Embroidery and Temari Ball Classes

Over the summer, I came up with an idea for something that I want to make in the future (when my weaving skills improve!) which involves embroidery. Now, I have to share that other than basic chain stitch on a laptop case I made for my husband, I have not embroidered anythings since I was about 12 years old. Fast forward to last month: my friend, Kate, signed us up for an embroidery class at Stitches in Seattle. After two sessions with Kelly, I feel confident that I have the basics down. I definitely need a lot more practice (I almost did not share my wonky circles and uneven stitches), but I am on my way.  I am waiting for her to schedule an intermediate class, so I can continue to learn and go forward with the project that I have in mind.  

First embroidery attempt / warporweft.com

Last week, I took a class on how to make Japanese Temari balls with Marilyn Romatka of Taproot Folkarts at The Weaving Works. Marilyn is well-known in the Folk Arts community and the class was a lot of fun. Can you believe that the ball is entirely, and I mean entirely, made from yarn and thread? We spent a little over an hour making the core of ball - it seemed like endless winding, but was also pleasant at the same time - and then moved on to the decoration. One of my favorite parts was that she encouraged us to add a little sparkle to our projects. In case you haven't already noticed, I love sparkle!   

Japanese Temari Ball / warporweft.com

I would am planning to make another ball and it is also a great project for children. Marilyn teaches all over the United States, so check out her website for information on class and the other crafts that she teaches. 

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Atomic Laptop Cover

Here is the Atomic Laptop Cover that my husband requested. He hardly ever asks me to make him anything, but was super excited about this when he saw the Knits of Tomorrow book by Sue Culligan at a local yarn store. I used Cascade 220 even though the pattern calls for Rowan Creative Focus yarn. 

Atomic Laptop Cover

I had to modify the pattern to fit his much smaller laptop, but since the base is mostly knit, it wasn't hard to do once I measured my gauge. It ended up a little large after blocking, so I sectioned off a pocket down the side (you can see the line about two inches from the end on the left in the picture) where he stores his mouse. If I made it again, I may not block the finished pocket or I would try to felt the case before adding the embroidery on top so there was more structure. I used Word to make templates for the circle and oval, then pinned them on and stitched around them for the embroidery. 

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Warp Board Maintenance

Now that our wedding and the guild sale are over, I was finally able to pull out the warp board and get back to weaving. You may remember that I purchased it in a bundle with the loom and other supplies from a lovely woman in Bellevue, Washington. The warp board was handmade by her husband many years ago and had some loose pegs, so I glued them into place earlier this week and started warping last night.

warp on warp board / warporweft.com

I learned that it is problematic to have a loose warp peg because it will mess up the tension on your warp, which is never good. I used tacky glue to stabilize the pegs. For some reason, tacky glue is my go to for fixing things around the house. 

the cross of a warp / warporweft.com

Now the cross on the warp lines up perfectly. This is half of the warp for a pillow pattern that I am going to try to weave. It will be my first project on my 40 inch Macomber. I'll post more photos of this project soon. I hope you have a great Halloween! 

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Cowl Scarf in the Making

Halfway through this reversible cowl scarf. I went pattern-less and am trying a few different things for shape, size, length...you know, the whole thing! I love how it is knitting up. One side has separated ridges and the other has connected ridges.

reversible black cowl scarf / warporweft.com

We had to take our cat to the emergency room last week and I grabbed this for something to do while we waited. It turned out to be perfect because it is an easy knit and the thick yarn is a bonus. I am so glad to get back to working on it after working on the sweater for so long because it is for me, and I rarely knit for myself these days. 

Seattle Weavers' Guild Sale

The 2014 Seattle Weavers' Guild Sale is not to be missed! With over 3,500 locally handmade pieces, it's great for early holiday shopping, finding a treasure for yourself or your home, or finding a bit of inspiration.  It's this weekend in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. I hope to see you there!

Seattle Weavers' Guild Annual Sale

Locally handmade and unique:

scarves ● jewelry ● garments ● hats ● tapestries ● rugs ● blankets ● art

children's items ● yarn ● pillows 
 linens ● fiber ● gifts
and more 


Parking and entrance to the sale are free. Proceed to the back of the parking lot for entry. 

