Saturday, March 28, 2009

New fiber addiction

One day a very long time ago, a co-worker was cleaning out the storage room at work and pulled out a box that contained a table loom destined for the curb. I claimed it and it has sat in whatever houses I've inhabited for almost twenty years. I've gotten it out a couple of times and tried to decipher the directions, but they are very sparse. Goggleing the model and loom didn't turn up any help either. Lately, the weaving bug has been buzzing in my ear and I've been looking at rigid heddle looms. I wold love a floor loom, but my house is small (and so is my budget).

In the midst of this I bought Chicky a loom for her birthday. It came with very clear directions and an impressive project book.She loves it and has made her first scarf. She wants to make a hoodie next.


Reading her instruction manual made me think that perhaps I could get that old loom out of the attic and manage to figure it out. I did! Here it is without the 10 dent heddle attached yet.

old loom

My first project didn't turn out so well. My selvedges SUCK and the weave is too open. I used linen for the warp and some of my early handspun (romney) for the weft. I only handwashed it and I've since read a good go through the washing machine might tighten things up a bit.


Since warping the loom is a two person job, I went ahead and decided on my next project while the peeps were here to help. It's going to be a scarf with Opal sock yarn as the warp and Fiesta Boomerang as the weft. My left selvedges look good, the right have not been so great, but now that I'm over halfway through look much better. I hate the learning curve sometimes.
I did order a 32" Kromski Harp and the book Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Linn Davenport. The loom is backordered and I'm trying to be calm and patient until it gets here. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about placemats...

Monday, March 02, 2009

Back from the edge of the planet

Nope, I didn't fall off the planet. I was worried for a while, right before Christmas when I thought I might, but it didn't happen.

I woke up to about four inches of snow this morning. Eowyn woke me up at 5:30 am absolutely determined to go outside. I made her wait about half an hour because she has this evil habit of barking - sometimes it's a cat or a squirrel, but most of the time I have no idea why and it bugs the shit out of me. I had a hard time finding her lead under the snow and she made herself all heavy when she thought I was trying to take her back inside (I just needed to scrape my boots in another direction a bit to look for the tie-out, but she didn't understand my explanation). Since I was already up, I had my coffee and made my grocery list for Tres Leches cake. My co-workers have put up with listening to me whine about my desire to make this cake for a few weeks now. I try not to bake if I don't have a reason to do so, it's an expensive habit in money and calories! My excuse today: my birthday was Friday, but my children were (and still are, thanks to the snow) at their dad's house and we didn't get a chance to celebrate.

By the time I had all the ingredients at room temperature it was time for a spot of tea. According to my web research, Tres Leches is best if it has at least the night to set in the fridge. Basically it's a sponge cake soaked in three milks: heavy cream, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk, and then frosted with a vanilla cream frosting. YUM!

snow day stuff

Saturday I used my new birthday present and made some of Jamie Oliver's English Onion Soup from the Jamie at Home cookbook. LOVE. THE. DUTCH. OVEN. It and I are going to be best friends, I can tell already.

birthday present

Then, because I made some last weekend (and the peeps liked it for breakfast) I made another batch of Aunt Melissa's Granola from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I add all kinds of dried fruit to it and I like it because it's not overly sweet. One batch fills my old blue Ball Perfect Mason jar and seems to be just enough for a week.

this week's granola

Other than cooking, which really has been happening a lot, I'm working on Daphne's Baby Cape (rav link) and the comments posted about the yarn requirements being waaaaaay off are quite correct. I'm on the third skein (pattern calls for three) and I'm less than halfway done. The baby I'm making it for was born this past Wednesday and the rows are over 200 stitches; it's kind of a garter stitch slog at this point. I haven't been watching much TV and I haven't figured out Elizabeth Zimmerman's trick of reading and knitting (other than patterns) at the same time so the knitting has suffered.

I did give in and read the Twilight series. My interest waned, however, when it got weighed down in a lack of character development. There were several loopholes that really pissed me off, but I digress. Since I was all in a dither when I was done I had to go back and re-read my favorite vampire book Sunshine. Much more how vampires are supposed to behave, thankyouverymuch. I have a PILE of books next to my bed and I decided to go light and funny next. Dennis Leary fits the bill. After that the old bedside reading gets heavier.

Plans for the rest of the day? Watch some DVR'd shows and knit - the cape awaits!