A Craftsman’s Legacy

I recently discovered A Craftsman’s Legacy on two of my local PBS television stations.  Show host Eric Gorges (which for many episodes, I heard as “gorgeous” and thought, “Oh yes, you are”) travels around the United States, visiting craftspeople in their studios.  He spends a couple days with them, interviewing them and learning the basics of their craft.  Gorges is a craftsman himself; he’s a master metalworker and makes custom motorcycles at his shop, Voodoo Choppers, in Detroit.  At this point, I’ve seen 12 of the 13 episodes in Season 1 and all four of the Season 2 episodes which have aired for the current Season 2.

The show’s website says, “Each episode will tell the story of an Old World Craft and its importance in the building of America.”  Towards this end, each episode starts with a short overview on the history of the craft, presented as pictures with voiceover by host Gorges.  This is the least interesting part of the show to me.  While I am interested in this background, I find the presentation a bit dry and rather tortured.  The main reason for this is that Gorges’ voiceover sounds bored.  This is not at all true during the rest of the show.  He clearly enjoys meeting and talking with the craftspeople.  He loves the tools and workshops and learning new things.  His obvious enjoyment of the process is absolutely charming and a big part of what makes the show so engaging to watch.

At some point in most episodes, Gorges asks the craftsperson, “Do you consider yourself an artist or a craftsman?”  Everyone has an immediate answer to this question; clearly each one has thought about the differences and similarities between the two words, and what the implications are as they pursue their work.  A few reject the dichotomy.  One or two think it depends on the task or project.  The rest are evenly split between the two categories.

Crafts highlighted on the show include glassblowing, stone carving, metalsmithing of various flavors, boat building, woodworking, and many more.  Season 1 included a Native American basketweaver; this is the closest the show has come to a fiber craft so far, but upcoming episodes in Season 2 include a weaver (Juanita Hofstrom) and a quilter.  I love the variety of crafts presented in the show.  I don’t expect to ever pursue any of these crafts, but I love to see the ways people have organized their lives so that they can make a living with their crafts.  I also love seeing the work spaces, tools, and processes used in the various crafts.  I find the show inspirational and it provokes me to think about my personal approach to the crafts that I love.

If A Craftsman’s Legacy is not available on any channels in your area, you can join the “Legacy Society” on the show’s website.  It’s free to join and this gives you access to full episodes of Season 1.  So far, they haven’t added any episodes from Season 2.  I’m not sure if they are waiting until the season ends or if they will add the season 2 episodes at some point before then.  However you access it — local TV or through the web — the show is absolutely worth a watch.

The Highlights Reel

While I was at The Knit and Crochet Show, more than one person commented to me that they couldn’t take classes the entire time because it was too much for them to absorb.  Wasn’t I totally overwhelmed?  Nope, not at all.  The entire event was an adrenaline rush and I enjoyed every moment.  A week after I got back, after reliving the entire event through writing the blog posts about it, I crashed.  This wasn’t all because of the show; August is break month for the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup.  I push myself hard during the term, achieving feats of crafting that I otherwise wouldn’t attempt, and I appreciate break month!  Don’t get me wrong — I still crafted and had fun adventures in August and September to date.  Here’s the highlights.

August

S’s 5th Birthday Party

My cousin’s daughter turned 5 and had a birthday party at the zoo.  It was the largest kid’s birthday party I’ve ever attended — 28 kids and 30+ adults.  I made fondant cupcake toppers (I don’t think I’ve mentioned here that I’ve got mad cake skills?  I don’t make cakes as often as in the past).  Since I live 2+ hours from my cousin, she bought cupcakes locally and I put the toppers on when I arrived at the party.

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And I was the first person in line to get my face painted.  I got to the party early so I could get those cupcake toppers on the cupcakes and the few children already there showed no interest in getting their face painted.  I figured I’d beat the rush!

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I knit the birthday girl a Barbie dress.

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Sorting Yarn

A few months ago, my friend Nancy and I went to the home of a member of the weaver’s guild who had passed away (see my blog post).  She wanted her yarn to benefit the guild.  Nancy and I sorted it to pick out anything that was suitable for demos.  We always have a little takeaway for kids and are constantly on the look out for yarn for those.  We packed up any project kits or yarns suitable for weaving and brought those to the guild’s annual auction.  The money raised from the sale of those yarns is designated for demos and will be used to buy yarn for takeaways once we use up our current stash.

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Orlando Shakes Open House

From the Weavers Guild meeting, I went straight to the Orlando Shakespeare theater for their annual open house.  I’ve never made it to this event before and had a great time.  I went to all three panel discussions — one on lighting and sound production, one on building props, and one with the directors and educators about visioning and producing individual plays and the future of the troop.  They also had a small display of props and costumes from previous productions.  Here’s a small selection of the spectacular costumes, which are created in house, in conjunction with the theater department of a local university, and with the help of many volunteers.

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Akerworks

My order from Akerworks arrived!  I got 6 bobbins for my wheel (one in each style) and 3 drop spindles (one in each size).  I didn’t take pictures before they got pressed into service, but I’m sure you’ll see pictures in future blog posts.  I did take a picture of the lovely hand-written note Adan included in the box.

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Ravenclaw Staff

I accepted a position as blog mistress for The Ravenclaw Aerie, the blog for the Ravenclaw Tower in the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup.  This is a big part of the reason for the neglect of my own blog; planning and executing for that blog has taken the time I had for blogging.  Now that we’re on a schedule over there, I expect to be back to my own blog regularly!  Most of what’s on The Ravenclaw Aerie is probably only of interest to those in Ravenclaw Tower or the Cup, but one of the first posts is about something else I did in August.  Ravenclaw Porcupine Snuggles works at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  She and two of her colleagues drove from Baltimore to New Smyrna Beach, FL to release Cougar, a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.  I met them in New Smyrna Beach so I could witness the release, and Porcupine Snuggles and I wrote a blog post about it for the Aerie.

