Saturday, December 24, 2011

Little Green Sprang Bag

Another little sprang bag was finished this week. This is done with cotton crochet yarn. 60 threads are being worked on this bag. The thick white and blue strings are used as spacers for the rows.

As the space gets tight I use this afghan crochet hook to work the yarn. This hook is longer than the average crochet hook and is very useful for this project.

The middle row gets a long thread to hold the shape of the bottom, then the sides are sewn up and knots are tied. bag is turned inside out to hide the knots. Double loops of single yarns are used to close the bag, making a less bulky top hem than a three strand braid would have.

There is five rows with Z twist, switch to 4 rows S twist, switch to 4 rows Z twist, close up the middle. I will definitely work this yarn again. These small bags will be handy for practicing different patterns.

I modified my cardboard loom with a hole and tied a loop of string through it so I could use it to anchor a three strand braid I was making for another bag. Just a simple idea to pass along to help work on the bus.

Have a good day!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Saturday Group

Dec 10 2011 - Here is the Saturday Group of Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild, which meets once a month on Saturdays. The group was started for fiber arts fans who can't get to the other Guild meetings which are held on weekdays.

Compared to the large meetings, we have room to spread out and spin and knit. Linda has a turkish drop spindle, Linda in the middle has a spindolyn in her lap, which is a supported spindle. Sue is knitting.

We also do a little bit of "show and tell." Jan is showing off her kumihimo braiding that she has been working on as Betsy looks on. Jan and Betsy are members of the committee organizing the Guild Open House in February. The Saturday Group is invited to have a table display at the Open House and they had suggestions for the display.

At the larger Guild meeting it was "Mini-workshops" month and Betsy brought her nuno felting piece that she learned at the Guild workshop.

Betsy also has been very busy and is showing us some scarves she finished. The piece on left is a four harness piece with yarn dyed with a mushroom! The piece in the middle is "birch bark" style weaving, and the piece on right is a sort of "mourning cloth" scarf with black beads although it has a few color threads to indicate about six months into mourning.

I showed off my sample from the Mini-workshop on rigid heddle weaving. I also showed some of the little sprang bags I've been working on.

This month the subject is fiber preparation and Susan brought her hand cards to show how she cards wool with it. Arlene also brought some hand cards and a box of multicolored wool (not pictured) from a sheep named Spot. She got some help from Susan on how to use the cards.

I also learned some carding technique from Linda who showed me how to do the little rolags (rolls of carded wool).

Betsy and Linda brought their drum carders to show us how they work. I would also like to draw your attention to the carpet with the cartoon critters reading books. We're in a public library and "Reading is fun."

Betsy brought her Shacht Petite (left) with fine tooth carding cloth that she purchased to blend some angora rabbit wool that she bought at Dixon Lamb Town. It can also process sheep wool and other fibers if you take your time. The brush on top helps keep the fine angora from flying away and smooths the tops of the batts.

Linda brought her Louet (right) drum carder with medium tooth cloth that she uses for wool. The stouter teeth allow her to feed more into the carder.

In 2012 we will be moving to afternoon time slots and having up to 4 hours at a time so we can do more involved work. We tend to run out of time with the 2 1/2 hour meetings so hopefully we can get more in depth in the next year.

Next meeting is Jan 7 - St Distaff Day, bring your spindles and spinning wheels!

You can visit the Guild website for more information.

It was a good day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Purple Sprang Bag

(click pictures for bigger image)
New sprang bag started Monday morning on the light rail train. Yarn is Sugar N Creme 4 ply worsted cotton, color Hot Purple. 30 wraps for 60 threads working. Top of piece is twined to keep threads in order. Will twine the bottom also. Use a dowel, pencil or similar item to raise threads up for twining.

After both ends are twined, carefully flex the cardboard to relieve tension enough to slide the warp off the cardboard while on the bus.

Using double strands of thread, run thread through the "inside" of the loops at top and bottom. The twining holds the threads in proper order for interlinking. Still on the bus, gotta put it away because my stop is coming up soon.

Doing the interlink (sprang) and using white yarn as safety strings and spacers. This helps maintain the evenness of the web. Little white strings on the outside strings are markers for the edge threads to help me keep the the outer threads on the outer edge. Picture taken during my lunch break.

Using a needlepoint needle I weave a yarn through three times on the middle to make a non-stretch bottom. Done at home while watching television.

Here you see how the middle thread is woven in and around three times to make a non-stretch bottom. The long loops of thread will be used to sew up the sides.

Done on Monday night! Finished at home on the same day it started! I think I like the non-stretch bottom. I'm not happy with the look of the loops at the top. I'll have to think about this some more.

Have a good day!

Green Sprang Bag

This piece is 11 inch long, 30 wraps around the board, 60 threads working. I'm using double thickness of safety string as spacers. This has about nine rows worked at top and bottom.

Using crochet hook I chain looped the middle front row and turned piece over to chain loop the other row. Then I took one of the free ends of green yarn and it out down to the middle. Pulled free end through the last chain loop of the bottom and then sewed the side using a needlepoint needle.

Both sides are sewn up. I still need to make a braid for the drawstring. The bottom did not spread as much as last time. I'm going to do this again with a tighter weave.

This went a lot faster than the last one.

Have a good day!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hawaiian Chieftain In Old Sacramento

Hawaiian Chieftain, Grays Harbor, Wash, is docked at Old Sacramento, Calif until Dec 10. This is a teaching ship to educate people on how a trading ship from 250 years ago would have looked and worked. That is the I Street Bridge in the background.

