Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction…To Yarn


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My Brain is Exploding!

I hinted in my last post that I had purchased another loom. It’s a monster!

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It’s a Glimakra loom, made in Sweden. The instructions consist of a book of photos. Let’s just say it’s a steep learning curve. I put everything together and ordered a few missing parts. The U.S. division of the company is in Montana and they are very helpful.

I actually sit inside the loom to thread it.

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Here’s what it looked like when I was done threading.

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I wove on it for a while the other night, and then haven’t had time to get back to it. It looks like my calendar is clearing up after next week. I hope!

More later, after my brain recovers. At least I hope it will.


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I’m Officially a Weaver!

I’ve been wanting to take a weaving class forever!  I looked back through the blog, and found a post from May of 2010 about my desire to learn to weave.  Well….last week I was finally able to take a class.  And oh, was it worth the wait!

The Weavers Guild of Minnesota has an amazing class list!  I’ve been trying forever to schedule a beginning class.  The problems was that the classes for beginners are either a Monday thru Friday class or a Friday thru Sunday class.  It just never worked to carve out that much time to be away.  So, as you saw in my last post, the timing finally worked.  And I’m totally and completely fascinated with weaving.

In the past, every time I mentioned wanting to learn to weave, my readers suggested buying a Cricket loom.  I know me.  And I know I’ll go crazy.  Go big or go home is my motto!  More on that later.  I had in my mind that I wanted a new cherry Mighty Wolf with an 8 harness.  As the class progressed, I started to rethink what I wanted.  Yes!  That’s exactly why I waited to take a class before I purchased anything.

I got home on Friday and on Saturday, I headed over to visit a high school friend.  She had a loom she wanted to sell.  It turned out it is a Mighty Wolf, although its only a 4 harness.  To make a long story short, I now have a loom…..in our bedroom.

In the photo it looks like cherry, but we’re trying to figure out what it is.  It’s too light to be cherry and too dark to be maple.  Whatever!  I love it.  By Saturday night, I had it warped and by Monday morning, I had my first official done-all-by-myself finished project.  I made every rookie mistake there was to make, but I figured out how to fix stuff and here it is!

Just a simple project with two colors of perle cotton.  I’m sure you’d like to see more, right?

And I did take all of your suggestions to check Craigslist, and on Sunday night I bought another loom.  It’s huge and beautiful and scary and fun!  And I spent less on both looms than I would have if I’d made my original purchase.

And now, I’m off to thread the big loom for the first time.  Wish me luck!  I’ll be back to tell you how it went.


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I Want A Loom!!!

I mentioned yesterday that I was learning how to weave.  I was up in the air about whether or not I was going to like it.  I’m taking the class at the Textile Center in Minneapolis.  The Weavers Guild has a great space there.  If I lived closer, I would become a permanent fixture there.  The library is amazing.  There’s a dye studio.  It includes every kind of fiber art you can imagine.  So fun!

Sp, do I like weaving.  Yes!  I do!  And I even dressed to match my project today.  It was totally by accident though.

That doesn’t look like weaving, does it?  How about this?

I’m in love.  And now I’m going to go have dinner with Dreamboy.  After that, I’ll be perusing craigslist for a loom.  Where in the world am I going to put that?


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All Crafting! All the Time!

I’ve been a bit craft crazed lately.  Maybe that’s why when I did laundry last weekend, the piles resembled mountains!  It had been a while.

I want to knit everything, spin everything and quilt everything.  I’m even finishing some quilts.  In July of 2011, I had the brilliant idea to make all of the quilts in the Living Large 2 book.   I blogged my idea here.  So, a bit more than three years later, I think I only have one quilt in the book that I haven’t made.  I finished the largest one last week.  The pattern is called Starlit Evening and Heather blogged about it here.

I had all of the blocks made and stashed in a container.  I pulled them out and arranged everything on the floor.  To be honest, I wasn’t feeling the love.  Then I started putting it together.  By the time I was finished, I was totally in love!  And so was my sidekick.

This pattern is genius and it’s strip pieced!

