Bucket List – Weaving

This summer I had the pleasure of taking a weaving class from the Reno Fiber Guild.  I have wanted to learn to weave since I was in high school.  I had dreams of having sheep, shearing, washing, spinning wool and weaving it into my own creations.  Well, that did not happen and at 53 years of age I decided I would at least learn the weaving part of all that.  So, I started poking around the internet and found right here in Reno was a fiber guild that was getting ready to teach four session weaving class.  Whooot, whooot!  I was all over that.

What a fantastic and eye opening experience.  I had no idea how labor intensive just getting the loom set up was.  However, once that is done, weaving is a joy!  There was a great group of women who are very schooled and experienced in weaving.  Not just on a loom making towels. Much, much more!!!

My experience:

I have a rigid heddle loom so for the class I rented one of their looms.  It was a Wolf Pup 4 heddle loom.  Loved it! Wanted to take it home!  Which I did, just for homework.  I’m not sure why but every time I went to weave I was gripped with this fear that I would mess the whole thing up. Then I would sit down to weave and I would wonder what was holding me back. Fear is gone.  Let me show you what I did.

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My borrowed wolf pup weaving loom

This is my loom (actually the guild’s loom ) all warped and some weaving done. You can see the pattern book on a detachable holder, the shuttle sitting on top of the heddles, my weaving below that and the treadles at the bottom. There are many more parts to this gizmo but we won’t go into those.

We picked three colors in cotton to work with and this piece is the sampler of treadle patterns I did.  After that I worked on four dish towels.  I love the colors!

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My Sampler

My finished towels.   I’m so pleased as to how they came out.  It was a little weird and frightening knowing I would be working on my sampler and all four towels with the same warping.  I just imagined cutting them apart and it all unraveling.  You’ll be happy to know there was no unraveling.  I really like them a lot.

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Dish Towels
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Close up of dish towels

 

 

Each towel had several different treadling patterns with basket weave in between the different patterns.

I’ve got a few other projects to finish up and them I’m going to warp my rigid heddle and do some Christmas weaving.  Looking forward to that.  Heck…..I may even just put other things aside and do it now : )    Who knows.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little visit with weaving.  I wish I had learned how to weave back when I was younger.  So, I’m going to make the best of it now and hopefully learn some new techniques along the way.

Thank you for reading!  Drop a comment if you please and if you are a weaver, show me what you’re working on or have completed.  I love to see what others are working on.

Stitch on my friends whether it’s crochet, knitting, needlework or weaving.  Just do it!

Tracy

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Sidelined : (

I have been sidelined from needlework!  I have arthritis in both thumbs that has plagued me for a number of years.  A twice a year cortisone shot in both thumbs when the pain gets bad has done wonders and has kept me happily crafting.

Since moving I’ve had to find a new orthopedist and two weeks ago had injections once again due to severe pain.  Two weeks later I’m still in overwhelming pain.  And because of that I can’t knit, crochet or needlepoint.  Needlework is what I’ve always done.  In the evenings while watching TV I most often have something in my hands I’m working on.  On long car drives if I’m not the driver I take something along. So, needless to say, I’m not a happy camper.  And I’m wondering what is next for these thumbs of mine. I have another orthopedic appointment on March 9th so we will see.

In the meantime my post will be about other things.  For instance:

This morning driving to work in a snowy white world I am reminded of how much I have experienced and grown in the last few months here in Nevada.

We moved here during the summer with temperatures in the 100s.  Today it is a cool 27 degrees.  A really cool 27 degrees.  In this last week we’ve had winds of 70 mph or more, torrential rain, sunshine and an overnight snowfall of 11.5 inches.  Coming from Napa in northern California this is quite a shock. I’m told that the winters are not normally this severe.  We will see when next winter comes next year.  But, at this point you have to wonder when you wake up day after day with changing weather if we may not just continue with winter the rest of the year.  I’m kidding of course but you kind of have to wonder.

However, we are not the only ones socked in with extreme conditions.  News reports show that my home state of California is so inundated with rain that the ground in some areas are giving way. After years of drought the ground just can’t absorb it fast enough.  California also has spillways that have not been used in years seeing an overpowering amount of water and causing one to break.  We/they need the moisture so badly but I feel like the ground needs a break to catch up.  Where my son lives 14,000 people have been evacuated because of flooding.  Where my daughter lives they had so much hail yesterday that it looked like snow. This extreme weather unfortunately has kept me from a few visits to see my kids in California.  So, I’m hoping and praying that this ends soon and is not as bad next winter.

