Category Archives: weaving

Mid-month update

I seem to be stuck updating biweekly…

Therapy: not as intense as last time, but stressful nonetheless.  Talked about how I dissociate so much, both deliberately and involuntarily.  How it makes me feel safer.  How when I cried happy tears the other day, I had no idea why my eyes were watery and it confused me, and how once I realized I was happy-crying I was even more confused because how could I not know that’s what I was doing?  I have serious mind/body disconnect issues, and I want to fix it.

Reading: Saturday I started reading a book that wasn’t fanfic.  Since then I’ve read four more books and am almost done with a fifth.  The last one I finished was a novel, which delighted me.  I want to read more fiction.  I hope this lasts for a while.  Oh, yeah, and three were paper books.  Maybe I need to switch back to physical books.  Yay for good libraries!

Biking: still at it.  I’m having to take shorter rides now, though, because long ones hurt my bad knee.  I have dual rear baskets now so I can run more nearby errands on my bike.  In a little bit I’ll be riding to my sister’s to babysit…

Crafting: My ex-MIL loved the washcloths I made for her birthday.  I finished the pillow for my nephew, only for him to tell me one of the colors was wrong.  (Never mind that he had picked it out.)  So I’m waiting on new yarn to come in.  I warped for my tunic but haven’t started weaving yet.  I haven’t finished the dishcloth I started a few days ago, because I’ve been reading so much.  I got the yarn for Mom’s birthday present (washcloths that match her bathroom decor) but haven’t started those.  (Gotta finish the dishcloth first, as it uses the same needles I need for the washcloths.)  Oh, and Friday I cut out all the pieces for the change purses I’m making.  Now I just need to figure out how to sew on the zippers.  Haven’t done any spinning in a couple of months.

Mental stuff: much less depressed.  Not napping often.  Not eating junk food.  Still dissociating but not as much.  So, better overall.  I’ve been having more good days than bad.  Never did hear back from Hillary’s campaign.  I should call again.

Also… this is going to sound weird and sad.  For the last couple of years I’ve only had a libido when really depressed.  Like, I only get myself off when I’m miserable, because when I feel better I’m not interested.  What does it say about me, that arousal is a sign of depression for me?  I get anhedonic except for lust, and even then I frequently feel desire without being able to do anything about it.  But today I got turned on while in a good mood.  It felt weird, but I’m happy about it.

Also, watching cisgender porn as a trans person is hard.  Because my private fantasies are always with me in a male body, and so sometimes gay porn is awesome, but then like today I wanted to see my own physiology reflected so I was watching straight porn.  Neither feels quite right, but there’s a lack of good trans BDSM porn featuring submissives whom I can identify with even a little.  Stupid transgender problem #873987984789375…

Upcoming plans: Thursday I finally see the dentist.  (My appointment was rescheduled because of the last hurricane.)  Pride festival is Saturday, and I’m going to go for at least a little while.  Next weekend I’m going to a craft fair with Mom and ex-MIL.  In November there will be hiking in Georgia.  And cello lessons!  I resume those on Nov. 3rd.

Feeling crafty

A couple of days ago I finished some trans pride flag-colored yarn:

Trans Pride handspun v2

And then tonight I finished three projects!

First was some handspun, from Finn wool dyed by a friend.

"Makeup Counter" Finn wool handspun

Then I did the last few picks of the Log Cabin pattern scarf I started weaving in October.  It was meant as a gift, but I put so much work into it that I’m keeping it for myself.  Yes, I live in Florida and don’t need scarves.  It’s going up on the wall.

Log Cabin handwoven scarf

I finished the last few rows of my second Hitchhiker scarf, which is going to Awesome Niece.

Pansy Hitchhiker from handspun, finished

After that I started some more handspun, in some beautiful Polwarth I received in the mail as a trade for some other yarn I’d made..

Woolgatherings Green/Purple Polwarth, ply 1 in progress

And I cast on another One-Row scarf (from the Yarn Harlot’s pattern).  This scarf may be the softest, squishiest thing I have ever made.  I loves it.

Squishy One-Row Handspun Scarf, beginning

So I have been very crafty this evening.  It looks like a lot, but the three finished projects were already very close to being done.  Everything turned out great, though, and I like the way the new projects are proceeding.

Tomorrow or the day after I’m going to warp my loom for a scarf from handspun.  The Log Cabin scarf required color changes every row.  So the handspun one won’t have any color changes except for the ones dyed and spun into the yarn.  I need an easy weaving project after that last one.  As I said, it was going to be a gift, but I think I’ll make something a bit simpler instead.  I will never says never, but I don’t want to do a log cabin pattern again for a very long time.

Saturday’s fiber arts tally

~ 900 yards plied handspun
~ 200 yards singles spun
4.5 feet of scarf woven
1 knitted scarf finished
1 pin loom square made
3 pin loom borders crocheted

Soundtrack/background media:
Dragon Age: Inquisition (played by the Valkyrie)
The Adventure Zone podcast
SF Debris television reviews

Holy hell did I craft my ass off.  Tomorrow I want to finish that scarf and start one with my handspun. And, if my mojo is still going, I want to sew that damn woven blanket together!