Disney with Beth

My friend Beth came on vacation for a week and we spent lots of time at Disney!  We ate at the Be Our Guest restaurant in the new part of Fantasy Land in the Magic Kingdom.  We did not expect to be able to get a reservation because this restaurant, the interior of which is a replica of the castle in Beauty and the Beast, is sold out 6 months in advance.  We checked anyway; someone must have cancelled because we got a 1:15 pm reservation!  The restaurant is stunning inside and out.

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On the day we went to EPCOT, it poured.  My mother, Beth, and I walked from The Land to Journey through the Imagination without seeing any one else walking around (everyone else was smarter than us — when we got to Journey through the Imagination, the ride was down because the building was struck by lightning!).  It was eerie, and made us think about what the park is like after it closes.  We waited for Journey through the Imagination to be back up, and after we got off the ride, the rain had settled down to a normal rain shower rather than a deluge.  We headed towards the World Showcase, wading through a calf-deep puddle on our way there.

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All the rain made for a beautiful sunset!

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Sick

A couple days after Disney, my husband got sick with a very bad cold.  I caught it from him and it turned into a sinus infection.  Yuck!  For the last week of August and the first week of September, we took turns feeling misearable.  Not much got accomplished around here.  I was coughing so much that fiber crafting wasn’t even viable 🙁

September

L’s Birthday

Fortunately, I felt better in time to fly to New York City for a long weekend celebrating my sister’s 40th birthday.  Before she arrived on Friday evening, her friends and I went to the Global Fashion Capitals exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum.  Here’s a couple of interesting pieces from that exhibit.

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We were trying to decide what to do next when I saw someone walk by with a Mood bag.  For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Mood is a fabric store and is the place contestants on Project Runway shop for the fabric used to make their creations.  We decided to go to Mood and since it was a lovely day we walked the 10 blocks to the shop.  I was totally overwhelmed by Mood.  On the ground floor, there’s a two-story section of upholstery and other home decoration fabrics.  To get to the main shop, you take this old elevator, operated by an elevator attendant, to the third floor.  Once there, you have another 3 stories of every fabric imaginable.  I have no idea how the contestants manage to shop for fabric in only 30 minutes!

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Yes, I did pet Swatch!
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One section of the leather department.

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One day, we went to the Tenement Museum (no pix allowed there).  Our grandfather grew up in the Depression-era tenements of the Bronx, so this was a poignant visit for us.  Afterwards, we wandered around SoHo and I bought my first ever pair of Fluevogs.

Later that evening, my sister and her friends went to a play.  They bought tickets before I committed to the trip, and I wasn’t able to get a ticket to the show.  Instead, I took a train out to Long Island to visit law school classmates and meet their 4-month-old baby.  It was good to see them!

The next day, my sister, her friends, and I went to the Cloisters Museum, and visited their famous room of unicorn tapestries.

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We ate fabulous food every day, including the best doughnuts I’ve ever eaten, from The Doughnut Plant.  The interior of the shop was adorable, with doughnut pillows on the wall, a doughnut tile backsplash, and donut chairs!

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The last night, my sister and I stayed in her friend’s apartment in Brooklyn.  The friend was out of town, but gave us a key.  The apartment came with bonus kitty, Billie.

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Billie was super sweet and reminded me of my Pepper, whom I still miss very much!

Although I lived in the Northeast for nearly 30 years, I had never spent more than an afternoon in New York City before this trip.  I had a wonderful time and hope I get to visit again!

Spamalot

For the fifth year in a row, Chris and I have season tickets for the Orlando Shakespeare theater.  The first show of the season was Spamalot!  It was absolutely spectacular.  If you have the opportunity, you should totally see this show.

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Orlando Maker Faire

Last weekend was the Orlando Maker Faire.  The Drunken Monkey Spinners and Weavers of Orlando shared a booth for the event.  Nancy and I spent the entire weekend in the booth; other members of the two groups spent one day or the other.

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This was the fourth year of the Orlando Maker Faire.  Last year, they expanded from the Science Center and included some exhibits in the park.  This year, they expanded further, with arts and crafts exhibits in the Orlando Museum of Art, which is located on the opposite side of the park from the Science Center.  The expected attendance at this event was 15,000; I didn’t hear an actual number after the event, but it is by far the highest attendance at any event where I’ve demoed.

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The Science Center was wall-to-wall people; the Art Museum, where we were located, was steady but manageable.  This was a fantastic event to demo.  The people coming to this events are makers themselves.  They like to know how things work and ask lots of questions!  I spun the 50/50 Camel Down / Silk that I bought from Red Fish Dyeworks at The Knit and Crochet Show.  I only got 1 ounce spun, out of 4, in the 17 hours I spent spinning!  This is partially because I talked to lots of people, but also because it is spinning very fine.

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Hey — there’s one of the Akerworks bobbins I got in August!

Florida Fiber In

This weekend is the Florida Fiber In.  I went last night, but won’t make it there the rest of the weekend.  I picked up some Black-Faced Valois locks and some Bombyx Silk fiber, and spent a couple hours spinning and chatting!

Fiber Crafting

The new HPKCHC term started on September 1 and I’ve been crafting like a mad woman.  I haven’t taken pix of anything yet, but I’m working on that today and tomorrow.  I’ll have a Year of Projects update post sometime tomorrow.

Ongoing

I have also been working on improving skills to benefit my blog.  I bought my first DSLR camera (a Canon 70D (affiliate link)) and a Pro-Am video camera (Canon XA-10 (affiliate link)).  I added Adobe Stock to my Adobe Cloud subscription.  I used my Lynda.com subscription to learn how to use Adobe Bridge, then used Bridge to move all my photos out of Apple’s Photos app and into their own folders on my external hard drive.  I’m still working on adding metadata and tags to the photos.  I had 19,000 photos and videos in Photos and have a very hard time actually finding anything when I’m looking for it!  It’s a lot of work to organize, but I believe it will be worth it in the end.  I’m just starting the Lynda.com courses on Adobe After Effects and Lightroom, to further improve my photography and videography skills.

So that’s the highlight reel of the last six weeks.  What’s your highlights?

 

A Year of Projects 2015, Week 26.5

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For the past week, I’ve been crafting like it’s my job.  I also had an unusually high number of fun activities.  I had lunch in Diagon Alley with Ravelry friends who were in Orlando on vacation from Massachusetts.