Coming from a place that doesn’t see snow I have learned how to adapt to snow.  Its’ cold, I don’t like being cold. So now, I have a wool coat, lots of gloves, scarves and a brand new pair of snow boots.

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The first few snowy days my partner drove me to work. Now I feel very comfortable driving myself.  My little copper penny HHR does surprisingly well in snow and ice I’ve found.  Although, with a 10-15 minute drive to work the heater doesn’t fully get going until I pull into a parking place at work.  So on any given weekday morning you’ll find me in my office at my desk with a portable heater under my desk trying to get some warmth into this body. I’ve also shoveled snow, slipped around on ice and have found some little tricks to make taking off for work a little easier.  FYI: fill a tube sock with cat litter, tie it off, place it up on your dashboard at the window and forget about the inside of your window frosting up. It works!

I’ve also found joy in the little foot prints the rabbits make out in the snow.  So adorable!

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It’s all new, exciting, scary sometimes but overall I’m so happy to be here.  Let me just say that I will be so happy when I can hang my wool coat back in the closet, put my gloves and scarves away and don some flip-flops!  What a day that will be.

So, for now we bundle up, give my hands a rest until I see the doctor again and dream of stitching.

 

Stitch on my friends!!

 

Tracy

Busy Bee at work

If you have been reading my blog for long you know I struggle with finishing projects.  I get so excited about something new I want to make that I often times drop the current project to start another. Thus, too many projects half done to count.  Over the last month, however, I have managed to finish a couple projects (see On Pins and Needles post). I’ve also started and finished a couple projects and have one on the way to completion.

I cam across a cute unicorn crochet pattern from a site called Little Yarn Friends. I posted it on Facebook and said something like “I want to make this simply because it’s so adorable”. Which it is: tumblr_m53spxzhzu1r9eyk1

My brother said he would like one in Frankenstein colors with stitches and everything. So….. challenge accepted.

I was trying to decide if this little guy should be called Frankencorn or Unistein or something else.  But, when my brother received his little box in the mail with this guy in it he called it “Baron Hoofenstein, Undead Unicorn”. I like it.  He is definitely the more creative of us two  : )

Another little project was some crochet cabin boot slippers.  My brother shared it on Facebook and my daughter said she wanted some.  So…. I got out some flip flops, and aul, yarn and crochet hook and made these for her.

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The pattern comes from a website called Make and Do Crew. If you like crochet, they are worth checking out.  Anyway, what makes these slippers nice is that you use a pair of flip-flops to make the sole.  That way if you need to you can wear them outside.  I used Lion Brand Thick and Quick in the color Hudson Bay and buttons from one of my mom’s button boxes.  The flip-flops I got for $2 at Old Navy.  Oddly enough the first boot went really well and really easy but the second one I struggled with.  I think the reason for that is there is a right and left so it was a little difficult to get my head wrapped around the direction for the second one.  Anyway, put them in the mail on Thursday this week and my daughter got them yesterday so I can finally publish this post : )  She loves them by the way!

I just got back from Michael’s where I picked up some yarn (as if I don’t have enough) for a scarf project.  I’ll talk more about that later as it is a gift for my sweetheart.  And, I have promised myself I’ll finish up the needlepoint I’m working on before I start it.  More on the needlepoint in my next post.  I’ll just say it’s nearly finished and couldn’t be happier to be able to get it done soon.  Where I like the design I’m not overly fond of working with Persian wool.  So, to get it done would make me really, really happy!

So, off to a birthday party at a place where you paint and drink wine….what a great way to spend the afternoon.

Have a lovely rest of the weekend and do something creative!!!

Your stitching friend,

Tracy

 

 

Relieve my Guilt…..Please!

Relieve My Guilt…..Please!

 

A raise of hands please. How many of you stitchers/crafters have those projects that you just can’t seem to get done?  How do you handle that?

