Passing Down Crazy

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


3 Comments

I Love Cherries!

I’ve always loved cherries.  Almost 29 years ago, I picked out a dress for our rehearsal dinner.  I only ever bought clothes that were on sale, but this dress was expensive.  Anybody remember Carole Little?  Anyway, it was white with cherries on it.  My dad actually went with me and bought it.  It was a great dress!

Fast forward to last week.  I had to make this!

This is Mini Cherry Pie from Fig Tree & Co.  I pulled some fabric scraps, and by the next day it was pieced, quilted, bound, washed and dried, and hanging in my sewing room.  I found the cute little shelf on clearance at Target.  And yes, I love wild wallpaper!

I also finished a spinning project.  I think I started spinning this in November.  I was going to leave it as singles, but I hate single ply yarn.  I just have to remind myself of that occasionally.

It’s a little bit under plyed for my taste, but I may just be too lazy to fix it.

Speaking of single ply yarn, I have another weaving fail.  I chose an alpaca, wool yarn to weave, and it has problems!

I had a terrible time working it through the lease sticks.  See how fuzzy it’s getting.  I’m starting to break ends.  I’m going to go as far as I can with this.  Maybe I’ll at least get a couple of pillows out of it.  No more singly ply yarn for me!!!  My only consolation is that it would have made a horrible sweater.  It would have pilled the first time I wore it. Now it’s out of my stash.

By the way, if you’re a weaver, you probably just groaned and said, “Well, duh”!  Please feel free to offer advice in the comments.  I won’t be offended.  This weaving thing is kicking my butt!

I’ve been spending the bulk of my time in my sewing room, because it’s the easiest place to contain this little girl.

I actually heard myself say, “Lola!  Don’t eat the sewing machine”.  She was quite interested in the foot pedal cord.  She listens well, but has to be watched all the time.  Todays lesson was to not chew on my knitting.  She is the sweetest little thing and hates being scolded.  It will all take time!

And now it’s bed time for me.  Having  toddler in the house again is hard work!


1 Comment

The Learning Curve

I’m finding out that there’s a pretty steep learning curve with weaving.  The Genius seems to be having less trouble with it than I am.  I’m struggling with picking out yarns to use.  They look great in my head, but in real life, they’re lacking.  I’m also having trouble figuring out the tabby, selvage thing.  My brain is tired.

Over Christmas, I gave up and took my project off the loom.  I’d call it a failure, but it isn’t, because I learned a lot. There are some long floats.  My width went wonky right from the start.  Warping Noro yarn is not for a beginner.  And I’m not even showing my selvages.

Yep!  Fringe is a wonderful thing.  It makes a so so project look pretty decent.

I warped that loom last night.  I’ll update soon.  I’m not sure if it will be a win or a fail.

In a previous post, I mentioned that The Genius was converting my Glimakra to a countermarch loom.  Here is the fabric she wove to test it.

Not bad for a new weaver, huh?  We call her The Genius for a reason.  Neither one of us has these colors in our homes. She was just using up some cotton that I inherited with a loom.  What is true red in this photo is really burgundy, which is my very least favorite color.

So…..I had a brilliant idea.

I made two knitting project bags with the fabric.  She spent countless hours over Christmas working on my loom.  It was the least I could do to thank her.  This way we both have the memory of her contribution to my weaving.

There is quilting going on as well.  I’ve found out that with a new puppy, I just park myself in my sewing room.  She’s easy to contain that way.  A few minutes ago the words, “Lola, don’t eat the sewing machine,” came out of my mouth. She was ready to chew on the pedal for the foot cord.   She’s now sound asleep in her kennel.

If you’re really curious about what I do every day, there is a link to my Instagram at the top right of the page.  I post a photo almost every day.

And now I get to pick out fabric to test some quilts!!!

 

 


4 Comments

My Head is Spinning

I have so many new project ideas in my head!!!   I think I may have too many hobbies.  I’d like to spin all the fiber, knit all the yarn, piece all the quilts, and weave everything I see.  And Instagram is probably not helping.  There are so many inspiring photos to see every day!

So, what am I working on?  I’ll just show you a few things.  First of all, I decided I needed more project bags for all the unfinished stuff.  I made two the other day, but I only photographed one for some reason.

I love snowman stuff.  In Minnesota, you can use it for about half the year!  Except this year, because we haven’t gotten much snow.  I do love my little bag though.  I’m using the greatest bag pattern from Jeni Baker.  It’s just called the Lined Drawstring Bag.

A large, long term project I’m working on right now is my Sue Spargo Crimson Tweed wool quilt.  My awesome mother-in-law got me the kit for Christmas.  I spent a whole day, just sorting fabrics and deciding where to put them.  I pretty much have the base layers of each block figured out.  Everything needs to be stitched down, and then the embellishing starts.

I don’t anticipating being done with this project any time soon!

The other thing that has taken a lot of my time the last few days is a new weaving project.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that The Genius made a conversion to my loom.  After she went back home, I had to figure out for myself how it all worked.  I did it!

 

 

I’m ridiculously pleased with myself.  I had some adjusting to do on the loom and I had a few threading errors to fix, but I do believe I’ve got it!  There is a mistake in the white section, but from now on, I’m going to be more aware and make sure I fix stuff.  Part way through threading this thing, I told My Hero that I was outsourcing all my weaving to China, but I persevered!

