Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hey! I'm Still Alive!

Sorry I kinda fell off the face of the world there for a few months again. One of my new years resolution things is to get back to blogging about the weaving/spinning/knitting here again. I'm also going to document my stuff more on Ravelry (I'm elabeth over there) and on Weavolution (I figure I'll be elabeth there too) once it gets going.

So, what's been going on since July? haha Not a lot for a while there. Once I got home from weaving camp I warped up the Mira for a scarf. It's still only about 1/3 done, but it's coming along nicely since I figured out that I wanted it to all be the same colorway after trying a bunch of different combinations.

Tofutsies Scarf On The Mira Loom

That stuff they say about looms multiplying is totally true! Weaving isn't like knitting where you can just start something else cause you feel like it. Nope. You need a loom to start it on. I rationalized the need for a used Schacht table loom by telling myself it would be good for scarves and doing samples before starting big things on the floor loom. This is my first scarf project on that loom. It's some tweedy stuff from a Webs mill ends sale for warp and Wisdom Yarns Poems for the weft. The sett is 10epi I think. It's a point twill pattern.

I'm not beating it very hard because the warp yarn will poof up quite a bit when I wash it and I don't want it to end up all stiff. It's about half done at this point.

I also got a Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom.  That one is technically a store sample though. haha Stringtown is now a Schacht dealer so I needed one out of the box and all put together to show people, right? This is my first scarf made on it using the yarn that comes in the box with the new loom. It's a basketweave pattern, which looks complicated but is super easy.

Basketweave Scarf

OK, that's all the weaving for now. I have been doing some knitting too, but mostly shop samples with a few hats and socks thrown in here and there. I need to finish something from ye old WIP pile one of these days. I'm mostly working on a Fish Hat from the winter Knitty for Ian and my long overdue Hat Attack hat right now.

Oh, and if you want to see pics of the shop samples or pics from October's Fayetteville Fiber Festival or Arkansas Knit & Spin Day at Mt. Magazine earlier this month, just check out my flickr photostream

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weaving Camp Pictures

My Work Area
Originally uploaded by Elabeth.

Click here to see a slideshow of pics from my week at weaving camp.

I had a really good time and met a lot of nice people. I also got a killer deal on a warping mill (the 22 yard tabletop model shown here) for just $35.

I'm already thinking I'll go back next summer to learn the rug stuff that half of the class was doing if they offer it again unless I get impatient and teach myself before then. haha

To keep my monentum going I've already planned three projects for the loom down at the store, and tonight I got myself a clip-on lamp for the loom area so that I'll be able to see what I'm doing. First up is a balanced twill scarf/stole thing using Tofutsies yarn for the warp and the weft. After that I've got weft yarn already dyed for two more scarves and the calculations done for three others. I'm afraid I'm going to need an 8-harness loom before too long. I keep finding really badass 8-harness drafts.

On Friday night I'm going to Fiber Xmas In July at the fairgrounds in Kellyville, OK. I'm hoping to get some more weaving shuttles and bobbins etc. and maybe some yarn, but mostly I'm just going to hang out and say hey to the Oklahoma ladies I don't get to see too often.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Weaving Camp was super fun! I have pictures and stuff and a big post to make later, but for now I want to put this link to the online archive of Curious Weaver zine/newsletter so that I won't lose it later. haha
I'll be back soon (maybe later tonight) with some garden and weaving updates.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Plurkette Hencircle Intro

How do I get myself into these crazy, fun things? Well, I blame Stacy (she of Tempted Handpainted Yarns fame) for this one. She's the one who invited me to Plurk, which turns out is pretty darn entertaining when work is slow. Go on over there and get yourself sucked in if you don't believe me. There I was plurking away, one thing lead to another, and now I'm a Plurkette Hencircle Farmgirl Sisterhood member :)

I've been reading Mary Jane's Farm off and on since it first came out, but I never bothered with getting a subscription until recently because between the husbeast and I we subscribe to about a dozen magazines each that are slowly taking over our house because we're both packrats and don't like to throw out useful information, see? What's that you say? Cut out the articles you want to keep and put them in a binder? That's just not how we roll, dear.