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Of all the items listed for sale here, I most want the never-tangle wool.

I went to my first ever professional soccer game.  It was my cousin’s wife’s birthday and that’s what she wanted to do.

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My husband and I bought tickets to view last Sunday’s SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from the NASA causeway.  We didn’t want to get up at the crack of dawn and drive over, so we drove over Saturday night and stayed in a hotel.

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If you look closely, you can see Launch Pad 40 and maybe the rocket on the pad. There’s 4 objects that look like buildings. Pad 40 is between the two right hand buildings. There’s 4 lightning towers surrounding the pad; the rocket is in the middle.  It’s a slightly thicker line than the 4 surrounding towers.

Here’s the video I took of the launch.  The vehicle failed 139 seconds after launch.  I stopped recording two seconds before that because I was using my phone to record video and could barely see anything at that point.  It looked like a beautiful, perfect launch with nothing more to see.  And then the Liquid Oxygen tank exploded.

 

I still managed to get quite a bit of crafting done!  Let’s review the ridiculously ambitious list of goals I wrote:

Goals for June 21 to 30, 2015

  • Finish Raindrops on Roses Shawl (Headmistress Challenge)
  • Finish Grisou Scarf (homework, but which class?)
  • Finish Solid / 1×1 Scarf (OWL)
  • Three more color and weave scarves to meet OWL 50% (highly unlikely to finish)
  • Finish current Heart Illusion Dishcloth, plus 4 more (COMC?)
  • Tier Scarf (Charms or Potions)
  • Crochet Dishcloths (Transfiguration)
  • MHK1 swatches (Divination and / or Charms)
  • Small stuffed bird (DADA)
  • Cast on Sweet Summer Shawl (Quidditch Round 3; due July 8)
  • Liquid Silver Swatch (OOTP; due July 19)
  • Cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl (Headmistress Challenge; due July 28)

Fully Accomplished Goals

I finished the Raindrops on Roses Shawl.  I absolutely love it.  I test knit this for Assorted Musings (Ravelry, blog); the pattern will be released on July 15.  I plan to publish a detailed blog post for FO Friday on July 3.

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I finished the Grisou Scarf.  I test knit this for Sasoolero (Ravelry, blog) and I’m not sure when she plans to release the pattern.  I will publish a blog post on this project for FO Friday on July 3.

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Partially Accomplished Goals

I started the Solid / 1×1 Scarf.  I’ve woven somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of it.  I have the hardest time taking pictures of weaving in progress.  Since the finished work gets wound onto the cloth beam, it’s difficult to see progress!

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I finished the Heart Illusion Dishcloth that I had in progress, plus two more.

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I started the tier scarf and knit about 1/3 of it.

Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.
Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.

I crocheted one dishcloth.  In my goal, I didn’t say how many I wanted to knit.  I need 18 for the Dishcloth Advent Calendar, but didn’t expect to get them all done this month.  I was hoping for 9.  I learned how to single crochet increase, single crochet decrease, and crochet through the back loop.

I knit the first 3 swatches for MHK1.  I still need to weave in the ends and block them.  I also wrote answers to several more questions.

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Unaccomplished Goals

As expected, I did not weave the 3 additional scarves for my OWL.  I did not make the stuffed bird.  I decided to submit the Grisou scarf for DADA instead, and didn’t need the bird for anything else.  I have not cast on the Sweet Summer Shawl.  I will be doing that today.  I have not swatched for Liquid Silver.  I will be doing that today.  I have not cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl.  I think I’m going to wait a couple of weeks and cast on before I go to TKGA in San Diego.  It will make excellent travel knitting.

Other Projects

I made a felted cat bed for Tiger.  I managed to knit 1,047 yards worth of garter stitch in less than 3 days, felt it, and stitch it together!  It wasn’t on my goal list because I hadn’t decided to do it until after I wrote that list.  Tiger’s been sleeping on an alpaca blanket my father bought me when he was in Peru and I didn’t want it ruined.  I needed a quick replacement.

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Goals for July 1 to 5, 2015

  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Sweet Summer Shawl
  • Cast on Miranda Shawl
  • Swatch and Cast on Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Swatch and Cast on Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Finish spinning and plying the Cormo I’ve been working on since February
  • Start spinning the 3 Feet of Sheep (8 ounces BFL) on July 4 for Tour de Fleece

I’m tempted to write more, but I think this is more than enough.  My husband is off on Friday and Monday for the July 4 holiday.  I will have less crafting time than usual because I’ll be hanging out with him, and we’re going to the beach for at least one day!

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

A Year of Projects 2015, Week 25

It’s been a busy week around here, and this coming week will be busy too.  However, there’s always time to craft!

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Here’s the list of goals I wrote last week:

Goals for the Week of June 14 – 20, 2015

  • Finish the Sand Tracks Scarf.
  • Finish the Raindrops on Roses Shawlette.
  • Finish half of the questions and swatches for MHK1.
  • Finish at least one color and weave scarf on the rigid heddle loom.
  • Cast on the Liquid Silver Shawl.
  • Knit the Grisou Scarf (another test knit).

I’ve finished the Sand Tracks Scarf.

imageThe Raindrops on Roses Shawlette is a stockinette stitch body with three repeats of a lace pattern.  I finished that, but did not bind off.  I have enough yarn to knit at least one, possibly two, more repeats of the lace.  Since this is a test knit, I e-mailed the designer and asked if she preferred that I bind off now, per the pattern, or if it was okay for me to knit extra repeats.  She said she’d like to see the shawl in a larger size, so I’m going to knit the additional repeats and expect to finish early this week.  Here’s how it looked on Wednesday, 4 rows shy of finishing the first three lace repeats:

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I haven’t done anything with MHK1 this week.  I need to make this a priority as I want to finish before I go to TKGA’s Annual Conference in San Diego from July 21-26.

Yesterday, I tied on a color and weave scarf.  This is a solid red warp.  The weft alternates one pick of the same red as the warp with one pick of a tweed.  I’ve woven perhaps 1/4 of the scarf, and plan to finish it early this week.

