Tuesday, September 14, 2010

And She's Here

My mom that is. Anyway, no time for any updates on what I've/we've been doing, but I've stumbled upon an interesting Canadian group's rug hooking site. Enjoy.

BeaconsField Hooking Crafters Group

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How Much Can A Closet Hold? aka Mom's Coming For A Visit

I know, blogs are supposed to be updated on a regular basis. And I've got lots of updating to do.

I have my rug to show you progress on (later), I have the how I acquired yet another sewing machine and turned one into a hand crank sewing machine story (later). Yes, I am ready. The next time we lose electricity for a week, I'll probably be the only person on the block that can sew. I could even do a "look at the crap I cleaned out of my car but I have a feeling "The Closet" is going to kill my whole day.

Living away from your family has it's goods points and bad points. Most of my immediate family lives away, way, far away, with the closest one being only half way across the country. Even when she comes my way, she just bypasses the exit for my house (I'm like 3 minutes away) and keeps on going (can you say close?). So I pretty much get away with doing what I want, how I want, where I want, when I want.

But Mom is coming to visit soon. Which means my house has to be somewhat normal. At least look like I'm attempting normal. So what am I going to do with all this stuff I've amassed since her last visit, the hugest item being a Cambridge 4 harness loom? I had it set up in the living room and even I decided that was too weird. (I have what I think is the world's smallest house. Even if it's not, it's still smaller than a lot of people's garages or kitchens). So what to do with the loom now that I've taken it down and it's still taking up floor space?

We'll put it underneaththe stairs.

Holy Moley, what was I thinking. There a table in there, there's 6 knitting machines and all sorts of boxes and boxes of knitting machine attachments, yep, i'm going to learn to use a knitting machine someday. Which one, I don't know, but I do have choices. There are two sets of crutches, a Stenograph machine, oh look my cues and cue cases, arms to chairs? now that's interesting, do I still have the chairs. Now how do you repurpose crutches? Focus. Besides extendng the legs completely and using em as clothes line hoists, I'm not sure, but I do have an idea and it involves what remains of the round iron patio table after the tree fell on it and killed the legs. Yep, the table top is still a table top, with no legs. I'm thinking these crutches can turn into table legs. Keep focused, back to the closet.

So I have all this stuff pulled out of the closet, including the coats and clothes that were hanging in there and now we'll see just how much will go back in there. I just need to figure out how all this stuff is going back in there with the addition of a loom. And I'm hungry.

OMG, I couldn't find Artie. Did I leave him outside, is he over the fence running loose?. Nope, Artie decided this would be a good place to hang out. Wrong dude, that's the closet we are going to pack in all this stuff I just dragged out and more.

So what did we manage to get in there.

The loom,
One White Technique SIT Double Bed Knitting Machine
One Brother 910
Another Brother 910 - I need 2 of those like I need more holes in my ears
A Brother KX350
A Brother KX 395

It's looking like I could maybe jam a few sewing machines in the far back before I put more knitting machines in. Which ones. Em, hmm, not the Slant o Matics, they need to all be in one place. I know! The Touch and Sews I've amassed because I want to set one up strictly as a chain stitcher. Why not. I have the attachment sets, yes that was plural, so I should have one strictly for chain stitch to test fit. You know, nothing ever fits right and if it's worth doing once, it's worth doing twice, and with a chain stitcher , once you have the correct fit, just pull and whoala, basting out.

Back to stuffing the closet,
On cardboard suitecase box that contains knitting machine stuff that i don't know what it is, but I have more, loose, so I think I'll just jam all the loose stuff in with it. hm instructions for a transfer carriage, hmm maybe that chunk is a transfer carraige, who knows, we're adding to the box. Wonder which machine that cord goes. I'm sure that's important.

A Box of Garter Bars?
A Knit Leader
A Color Changer
curiosly enough, upon opening those two boxes, it looks suspeciouly like the stuff I put in the carboard suitcase. Must beI have two of everything maybe, suspect the 910s of cloning themselves

A Ribbing Attachment.
And there's still more pieces of the loom to go in and oh hey loook,
A Bond Knitting Machine
A metal knitting machine stand
Two totes of more pieces and parts, a box, a small suitecase, I think I'll jam those in the back and forget about trying to jam sewing machines in too.

So I'm pretty much ready to start hanging clothes, wish me luck, and I didn't get to add any sewing machines and the table and crutches stayed out, but all in all, I'd say I jammed a lot in underneath those stairs.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Growing, ever so slowly

I'm not breaking any speed records on this rug that is for sure. (There was the 13 day rug.) However, it is coming along nicely.

In the mean time, I needed some instant gratification. Hand hooked rugs are labor intensive and time consuming. So how to break the monotony and get a rug done now? Weave it.

I spent last Saturday cutting up old sheets with my brand new, worth every penny, killer, 12" scissors. Let me tell you, these babies are sweet. If you're aren't careful, you could literally cut your finger off with em. They are sharp, sharp, sharp; and it is so nice to have a pair of scissors that cut easily. They cut straight, they cut curves, they can even cut skinny strips of wool for rug hooking. Nancy from The Hen House ordered em for me, thank you, thank you, thank you. I just folded up the sheets and laid em out nicely and just cut my strips 2 1/2 inches wide.

I finally have a "cutting table" of sorts. I'm tall, I can't do this bending over the dining room table stuff, it's just too low and besides my house is really too little to have a 6 or 8 foot long dining room table for cutting fabric on even it it would be too low. So I've been dreaming and scheming and I think I've finally got it.

I took an old wooden baby bed with adjustable legs and set it up at the heighth that works for me. Then I took the hollow folding door off the closet, simple and easy enough, and put it over the top of the baby bed. Incredibly cheap ($10.00 for used baby bed), and it provides a ton of storage also. Almost all my fabric fits in it. Maybe some day when I get real bored or real organized I might actually put it all on bolts and make it real neat. For now, it's just in the baby bed, most of it anyway.

Sunday I went over to Allegan to Baker Allegan Studios and met and friend and we wove rugs. You pay by the foot. You can bring your own materials or use theirs. My friend took the loom with the off white/natural warp with a stripe at each edge, and I took the one with 4 different colors. I really, really, like her rug and it would not have looked good using the warp I used. How's this for a first rug. She used plaid and polka dots. Who says you can't mix plaids and polka dots. I think they look spectacular together.

My rugs are okay. They had changed the warp to a dark warp whereas I had been expecting to use a light warp. It turned out okay though, I have lots of scraps and whatnot to turn into rugs and, as you can see, using upholstery selvedges, you can't even see the warp. I just wish I'd made better color choices for that first inch or so that gets turned under and sewn for the edge, but I'm not going to fret to long about a rag rug that one of my dogs will just claim as theirs anyway. It's a rug. On the cotton one I think I should have used black. Blue/Grey? What was I thinking. I would say I quite obviously wasn't thinking. BUT I was having fun and I happen to think that's more important. And we all agreed the upholstery selvedges felt great on the feet.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rug Progress

I think I need a different name for this rug, so I'm open to suggestonsto an alternative to "Purple n Poo" as the name of the rug. I've always wanted to make a rug using purple, gold, and olive green and while I don't quite have gold or olive green in it, the center squares are sort of a combination of the two.
I'll be on the hunt for a plaid that I can use for the outer border, though I fear that could use up major quantities quickly and so by the time I get to that I'll probably be overdying something, something.