The fabric line is Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda.  I’m pretty sure I bought backing for this project.  I just need to find it.  I highly recommend all the patterns in this book.  Heather is a genius!  If you’d like to purchase the pattern, you can find it here.

I’m also back to painting furniture.  I bought a sofa table for $50 on a swap and sell.  I wish I’d taken a photo of it before I killed it made it beautiful.

First I sanded it.  Then I stenciled on the top of the table and the shelf on the bottom with cream paint.  After that was dry, I went over it with a dark stain.

How cool is that?  Then I primed the rest of the table.

Although the gray primer actually looks kind of cool, that wasn’t the look I was going for.  Here’s the finished project.  Yes, the garage is a scary place!

I really really love how this turned out.  I brushed a bit of stain over the red and distressed it a bit.  Then I rubbed a couple of coats of Minwax on it.  Mission accomplished!

My idea for the project came from this post.  What a great idea!

And what am I up to this week, you ask?  I’m finally learning how to weave.  I’m pretty sure my brain is about to explode.  I had no idea how involved it is.  Ask me on Friday if I want to add weaving to my plethora of crafty endeavors!

Now I’m going to go rest my brain to get ready for another day of weaving instruction.

 


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National Coffee Day Quilting!

I really intended to get this posted yesterday, but I got sucked into the unfinished quilt vortex.  It’s a good thing Dreamboy is away at college because there are quilt tops all over his bed.  He shares his bedroom with my longarm.  I was there first though!

Anyway, this quilt made its way onto the machine.

This quilt is supposed to go on the wall of the kitchen in My Hero’s office.  I made curtains for a couple of bathrooms in his office last week and they were a colossal fail!  This is supposed to make up for the curtains.  (I’ve also come up with a plan to replace the awful curtains.)

I love the coffee bean fabric on the small border.  The fabric is an older Moda line.  I don’t remember what it is called.  The quilt should be really cute….if I ever get myself back downstairs to actually quilt it.

In other news, I’ve finished Liken, the MKAL project by Sivia Harding.  I like my Liken.  I like my Liken a lot!!!!

I don’t know why, but I can’t get a photo of this project that does it justice.  The colors are much richer than this.

This is what it looked like when it was blocking.  Blocking is magic, I tell you!

See all of those sparkly beads.  Beads are magic too!

I really enjoyed knitting this.  The yarn is handspun with fiber from Abstract Fibers.  Having a clue each week for five weeks kept me going, but yet wasn’t too overwhelming.

Before I go, I’ll share a facebook post I did last week about cleaning.  I’m sure a lot of you can relate!

Wow! My creative mind really messes with my cleaning attempts. My yarn is housed in our bedroom. There is currently yarn all over. That’s easy! Put the stuff away.

Here’s how it works. Open drawer. Full. Open another drawer. Put yarn in it. Stop. Oh, that’s pretty yarn! Take new yarn out. Put another partially finished project away. Wait!!! I forgot about that project. I wonder where the pattern is. Run to laundry room to grab sheets out of the dryer. Oh, there are my towels. Go back to my bathroom with towels. Forget sheets. Go back and get sheets. Realize there’s yarn all over the bed. Put another batch of yarn away. Spot another great, partially finished project. Knit two rows of project to make sure I remember how. Run to kitchen for a diet coke. Spot a quilt book on the kitchen counter. Page through it. Decide I need to quickly look in the sewing room to see if I have the perfect fabric for a project. Dig for a few minutes and decide I’d better get back to the messy bedroom. Spot spinning wheel in the living room. Exercise discipline and keep on walking. Look at messy bedroom. Throw everything lying on the bed on the chair. Make bed. I was going to have this done by noon. It’s 11:42. Clear a path and call it good. Knitting is way more fun.

Welcome to my brain on Diet Coke and knitting.

 


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Fabulous Factory Tour

The last morning I was in Colorado, I was just planning to hang out and knit.  I started out by blog and Pinterest surfing.  Then I decided to look at the Schacht website and dream about the loom I’m going to own some day.  I soon realized that the factory is in Boulder.  Then I realized that I was also in Boulder.  I’ll bet you know where this is going!