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I looked at all the crafting I plan to finish this month and decided to move Liquid Silver to early July.  I do want to swatch for it by the end of the month.

The Grisou Scarf is a test knit.  I am using a different yarn than the designer, so swatched for it.  I ended up knitting swatches with three different size needles!  I’ve just got to finish the border, and expect to finish knitting it today.

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While I was waiting to hear back from the designer of Raindrops on Roses and for the Grisou swatches to dry, I cast on another Heart Illusion Dishcloth.  I got about 1/2 of it knit.

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Finally, though this has nothing to do with knitting, I wanted to post a picture of me with my father, since today is Father’s Day in the United States.  I often say that I’ve birdwatched since I was 6 months old.  My father started birdwatching shortly after my parents married, and once I came along, I was in a backpack on his back.  This morning, my father, mother, aunt, uncle, and I went birdwatching for Father’s Day.  We went to a newly opened 11 mile drive that skirts along the northern edge of Lake Apopka, not far from where we live.  We only saw 22 species of birds, all of which are common in our area, but we saw many, many individual birds of most species.  Here’s a picture my mom took of my Dad and I, looking at birds:

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Goals for June 21 to 30, 2015

I’m writing this set of goals through the end of the month, to cover the class deadlines for the HPKCHC.  I honestly don’t expect to finish all of these items, but I’m going to do my best!

  • Finish Raindrops on Roses Shawl (Headmistress Challenge)
  • Finish Grisou Scarf (homework, but which class?)
  • Finish Solid / 1×1 Scarf (OWL)
  • Three more color and weave scarves to meet OWL 50% (highly unlikely to finish)
  • Finish current Heart Illusion Dishcloth, plus 4 more (COMC?)
  • Tier Scarf (Charms or Potions)
  • Crochet Dishcloths (Transfiguration)
  • MHK1 swatches (Divination and / or Charms)
  • Small stuffed bird (DADA)
  • Cast on Sweet Summer Shawl (Quidditch Round 3; due July 8)
  • Liquid Silver Swatch (OOTP; due July 19)
  • Cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl (Headmistress Challenge; due July 28)

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette (in progress)
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

A Year of Projects: Introduction and Week 24

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I just stumbled across the Year of Projects group on Ravelry.  This is a blog-along group.  Participants make a list of crafting goals for the year and post weekly updates on their progress.  The Year of Projects runs from July 1 through June 30, so we are almost at the end of the year.  Some participants run on an annual schedule, however.  I decided that I will participate on an annual schedule.  I already made a list for 2015, but I haven’t been reviewing it or updating it.  Now you’ll get an update post every Sunday.  Since I already post a WIP Wednesday post, I think the Sunday post will probably just be a list with completed items crossed off, but that may change!

Previous Posts

Since it’s been awhile since I’ve written about my goals — and I haven’t really reviewed them myself since I wrote them — I thought I’d link to the posts I wrote back in January.

2015 Goals and Plans

UFO Inventory

Breed Specific Fiber Inventory & Breed Specific Fiber Inventory, Updated

Apparently, I never wrote a post about my Stashdown plans.  I thought I had!

Current Status

Stashdown

I set the goal of knitting from stash.  I would not buy new yarn, except for weaving yarn.  Uh, yeah.  turns pink  That hasn’t happened.  There’s been much acquisition of stash, and not all of it is for weaving.

UFOs

Here’s the list again.  If I’ve finished or frogged the project, it’s linked to the relevant blog post.  If it’s not linked, I haven’t finished it.

After I made this list, I found another project.  I need to stuff and assemble a Baby Blue Monster.

2015 Goals and Plans

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques

I haven’t done a sweater yet, but I never intended to make one until the fall, so that’s okay.  In July, I’m attending The Knitting Guild Association meeting in San Diego, and I’m taking a two-day Finishing class with Arenda Holladay!

Crocheting

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project

Yeah, I’ve done none of this.

Spinning

The Cotton Candy Corriedale was a breed-specific fiber, but I haven’t been thinking of it as part of that project and I did not write a separate blog post about it. The Cormo that I’m currently spinning is the first fiber that I’m counting as part of the breed specific spinning project.  The updated Breed Specific Inventory is no longer correct.  I never received the fiber from Little Barn.  I ended up filing a complaint with PayPal to get my money back.  I’ve also bought some fiber from other sources since.  I’m no longer sure that I want to process the Mystery Fleece.  I’ve brought it to demos and it’s nice to have an unprocessed fleece for that purpose.

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts

I finished the Ravenclaw and Slytherin Houndstooth Scarves this year, which goes to the color and weave goal.  My OWL proposal for the current term of HPKCHC was to weave 8 scarves using 8 different color and weave patterns.  I haven’t started that yet, but plan to start this week.  If I complete the 8 scarves, that will pretty much fulfill the color and weave goal.  I have not started on pick up stick drafts.

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment

None of this has happened.

Projects

I only had a few project goals for this year.

Other Finished Projects

This is a list of all the projects I’ve finished so far this year.  I’m omitting anything already listed above.  These projects don’t necessarily fit into any of the goals I wrote in January.  I was surprised that there’s so few!  I guess I’ve been more on target than I realized 🙂

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Updated List of Goals

I’m collating the above list into one so that I can more easily post on Sundays.  I’m also adding some goals.  I’ve taken on additional projects and I’ve acquired a floor loom!  I’m not including a stash-related goal.  I don’t plan to acquire more yarn this year, but who do I think I’m kidding?

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles
    • Leaves
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf (in progress)
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette (in progress)
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
    • Liquid Silver (remaking from scratch, since I frogged it!)
    • Fountain Pen Shawl
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
    • Slytherin Houndstooth Scarf

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

Goals for the Week of June 14 – 20, 2015

  • Finish the Sand Tracks Scarf.
  • Finish the Raindrops on Roses Shawlette.
  • Finish half of the questions and swatches for MHK1.
  • Finish at least one color and weave scarf on the rigid heddle loom.
  • Cast on the Liquid Silver Shawl.
  • Knit the Grisou Scarf (another test knit).

Greencastle, Indiana: June 2015

Last year, I attended The Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana.  I planned to attend this year also, but then Chris and I got to go to India.  The trip to India was at the same time as The Fiber Event 2015.

