Sunday, November 29, 2009

A new Cricket trick and a scarf

Here's the latest finished scarf done on the Cricket loom (click on pictures for larger image), it's acrylic yarn, the colors are like strawberry, chocolate, vanilla ice cream. I warped the variegated yarn in pairs separated by pairs of white yarn, this spreads the color in a wider pattern than just straight plainweave.

Here is some of the yarns.

Warping the Cricket.

Before winding on, the warp is attached to a book bag with a dog leash. The resistance of dragging the bag across the carpet puts enough tension to tightly wrap the yarn on the beam.

And here's my new trick. The threads on the Cricket warp beam can cross each other, causing the shed not to open fully when weaving. So using chop sticks to make a new cross on this side of the heddle, I can straighten the warps so there is no problem on the weaving side of heddle. I just push the sticks back and over the big dowel when I advance the warp. Much faster than using a crochet hook to chase all those threads.

Have a good day!

Time out for dinner - tostadas

Time out for dinner. My lovely wife said this dinner is so pretty I should take a picture of it. So here is the picture. (click on picture for larger view)

A tostada is a corn tortilla shell toasted in hot oil until crispy. You can buy the shells in the market already toasted, but I prefer to toast them myself because they taste better. I toasted these in peanut oil.

Then a layer of warm refried beans (canned this time) is spread on the shell, followed by a layer of seasoned meat (ground turkey with chili powder and spices), some lettuce (romaine, cabbage, carrot salad mix sliced into slivers), and some grated cheese (medium cheddar and jack cheese bought already grated and mixed in a bag).

You can also add more toppings like tomatoes, olives, sour cream, guacamole (avocado sauce), or salsa. I just like to keep it simple.

That was dinner tonight and just a snapshot of my corner of the world, Sacramento, California.

Edited to add: You eat the whole tostada, crispy shell and all. Pick up carefully and keep it over the plate in case the shell cracks and spills the goodies on your lap.

Have a good evening!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fingerweaving in Nov

I've been fingerweaving on the train on the way to work. I didn't get any usable pictures on the commute, but here is a couple of items I am working on.

(Click pictures for larger view) I thought this was called Peruvian rep braid, but it's not and now I don't know what it's called, flat weaving?. As you see the contrast threads move diagonally through the band. The braid is about one inch wide (12 strands of cotton yarn) and length is about 18 inch.

Here is the flat weaving next to a typical Peruvian flat braid style weaving. The yellow band is kind of a sampler, I shuffled the contrast threads around to vary the appearance of the pattern.

Have a good day!
(edited 12/14/09 to correct the braid name)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Black/Purple log cabin weave

Here is my next log cabin scarf in progress with the other two colors of wool yarn, the black and the purple. (Click on picture for larger view)

The color pattern is very subtle. I am having trouble keeping track of my color changes and you can see where I missed a color change (purple instead of black at change).

I am weaving under the best light in the kitchen in the evening, but today is with all the windows open for light.

I know it is going to look great when when its done.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finished Log Cabin Scarf

Here is the finished log cabin scarf! (click picture for larger image)

I hand washed it in lukewarm water with Woolite soap to set the wool and to full it a little bit. I gently squeezed the fabric in the soapy water for about 15 minutes, then rinsed it through two changes of lukewarm water. I was surprise how cloudy the water became, I think there is some sizing or starch in the wool yarn.

I squeezed out the water, do not wring, then rolled it in a towel to absorb most of the moisture, then remove from towel. drape the damp scarf over the back of a chair and let it sit overnight. Trim off the extra bits of yarn and the tips of the fringe. It's finished!

Many thanks to Claudia at for suggesting this pattern for a Weave-A-Long group weaving project.

Now on to the next one!
Have a good day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Log cabin - twisted fringe

Okay, here's my scarf after I cut it off the loom. (click picture for larger view) For this project I am using twisted fringe as described in the instructions for the log cabin pattern found at

Working groups of 5 strands, 2 of one color and 3 of the other, I twisted the group of 2 tightly, twisted the group of 3 tightly, twisted those 2 groups tightly in the other direction and tied a knot to make it 6 inches long. Read the newsletter. Note: The newsletter describes making a table runner, I just changed dimensions to allow for a 6 inch by 72 inch scarf.

Some of the loose ends of yarn will be woven back into the scarf. Some will just be snipped off after wet finishing.

Next step will be to wet finish.

Have a good day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More log cabin details

Here is a picture of the crossed threads on the back beam after advancing the cloth.
(click picture for larger view)
This is because of the thread sorting I did after direct warping the loom. The crossed threads above the back beam (upper dowel) will prevent a clear shed when weaving.

Here is the back beam after straightening the threads so none are crossed over each other. Below the beam doesn't matter until I advance the warp again and will straighten all again. A crochet hook is very handy for this. Don't keep the warp super tight while doing this. Have your heddle in neutral position. My loom is on a folding wooden table (tv tray table) and easy to turn around.

Here is some detail of the weft splicing. I over lap the weft two inches to blend in with the pattern. I also try to splice on a pattern change. The yarns sticking up will be cut off after wet finishing.

Have a good day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Log Cabin pattern scarf on Cricket Loom

(click on pics for larger view)
These are the yarns I have (Paton's Classic Wool, 100% wool worsted) to choose from for the Log Cabin Weavealong on this weekend. Black, White, Red, Purple. I chose red/white for best contrast so I can see what I'm doing.

This is 30 pairs of warp (60 ends) on 10 dent heddle for 6" scarf on the Cricket loom.

After winding the warp, I have to sort out the pairs according to the chart I found on the Schact newsletter at this site

(link updated 6/12/2013)

First an inch of waste yarn to set the spacing, then two shuttles of red/white, I duplicate pattern I used to warp up. Switch is every five pairs, but still plain weave. I overlap/twine the edges where the colors cross.

OOOPS!! Missed the change. Unweave - do over!

That's better! More later!

Warning: My wool yarn is sticking. Clear the shed every time!

Have a good day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Finished Scarf for Weavolution Weavealong

I finished weaving the scarf yesterday. Somehow I lost track of the length and it came up a foot shorter than planned. I wanted six foot and this finished a little over 5 foot including the fringe. I think In underestimated the cutoff length. But mostly I just goofed!

Today I finished the ends with a row of overhand knots, then two rows of knots to make kind of a fish net look, then pairs of ends with knots at the ends. Now to put it into the wash for wet finish. Finish ends are about five inch long.

Have a good day!