Saturday, July 28, 2007

Greetings from Maine

I have been sadly remiss in my recent posts. But I finally have pictures of something worth posting.
These past two weeks I have been in Maine, for a family reunion. The weather has been, in general, perfectly lovely. Normally it is hot and muggy here, but it has been tolerable.
I have been spending a vast amount of time in the pool/lake, and next to air conditioning units, knitting, of course. I have worked on:
  • The watermelon socks are now finished! And I have worn them as well. I am very happy with how they turned out.
  • A linen stitch bag in hand dyed (not by me) indigo yarn from Orting, WA (Heritage Yarn, I think). It's a nice sturdy yarn, good for a bag. Almost done, just need double points for the bottom of the bag.
  • A red tank top in Kashmir DK, from Louisa Harding. I am basing it off of an Elspeth Lavold pattern from the new Cotton Frappe book. Front's almost finished.
  • A cell-phone pouch from my leftovers from the socks.
  • I bought a skein of yarn from Peace Fleece here in Porter, ME. It's in pretty Peacock colours. I have one skein, and it's a DK weight, 100 grams. Have no idea what I shall do with it yet though.
This past week I have been working on my family's loom down at the Jay Historical Society. The ladies (and gents) there were all so sweet and so glad I was working on the loom. Here is a picture in all of it's enormous glory.

History of the loom:
The loom was made in the 1700's (supposedly, and believe is old) in Massachusetts. It was brought to Jay, ME in the early 1800's (not necessarily by my family) and resided in Jay until it was used by my Great Grandfather, Jonas Godding Pike. After his death it stayed in the attic, mostly unused, and unmoved (it's so big!) until the 1960's-ish when my great uncle Stanley donated it to the society.
In recent history, it has been used by a local weaver who set it up and rigged up heddles to go with it and replaced the ropes that were dead. It has been moved several times. And two years ago a drunk on the adjacent highway crashed into it damaging one of the legs. Stupid drunk! Grrrr.

My project:
I wove a rag rug (there was already a linen warp on the loom set up for a rag rug, so I re-tensioned the warp and re-used it) with cotton prints. It took me a day to repair things on the loom and replace ropes and strings, and then 2 hours total to weave it.
It took the longest time to figure out the heddles. I had the worst shed possible until I realized that they were crooked.
Now I have to take a picture of the final project. But here is the weaving in progress:

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Wikipedia Game

Okay, I found this on Knit and Run today. The rules are as follows: Go to Wikipedia, type in your birth month and day.
Then post the folowwing on yer blog.
3 Events
2 Births
1 Holiday
Well, I did so, on a whim (and sleep deprivedness) and came up with the following.
  1. 1056 - Byzantine Empress Theodora dies suddenly without children to succeed the throne, ending the Macedonian dynasty.
  2. 1864 - American Civil War: Union forces led by General William T. Sherman launch an assault on Atlanta, Georgia.
  3. 1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash in Paris. (I was in Indonesia for this one).
  1. 12 - Gaius Caligula, Roman Emperor (d. 41)
  2. 161 - Commodus, Roman Emperor (d. 192)
St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, patron of firefighters feast day.

In other news, I recieved my swap package from England in the Handspun/Handcraft swap. I love the package! S sent me some lovely handmade jewelry and a journal for my spinning, already in use. She sent a lovely set of shell earrings.

Two other sets of earrings:

And Two lovely bracelets to match:

"Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Shed"

I promise to post several times in the next few days. Really I do. I have been bogged down with finals and black sheep gathering for the past few weeks.
First on the list of updates, however, is my finished weaving project. I made 4 1/2 yards of fabric at 58" wide for weaving this past term in a double plain weave. It was quite a chore.
  • 1. I had to dye the yarn. I had two yarns I wanted to combine for the warp, a camel coloured wool/poly (70/30) blend (12 wpi), and Emerald Fantasy (Nature Spun Fingering, 12 wpi) with 16 brown threads and 4 coloured threads to make up the pattern. But the camel was the wrong colour, so I dyed it brown. That was fun, I needed to dye 1.5 lbs of wool. I ended up using one packed of cocoa brown and one of dark brown in rit dye, and it seems to have worked fairly well.
  • 2. Warping. God, I couldn't seem to do math for this project. I had to warp in sections (big surprise) and I kept getting the wrong number of colour repeats in my bundles. For one, I decided that 14.5 x 2 = 35. I promise you that it does not. Gah. So I kept have to go and warp more and more thread. And then I ended up warping still more when I realized that I had 31 inches of space in my read, and I had only made my warp 30" wide. So I warped another bundle.
  • 3. I hated my loom. It hated me. Let's just say that it was too big for my 4'11.5" frame. And it had a sectional warping thing so I couldn't lean on it, and was continually skewering myself upon said spikes. Again, Gah.
  • 4. I had the worst shed in history because of the double weave and the wool yarn. The top shed was fine, but the bottom shed hated me. With a passion. I kept getting the two layers stuck together. We came up with a commandment for weavers the world over: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's shed."
  • 5. 4.5 yards is a bloody lot of fabric to weave. In actuality, it is like weaving 9 yards of fabric because it is double weave.
In the end I am quite happy with the result:

Next time I get around to posting: "The Trials and Tribulations of Black Sheep" and "My New Swap Package of Coolness."