Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Yarn Along - The Denim Elizabeth Shawl

Once I finally settled on what I was doing with the colors, twill structure and sett, the rest of the project went off without a hitch.  Actually, the entire project from dyeing and combing to spinning and finally weaving was completely enjoyable.  I think it does look like denim and I'm giving myself an A for creating and using c-o-l-o-r :-D.



I was worried there were too many white stripes, but side by side, it's probably not far off.  I wish I'd had a little more of the very light blue yarn, but again, it's not too far off.  The brown stripes can be either to match the pocket stitching or the dirt that is inevitably ground into my clothes just minutes after I put them on ;-).


The orange stripe on each edge is to match the side seam stitching and hems.


And this beautiful shawl pin (made by a friend who didn't just create the pin, but made the glass beads as well!) nicely represents the coppery/brass button.


My biggest fear in weaving a shawl was that it would end up thick, stiff and blanket-y when I wanted light and drape-y.  I worried a bit about how loosely woven this was, but I had confidence in the yarn and it came out just as I wanted. 

Thanks, Elizabeth!  I had a great time and, as always, learned a lot.  A great project :-).

Edited to add:  fiberpusher wanted to know the shrinkage after fulling.  Just off the loom and before fulling (which I do in the washing machine) the shawl measured 20" x 86".  After "washing" it measures 17.5" x 80.5".  It weighs 8.8 ounces.  There are 6.2 ounces of yarn left for another project :-).

My book this week is The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg.  After last week I wanted something completely Pollyanna and this definitely fit the bill.  Nothing earth shattering, but a completely enjoyable story.  Perfect :-).

Joining in with Ginny...



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Only Thing Cuter Than Muffin And Mrs. Pepperpot...


...is a little Buddy thrown into the mix!  

I think he's either a little sweet on Mrs. P. or else being pretty wobbly himself (not that he lets that slow him down any!), he's just trying to watch out for her.  He's frequently nearby...Wait!...Dialing in the Wayback Machine...check out this old post!  I think we've got our answer.  Buddy really is the kindest sheep in the world!  

Not that there was ever any doubt :-).


Monday, January 29, 2018

It Never Gets Old

I just love how Muffin still snuggles with her mom like she was a baby.  Remember that sweet video of them?  






Momma (and baby) naps are the best :-).


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Yarn Along

Yeah, I know I missed last week.  These pictures were actually all taken, well, most of them, last week, but I didn't have the mental energy to explain them and then the next thing I knew it was...like Friday.  

It's quarter after ten and I once again don't feel like I can give this post the energy it needs, but I'm going to try to hit the high spots so I have a record of at least some of how this project has progressed.  This is the Elizabeth shawl.  Finally.


After stewing and stewing on how much of each color I wanted to use and how I wanted to use the colors, I finally decided to just figure out the percentages of the colors as they came off the wheel.  I don't remember now how I separated out the colors before combing and spinning, hence the importance of documentation (head smack).  

I like how Betsy appears to be studying the loom (the Big Mac) in front of her.  She's probably amazed at the dishtowel mess on there.  I'll be weaving the shawl on the Baby Mac for just that reason.  


I'm not going to address how the warping board also appears to be appalled at the dish towel mess in front of it.  


Normally I wouldn't have left each color on as I wound the warp, but I wanted to see all the colors together in case it told me something about the mix aka something else to stew about...which I did for about a week and then finally decided to just go with it by the math and how it turned out was how it was supposed to turn out.  



But yes, still stewing.


I sleyed the reed using the 'by the book' maths to determine which size reed I should use...and didn't like it.  Thought it was too crowded.  


So I pulled out the little Dorothy table loom and wove a sample...like I should have from the very beginning.  I threaded it looser, did a right and left twill, thought maybe I should double check the denim twills and found that actually jean denim is not a 2/2 twill, but a 3/1 twill for heavy denim and 2/1 twill for lighter weight fabric.  

I sampled the 3/1 and hated it and then thought what the heck and pulled the last half of the sample out and re-threaded it for a 2/1 twill and really liked that.  Sorry to not explain that more for non-weavers, but it's now 10:40 and I'm tired :-o.  Here's a good simple explanation.

I also had a great plan to take pictures of 20 and the Sock Monkey doing all this since they tend to be the ones to fix most of my yarn problems...and forgot.  It would have been really cute.  Sigh...  Edited to add the next morning - Oh wait!  I did take a picture of them studying the Baby Mac at least :-).



My next dilemma was the orange.  I'd originally planned to just use that for the hem stitching, but stewed on that for awhile and decided (after it was threaded and wound on of course) that I wanted it to run up both edges as well, like the side seams of blue jeans.  