I quickly made a phone call, showered, and packed my suitcase and the yarn I had strewn all over.  An hour later, I was here:

My tour guide was Denise, and we had a lot of fun!  The factory smells wonderful!  Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly cut wood?  Are you ready for lots of photos?

I own a Matchless, so needless to say, that was really intriguing to me.  I have a photo of mine when I got it in 2012.  The wood is much darker now, because cherry darkens as it ages.

Here are a whole bunch of legs for the wheel.

And the wheel itself.  The pieces are glued together and then held under pressure for a couple of days.

This is what it looks like before the final carving is done.

Look at all the fliers.  Denise told me they didn’t very often have that many sitting there.

One thing I thought was interesting is that the employees seemed happy.  They’d smile and say hi when you walked by.  Some of them have been there for more than thirty years.  We walked outside and saw a whole bunch of garden plots.  Any employee can have a plot for their own vegetables and flowers.  The only requirement is that their garden has to be organic.  They also have chickens on the property and if a employee would like, they can take care of them for a week and take all the eggs.

Ok, back to the inside tour.  Look at all these cute Ladybugs!

 

Oh, one other thing I learned is that the Schacht company has another factory along with this that makes bike bells and mirrors.  Evidently the owner is an avid biker and couldn’t find a mirror he liked, so he decided to make his own.

And then there are the Sidekicks.  I’m seriously considering selling my Kromski Sonata travel wheel and buying one of these.  They use all the same bobbins, etc.  And they fold up and fit in a small bag for travel.

 

 

But here’s what really had me jazzed up!  I’m thinking this is the loom I’m going to want some day.  That day may be coming because I finally found a time for the weaving class I want to take.

I left there so excited about a craft that I never thought I wanted to learn.  I’ve been spinning for almost three years, and I just love it.  It’s totally relaxing and I’m creating gorgeous yarn at the same time.  Thanks Denise, for the great tour.

I’ll leave you with a photo of what I started spinning last night.

 

JuliespinsThe fiber is from JulieSpins.  She’s my all time favorite dyer and supplier.  This fiber is Polwarth, mohair, and silk and it spins like a dream.  It’s called Pumpkin Patch.  Someone commented on Ravelry last night that with Julie’s stuff, what you see on her Etsy page is what you get, or even better.  She does a great job photographing her yarn and fiber.  Go buy some!  You won’t regret it.

Now I need to go be productive.  Or have a nap.  This “middle age” stuff and waking up in the middle of the night is kicking my butt!!!


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An Adventure

I’ve been really quiet on the blog for a while.  Again.  I’ve been doing lots of fun stuff.  There are at least three blog posts floating around in my head.  I guess I’ll just start with one.

Mom and I attended The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling in Ft. Collins, Colorado last week.  (The owner of the shop, Sheri, blogged about it here.)  Mom and I met up in Denver last Wednesday and drove up to Ft. Collins.  On Wednesday night, we attended an event featuring Stephanie Pearl McPhee.  Yes, she is hilarious!

The next few days involved classes and shopping at The Loopy Ewe.   If you ever need to order yarn online and get it quickly, that’s the place to go.  Their customer service is second to none.  And yes, I did buy yarn  Duh!

The shop is filled with gorgeous yarn and quilting fabric.  This is one aisle, looking all the way back to the fabric department.  I also bought this bag.  And yes, it is true.  Just ask my kids.

 

I was able to take a class with the amazing Ann Budd.  Here is a photo of her with Stephanie.  They were arguing about kitchener stitch.  Ann won.!!!

I was blessed to be able to meet some wonderful people.  Knitters are the best!!!  Mom knew a few people there.  One of the ladies knew someone that I’ve had as a facebook friend for several years, but I’ve never met in person.  I’m so thrilled that we’re finally going to be able to meet in February.  That’s all I’m going to say about that right now.  Suffice it to say, it was a really great coincidence!!!

Since this is a knitting and quilting blog, I should show you something I’m working on, huh?  I mentioned in my last post that I’m working on a Mystery knitalong by Sivia Harding.  Here it is after clue three.  There are two more clues and I have a lot of yarn left.  I think it’s going to be a lot of knitting!

Speaking of knitting, it’s time to reload my coffee cup and get at it!

 

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