Fall has finally rolled around, and with it sometimes comes cold and rainy days but also, when weather permits, beautiful, bright and colorful days full of autumn spirit and love. Fortunately for us on the east coast, we have been blessed this year with the latter, and we have been taking full advantage of it the last couple weekends by driving around Vermont to see the colors and enjoying outdoor activities.
While the view is spectacular, the rather cold temperature has prompted me to rummage through my box winter accessories, and I was rather disappointed to realize I did not have a hand knit hat that matched my (very bright orange) spring coat. To fix this problem, I decided to make myself a new hat using a basic pattern and a neutral color that would match all my coats. I set my mind on the pattern Wurm, by Katharina Nopp, that I slightly modified to suit my taste (larger horizontal stripes, a 1×1 rib double edge and an added pompom). If you are interested in replicating this hat, please visit my project page for detailed information on the mods I did. 🙂
The yarn I used is a wonderfully soft and lush merino/cashmere/nylon fingering weight yarn from Zen Yarn Garden called Serenity 20. I must say that I truly enjoyed knitting with this yarn and certainly will use it again, I really think it’s one of those luxuries you simply can’t get enough of. And what to say about the colors? Simply wonderful! If you have never tried this yarn, I strongly recommend you try it at least once, I’m sure you will never regret it.
While I’m still pecking away at my Bluesand Cardigan, I can’t say that I have made much progress since I last shared it with you a month and a half ago. A good part of the reason why it’s been such a long process is that I ran out of the main color and wasn’t into the idea of ordering a new skein, so I tried as best as I could to adjust the design to fit the yarn I had. After trying a few things though, I realized I was just not happy with how this was turning out and I finally resigned myself to frog my unsuccessful attempts and order a new skein of the MC.
At first I was a little upset about it, but after giving it much thought, I came to the conclusion that knitting is an investment both in time and money, and I need to be 100% satisfied with the final product to make it worthwhile. What I mean is that I prefer spending more time fixing a cardigan to make sure I will love it and wear it than half ass a cardigan that will end up collecting dust at the bottom of my closet.
I just got back from a very warm, sunny, crazy week of vacation in Nevada and Arizona with my brother and his girlfriend. It was so much fun, I feel totally recharged! After so much snow, and rain, and cold weather here up north, a little sunshine was definitely more than welcomed. We first visited Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, then saw the Grand Canyon and Sunset Crater Volcano, we drove through Sedona and the Tonto National Forest, hiked the Hayden Butte, and so much more! I definitely kept myself really busy, but it it was all worth it. All in all, I had an incredible vacation, and I really want to share a little bit of it with you guys, so here’s a few pictures I took – hope you like them!
And of course, since I was going to spend a lot of time on a plane or at the airport on the way there and back, I had to start a little project to keep me busy, right? RIGHT? So I started the Estuary shawl, using some Confetti Superwash yarn from DGB I had in stash. Lucky me, a little bit of knitting here and there during the trip and some knitting time at the airport allowed me to reach the halfway mark in only a week. Yes! It’s a very easy pattern so far, very well explained with easy to follow charts and instructions.
Last December, I visited family in Ohio. We had a really good time with everybody; good food, good times and good laughs, but one of the things that I was the most excited about was that I got to try my hand at weaving. I have never tried weaving before, not even once in my entire life, and although I have been sewing for 10 years, to me the art of creating your own fabric from scratch has always been cloaked in mystery.
My relative spent 2 days showing me the basics of weaving. As I had absolutely no idea what I was embarking myself in, I couldn’t imagine what the finished product would look like, and chose the loom, the yarn and the pattern I was going to use a little haphazardly. Based on her advice, I used a Leclerc counterbalance loom, a variegated, fuzzy purple yarn and a twill pattern.
And I set off! Little did I know though, how strenuous warping a loom is. Holy crap on a cracker! For a 12 inch wide scarf, warping the thing took an entire day! I couldn’t believe it! Ok, part of the reason why it took so long is because I’m a newbie and I had virtually no idea what I was doing, but still! I was so exhausted by the end of the day that I swore I would never touch a loom ever again. hahahaha the irony!
The second day, I started the actual weaving, and much to my surprise (after the warping hell the day before) I really enjoyed it! I weaved for 5 hours straight, and just like that, I had a brand new scarf! I just couldn’t believe how fast it goes once the loom is warped and threaded. And that is when it suddenly struck me : even though warping takes a long time, if I do it once and weave multiple projects, Oh THE POSSIBILITIES!!!
So here starts the loom saga. I was so excited by my new discovery that as soon as I came home, I started shopping for a loom. Soon enough, I found a decently priced one, used but in good condition. A lady that lives an hour away from my place was selling it to make room for a different one. I was so excited to have found a loom so fast that I drove there on the weekend, and I bought it on the spot. The funny part starts as I was reaching for my purse to pay, and something suddenly struck me : the loom is a Leclerc 60″ counterbalance, and it comes with a bench; my car is a small Yaris. How am I going to bring it home? Well, if you’ve ever tried playing Tetris, I can tell you that a real life version is far more challenging (not to mention entertaining!). We spent 2 hours taking the loom apart, taking pictures and carefully labeling all the pieces, and we (somehow!) managed to fit everything into my small car (I heaved a sigh of relief).
When I got home I was still pumped and excited about my new purchase, and I took all the pieces inside. Then, I took a moment to take good look at it. The loom is home, that’s great and all, but now… I have to put it back together hahahaha. It took a good 2 hours to make sense of it all and get it together, but I finally did it! For those who are interested, here’s a “before” and “after” photo, I can tell you I have never been so proud of my construction abilities!
After finally putting it together, I tried a few things and made a few test pieces, I understand now a lot more about weaving, fabric construction and weaving patterns, I have been experimenting a lot with different colors, different types of yarn or thread and different patterns, very much so much that it starts looking like a weave-a-thon. But I’m enjoying myself, I feel creativity flowing and ideas keep popping in my head, so much I can barely sleep at night! But I’m really proud of what I can do now, and I get the feeling it’ll only get better and better. This whole saga just really shows that starting a new craft isn’t always easy, but as long as passion is driving you, you can really make the best out of it and make your learning experience worthwhile!
On that note folks, I’m out! Enjoy your crafting time 🙂