2012 – A New Start…

I am thrilled to see 2011 go!  It was a complicated year!  One filled with doctor visits, Emergency Room visits, and a stay for a week in my local hospital – due in part to my asthma and COPD plus my lower back which just seemed to decide to create havoc with my body. 

The asthma and COPD seem to be under control with the new medicine (Singulair)…plus I will be seeing a pulmanologist on January 4th…

The lower back is coming along well and I try to do the exercises as prescribed…It will take a little time…

And,  I hope not to have to be visiting my doctor or the ER this year!!!!

No resolutions this year…but that does not mean that I do not have any plans and ideas for the New Year.

Last year I managed to read 71 books…and found some new authors (Jodi Picoult, Mary Higgins Clark, Carlene Thompson – to name a few).   The plan continues to remain in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks group on Ravelry…

Block of the Month (Quilting) – well, actually, I was not going to participate in my local quilt store’s BOM program this year…then they made the mistake of showing me the fabric…I’m in…

I’ve never taken an on-line class – and this year I have decided to take the BOM class at Craftsy.com.  The class is free and is taught through video and interactive questions and answers with the teacher.  What I really like about it is that it is also a techniques class – and I am looking forward to learning some new things.

Embroidery has always been something that I have enjoyed – but, have never known much about the stitches other than the simple ones- so, I’m going to be learning by taking another on-line class called Take a Stitch Tuesday.   Each Tuesday a new stitch will be shown and we can practice it during the week.  Think it will be fun.

The agenda this year calls for trying to knit 12 pair of socks!!!!  That’s a pair a month…Plus some other knitting as well.   Maybe even get some weaving in this year…

That about covers the reading and crafty part of my life for the coming year…What are you planning on doing????

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Home Again…

I am home – after spending the most awesome week-end in Freeport, Maine at SPA.  SPA is a spinning, weaving, and knitting event that takes over three hotels and really  takes over the town of Freeport.  In order to beat the winter storm we arrived late on Thursday and left this afternoon…

So, I’m sleepy – and headed for bed – but, I’ll tell you more about it – in this next week.

Why Weaving…

My friend, Dave said: “Those are two words I never would have thought I’d head from you: I’m Weaving! ”

But, to tell the truth I have been enamoured of weaving since I lived in Tennessee.  Each year we (Scarlett, Mike, Carl, and I) would be part of a craft festival at this old farm.  Scarlett and I had herbal items, handmade soaps, and small knitted and quilted items.  Mike and Carl used to sell beautiful handmade jewelry.

Each year I would wander around and see the other vendors – and I always spent a ton of time with the weavers…it was just amazing to watch them…and the end products were usually place mats, kitchen towels, and beautiful scarves.

A loom was just not in the budget – so, I sort of let the idea that I might weave just go to the back of my mind.  In between time – Mike decided that he wanted to weave and went all out and got several looms and then made beautiful handbags and shawls that were woven.

After we had been in Tennessee for five years – Mike passed away.  He left me his loom…and in the beginning – I could not bring myself to use it.  We have been here five years and still the loom sat alone and unused.

Fiber Festival in Newbury, MA brought me to the realization that I wanted to weave…I tried a loom that was similar to mine … and immediately felt at home with it…so, I came home and cleaned off the loom…and found classes close to me.  And, now I am weaving.

Some people have asked about the scarf I am making – it is a light gray yarn – (cotton, silk, and rayon)…I will be weaving about three inches of that – then I am going to add some fun yarn in blues, grays, and purples for about three inches  – and finish off the scarf in the light gray yarn.

I really wanted to start with dish towels – that is what I really want to weave – table accessories and dish towels – but, she thought I should start with a project like this scarf.., so that is what I am doing!

I'm Weaving…

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This is my loom on its stand.  You are looking at the side view…the top part is the actual loom.

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This shows the loom strung with the warp and I am starting to work on the weft.

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And, this is the first weaving I have done on it…I am so proud!  It will be a scarf for me! 

Ignore that really dark blue – it is not part of the scarf.  It is what you do to get the warp to be even – so that the spacing is correct for your weaving.  It will come out one I am done with the scarf.

Weaver?

Weaver?  Oh, that sounds so nice!  And, yes, I will be a weaver!  Class today was fun! 

First of all, I arrived with my loom and all the accessories I had been given…The good news is – I have just about everything I need!  The bad news – my loom is missing an essential piece.  It is the roller in the back but, we can easily get that taken care of.  (We both looked at photos on line – and then when I got home I looked again – and that is what it seems to be.)

I bought a book –

weaving4

I did my very first project planning sheet.  I will be making two dish towels out of 8/2 cotton,  Nobody told me that there would be all this math…thank goodness it is simple stuff like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing!  I can deal with that!

weaving2

Here I am working on my warp threads…I will need 255 warp threads that are 83 inches long.  I am using my teacher’s warp board.

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This is my teacher and friend, Deb checking my tension.  She said I was doing really well and that the tension was right.  She thinks I will do well with weaving! 

So, do I!  It just seems easy to understand…and I was very happy and felt totally relaxed working today.  My homework while we are waiting to get the part I need for the loom is to read the first 52 pages of the book.  The rest of the book has patterns…and to drop by the shop and finish my warp threads!  I think I can handle that!

(Hey, Mike – you knew I was the gal to give your loom to – thanks, my friend!  I still miss you!)