I have a needlepoint that I am trying to finish right now that is agonizing to get through.  I am determined to get it done as it is from a set of three stocking cuffs that I got with my kids in mind.  I have two done but this third one is just giving me headaches and I don’t like that.  I really enjoyed the first part which was a plaid design and I enjoyed the green. But, the black with the gold in it has given me fits.  I’ve even left the piece at work so I would take some time with it each day on my lunch break. Today I worked for about 15 minutes on it and was absolutely done and longed for some knitting.

 

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My thought at this juncture is that I will put it away with the idea of taking out the black at a later date and doing something else.  Maybe a different fiber, or different stitch or both for that matter.  I just don’t know.

So what do you do?  I know I’m not the only one out there that has multiple unfinished projects that they would like to finish and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has that project that begs to be finished but we just can’t get it done.

 

That’s my story for today. Short, a little rant maybe but just needed to share.

 

Thank you as always for reading.  I’d love to know your thoughts.

 

Stitch on my friends!

 

Tracy

Talent in the Family

I’ve got something to share. Once again nothing to do with stitching.  My brother, Kelly, is an artist.  Not just an artist but an excellent artist.  His style is extremely imaginative and whimsical.  His specialty is monsters.

You see, we grew up on monsters.  We saw all the movies, watched Creature Features on the weekend with host Bob Wilkins and were never short of imaginative stories often started by our dad.  Kelly has carried on that imagination very well and has let it influence much of his drawings.  A huge fan of Halloween, my brother, his wife Angie and their friends are known for costumes, decorations and most of all pumpkins.  They don’t just celebrate Halloween, they live it.

Kelly doesn’t just draw. He takes in information, mulls it around and creates some pretty amazing art.  Words don’t do it justice at all.

So, if you go to kellydoren.blogspot.com you will find a sampling of his work.  It’s fun. I especially love the 31 days of Monsters he does every year. There you will find out how much he is influenced by Halloween and Monsters.

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Check it out, drop him a line!  You’ll be glad you did.

Tracy  (Kelly’s proud sister)

PS. Keep on stitching, drawing, making music, whatever you do.  The world is better for it!

Sustenance for the Crafter-Oatmeal Jars

Not about stitching

Today I thought I would share some recipes for oatmeal jars.  I started making these several years ago and it has really made a difference in my breakfast routine.  When life gets busy it’s hard to eat well and even harder to get a good breakfast to start your day.  I started making these because we could just grab them and go.  I saw these for the first time on Pinterest and just altered them to work for my family. The recipes do make a good size serving which for some might be too much.  I’ve just recently started halving the recipe for half pint jars. Oats stay with you for a good long time so it’s a good way to boost your morning.  Try them and let me know what variations you make.  I’d love to hear about them.

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Half pint berry oatmeal jars

Berry Oatmeal Jars – Per pint jar

½ cup Old Fashioned Oats     150 calories

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt      55 calories

½ cup unsweetened almond milk   30 calories

½ cup frozen berries      35 calories

1 tsp milled flax seed     10 calories

Stevia (optional)        0 calories

Mix all ingredients together and put in pint jar. Refrigerate overnight.  Can be warmed up in the microwave.   Halve the ingredients if you prefer smaller portions for half pint jars.

 

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Pumpkin spice Oatmeal Jars – Per pint jar

½ cup Old Fashioned Oats          150 calories

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt           55 calories

½ cup unsweetened almond milk    30 calories

3 T pureed pumpkin      25 calories

1 tsp milled flax seed     10 calories

Cinnamon, nutmeg etc. to taste    Minimal caloric count

Stevia (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and put in pint jar.  Refrigerate overnight.  Warm up in microwave and stir. I top these jars with some walnuts before I dig in. Yum!

Halve the ingredients for half pint jars.

 

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Peanut Butter/Banana Oatmeal Jars – Per pint jar

½ cup Old Fashioned Oats          150 calories

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt           55 calories

½ cup unsweetened almond milk   30 calories

2 T PB2                45 calories

1/2 mashed banana       50 calories

1 tsp milled flax seed     10 calories

Stevia (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and put in pint jar. Refrigerate overnight. Warm up in microwave and stir although just as good cold.  Halve the ingredients for half pint jars.

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Notes:  I make my oatmeal jars up on Sunday evenings for the whole work week.  The only one that really doesn’t do well days in advance is the Peanut Butter/Banana one.  If you want to make that one up for the week I would leave out the banana until you are ready to eat.