Fiber arts update

I have decided to shut down my handspun “business.”  I just wasn’t making any money, and it seems silly to keep paying for a business license when I only made like three sales.  In future I’ll just “sell” it to friends for materials cost and call it done.  I’m going to grad school in the fall, and the idea of trying to run a small business while doing that gives me a headache.  So yeah, if you’re a friend and you’re willing to recoup my cost, let me know.  It’s usually about $15-20 for a skein’s worth, depending on where I got the wool. Usually indie dyers off Etsy.  Shit’s expensive, but sooooo soft and lovely.

Current spinning: Five of my seven bobbins are full, which means I have to stop until tomorrow.  Four of those bobbins are the same batch of fiber and will be plied together.  I’ll be able to ply a couple of them tomorrow because they’ll have rested long enough.  I could spin part of another bobbin (with the same wool that’s on the fifth bobbin) before bed tonight, but then I’d have to stop midway through tomorrow’s plying session to wind off the plied bobbin before I could start a second bobbin’s worth.  (Does that make sense?  I rewrote it like four times and I’m still not sure I explained it right.)  So I’m going to get back to knitting on my Hitchhiker.  It’s a scarf/shawlette pattern.  So far it looks like this:

Handspun Hitchhiker beginning

The yarn is some of my handspun.  I’m not thrilled with the way the colors are coming out, but the yarn itself is very soft and I like it.  this pattern is cool because it looks like it has teeth.  I want to make one with some striping yarn next.

A friend is buying me some wool, because I’ve giving her some of my handspun.  I am pleased with this trade.  I’m getting some purple and green Polwarth out of the deal.  Yummy.

I haven’t mentioned weaving in a while.  I haven’t been doing any.  I did this scarf back in October:

Houndstooth SPG scarf, off the loom

and then started this scarf:

Log Cabin scarf: tonight's progress

and petered out.  One, I hate weaving log cabin.  I didn’t know this until about 8″ into the scarf.  Hate it.  Two, my cats fucking love my loom.  I have to keep a towel over it so they don’t play with the yarn, so I wind up with this:

Babby love. If only their favorite snuggle spot wasn't my weaving loom...

Totes adorbs, but it makes my loom useless a lot.  I am hoping to solve this by getting a loom stand for my birthday next month.  The way the stand works, I could tilt it so the loom is nearly vertical when I’m not using it, and therefore would not be a good cat bed.  (I will be putting a nice cardboard box where my loom currently sits, on my desk.  Yes, I won’t be able to use that part of my desk, but kittens!!!)  Also, if I’ve got my measurements right, I could weave while sitting in my favorite spot on the couch.  (It’s also where I do all my spinning.  Does it count as being a couch potato if I’m making things while I sit?)  Even if I can’t weave on the couch, at least I could weave somewhere, unlike now.

Some of you may remember the black and silver blanket I was working on.  It is completely woven, but I have not sewn the four panels together because I fucking hate sewing.  Note to self: don’t make multi-part weaving.  It will never be assembled.  I’m going to let my MIL put it together with her sewing machine.  She asked, and I’m never going to do it myself, so she can have fun with it.

I think that’s everything I’m currently doing.  To close out, here’s some of my recent handspun yarn, because I haven’t shown it off in a while.

Sodalite Merino

Island Nights BFL, v3

Frutos del Bosque merino

Not too bad, yeah?

Itsy bitsy pin loom

I got a 2″ pin loom, because small squares will look awesome on the edge of the shawl I’m doing.  (I decided to add to the shawlette a little to make it full-sized, because it’s pretty.)

2" pin loom and finished square. Penny for scale.

I bought it from an Etsy seller, bigfam15, and it arrived today.  I’m very, very impressed with the quality so far, and his prices are extremely reasonable.  He makes two styles of looms, each in different sizes and shapes.  The “traditional” ones are set up like the vintage Weave-It looms and the modern Schacht Zoom Loom (which is what I have for a 4″ loom).  These looms all have the same three-pin grouping and are warped the same way.  I haven’t tried one of his “mini looms” yet, which have uniform spacing of pins.  I’ve never used that style.  I may try it someday, with one of his small ones.  They’re inexpensive.  The one I bought is made from reclaimed bamboo flooring.  It’s sturdy, light, and seems well-made.  I’ll definitely be buying a 6″ square traditional sometime soon.  I’d like to try making an afghan or a baby blanket…

Weaving with cats

I warped my RH loom this afternoon while hanging out with my bestie.  228 warp ends for Awesome Niece’s shawl!  I did it in three batches of 60 and one with 48, because having a lot of ends in one single batch means they’re more likely to tangle as I wind them on.  Bestie and her niece had come over to help make soup.  (It was lentil with tomatoes and fresh spinach.  Delicious.)  They stayed for dinner and “butterbeer” floats (IBC cream soda and butterscotch schnapps over vanilla ice cream.  SO GOOD.  Niece didn’t get the schnapps, of course.  She’s only 14.)  My float was small: a little less than half a cup of ice cream, half a bottle of soda, and about a shot of schnapps.  Caloric, but not too bad.  I still didn’t eat more than my calorie limit for the day.