My primary reason for going to Greencastle is to visit my good friend Stacy, who moved there a couple of years ago.  We put our heads together to come up with a new date, and discovered the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival (a separate blog post is in progress; I’ve got to take pictures of my purchases), held about an hour from Greencastle on the first Friday and Saturday of June.  I changed my tickets from April to this past weekend.  I arrived in Indiana on Thursday afternoon and flew home Sunday evening.

At Work

Stacy was working on Thursday and Friday.  I spent most of my time, hanging out in her office, knitting.  She has these adorable sheep sculptures in her office.

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I especially love their happy little faces.

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Weaving

Stacy did attend The Fiber Event 2015.  Her mother bought her an early birthday present: a 10″ wide rigid heddle loom from Couch’s Little Workshop, an Indiana-based family business of handmade looms.  Stacy had not warped the loom yet and wanted to do so before we went to the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival.  Couch’s Little Workshop was going to be at that Festival also, and she wanted to ask them questions or resolve any problems she might have with the loom.  On Thursday night, I taught her how to warp the loom and how to weave.

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Stacy took a three-hour rigid heddle weaving class two years ago, at The Fiber Event, but she hasn’t woven anything since then.  Her selvages are spectacular!

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First Fridays

During the spring, summer, and fall, Greencastle has a “First Fridays” program.  The downtown business group, of which Stacy is President, helps to organize First Fridays.  The town closes off a road next to the courthouse.  Vendors sell their wares and there’s music on the steps of the Courthouse.

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This month, a vintage car club came for the event.

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Several local clubs and civic groups attended this month also, including the Putnam County Spinners Guild, of which Stacy is a member.  I helped set up and take down the tables and chairs for the Guild.  The original plan was that I would finish spinning the Cormo and bring the bobbins with me so I could ply them on one of Stacy’s wheels during the event.  I didn’t get the spinning done, so I knit instead.

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The fiber in the box is llama that Stacy recently got back from processing. The fiber in the white bag on the right is unprocessed llama. The yarns on the table are all handspun. The full-size hanks are Stacy’s handspun and I believe they are all Nerd Girl Yarns fibers. The smaller samples were handspun and dyed by another Guild member.
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Guild members Sarah (spinning with a Turkish Spindle), Joy (spinning with an e-spinner) and Mary (spinning on an Ashford Joy wheel).
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Stacy chatting with a visitor to the Guild’s space.
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The girl in the middle of the picture came back to the Guild space several times during the event. She went to each spinner and asked questions about the method each was using.

The weather was perfect for this First Fridays event, though the sun was so bright that we had a hard time looking at people while we talked to them.  Stacy’s boyfriend, Lance, came to our rescue with Florida Gators baseball caps!  The vendors and tables part of First Fridays was from 5 to 7 pm.  We were going to stay for longer, but we had to move out of the way for the Antique Cars to leave, so packed up shortly after 7 pm.  The music continued until late, so after packing up we stayed and listened to music, and I got to meet several of Stacy’s friends.  It was a wonderful evening!

WPHS 9th Grade Center Shakespeare Festival 2015

Winter Park High School’s 9th Grade Center holds an annual Shakespeare Festival.  For several years, the Weavers of Orlando have participated in the Festival, doing spinning and weaving demos.  This year, the Festival took place on May 28.  It was my first year participating in the demos.  We were required to wear a period costume!

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Bev, Nancy, and I at the WPHS 9th Grade Center.

The English Department organizes the Festival.  In past years, the entire event took place in the gymnasium.  This year, they tried something new.  The event took place in the English Building and the auditorium.  In the English Building, different classrooms had different themes.  The Weavers of Orlando, for example, was in a room with a pottery booth and a face-painting booth, for an artisan theme.

The school provided the banner for our table.
The school provided the banner for our table.

The students had their usual class schedule for the day.  During their English period, they came to the Festival.  They started by meeting with their English teacher, who gave them a passport.  In order to receive credit for the class period, students had to get 8 stamps in their passport.  The students obtained stamps by participating in the various activities.

An English  teacher (on the left, in the knight costume) explaining the passports to a class.
An English teacher (on the left, in the knight costume) explaining the passports to a class.

In our room, a student could potentially get 3 stamps: one for getting their face painting, one for signing the large pot on the pottery table, and one for either listening to us explain the process of getting from raw fleece to finish fabric or for weaving on the floor loom.  Other rooms had games, palm reading, and much more.  During their Geography period, students went to the auditorium to see the performances.  Some study skills teachers also allowed students to come to the Festival instead of their usual study skills period.

In order to participate in the event, students were required to wear a costume.  This requirement was loosely interpreted.  Some students rented or purchased costumes.  Some made the costumes as part of a class prior to the event.  Others used their ingenuity and their existing wardrobe to create a character.  I overheard more than one student ask another about their character.  I extrapolated from this that the students had studied Renaissance social roles and were to pick a particular role for their costume.

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I was rather amused by the backpacks with the period costumes!

Since I was demonstrating, I didn’t get a chance to walk around and see the other rooms.  When I first arrived (at 6:30 am!), someone was setting up games outside, including archery.  I was amused to see the fake sheep used as rests for the bows and “arrows.”

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imageOne room was the King’s Court.  Students could fence with Nerf swords, for the King’s amusement and approval.

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At lunch, I ran into the royal family.  The King and Queen are a real-life husband and wife.  The girl in the Beefeater costume is their daughter.  She was a 9th grader in this school last year, and the parents volunteered as King and Queen.  The family reprised their roles for this year’s festival.

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I loved this Blackbird Pie sculpture on the lunch table.

imageI’m not sure how many students we had come through our booth.  We weren’t doing the Kumihimo disks or any other takeaway at this demo, and that’s usually how we know the number of students.  We had a steady stream of students throughout the day, without ever being inundated.  We were at the event from 6:30 am to 2:30ish pm, including the set up and take down time.  I spun about an ounce of Cormo during the event!

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I expected to be exhausted after this event.  I was up far earlier than usual and it’s a lot of talking.  I was tired, but not as tired as I expected, and I had a lot of fun.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to do it again next year!

