totally from scratch.   I used material as the base for all the pictures and sewed all the pictures down instead of using just paper.  You know how it goes.....yarn stash.....material stash.....stash, stash, stash.  Seems like a recurring theme to me!
It was certainly a learning experience.  We went to KY last weekend to celebrate with her so I can finally show all the pics.
Cover and our grandson, of course on the first page
left hand photo; pic of the family in their hockey jersey's, middle; Ben and dad, right; a little book I made to hold more pictures
Pic's inside the little book


Ben with his dog, Lola and of course a family photo
left; the little book of photos and another family photo for the last page

Very happy with how it turned out but will definitely be making some changes in my next one.  I got a little carried away with the thickness of my pages which caused a little problem in the binding process.  It all turned out well in the end and I'm glad to say she was very pleased and surprised.
The second part of her present was us spending the weekend cleaning and organizing their garage so she can park in it this winter.  They bought a new house several months ago and everything they didn't know what they were going to do with, went into the garage.  It was driving both her and especially my hubby crazy every time we went to visit.  Ta Da......parents to the rescue.....
It was a long, grueling process in 95 degree weather but we gotter' done!  Nikki is a happy, happy girl.
This was my reward....
....a visit to The Woolery.  I didn't realize they are only about 40 miles from her new house.  Hubby was nice enough to take me a few extra mile out of our way.  I bought the warp thread that's on the warping board at the beginning of my post and a raddle to help with the warping process. 
Whew.....sorry for the length of this post.  I need to buckle down and post every Friday. 
I don't have to work this Saturday so plan on spending the next three days working on my loom.  Hope everyone has a safe and fun Memorial day weekend.
Happy Fiber Arts Friday!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Busy, Busy...Busy!!

Oh my goodness, I've had a great week full of crafting fun....painting,  making blue berry jam for hubby, trying to dehydrate blueberries for me (this is taking forever), album creating, knitting and spinning! 

We spent quite a few days in July camping and visiting with family.  Although we had an awesome time, it meant far less crafting time than I'm used to getting.  So I decided this week was going to be all about playing and crafting as much as possible.

Knitting fun....I decided to put my Wisdom Wrap on hold after completing the first section.  Love the pattern but really wanted to get started on my Star Lily.

I fell in love with this pattern after trying a finished one on at Clever Ewe during our annual Yarn Quest.  It's a good thing they had a trunk show cause the picture does not do it justice. Loved the way it fit plus the yarn is so yummy soft.  It's  Mountain Top Canyon by Classic Elite Yarns,  85% cotton and 15% alpaca.  Yup...cotton and alpaca...who would have thought.  It is a dream to knit with.

My only snag....I realized I was going to be one skein short.  I guess I was so excited about the project I miss read how much yarn I was going to need.   Problem....nope.  My parents live on the way to Ada so Tuesday I stopped and picked up my dad (he loves to ride) and off we headed to Clever Ewe.  They moved into a big old Victorian house right next door to where they were.....cute house with all kinds of little rooms filled with yarn.  I didn't get to look around much, dad loves to ride but doesn't walk so well now, so I'm thinking maybe another rode trip.....hint, hint, wink, wink,  Ms. Wonder Why and Terri.

Spinning fun....after all the spinning during the Tour de Fleece, I found myself missing my wheel.  This was certainly easy to fix.  Pulled another batt from my stash and decided to spin another lace weight yarn.  It's 100% merino dyed by Winding Wool Creek Fiber in color way Lone Wolf.  It's the last of what I bought at last years Michigan Fiber Festival. lucky...just 12 more days and it's festival time again!

Painted furniture...the weather here in Michigan turned wonderfully cool this week so I headed out to the garage to complete some pieces.

Studio fun.....birthday gift complete except for the binding.  Just a little sneak peak of the front cover.....I'll share the inside after it's gifted.  I decided I'd try my hand at creating a photo album totally from scratch.  Cut my own cardboard, covered each page with different fabrics, papers and embellishments, oh yeah, and family photos. Kind of like making a crazy quilt.....I had an awesome time creating it.  Now I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that the giftee likes it as much as I liked creating it.
Woke up this morning to a rainy day, not the best for painting but great for writing up a post.  I'm planning on getting my album bound today and probably should spend time cleaning up the awful mess I now have in my garage and studio.....down side to a week spent in crafting bliss.
Hoping everyone has a great week, time to get some breakfast and check out what everyone has been creating this week over on Wisdom Begins in Wonder........Happy Fiber Arts Friday!! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Goals Accomplished

For once the goals I set for the Tour de Fleece turned out to be within my reach....YAY!!

Goal 1:  complete the roving I'd started prior to the tour.

Goal 2:  spin lace.  First up......4 oz. of brown alpaca/silk top followed by 6 oz. dyed 100% merino.

Day 1 - 3:  completed the yarn I started before the tour....464 yds. sport

Day 4 - 12: alpaca/silk yarn complete....364 yds. lace

Day 12 - 21: merino yarn complete....just in time to cross the finish line!...508 yds.

My victory collage

Big, big thanks to Ms. Wonder Why for being our team leader again this year.  We had a very chatty group....lots of photos and information was shared and questions answered.....couldn't have asked for a better group of spinners.