Here is a picture of the bow with the Tower Bridge in the background. There was a constant stream of people coming to visit the ship and take impromptu tours on board.

If you like string, you gotta love this ship!

Here in the cabin a crew member answers questions.

Visitors chat with a crew member at the wheel. Everyone on the ship was gracious and eager to answer questions.

You can see more pictures on Picasa

That's my corner of the world.
Have a good day!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spanish Lace SWSG

Tuesday of this week (11/22/2011) was the monthly meeting of Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild. November is the month that the Guild hosts mini-workshops on various crafts like dying, felting, basket weaving, spinning wheels, and rigid heddle weaving. I took the workshop on rigid heddle weaving with Robin Lynde. She taught us how to the warp rigid heddle loom, Italian Hemstitching, Danish Medallions, some warp floats/weft float technique and she showed me how to do the Spanish Lace technique! That's the sample I did in class up on my Cricket Rigid Heddle loom.

It was a good day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blue Sprang Finished

Before I found my crochet hook, I found a little bundle of tools for sale at the Goodwill Thrift Store. Some crochet hooks, an afghan hook (long hook), some regular and double point knitting needles. All for 4 dollars and the money goes to charity.

The afghan hook is the right size so I used it to hook the middle of the sprang. This will be the bottom of the bag. It was recommended that I should run a string through the middle to make it a non-stretch bottom, but I want to try hooking the middle row. I was surprised to see how the piece shortened. Then I removed the safety strings. Sorry about bad color, flash did not go off on this picture.

Using the extra long edge cords I crocheted up the sides. Then I braided a drawstring and threaded it through the top. Then I saw how the bottom stretched out. Not expected.

Also not expected is how the bag does not fully enclose a bar of soap.

Okay, so I'll do the next one longer, narrower and make the bottom less stretchy.

Have a good day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blue Sprang Pencil

As the two sides of the sprang start to meet in the middle, it is difficult to get the fingers in there to interlink the piece. Can't find the crochet hook so I'm going to link a couple more rows with the pencil. I can work the pencil like it's a finger. That little white string knotted on the right edge is how I mark the edge thread to help me keep my edges in order. After I'm done it will be untied and removed. Easier than using a bead.

Here I am pulling the safety cord through the sprang. I'm going to use two cords each time, one for the top row and one for the bottom row. This may seem compulsive but I use the safety cords to regulate the spacing of the rows so they come out even. I am using cords for four rows on top and four rows on the bottom. After each row I will pull a cord from top and bottom and move it to the middle row. I also left a safety cord near the top and bottom rows to help hold the shape near the twined edges. The twining will come out when I finish this bag.

This is about as far as I can go with the pencil. I think I'll pull a couple of safety cords through it then go find the crochet hook to loop the bottom and finish it. Then find a needlepoint needle to use the extra long edge cords to sew up the sides. This is the first time that I get a real appreciation for the sprang process that builds two rows each time I go across!

Have a good day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blue Sprang Bag

Starting a small sprang bag. Cotton yarn (Sugar and Creme) wound around cardboard while on the light rail train during my commute.

I twined the yarn at top and bottom to keep the yarns in order when I move the warp. The pencil helps hold up off the cardboard while the twining is done.

Using yarn at top and bottom of the piece to hold it in place. The pencil will help hold the layers seperate. Safety strings will help keep the rows protected and will help maintain spacing of each row.

Working the sprang on the bus. The interlinking works on top and bottom rows creating the sprang. My right hand would fit that the group of yarns as I work.

More rows working from top to bottom.

Working more and more rows. It's getting harder to work in the area that is getting smaller in the middle. I need to find my crochet hook to work on this. The erasers on the ends of the pencil help keep the pencil from sliding out during the work. The small bundles of blue yarn (butterfly) near the bottom will be used later to sew up the sides of the bag.

Inspired by the new book "Sprang Unsprung" by Carol James

Have a good day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Unsprang Bag Finished

Bag is finished. A braid for drawstring. Bottom is kind of rough with the knots, I may sew it up another row to make it even. Bag is stuffed with a plastic bag for the picture.

Otherwise, not bad.

Have a good day!


Somebody asked if this bag expands. Here is the bag flat, about 4 inch wide by 10 inch long.

Stuffed with plastic bags you see how the bag expands in width.

Have a good day!

Unsprang Bag Forming

Above we have the current unsprang (plain interlinking). Size is about 8 inch wide by 11 inch long (20cm x 27cm). This is about half as long as I hoped. There was a lot of shrinkage to the threads. Some threads are very short from being pulled unevenly over the top thread, leaving one end long and one end short, so I have to stop here.

I think I'll fold it over to make a long narrow bag. I'll tie off the bottom, sew up the side, and use a drawstring to close the top. The bag will stretch sideways.

I am knotting the bottom with overhand knots. I'm trying to tie in pairs one thread from each side of the bag.

Then I noticed the FLOATS! See the long diagonal threads? These were on the backside of the piece as I did the interlinking so I did not notice them. As a thread got pushed out of line and grabbed into another line the mistake occurs but was unnoticed by me. These long threads out of line in with the others are called "floats" in weaving and are often part of the design.

Okay, I already have a bunch of knots done. I will finish the knots, trim the strings, sew up the side and turn the piece inside out so the better side is showing outside. The knots will be inside and unseen.

Okay. I'll have to do better on the next one. Got to finish this one first.

Have a good day!