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May 2015 in Review

Since I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, I thought I’d write a quick post re: finished projects and activities.

Finished Projects

Slytherin Houndstooth Scarf

  • Draft: Houndstooth
  • Loom: 15″ Cricket Table Top Loom
  • Reed: 10 dent
  • Warp Stats
    • Yarn: 150 yards (including loom waste) of  Knit Picks Capretta in Platinum and 150 yards (including loom waste) of Cascade Heritage Silk in Pine
    • Loom waste: 31 yards
    • Total Warp Ends: 110
    • Ends Per Inch (EPI): 10
    • Warp Length: 100″
  • Weft Stats
    • Yarn: 153.6 yards Knit Picks Capretta in Platinum and 142.8 yards Cascade Heritage Silk in Pine
    • Picks Per Inch (PPI): 10 – 12
    • Width in the Reed: 11″
  • Ravelry Project Page

I didn’t write a post about finishing this scarf, though it’s appeared in several WIP Wednesday posts (January 22, February 4, March 25).  I had to finish it so that I could weave the Dr. Who scarf on my rigid heddle loom!  Since this is the fourth Houndstooth Scarf I finished (see the posts on Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw Houndstooth scarves), I felt like I didn’t necessarily learn anything new on this project.  I did apply the lessons learned on the prior Houndstooth scarves, so the Slytherin is the most consistent of the four.

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Cotton Candy Corriedale

  • Wheel: Kromski Fantasia
  • Spinning Twist: S (clockwise)
  • Plying Twist: Z (counter-clockwise)
  • Ratio: 8:1
  • Singles Yardage: 978 yards
  • Fiber: Sassy Bee Corriedale in Cotton Candy
  • Finished skein:
    • Ply Structure: 420 yards 2-ply; 46 yards n-ply
    • Weight: 4 oz
  • Ravelry Stash page

This is another project that I’ve been working on for a while and which has appeared in a couple of WIP Wednesday posts (February 4, February 18).  As of February 18, I’d finished plying and had wound most of the yarn onto a niddy noddy.  It then sat around, still on the niddy noddy, awaiting washing.

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Dr. Who Scarf

I did write a blog post about this one!

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Felted Cat Bed

  • Pattern: garter stitch
  • Yarn: 440 yards Patons SWS in Geranium
  • Needles: US 13 / 9.0 mm
  • Pre-felting dimensions: 23″ wide by 40″ long
  • Post-felting dimensions: 11.5″ wide by 19″ long
  • Made for: Pepper
  • Ravelry Project Page

I whipped out a new cat bed to line the bookshelf where Pepper likes to sleep.  Although she wasn’t very co-operative re: posing for the picture, she loves the bed.  It’s now her favorite sleeping spot.

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Semi-finished Projects

These projects are “semi-finished” because I’m making multiple dishcloths from the same patterns, as part of my ongoing Dishcloth Advent Calendar (details in my 2015 Plans post) project.  I’ve finished at least one individual item, but am still working on making more.  I need to make 18 dishcloths in each pattern, and will write blog posts with all the project details when I finish all 18.

Heart Illusion Dishcloths

I finished 9 of these in May.

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Bias Knit, Crochet Cotton Dishcloth

I only finished one of these.  Even with two strands held together, it took about 3 hours to knit one of these, and I didn’t even make it as big as the pattern suggests.  It’ll take me a while to make all 18 of these, but I do like them.

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Activities

I participated in three demos with the Weavers of Orlando.  I’ve written blog posts about two of those: St. Johns River Festival of the Arts and Arts at Audubon Elementary.  The third demo was just this past Friday, and I’m working on writing a post about it!

I also traveled to New England to attend my cousin’s college graduation.  While there, I visited 12 yarn shops, including WEBS!  I bought yarn in all the shops, and will be writing multiple blog posts about the experience.  I needed to take pix of all the new stash for the posts and to update my Rav stash.  I’ve been working on it and I’m just about finished.  I will be posting about these shops throughout the month of June; I plan to get all the posts up no later than June 25 since several of the shops I visited are part of the 2015 I-91 Shop Hop which starts that day.

Arts at Audubon 2015

Last night, Audubon Park Elementary held their annual Arts at Audubon open house.  The Weavers of Orlando have participated in this event for many years; it was my first time.  Local artisans have tables scattered throughout the school.  Kids and parents walk through to see demos and do make and takes.  The Weavers of Orlando set up the school library.  We had a floor loom, a table loom, two spinners (including me), and Kumihimo disks for a make and take.  We were inundated for the two hours of the event; we brought 200 Kumihimo disks and ran out 1/2 hour before the end of the event!  Usually, I try to share pictures from these events, but I don’t have any from this one.  We were so busy talking to kids and parents that I didn’t have time to take pictures.  Instead, I thought I’d share some of the things kids and parents said at the event!


The second girl in the room, just moments into the event: “I’ve come to this for 5 years, and weaving is my favorite.”


“Will you make me a snow hat?”


Girl: “What can you make with the yarn?”

Me: “Anything you want!”

Girl: “Shoes?”

Me: “Well, you can make slippers and those are kind of shoes.”

Girl: “Can you make me some?


Mother: “Do you get the wool from a lamb or a sheep?”

Me (confused): “Well, a lamb is a baby sheep.  I don’t know how old they are when they are sheared the first time.”

Mother: “A lamb is a baby sheep?  Shows how much I know!”


Girl: “Where do we get the jellyfish?” (referring to the Kumihimo disks)


 

Father: “Do you have a cotton gin?  Or know anyone who does?”

This turned into an interesting conversation.  He’s been growing cotton in his yard — the native cotton that grows into a tall bush.  He has bags of cotton, but no gin to clean it.  He’s looked online, the only gins he can find are huge commercial versions, and he doesn’t have time to build his own.  Then he offered me cotton seeds!


 

I always ask if people want to touch the roving, then the spun yarn so they can compare the two.  I’m still spinning the Cormo, which is super soft.  One girl, probably a kindergartener, just couldn’t stop touching the roving.  She bent down and buried both her hands in the bag of roving on the floor.  “It’s so soft!” she said, again and again.  Yes, yes it is.