This is about 15 inches wide and is tencel, so it will make a great scarf or a table runner.  It’s about an 8 yard warp, so I’ll have to figure out what I want to do with the second half of it.

And now it’s bedtime for me, because tomorrow is going to be an exciting day around here.  Don’t you just love it when you’re left hanging like that?  I promise I’ll update soon!

 


4 Comments

Post Christmas Chill Out

Whew!  We survived Christmas.  I could tell you all about the parties, food, and all the stuff we did over Christmas, but my brain is fried!  We ate a lot.  We had fun with family.  We got on each others nerves. We opened presents.  We laughed a lot.  Mostly at Frankie.

And now we’re all chilling.  The boys have been ice fishing.  The girls are just hanging out.  The Genius and I are on a crafting binge.  I finished a bunch of mug rugs, and got several of them ready to go out in the mail today.

I saw a photo on pinterest and decided I needed to make one or ten.  I cut one strip of white fabric and ended up with 10 squares, so that’s how many I made.  So scientific of me, huh?  I made a stop at Pier 1 before Christmas to find snowman mugs.

You’ll have to excuse my late night photography.  This is one of those projects that I’m really pleased with, but they were kind of a pain.  They’re six inches square, and binding the silly things took forever!  Anyway, I actually executed a plan, and finished them!  It seems like it usually takes me about 3 years to finish a Christmas project.

The Genius has taken on a HUGE project for me.  She converted my big loom to a new system and this is her test project.

Yes, she is a moron.  It’s her 4th weaving project ever, and it’s on a different loom.  I’m proud to say she inherited the moron gene from her mother!!!  I’ll tell you more about this project soon!

I’ve done very little knitting, as I seem to be back in a quilting mood.  The Genius has also done very little knitting, as she’s found out that playing X-box with her little brother is more fun.

And now that it’s 1:30 AM, I should head to bed.  I’m sitting here listening to a bear snoring in the next room.  I think I’ll wander around the house and find an empty bed somewhere.


1 Comment

Another First!!!

I have my first project off the monster loom.  I posted about the big loom I purchased here.  I’ve been so busy, I haven’t taken time to do much weaving.  I started a rug in October.  It should have taken about a day, but then life got busy.

A couple of days ago, I headed for the sewing room to sew together more strips of fabric for the rug.  I’ve been weaving just a little bit each day.  Last night I decided it was time to stick to it and get it done.  I finished weaving, cut it off the loom, hemmed it, and washed and dried it.

Yep, that’s a nice mistake you see right in the middle.  Oh, well!  I think the reason I wasn’t very excited about finishing it was that I have nowhere to put it.  The warp is cream and pink and the strips of fabric I used for the weft is lavender.  I chose this fabric because I had an entire bolt of it that I’d tried and failed to sell multiple times on ebay.

Now that I know what I’m doing, I can definitely see the possibilities of rugs I’d actually use.  It ended up being over 5 feet long.  I wish I’d measured it before I threw it in the wash, so I knew what I was dealing with for shrinkage.

I really like the way the hem looks.  That probably makes me the most happy.

I had to get this project done, because I’m converting the loom to a countermarch system.  Don’t feel bad.  I don’t know what that means either.  Yet!  The Genius is going to be home in a few days, and I’m counting on her to be the brains in this operation.

And now I’m off to finish a spinning project.  The Genius needs a spinning wheel to use.  It really is the only way some of us stay sane in this crazy household!


3 Comments

Christmas Quilting

I finished a quilt.  Yes, you read that right.  Well, sort of.  It’s pieced, but not quilted.

I started this quilt several years ago and quickly got bored making star blocks.  I’d pack it away and every time I’d pull it out to work on it, I’d realize I didn’t have the pattern book with the quilt.  I’d search for the book, make a few more star blocks, and pack it away.

Last week, I pulled the bin out yet again, and started a google search for the pattern.  I think what finally yielded a photo was “Christmas star quilt”.  Score!!!!!  It’s a Brenda Riddle pattern from the book Comfort and Joy.  I ordered the book and finished the star blocks while I waited for the mailman.  Then I finished the quilt, and didn’t do it quite like the pattern anyway, because I was going to run out of fabric.

 

I think this will be one of the prettiest quilts I’ve ever made when it’s quilted which will probably be two years from now.  The fabric is Roman Holiday by Three Sisters for Moda.  Don’t even bother looking for it.  It’s long gone.  I think I saw somewhere that the fabric came out in 2006.

And….another finish, though not nearly as major.  I started a scarf last fall with some squishy soft yarn that I actually spun worsted.  It should have been a quick scarf to knit, but for whatever reason, my ball of yarn seemed to go on forever.  I pulled it out the other day and decided it had to be finished.  Frankie had a band concert the other night.

Yep, that’s him playing the tuba.

Anyway, I finished the scarf!

It’s a big squishy roll.

It’s finished and I really like it.

And….there is weaving.

Only it’s not mine.  The Genius got a loom for Christmas….a little early.  She’s never had a lesson and this is her third project.

We call her The Genius for a reason.

And now I’m off to see what else I can finish.


7 Comments

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.