Check out more items on the Seattle Weavers' Guild Facebook page

Work on Photo: Scarf by Teresa Ruch; Basket by Marilyn Moore; Waterside by Gay Jensen

Yellow Brick Road Cardi

In the home stretch of this sweater. It's always such a relief when the body is finished and I can move on to the sleeves. This pattern has been a delight to knit - the Yellow Brick Road Cardi. It's probably not best for an absolute beginner as it is written in sections without rows and requires some skills that are not exactly "knitting 101", but it isn't that difficult either as it is knit from the top down in one piece except for the sleeves and button section. It was great to learn the "wrap and turn" short row technique as well as remember how to make one left and make one right without looking it up every time.

Yellow Brick Road Cardi Detail / warporweft.com

The yarn is from Hickory Hills Farm in Nelson, Wisconsin.  My good friend, Sarah, was given a bunch of skeins of this yarn when she worked for the farm owner.  She asked me to make something for her after I knit a sweater for her daughter last year. At first I was a bit wary of this yarn because I had never used anything other than commercial before and was not exactly sure about the weight or yardage, but I have been converted. And this yarn is thick enough to keep Sarah warm through a Wisconsin winter without being too bulky.  

My New Loom

I bought a full size loom!! It's a vintage Macomber 40 inch loom made in 1968. It only had one previous owner, is in incredible shape and I can't wait to use it. I also got a bunch of supplies - boats, shuttles, yarn, a bench and warp board.

40 inch Macomber Loom

The original owner wanted it to go to another loving home after sitting idle for many years. She emailed the Seattle Weavers' Guild and they put an announcement out to the membership and I got it! Now to figure out how to warp it...     

Fiber Farm Tour Weekend

When we saw that the weather forecast for last weekend called for absolutely perfect weather, we made a quick decision to get out of town and made a reservation at the Resort at Port Ludlow on the Olympic Peninsula. It was everything you would imagine about a small resort on a cove of Puget Sound: quiet, picturesque and good food. I was extra excited when I found out that our visit coincided with the Olympic Peninsula Fiber Farm Tour and Jefferson County Farm Tour

Resort at Port Ludlow / Olympic Peninsula on warporweft.com

Everyone was super friendly and happy to talk to us about their craft and raising sheep, alpacas and llamas at the six farms we visited. There was A LOT of fiber and now I am considering getting a spinning wheel or at least a spindle. If you have a recommendation, please let me know!

sheep at the fiber farm tour on warporweft.com

We purchased a felted Icelandic sheep pelt from Compass Rose Farms and the Dirt Rich School. The cat loves sleeping on it. 

Cat on sheep pelt on warporweft.com

We also purchased four skeins of hand-dyed wool/mohair blend yarn and two silk scarves that are felted with alpaca from Mystic Beach Studio. I can't wait to wear the scarves and knit something wonderful with the yarn. 

Yarn on warporweft.com

And the highlight of the weekend was meeting these piglets who were less than 12 hours old. So cute. Thanks to the folks at Dharma Ridge Farm for sharing them with us. 

piglets on warporweft.com

It was a great weekend. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, keep an eye out for the tour next year. 

Adventures in Yarn Farming

For a brief moment during my childhood, my grandfather owned a farm in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It was great to play outside in the fresh air and learn about the hard work farm life requires. Ever since, I have been interested in farming. When I saw Adventures in Yarn Farming by Barbara Parry, I couldn't resist.

Adventures in Yarn Farming / warporweft.com

The book is a wonderful overview of what sheep farming for yarn production entails. It covers an entire year in a season-by-season account of what she does to care for her sheep and farm without going into too much detail. The information about lamb birthing was particularly interesting. There are plenty of adorable pictures of sheep and the book also includes a few projects for knitters, weavers and yarn dying enthusiasts. Barbara keeps a blog called Sheepgal, which is very interesting, but infrequently updated as she seems to be busy with her farm. I recommend checking out the book and blog if you are interested in the fiber production process. I was inspired to pick up another, more detailed book about sheep farming. 

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Big Wool Cable Hat

Hats, scarves and winter coats are my favorite items in my wardrobe and one of the main reasons why I love fall and winter so much (and pots of chili, apple cider, pies and all the other delicious treats available at this time of year, of course!). I could wear fun outer wear every day with jeans and a basic sweater or long sleeve shirt. I also really like Rowan yarns and patterns. They are some of the most current when it comes to knitting fashion patterns.

big wool cable hat with pom pom / warporweft.com

Last winter, when I finished the Rowan Tala Hat I really loved the large cable, but the hat was a bit too Portland for my taste and it did not fit right as it rose up a bit on my very straight hair. So I gave the hat to a friend who has wavy hair (she loves it) and I made a few modifications. First, I cut the ribbed brim to 2 inches as the fold over was a bit too thick for me. Second, I only knit three total repeats of the cable.     

purple pom pom cable hat / warporweft.com

I also added a HUGE pom-pom although the hat doesn't necessarily need it and you could skip it if that isn't your thing. Now the hat has the cable that I love and fits my head better. This hat would look great in red, white, green or any color that you love. It is also a great hat for a beginning knitter who wants to learn cables as the thick yarn easily stays on the cable hook and the knitting goes quickly.