You’ll see I use almond milk.  Less calories, less sugar.

PB2 is a great substitute for high fat/high calorie peanut butters and works better in the oatmeal jars because it’s easier to stir in.  However, I’ve seen people use other nut butters as well.

I hope you get a chance to make and enjoy these jars.  I look forward to eating them every time I make them.  Don’t forget to let me know what variations you come up with!

 

Have an oatmeal jar today and keep on stitching!!

Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift of a Craft Room

If you’ve been been following for a while you know that I moved from Napa, California to Reno, Nevada.  Huge move!  Most wonderful move!

So, we’re all settled and that is good.  Job is going well and things are just the way they should be.  One of the biggest things that has happened since being here is that I was gifted with a craft room.  My partner has a pool house that doesn’t get used anymore (although the pool does!) and gave that room to me so I could turn it into a craft room.  What a fantastic gift.  Turning the pool house into a craft room has not been without it’s challenges though.  It had become a catch-all of sorts.  So, working among boxes of craft supplies we first worked to clear the stuff out that wouldn’t be staying.  Here are some before photos:

Yes, quite a mess. And overwhelming.  Much of what I have as far as craft supplies go is what came from mom’s house when she passed away.  It got boxed up a little over a year ago and I just haven’t had the space to get it all out and use it. It’s been a mixed bag of emotions seeing all the stuff that mom and I used to use together.  I’m very excited to have it accessible and hopefully mom will be proud of the things I create.

My method for organizing my craft room was to have it in sections.  I have a corner for sewing machines and fabric.  Another corner holds yarn, patterns, hooks and needles.  There is a counter that I’m using for my large format printer (hopefully I can find the power cord for it), my standard printer and the Cricket. I bought some drawers for rubber stamps, ink pads, embellishments etc. A table where it all happens and because every crafter needs sustenance and music, I set up a table with a Kurig and room for snacks and a record player my mom got me for my birthday a few years back. I topped the whole thing off with some wall art and I can tell you I’m so excited to have some time to go out there and create!

This is how it turned out:

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I’m so very happy with it.  There are a few more things I would like to do to it but I can go out there, make a cup of coffee, turn on the music and make some magic happen.

A funny thing…..got everything unpacked and put away and then found a rubbermaid tub and a couple bags of…..wait for it…….more craft supplies.  Of course!!!  My mom used to tell me if I needed craft supplies come to her house first because if she didn’t have it, the craft store probably didn’t have it either.

Well, time for bed and dreams about yarn, fabric, ink and paper.

Stitch on my friends wherever you may!

Nighty-night!

 

 

A Lesson in Crafter’s Math

Here is some instruction on how to add up your craft projects.  

5 WIPs (Works in Progress) and determination to get them done before starting another project.

Whoops!  A friend is having a baby, must make a baby blanket.   Add one more project.

Baby blanket complete and was soooo much fun to make.  Browsing baby patterns.

Almost finished with one WIP (needlepoint). Browsing Keepsake Needle Arts, Herrschner’s, etc.  Fall is coming, I think I’ll just buy a canvas and set of four counted cross-stitch patterns.  I will not start them until this WIP is complete.

Needlepoint WIP complete. Oh look! I love this crochet afghan pattern.  It won’t take long to work up.  I’ll just slide this in between WIPs. But, once I finish this one….Definitely going to finish the other 4 WIPs.

Do I now have 4 or 5 WIPs??

Crochet, crochet, crochet…..This is bigger than I thought.  I’ll just take a break and work on a WIP. This is not grabbing me much either.  

O.k. I’ll just do this tiny counted cross-stitch pumpkin.  

Alright, maybe I’ll do two. You can’t have just one of them done.

Back to afghan.  Love these colors.  I’ll just finish this up pronto.  It’ll look nice draped on the couch.  I wonder if there are any pillow patterns in this stitch.  Then I could use the same color to make those?

Hmmm….running out of yarn for the afghan.  Google search to see if I can find more.  Oooo, look at that yarn.  That would make some nice socks. FOCUS!! We are only looking for what we need to finish the crochet afghan.  O.k. I’m going to just get two skeins of sock yarn as well.  And a pattern book…And…

Cleaning the craft room.  Look here!  I forgot about this WIP.  I think I started that when my youngest was born. 17 years ago? Really?  I’ll get everything I need together to finish it and put it with my other WIPs.  Hmmm.  I’ll need some more Kreinik #8 in Emerald High Lustre to finish that. I guess I’ll need to take a trip to the local needlepoint store. Oh darn!

