Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Allergy Warning - I have cats

I make no effort to hide the fact my weavings are exposed to cats.  In fact, I actively try to throw this fact out in every way I can, without going so far as to make customers think I rub their products in cat hair.

I pick the hair out as I'm weaving.  Then again really well before photographing.  Then it sits in a cat free cabinet or closet.  When something sells I go over every inch at least twice to get any strays.  Hopefully none of my customers would even know I have cats based on the weavings they receive.

Even so, here is another warning for those that suffer severe cat allergies.  I have 2 cats in the house.  I weave in my living room where they spend half their day.

For everyone else, here's a blog of cute cat pictures.  Cause the internet can never have enough cute cats :)

Both cats love hiding inside the loom.  It's dark and cozy.

Tess loves to run off with balls of yarn when I'm not looking.  Before we got the boy kitty, she would get to drag the yarn back and forth all over the apartment.  I can't let her play with them unsupervised anymore though.  Stupid head boy kitty eats yarn, and eats it fast.

I guess I don't have that many pictures of Eli in the yarn.  Probably because he eats it.
                            (His name is short for El-ahrairah)

Here's an older picture of him covered in pink.  Somehow he managed to destroy a toy in such a way as the dye bled all over him.  We didn't notice at first because it kinda matched his fur.  Kinda wish we knew how to do this all the time and with different colors.

This picture was taken during a weaving photo shoot.  I looked over and she was being a ham, as always.  She's just so dainty.

Back when I was using a sheet on the ground for my backdrop, she would always be on top of it.  I'd turn around to get another product and there she'd be.  Then I'd have to shake all the hair off again.

Now I put the sheet over a bin.  Leaning to ground repeatedly was hurting my back.  The cats don't get on the bin as much.  There's plenty of tails or noses in the uncropped versions of my pictures though.

I brought this bag down from the closet to sort through.  I wasn't going to leave it out for very long.  This little princess said, "oh!  Thank you for leaving out this new bed." She sat there, blocking the way to the kitchen, for the rest of the afternoon.

What?  Don't I belong here?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monster Cuffs

I made a pair of cuff bracelets for my wife.  You know what she said?  They need googly eyes and teeth.  Really?

So now I have monster cuffs in my shop.  They make me giggle the entire time I'm making them, photographing them and creating the listings.  They're just so silly.

For the first couple, I used regular felt for the teeth.  I sewed the edges down so it wouldn't fray.

Since making the green ones, I discovered stiff felt.  I'm the type to overdo things so they won't come undone.  So I double the stiff felt and glue them together with gorilla glue.

I glue the eyes on with hot glue.  I had trouble a couple times with this glue.  I've melted the eyes more than once.  One had a finger-printed blobby spot I had to cut off where it had squished out onto the button.  And then there's always the annoying stringyness of this glue.

However, I tried switching to gorilla glue and it didn't work well.  It didn't set quickly enough.  I was also much more concerned with glue seeping out from under the eye.  Gorilla glue dries an ugly yellowish-white color that would be very noticeable.  So now I'm back to hot glue.

The teeth are just sewn on wherever I can fit them around the yarn loops.  For this one I tried a different tooth pattern.

In the future I am considering things like wings and horns but I haven't figured them out yet.  I also want to make vampire fangs but they don't work with the loop closures.

This guy is my favorite.  He reminds me of a Muppet.

My wife doesn't like to talk about my weaving very much, but then she keeps giving me these great ideas.  I think she's working against herself. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ping Pong Pattern

This pattern has nothing to do with the game.  I just titled it that way because that's what the main novelty yarn in this pattern is called.

Anyone who's followed my work can see I love working with lots of different yarns.  My favorite part of weaving is the way colors and textures are drawn together and play off each other.  So when the yarn itself is already fascinating, I just can't resist.

Often I find myself wanting to repeat a pattern in a different color.  However, it never happens.  I start down another project, thinking I'll get back to the other pattern but then I get distracted by other things.

Well, I finally did it.  I had three sets of colors picked out.  I only made two of them because I was aiming for a guitar strap width.  The first was way too wide.  The second was kinda wide.  For the third, I gave up and dropped the brown.

Here's the pattern in maroon and green:
Here's the pattern how I think of it:

4G 3M 2B 10M 3B 1G 1B (1M) repeat in reverse
( ) denotes middle warp, not repeated

G = Green = Forest Green
Sensations, Angel Hair (Jo-Ann's)
22% Wool, 50% Acrylic, 28% Nylon

B = Brown = Mocha Madness
Bernat, Ping Pong
73% Acrylic, 27% Nylon

M = Maroon = ?
Probably RedHeart
100% Acrylic

Weft = Maroon

Here's the pattern in a more standard format:
G  G  M  M  B  M   M  M  M  M  B  G  M  G  B  M  M  M  M  M   B  M  M  G  G
  G  G  M   B  M  M  M  M  M   B  B  B   B   B  B  M  M   M  M  M  B  M   G  G

Here's the pattern in yellow and purple:
I love how very different this band looks, yet when directly compared to the above it's obvious they're the same.

The pattern is the same except the large yellow section is only 8 warps, not 10.  I was trying to reduce the width to make it a guitar strap.  I think it was a lucky happenstance.  The brighter color should be skinnier to be the same weight in the pattern.  Any wider and it might have overpowered the purple edging.

width of maroon = 2 3/4 inches
width of yellow = 2 1/2 inches
width of blue = 2 inches

The last band I made in this series did end up being a guitar strap.  It's much skinnier than the ones above.  I really love the blue and orange together.  I still think they'd look great with the brown too.  Who knows, maybe I'll make this pattern again someday.  For now other projects are calling.

3O, 1R, 2O, 22B, 2O, 1R, 3O
Weft = Blue

B = Blue = Medium Navy
100% Acrylic

O = Orange = Copper
Caron, Bliss
60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon

R = Rust
Aunt Lydia's Heavy Rug Yarn
75% Rayon, 25% Cotton