Tonight I went to start weaving, and the babbies were very unhappy.  The loom is their napping place in the evenings, and they wouldn’t stay off it while I was trying to use it.  So I gave up, put the blanket on it, and they curled up to sleep.  Adorable, but I wanna be weaving!  Awesome Niece’s birthday is in a week.  I need to make her shawl by then.

So I picked up my bag of these pin loom squares…

Square with single crochet border.

… and got back to putting on the black crocheted borders.  I was in the middle of my fourteenth square (total, not just tonight’s batch) when I realized the square’s yarn is superwash and the black isn’t.  So I don’t know what’s going to happen when I wash it.  Crap.  I’ll take a couple of the spare squares and finish them in different ways — one wet-finished, the other steam pressed.  I’ll see what happens to each.  If they both suck, I’ll pull out the black and replace it with superwash.  I actually think I may have some of the same brand of yarn in black.  Why didn’t I think of that in the first place?  Silly Alex…

Oh, back to the babbies for a sec: they’ve been coming downstairs a lot, but not for long unless I’m there too.  Eris has overcome her fear and come down, but only when I’m nearby.  Loki sat in the bay window in the kitchen and watched the backyard while I warped the loom.  Then he bolted when the food processor started up.  Babbies do not like loud noises!

Achievement unlocked: crocheted edging

I have been struggling since I got my pin loom, trying to figure out how to join squares together using crochet.  I was trying different ways but didn’t like anything I saw online.  So this morning I shelled out for Margaret Stump’s book on pin looms, and I figured it out after reading her section on joining.

(The piece below is actually a perfect square. I was having trouble getting the photo angle right.)

Square with single crochet border.

It looks exactly the way I want it to.  I’m putting a single crochet edge on every square, and then stitching them together to make the shawlette/kerchief/thing.  Fortunately my crochet skills, which I haven’t used in 20 years, are not completely gone.  There are some other joining methods I’ll be trying on future projects, too.  I don’t really like the projects in Stump’s book — like, I am never making a set of dolls that look like an Amish family — but there’s some good info on how to do things.

Less crazy, more crafting

I had a couple of near freakouts, but Klonopin and back scratches from the Valkyrie made them go away.  Had therapy, and my therapist is very impressed with my attitude towards the symptoms I’m currently experiencing.  She made a couple of suggestions for things that might help, like writing down my thoughts with pen and paper when I’m feeling anxious because it’ll slow my thought processes down some.  So that was good.  And then I had a nap.  I like naps.

After dinner I decided to do some crafting.  I had decided that the black and silver blanket is going to be mine, so I finished the fourth panel tonight.  No need to make a matching pillow, because I’m going to replace the ratty old leno lace cotton blanket I use in bed.  Already have a bed pillow!  I gave all the pieces to my MIL so she can stabilize the ends on her sewing machine.  I’ll hand-sew the pieces together, have her add a fleece binding, and it’ll be done.  Woo!

I also finished the second ply of Wishfox “Island Nights” BFL, which looks similar to this:

And finished a MIRLA bitty batt skein:

As if that wasn’t enough, I also finished the first ply of yarn with the wool below, started a second ply:

I have ordered the yarn for my next weaving projects.  While I wait for it to come in I’m going to finish the knitted cowl in progress and do some more pin loom squares.  I’m looking forward to warping my big loom again.  I want to do something quick, fun, and without sewing.  Happily my next three projects all fit the bill!

Wet blanket results

I washed a panel of the blanket.  It went from 50×19″ to 47.5×18″.  The weave hardly changed at all.  Next I will wash the denser panel and see what happens to it.  Meanwhile, I am almost done weaving the fourth panel.  Once I know what happens to the denser panel, I can either assemble the blanket or else make a fifth panel and use the dense one as a pillow covering.

I suspect I’m going to be making a fifth panel.  Don’t wanna.  I am so very sick of making this thing.  And I don’t even know what I’m going to do with it.  I didn’t expect to have to buy two extra cones of yarn, so it’s turned into a ridiculously expensive blanket — almost $100 of yarn.  Maybe I should sell it.  I know that right now I don’t ever want to look at the fucking thing again after it’s done.  Although perhaps I’ll like it more if I finish it and put it in the back of the closet for a while.

At least my next two projects are a one-panel shawl and some placemats.  FFS, I need something easy and quick…

Saturday morning I cast on a cowl with some of my handspun.  I’m not sure if I like it or not, but it’s definitely easy and quick.  This is the pattern (includes pictures of a finished one).  I hope the result looks better than what I’ve got so far.