What I learned on this tour....lace takes a l-o-n-g time to spin!...LOL.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Unexpected Words of Wisdom

I'm starting my post a little different than usual today.  I've been on a healthy eating, weight loss journey for just about a year and a half.  Tuesday I needed to go for a weigh in and I was feeling a little concerned after being away for a few day over the July 4th holiday.  You know how it goes.....ate a few things I shouldn't have eaten, then a bit of a struggle to get back on track. 

Anyway....I was starting my day as usual, going through my emails, and found a new posting by Kate, aka Sparkle Tart.  I follow her blog and her post that day was called "Words of Wisdom - Comparison".  She is one of the art bloggers I follow and this post certainly hit a cord with me.

It was just what I needed to read (hear) to get myself back in perspective.  It made me stop being concerned about what the scales might reflect and look at all I have accomplished in this year and a half.

Her post is well worth reading if you have the time.  So often we short change ourselves on what we have accomplished and how far we have come on our personnel journey through life.

Just in case your wondering how that weigh in went.......I lost 2 lbs. That puts my total weight loss at 101 lbs....YAY!

Okay, on to what I've been creating this week.  My week has pretty much been filled with spinning for the Tour de Fleece with a little time carved out in my studio.

Tour de Fleece...... doesn't look like I've gotten much done this year.  You can just see my first skein in my basket, second is the brown alpaca/silk lace and last but not least, working on spinning 100% merino lace.  Hopefully I'll be able to get this merino done by the end of the tour.

Wow......I didn't have a clue how long it would take to spin lace.  It's going to be well worth the time and it was just what I wanted to try spinning this year.

I've been looking on Rav for a shawl pattern for my first multicolored skein.  I'm thinking of Hitchhicker, Vendanges or Dragonfly Wings.  Must admit, right now I'm leaning towards Vendanges.  Only time will tell which one I'll choose.  Not even thinking about what I'll make with the lace I've spun. 

I can't post any pics of my current art project....sigh.  It's going to be another present for my step daughters birthday in August.  Just remembered I haven't shared the first present I made for her earlier in the year....same reason!  I'll be sure to post pics after her birthday celebration.

That's it for me...hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  To everyone one out there who's participating in the Tour.....spin on, the finish line is almost in sight!

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's That Time of Year

What time is that?.......Tour de Fleece!  Of course I'm back on Team Wonder Why Alpaca Farm.......some really awesome yarns are being spun.

I spent my first 3 days working on roving I had purchased on our trip last October to Vermont.  First time going to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.  Here she is.....
I now have 464 yds. of sport weight in this beautiful color way.  After the tour, I'll have to spend some time on Ravelry looking for a simple shawl pattern.  
My challenge for this year was to use my lace flyer.  I've had my Lendrum for 3 years now and decided this would be the year to give lace a try.  Looked through my fiber stash and decided to start with these.....

The brown top is a 4 oz. Alpaca/Silk blend that I purchased from Lady Peddler and the dyed roving was purchased last year at Michigan Fiber Festival from Winding Wool Creek Fiber in color way Peace -n- Love.  I thought they would go well together to make a two color shawl.
What I didn't think about was how long it would take to spin 4 oz. into a lace single.  There went day 4 through 12 (day 10 was a day of rest). 
Really proud of how fine I was able to spin even though the finished yarn did not fall into the lace range.  The wraps per inch turned out to be 25 and according to my WPI gauge that's probably a light fingering.......lace starts at 35+WPI......what?  I can't quite get my head wrapped around how fine the single would have to be. 
Day 13 had me starting on the dyed roving.  Now my challenge is to spin my singles the same thickness so the final yarn will be close to the WPI of the alpaca/silk.  I was worried the roving would be harder to spin this fine but am glad to is not....yay!
Yesterday was such a beautiful day, I only spun 0.4oz.  I really wanted to spend some time "shabby chic'n" a couple pieces of furniture.  Got my plant stand done....
and a little side table painted.  Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do to fix the top.  I have several ideas but just can't seem to make up my mind....this tells me I haven't come up with the right design yet!
Well that's it for me.  I need to read some of the other Fiber Arts Friday posts, get to spinning and hopefully get back to painting my next furniture piece.
Happy Fiber Arts Friday!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beautiful Day

What an awesome day we had today in West Michigan.
I started the day off with spinning for the second day of the Tour de Fleece.  Tour de Fleece, what in the world is that?  Spinners all over the world join their favorite teams to challenge themselves to spin every day along with the Tour de France. 
I filled a bobbin of this beautiful roving I purchased on our trip to Vermont last October.  I was able to attend the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival for the first time and purchased this roving on that visit.

I already had a full bobbin of this fiber spun up and my plan for the day was to ply the two together to complete my yarn.....
but, it was so beautiful I decided to spend the day outside working on painting some furniture pieces I've been collecting.  This is what some of them looked like before I started.....

 One coat done on the plant stand, square table and the mirror....
I was able to complete the green magazine table that the mirror is laying on, as well as the desk organizer pictured in the right hand corner.  I was so excited about being able to get outside and paint, I forgot to take before pics of these two items.
My last project for the day was to make some quiche for our breakfast this week.
Yum, yum, we just love these mini mushroom sausage quiche.  Now to watch some TV and do some knitting and my day will be complete!