Stitch-n-Pitch: Seattle Mariners

I just got back from recording at the Seattle Mariner’s Stitch ‘n Pitch in Seattle. The content will air on Brenda Dayne’s wonderful knitting podcast Cast-On.

What a blast! I spent four hours running around talking to knitters, baseball fans, vendors, organizers, and pretty much anyone who would talk to me.

Highlights include Debbie Macomber, NYT bestselling author of knitting-related novels (she also threw out the first pitch of the game), a charity-knitting group run by muslims, a fun group of ladies knitting wristbands for a cancer walk, a mother-and-son who were quite witty, and a male knitting designer who shared tips for knitting with hand-painted yarn.

I can’t wait to see what Brenda does with the audio! It may be a while, though, I recorded something like four hours worth for her to wade through.

I’d drop in some pictures, but my husband went out of town to Comic Con and took the digital camera (my fault, I told him to.) So pictures will have to wait until I get the film processed. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to being able to instantly have your photos on the computer.

In crafty news: I attempt to teach myself how to do tapestry. Tapestry kicks my butt.

Flurry o’ Finishing

You know how you poke along for a while, working on multiple projects, feeling scattered and like nothing will ever get done. And then one day *blam* you finish a whole host of things at once. Today was that day.

It got kicked off last night by a GNO (that’s girl’s night out) my GF’s were beading, and I was twisting fringe. There was Thai food, much dishing of the other sort, and a complete lack of men folk, particularly those under the age of five. We love our kids and husbands, but sometimes you just need to let the hair down and hang with the gals.

So, I twisted fringe, the great conversation and stories totally distracting me from the fact that I HATE twisting fringe. I like the end product all right, love it when adorned with beads, but the process is tedious and a bit nerve wracking. I am the queen of the ever-increasing length fringe. You know, that bit where you work your way across the scarf, carefully measuring each fringe against its companion so they’re the same length? And then, at the end, you have a diagonal line of fringe? (My secret weapon against this is a chopstick with reference lines drawn on it. Why a chopstick? Because unlike all eleven of the straight rulers I own, I can find the wooden disposable chopstick…)

Okay, enough rant, time to look at pretty things.

First, all of the prize painted warps have been mailed off! This took a while as I was trying to get specific colors, which turns out to be much harder than just painting warps and being pleasantly surprised by what happens when one color slams into another. So, after many redos, I got to the point where I was starting to covet the prize warps and realized that if I was going crazy for them. They must be good enough for the winners. Here they are being packed up (mailing addresses carefully obscured for the camera.)



I am especially taken with the “wood-grain” warps. I have a thing for brown, after years of moaning about having brown hair and brown eyes, I’ve decided to embrace my inner brown, and you know, brown is a heckuva cool color. (An opinion reinforced by a friend who told me I look great in brown.) These warps are intended to be used together, Sara Lamb-style, in stripes. The fiber is 20/2 cotton, recommended sett of 32 for a warp-face-ish plain weave. The winner wanted something that would go with brown and black outfits. I hope she likes these!



I finished up a scarf for a student in my Weaving Works class who borrowed a loom and didn’t finish the weaving in class. Also going out in the mail. This scarf was made with a random-warp technique that’s a lot of fun. Everyone brings “problem” yarn from their stash, we pile it in the center of the room, and then build wonderful warps out of it. Seeing what others do with your rejects really opens your eyes to possibilities.



Here’s a close-up of the fabric. The student planned the warp and picked a slubby varigated rayon for the weft. I don’t usually like a varigated weft, but in this piece it works.



I finished the “therapy scarf” that I worked on when my server was locking up and preventing folks from downloading episode 17 of WeaveCast. (This of course, happened right after I had sent out the “check out the new episode” email…)


It’s rayon chenille interspersed with stripes of a rayon/cotton blend. At first I feared I’d have a seersucker effect, but with a teensy bit of pressing, it all flattened out and has a wonderful drape. I’m in love with the contrast between the slick threads and the chenille. I couldn’t resist wearing this out in public today, and showing it off. My husband was especially kind and felt the handle of it and made approving noises not once, but twice. (Before and after the pressing.)


And if all that wasn’t enough, a pile of painted warps drying in the sun.

What a great day!

Rigid Heddle Class

Last sunday I taught a rigid-heddle class at Weaving Works, and it was a blast! The students were great, many of them learning to weave for the first time, and the enthusiasm in the room crackled with “aha!” moments. Judging from the anonymous feedback forms, they had a grand time as well. I was teaching my “stash-busting” scarf technique (essentially a random warp, with symmetry.) Everyone brought yarn from their stash and we put it in a big pile in the middle and then began pulling out color groups to plan warps. I’m sure this is an un-vention, instead of an invention, as it’s so obvious. To make the class easy and fun, I taught the peg-warping method I learned in Rowena Hart’s book. Because I didn’t want to buy 8 warping pegs (one for each student), I clamped a warping board horizonally to a table and had each student use pick a different peg to work off. This worked well, but had the unintended consequence of making a huge spider’s web in the center of the room. It made navigating around a bit difficult (occasionally I had to crawl under the warps to reach a student) but I loved the imagery of weaving all the students together. I stood on a chair to take a picture, but still wasn’t high enough to get everyone in, so you’ll have to imagine a weaver at the end of every warp. [img_assist|nid=26|title=|desc=|link=none|align=none|width=640|height=480] Big fun, I love teaching weaving! Which is ironic, really. As a child, both my parents were college professors. I swore that I’d never teach. In college, I ran away screaming from the few labs-classes I had to teach to pay my way through. Twenty years later, I’m loving it. I guess breeding will out!

Play Structures

So if you saw the June 2007 WeaveCast post, you know that I was tasked with building a children’s play structure in two days for my son’s fourth birthday party (which was yesterday.) How, you ask, did it go?


My secret weapon was one of these.

These are brilliant for power outages and *ahem* late-night construction projects.

So the day of the party, ninteen kids descended upon our humble abode. I imagined them swarming around the playset and having a grand old time.

The kids?


Were fascinated by the scrap ends of lumber left over from construction.

They stacked them into cities, weaved mazes, built levers and fashioned them into make-shift catapults.

The take-away message? No matter how wonderful the toy, it can never compare to the play possibilities of the box.