Friday, December 19, 2014

Where am I? Preparing to Teach!

 Hey Hello Y'All!! Yes I am still alive and staying as busy as I can be. First off, I purchased a great quill set up from the TheFiberCafe.com. Here it is mounted on my Lendrum upright wheel. I have started to play with the spinning off the tip. And yes, I trimmed the plastic straw so that the bevelled tip of the spindle is exposed. I am trying to learn the Fast Flip method for winding on. So far so good!
I have been busy with many projects. The Nilus II loom received it's upgrade to 8 shafts plus I installed the flying shuttle beater. What a cool gadget that is. The learning curve has been very fast there. In this photo I have blue and green tencel warp with a variegated (blue and green, naturally) silk weft. This will probably be a shawl.
A few hours were taken up with this project. The ladies at the Llano knitting club made nearly 40 squares (knit) for a surprise present. One of the members is getting married and this blanket plus a pillow constituted the gift from the club. I volunteered to sew together the blocks plus I did a narrow crocheted border to frame and ground the piece. I think it turned out great, and based on what I know about the planned bedroom d├ęcor in the new home, this will look fabulous.
Quite a bit of my time is going into preparing for various classes I am teaching. In this photo I am playing with art yarn that I spun. This will become a short poncho/collar accessory. The workshop notes needed photos and so I worked through a project and took a bunch of shots. I sit at the computer lots typing up instructions and adding photos for all the classes. It can get tedious, but I think the effort is worth it since the notes can add a lot to the learning experience.

For a list of most classes check out my website mermaidknits.com

I am also teaching private classes in knitting, weaving and spinning. You can add bead weaving to the list because I have the gear here at my southern home to do basic pieces.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Rejoice! Website is up!

Rejoice Friends! I had a chance to get some expert help and now my new website is published to the web. You can check it out at www.mermaidknits.com

 There will be announcements of upcoming knitting class and a heads up for Guild members. Also my designs come up for sale periodically. And I am invited to show pieces from time to time.
 There will be lots of pictures of me. Because I give myself permission to show myself.
 Me, shaped like a munchkin. What happened to my legs? This is the Rainbow jacket I made this summer.
Even celebrities will flock to my website. Be the first one!

Loom Land

 And here are the "after" pictures. Isn't that Canadian Maple just a lovely glowing wood? It matches well with the tumbler of Forty Creek Whisky that sits atop the castle - also a Canadian beauty. So you can see there are two upright posts now, side by side. There are eight shafts and therefore ten treadles. This is part of the expansion from four shafts I mentioned previously. Yes, those are John Deere curtains I made for Mr. They are staying. He suggested that I should weave new curtains. Maybe once these ones fade too much in the sun.
 The view is from the left side. In the centre of the shot in the bold sunshine is the box for the new flying shuttle beater. The same box exists on the other side as well. A fancy shuttle with metal tips is propelled by a tug of the cord and races along the "race", across the beater to the other side, where it stops inside the box and awaits my command. This mechanism will speed up my throwing of the weft and also eliminates the need for the person to really stretch and reach for the very wide warps.
 Mr and I had to make several modifications due to pieces missing from the kit or modified by the previous owner. One of the modifications was to create a few new "treadle extenders". Count'em, ten treadles ready and waiting.
 It took us the better part of three days to gut out the shed, clean up, move the loom in (in pieces), clean the loom and all new bits, and then assemble. Oh and the organizing and cleaning at the end makes for a friendly space. You're right, the celebratory picture just doesn't look right without a warp on it. I will have to make time to do that!
And last but not least, behind the loom is enough space for warping. I have a warping reel there in the corner on the table and on the wall just to the left (where you can't see it), we mounted a warping frame. I will be able to do my drum carding out here (for spinning) and other fibre preparation, spinning, sewing and maybe knitting too! I am very happy and very excited about starting to use this space.