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Ribbed Hat

Even though we are on the last leg of summer here in the Pacific Northwest, I could not resist making this scrumptious winter hat. I used Knit Collage Swirl Day Dream, which is a bulky weight yarn with strands of gold flecked throughout. It's a super easy knit, even for beginners. It took me about two hours to complete the hat.  

knit collage ribbed hat / warporweft.com

I used a US size 13 needle that was 16 inches long and cast on 40 stitches and knit one, purl one until it measured approximately 9 inches. Please note that It is important to make sure that you have an even number of stitches if you are knitting in the round because you want your rows to line up. Then I knit two together for the next two rows, broke the yarn and pulled it through the remaining stitches.

easy knit ribbed hat / warporweft.com

The link below does not have this color, but has many others from Knit Collage. You can also visit your local yarn shop or call So Much Yarn to see if they have this color. I want to make this hat in ALL the colors, so you really can't go wrong. Enjoy!  

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Wedding Paper Crafts

You may have noticed a gap in posts here on Warp or Weft and it was for good reason - we got married!! And then went on a two week honeymoon to Oahu and Maui. We had a lot of family and friends in town, so I did not get to do much knitting or weaving, but we had a few handmade items at our wedding and I wanted to share the paper crafts with you.

DIY Save the Date / wedding crafts / warporweft.com

The first is our Save the Dates. We were inspired by a DIY tutorial on Oh So Beautiful Paper and made a couple of tweaks for personalization. We designed our own Save the Date and return address stamps and had them made by Impress. The process was easy and the stamps were reasonably priced. After you purchase the size you want on the website, you send a PDF via email and wait a week or so for your stamps. We made a mistake by not ensuring the font on the address stamp was large enough to easily read after embossing and we had to order a second stamp, so be careful about that.  

hand dyed ribbon / diy wedding paper crafts / warporweft.com

We purchased the rest of the items we needed from Paper Source: A7 note cards in night, A7 envelopesstamp pad, embossing powder, embossing heat tool, envelope liner templategold glitter washi tape, gold glitter wrapping paper (for the envelope liners), and heavy duty, double sided tape. You will also need non-stick craft scissors, a pencil or pen and we used a small paint brush to remove excess embossing powder from the card before using the heat tool. The guest addresses were handwritten on the envelopes with a glittery gold gel pen. Once we received all of the supplies, it took us a little over two weeks to make 70 Save the Dates working mostly in the evenings. 

DIY wedding welcome bag / warporweft.com

The second project is our Welcome Boxes. We had help assembling these last minute as there was a drama with my wedding dress being ruined in alterations four days before the wedding and we were running behind schedule. My mom, niece and Aunt Patty were super stars with the crafting on the Wednesday before the wedding (we can't thank them enough!). For the welcome boxes, we bought A7 night colored boxes from Paper Source, used leftover gold glitter wrapping paper from the Save the Dates and got a "Welcome" stamp from Paper Source and Space Needle stamp from Impress. The stamps were embossed directly onto the box with the same gold stamp pad and glitter embossing powder that we used for the Save the Dates. The glitter paper was cut into strips and taped on with heavy duty double sided tape.  We wanted the boxes to be a nod to the Pacific Northwest as 75% of our guests were from out of town so we included a walking map to local attractions, a Seattle postcard, lavender sachets from Purple Haze Lavender Farm on the Olympic Peninsula, a delicious chocolate bar from Seattle Chocolates and a pen that doubles as a stylus from Microsoft. We also purchased copies of Good Night Seattle for the children. The Welcome Boxes were a HUGE hit with our guests. 

DIY table numbers / wedding / warporweft.com

The third DIY handmade item that we made for our wedding is the Table Numbers. These were super easy. We purchased table number tents and number stencils from Paper Source and ordered ribbon the same ribbon that was used for our invitations from Artemis and tied it in a similar fashion at the top of the table number. We used the number stencils to cut out the same gold wrapping paper that we used for the Save the Dates and Welcome Boxes so everything tied together nicely. 


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