 

A common question: “How does it work?”

My standard spiel, regardless of age: “Every time I press down on a pedal, the big wheel goes around one time.  The big wheel is connected to this smaller wheel by this band.  Every time the big wheel goes around once, the small wheel goes around 8 times.  The small wheel makes all the rest of this (as I generally wave at the bobbin and flyer) go around, including the fiber.  This puts twist in the fiber and it is the twist that makes the yarn hold together.  So when I spin, two things are happening.  With my hands I’m drawing out a little bit of fiber at a time, and this determines how thick the yarn will be.  At the same time, my feet are moving, putting in the twist to hold the yarn together.  The amount of twist is determined by how fast I move my feet in relationship to how fast I move my hands.”

I didn’t notice any eyes glazing over, and several of the kids asked questions after or during the spiel.  The questions were logical extensions of the spiel, so it sounded like they understood.


 

Boy: “What happens if you move your feet really fast?”
And before I could answer, he says: “You’d have to move your hands really fast too, right?

I love it when someone gets it!


 

The most common question of all: “Can I try it?”

Me: “No. Not tonight.”

Child: “Why not?”

Me: “I’m not good enough at it myself to explain it!” or “It’s a little too chaotic in here!”

Both are true statements; if I’m going to keep doing demos, I’ve gotta get better at the teaching part!


 

 

Woven Doctor Who Scarf

I finished the Doctor Who Scarf while I was in Vermont last week, and presented it to my cousin as a graduation gift.  He loved it!  Here’s all the info about the scarf.

Official Stats

  • Draft: Plain Weave
  • Loom: 15″ Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom
  • Reed: 8
  • Warp Stats
    • Yarn: 369 yards llama yarn, gifted to me by Stacy, produced at a local-to-her farm
    • Loom waste: 42 yards
    • Total Warp Ends: 96
    • Ends Per Inch (EPI): 8
    • Warp Length: 16 feet (no, that’s not a typo!)
  • Weft Stats
    • Yarn:
      • 52 yards Berroco Vintage, colorway 5180 (purple)
      • 63 yards llama yarn (camel)
      • 24 yards Peace Fleece worsted in Sheplova Mushroom (bronze)
      • 36 yards Peace Fleece worsted in Khrushchev Corn (yellow)
      • 70 yards Peace Fleece worsted in Sakhalin Salmon (rust)
      • 69 yards Lion Brand Amazing in Olympia (gray)
      • 44 yards Peace Fleece worsted in Shaba (?) (green)
    • Picks Per Inch (PPI): 7-8
    • Width in the Reed: 12″
  • Dimensions Before Finishing: 164″ x 11.5″ (not including fringe)
  • Finished Dimensions: 153″ x 10.5″ (not including fringe)
  • Made for: My cousin Cooper, as a college graduation present
  • Ravelry Project Page

About This Project

My cousin loves Doctor Who (and many other things geeky), so I decided to make him a Doctor Who scarf as a graduation present.  If you aren’t familiar with this particular bit of geekery, Doctor Who is a science fiction television show produced by the BBC.  It’s been around since 1963, though it was off the air between 1989 and 2005 (If you’d like an overview of the show, check out the Wikipedia entry).  The title character is a time traveling alien who regenerates rather than dying.  So far, 13 different actors have portrayed the Doctor (I’m counting John Hurt as the War Doctor, for those of you yelling that it’s only 12).

Each iteration of the Doctor has a different personality and costuming.  The Fourth Doctor, portrayed by actor Tom Baker, wore a very long multi-colored scarf.  According to legend, the scarf came about because a costume designer picked up some wool and handed it over to a knitter, asking her to knit a scarf.  She used up all the wool she was given, creating a very long scarf.  While this wasn’t the original intention of the costume designer, he liked it and the BBC went ahead with it.  Over the various seasons that Tom Baker was on the show, different versions of the scarf were created, including a stunt scarf.  Many people — including me — have knit replicas of that scarf, and there’s a website recounting the various iterations of the scarf and options for knitting it yourself.

I knit this scarf for my husband back in 2010.  I'd rather poke my eyes out with my knitting needles than knit this much garter stitch again.
I knit this scarf for my husband back in 2010. I’d rather poke my eyes out with my knitting needles than knit this much garter stitch again.

Since I didn’t want to knit that much garter stitch again, I decided to try weaving the scarf instead.  I looked on Ravelry and found woven Dr. Who scarves by the following Ravelers: Jason, Serenova, Littleredmitten, jeen, jeen again, jeen a third time, jeen a fourth time to use up the leftovers from the first three, quiltnknitgirl, rosalynk, and MountainAsh.  Only Jeen has detailed project information.  Some of the others included the yarn and yardage used, but no detailed project notes.  Therefore, I used the knitting patterns at Doctor Who Scarf and created a spreadsheet to figure out the weaving.

When making a Doctor Who scarf, you can decide to be true to the literal representation of the scarf, the spirit of the scarf, or both.  A literal representation of the scarf means picking a season, getting yarn that is as close as possible to the colors used in the scarf in that season, and knitting stripes that are exactly the width of the ones on the scarf.  The spirit of the scarf is going with what you have on hand and making something unexpected.

I knew I wasn’t going for a straight literal representation of the scarf because that would mean knitting it.  I also wanted to use as much stash yarn as possible, rather than buying yarn.  I tried to get as close as possible to the colors in the scarf as my stash would allow, but I wasn’t going to stress about minor color variations (I ended up buying purple yarn because I had nothing in my stash that was close, but everything else came from stash).  On the other hand, I did want to pick a season and replicate the color order and stripe lengths of that season’s scarf.  The Doctor Who Scarf website has a side-by-side comparison of the scarves for seasons 12 to 14, with the total length, stripe length, and total width of the scarf marked.  I decided to go with a season 12 scarf because it is the longest of all of them.