I think I may be down to 3 WIPs.  I’ve been doing a lot with all these projects.

Oh hey!! Another baby.  Off to the craft store for yarn because none of the 32 skeins of baby yarn will be quite right.

I know you can relate.  I do admire those who are working on just one project at a time.  Those people… you know who they are… pick a canvas and fibers or pattern and yarn and start the thing and work on it until it’s finished before starting a new project.  Either they are focused or just really bad at Crafter’s Math.

Thank you for reading! BTW, still not sure how many WIPs I have. ☺

Stitch on my friends

Good-bye Candace

Today’s post is not about knitting, crochet or needlepoint but about our dear cat Candace.

This last week we lost our sweetheart Candace.  She was one of the sweetest cats I have ever known.  We adopted Candace when she was 9 months old and had her for just two years. Soft, sweet, cuddly and a nice companion for our other cat Tortie.

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A couple weeks ago she stopped eating and started losing weight.  Turned out she had feline immunodeficiency virus.  We didn’t even know until it was too late.  Thursday we had to have her put to sleep to end her suffering.  We’ll miss her so much. We already do.

Some of the numerous things we’ll miss is her kneading everything. And I mean everything.  Where our other cat Tortie didn’t play with cat toys Candace was a veritable acrobat with them.  Tossing toys in the air and catching them in her paws.  We’ll even miss her licking us.  She would lick and lick until you just had to get her to stop.  I’ve heard that this is a sign that she was taken from her mother too young.

Because of her diagnosis of FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) we had our other cat Tortie tested last Saturday for the corona virus and am happy to say she does not have it.

Good-bye dear Candace.

Green Leaf Ear Warmer

I’ve been looking and looking for ear warmer patterns.  I work in a warehouse.  Our office sits inside.  This warehouse stores wine and spirits at a cool 55 degrees.  We may sit in an office but it does get rather chilly in there.  So, I thought some ear warmers would be great.  I wanted knit ones and sort of narrow ones. I have found a lot of beautiful patterns but nothing like what I imagined.  So…I did something I’ve never done before and designed my own.  I think they turned out pretty nice : )

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This is the first time I’ve created my own pattern.  It’s very easy. Even a novice knitter could do it.  So, here is the pattern.  It has a lot of possibilities to create your own design.

The Pattern

Cast on 20 stitches.

Row 1: knit

Row 2: k4, p12, k4

Row 3: knit

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until piece is long enough to wrap around your head covering your ears.  Mine was approximately 22 inches.

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Bind off leaving about a 10 inch tail for sewing seam.

Folding piece with right sides together use tapestry needle and tail to neatly sew seam making a loop.

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Leaf pattern

Cast On 5 stitches
Row 1: k2, yo, k1, yo, k2 -7 stitches
Row 2 and all even rows: purl
Row 3: k3, yo, k1, yo, k3 – 9 stitches
Row 5: k4, yo, k1, yo, k5 – 11 stitches
Row 7: ssk, k7, k2tog – 9 stitches
Row 9: ssk, k5, k2tog – 7 stitches
Row 11: ssk, k3, k2tog – 5 stitches
Row 13: ssk, k1, k2tog – 3 stitches
Row 15: slip the first stitch, knit the next two stitches together, and pass the slipped stitch over.

Cut about 10 inches from leaf and pull through remain stitch and pull tight.  Use the tail and tapestry needle to attach to loop at desired location. Make as many leaves as you like.  Three sounded good to me.  But you can add as many as you like.  Use a variation of the band color or multi colored leaves.

Stitch abbreviations:

K = knit, P = pearl, yo = yarn over, ssk = slip, slip, knit, k2tog = knit 2 together

The finished product

I’m wishing I had arranged the leaves differently.  I may take them off and position them differently.  We’ll see.  I like it and am a bit proud of myself.  People tell me I’m very creative and my response is always “I’m only as creative as the pattern I follow.”  Well, maybe I’ll branch out more and create some more patterns.

I hope you’ll try it and give me some feed back.  Enjoy!  And keep those ears warm.

Stitch On!