I stewed on how to make that work without un-doing anything, started putting the hemstitching in and didn't like it so took it out, pulled one of the four hand woven (with a needle, long story) picks of the plain weave edge to make it three to match the three shafts I was using (don't ask me why I thought that was important), got the side orange set up and started weaving and after about three inches I decided I did want the hem stitching after all and put that back in.  Yes, I'm exhausting even myself at this point.


I'm a little worried that the fabric is too "sleazy" but it was sleazy on the sample as well and it fulled nicely so I'm [weaving] on with confidence...  I'm about halfway through.

As far as books....yeesh...I've hit some duds lately.  Well, duds really isn't the right word.  My most recent book, The One and Only Ivan was very well rated and I guess most folks really enjoyed it, but even though I had to assume the ending was going to be happy, I really struggled getting to that ending having to listen to and be reminded of what people do to animals.

Speaking of animal books, after I raced through all of the Tiffany Aching books last year I listened to The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.  Terry Pratchett was just an incredible story teller.  I have listened to these six books several times now and each time I catch something new and brilliant that I'd missed before.  These I can highly recommend!

Joining in with Ginny for the...


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ah, The Good Old Days


Mr. Handsome


Kate waits patiently at the Wool House while I'm feeding, ready to step in whenever I need back up.  I have no idea where the little weasel (Tilly/Weaslie) is.  She isn't in any of these pictures.  Probably up to no good ;-).


Biscuit doesn't sleep right next to his adopted mom, but he keeps a close eye on her :-).


I love this picture of Bullwinkle napping in the sun.  Last year's Mr. Handsome, momma's little butterball :-D.  And Muffin, goofing around...looking a bit like a butterball herself.


And one more picture of Kate because you can never have too many pictures of GOOD dogs ;-).

Weaslie!!!


Monday, January 22, 2018

All That's Left Is The Pictures

The snow disappeared in just a matter of hours over the weekend.  Heartbreaking.  And we have thunderstorms predicted for later today.  That ought to be lovely on top of the already muddy melted ground.  

I have several sets of pictures for my "scrapbook" though so if you want to sit out in the warm(ish) muddy rain, that's fine.  I'm staying out in the cold, frozen, frosty snow for a couple more days.  These are some earlier pictures before the second snow really prettied everything up.


This was an exceptionally cold morning and the sheep and dogs were covered in frost.


Muffin was frosty only on the side of her face next to her mom.  I'm guessing she was sleeping with her head on Mrs. Pepperpot's back and the warm humidity froze when she raised up.





It always amazes me to see pictures of Maisie like this.  To see how small she really is.  I suppose she just seems larger than life...when she's headed in your direction ;-).  Objects in real life may be smaller than they appear.

Two new puzzles :-).

Enjoy!




Thursday, January 18, 2018

In Case You're Wondering...

...why Hank's tail is not big and poofy anymore...





It's June's favorite game.  Not Hank's so much ;-).


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snow Day


Baaxter's not looking too excited about it...although I think he actually likes snow.  He stays out in it a long time and likes to eat snow off the gate rungs... 


Hershey doesn't mind the snow either as he is well, um, insulated ;-).


So is Chocula.  Snow will sit on top of the sheep's backs for days, never melting, much like on the roof of a well insulated house.


"I'm well insulated, too, which is good because my mom is still locked in the Pepperpot Cafe for breakfast and I can't go snuggle up with her."  


"That stupid Pepperpot Cafe is set up right where I always sleep.  That's MY spot."


Thelma and Burrnie

The snow ended around noon and then the sun came out.  A very pretty afternoon :-).


And a new puzzle.  Enjoy!



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mrs. Pepperpot And Her Snuggle Muffin

I'm not exactly sure why Muffin and Mrs. Pepperpot are always sleeping together now.  This wasn't the case all fall and into winter.  It pretty much started after I tried to move Mrs. P into the Del Boca Vista Annex and subsequently moved her back after the weather broke.

Were they stressed by the "weaning" (even though they were only separated by a gate) and are just so relieved to be back together? 

Does Muffin know her mom is struggling and is worried about her?  Maybe thinks she's cold?  Is trying to make her feel better?  I wonder now, all those times when I thought Muffin was being too bossy, pawing her mom to make her get up...was she trying to keep her moving?

Is Mrs. Pepperpot just being a devoted momma, taking good care of her baby?  If so, why were they not sleeping side by side all along?

I can't tell who is more comforted by the other.  Mrs. P is constantly watching for where Muffin is when she's not by her side...but watch the video at the end. 







Yes, I know this looks more like this is going to be a video of Woody.  He does the perfect video bomb, complete with snarfling ;-D.


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