Unlike knitting, weaving shrinks when taking off the loom and wet finished.  In order to adjust for this, I added 20% to the length of each stripe, hoping that by doing so, I would get close to the correct stripe size after finishing.  The scarf only shrunk by a total of 11″, which is about 7% of the pre-finishing length, so I probably could have added only 10% to the length when weaving.  Unfortunately, I forgot to measure the length of stripes after finishing, so I don’t have the data to do an actual comparison.  Since I used 3 different brands of yarn in the weft, I assume the different yarns shrank at different rates, but don’t know for sure.

This is the first project in which I did calculations to determine the yardage I needed for weft.  I used a spreadsheet formula to add the length of all stripes of each color.  I then multiplied that length by 88 (8 picks per inch * 11 inches wide in the finished scarf) and divided by 36 to get an estimated yardage for each color.  This calculation was not particularly accurate.

Total Weft Length Estimated Weft Yardage Actual Weft Yardage
Purple 18.30 44.73 52
Camel 32.40 79.20 63
Bronze 19.20 46.93 23
Mustard 13.80 33.73 36
Rust 22.50 55.00 70
Grey 23.70 57.93 69
Greenish Brown 24.90 60.87 44
154.80 378.40 357

There’s a number of possible reasons my initial calculations were inaccurate.  One is that I did not accurately measure the length of each color as I wove.  Or perhaps I missed weaving a stripe in one color.  I don’t think this is the case — I had a 4×6 card with a list of stripes and I crossed them off as I wove — but it’s possible.

I wasn’t always getting 8 picks per inch as I wove, partly due to tension challenges (more on that in a minute) and partly because of the different types of yarn.  Since I used stash yarns, and some of the yarns were partial balls, I may not have had an accurate weight for the partial skeins before I started the project.  I didn’t weigh each one; I relied on the weight listed in Ravelry, assuming that I had accurately listed information on my earlier projects.

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The Trouble with Tassels

In the television show, the tassels are made from one strand of each of the seven colors in the scarf.  When weaving, the fringe is usually the warp, and the warp for this project is only one color.  I considered a number of options for finishing the scarf.  I could:

  • Dye individual strands of fringe to match the stripes
  • Cut off the fringe, sew a hem, make tassels, and sew them to the edge of the scarf
  • Needlefelt 1″ or so on each end, rather than hemming, then sew the tassels to the needlefelted edge
  • Leave the warp as the fringe, leaning towards the spirit of the scarf not an accurate representation

I planned to sew a hem, but I ended up leaving the warp as fringe because I ran out of time — the scarf took nearly 15 hours to dry and by the time it was dry I had to pack it.  I don’t think needlefelting would have worked on this project, because I don’t think the llama yarn I used for warp would felt.  I tried wet-felting a join between two skeins and it didn’t work.

Warped Warp

As soon as I started tying on the warp, I knew that this warp was going to be problematic.  This yarn was very stretchy.  The long warp meant that the warp was sagging between the loom and the warping peg, resulting in different lengths for each strand of warp.

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Then disaster struck — I had one more strand of yarn to bring through the heddle when the warping peg hopped onto the floor.  My entire warp was on the floor, and the loop at the end was in disarray.  Rather than rewarping the entire project, I gathered up the end, shook the warp to even it out as much as possible, then wound it onto the loom.  I stopped regularly to yank the warp and shake out any tangles.  When the warp was mostly wound on, I cut above the loop so that the warp would be even.  Since I had to cut so much off to even up the end, my warp was a little too short for my planned project.  I had to skip the last two stripes.

The llama yarn wasn’t the best warp.  It was strong, but it was very stretchy and hairy.  The stretchiness, combined with the long length of this warp, led to variations in tension as I wove.  The hairiness of the warp meant that it shed as I moved the heddle back and forth, leaving debris all over my floor and table.

Learning Experiences

This was the first project I wove using a boat shuttle.  I have the 9″ Mini Schacht Shuttle (The Woolery, affiliate link), which I received as a Christmas gift.  I wanted that shuttle specifically for this project.  Seven colors, and long stretches of a single color make it impossible to carry yarn up the selvedge.  The price of the boat shuttle plus a couple dozen 4″ bobbins (The Woolery, affiliate link) is a bit more than buying extra stick shuttles, but the boat shuttle is more flexible.

It took me a little while to get used to the boat shuttle.  I discovered that it worked better when the tension was higher.  When the tension was too loose, the boat shuttle tended to slip between the warp strands and fall to the floor.  I also learned that the boat shuttle worked better when I threw it right side up.  The bobbin does not sit directly in the middle of the shuttle; it is a bit closer to the top than the bottom.  If I put the shuttle through with the top side down, the wider parts of the bobbin tended to catch on the warp strands.  The shuttle has “Schacht” printed on the side of it.  It is right side up when that printing is right side up.

This is the first project I’ve done where I cut the yarn for color changes rather than carrying colors up the selvedge.  Therefore, it is the first project where I had to manage ends.  On other projects, I carried the ends along the bottom of the work.  I started doing that with this project and ran into a problem.  As I wound, the cloth beam caught the ends and pulled them vertically.  If you look carefully at the purple stripe in the foreground of the picture on the deck, you can see some wonkiness to the selvedge.  This is the result of the end getting caught in the cloth beam and pulling.  After I figure out what was happening, I brought my ends to the top of the work and cut them short before winding them around the cloth beam.

This project was just about the maximum size the 15″ Cricket loom can handle.  By the time I finished, the cloth beam was full.  I might have been able to get one more turn of the cloth beam — just enough to finish those extra two stripes — but it would have been close.  The yarns I used for this project were heavy worsted weight.  Thinner yarns would make a thinner cloth, so theoretically the loom should be able to handle a longer warp if I used fingering- or lace-weight yarn.

Conclusion

Weaving a Doctor Who Scarf is a lot more fun than knitting one.  I tied on the warp on Saturday and cut the finished project off the loom on Wednesday.  The project took something like 16 hours of hands on time, including the extra time it took to fix the warp after the warping peg abandoned its duties.  While I don’t want to knit a Doctor Who Scarf ever again, I wouldn’t hesitate to weave one!

Cooper opening the scarf while my mother (l) and cousin (Cooper's sister) (r) watch.
Cooper opening the scarf while my mother (l) and cousin (Cooper’s sister) (r) watch.