So anyway, Farmgirl type goins on have been a part of my life for a while. When I was a kid we'd go visit my Grandparents every summer. (My Grandma was a cranky old lady - you would be too if you'd raised 7 kids and had a farm to take care of, but she sure made some good pickles!) They had a big garden that my Grandpa would let us help him pick stuff and hoe stuff in. I was terrified of the cabbage. I don't know...something about those two rows of things with heads and GIANT leaves just freaked me out. But other than the cabbage, it was fun. They also had chickens and guinnea hens and a horse and cows and a pond to fish in. They did NOT have a tv that would get more than 1 crappy station though, and so I did not like to stay more than a couple days lest I miss out on the latest episodes of Bionic Woman or Incredible Hulk. A little girl has to have her priorities, ya know?

My Mom likes to raise flowers and houseplants and do crafty stuff like crochet and latch hook etc. , but my Dad was the one doing things like deciding we needed to re-cover the couch and chair, buying a sewing machine and some upholstry material, then taking the furniture apart to use as a pattern, sewing that stuff up himself with no prior experience, and making it look amazing. My Dad taught me by example that you can do anything yourself if you can get a book/instruction manual/website tutorial for it. That is some dangerous knowledge right there, folks!

Without that lesson I don't think I would have ever learned to knit, spin, weave, dye yarn, put shingles on a roof, build a deck, rewire a lamp, refinish furniture, replace the brake lights and tail light on my scooter, change my oil, change a tire, hitchhike across California (yes, there was a how-to book involved in that), and I damn sure would never have been able to start my own business. Most of that isn't directly related to Farmgirl stuff, but I feel like the spirit of wanting to do something, seeking out the knowledge, and giving new stuff a try is very Farmgirl.

The older I get and the more screwed up the world gets the more I feel like everyone should get back to being a little more self-sufficient, a little more community-minded, and a little less "Why don't they do something about...." Do something about it yourself! Do something for your friends and neighbors! Something besides sitting on your bootie complaining. haha Get out there and plant yourself a garden instead of just growing stupid old grass that you have to mow all over your yard and complaining that fresh veggies costs so much at the store. Make something and share it! Find a need in your community and fill it! Get involved. Be the ball, Danny! (Caddyshack reference, sorry.)

OK, I'm off my soapbox now.
That's pretty much me.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Did a whole month go by? Dang! I've been busy and stuff. haha
OK, first of all there hasn't been any weaving yet. I got the loom all set up except for the new aprons, but I've been kinda lazy about doing those mostly because I can't find my hammer. haha The class I'm taking is July 14-18 so I still have some time to take care of that, but I'm planning on doing it sometime next week.
I did finish this cute baby blanket last month:

It was knit on size 9 needles with two strands of Tofutsies. The pattern will be available soon on the SWTC site or you can email me for it. Keep an eye on my Ravelry designer page.
I've got a mesh "lace" scarf on the needes as a shop sample for Art Yarns Silk Rhapsody. I don't have a picture of that yet, but it's basicly just cast on an even number of stitches, knit one or more rows, then slip the first stitch, yo, k2tog to the end and purl the last stitch. Repeat that row till you're almost out of yarn then knit however many rows you did at the beginning and cast off. You can do fringe or beads or just leave it plain. It's super simple and boring but looks great with a fancy yarn. I think I'm gonna put some beads on the ends of mine. I haven't decided if they'll be all dangled on fringe or just sewn on the edge yet though. I guess if you wanted to get crazy with it you could string a bunch of beads on at the beginning then bring one up every once in a while when you do a YO. That might be pretty cool. Oh well. There's that.
I've also got some non-knitting stuff going on. I got myself a scooter:
The New Scooter

It's a 2008 Yamaha Vino 125, and I got a killer good deal on it because the new 2009 models were about to come out. I took a motorcycle safety class last weekend to help me learn to ride it without killing myself or others. That was pretty fun. I think in some of the things I had an advantage over the people on motorcycles because they had to shift and stuff, but in others I was at a disadvantage because the scooter doesn't have the clutch control a motorcycle does.
I've got a little over a hundred miles on the scooter so far and I've been riding it to work every day I can. It gets 70mpg, so we've only had to take it to the gas station once. Steve took it, and he said there were a lot of people asking questions about it. The thing will go almost 60mph. I've had it up to about 50 when not paying close attention to my speed. I should be able to ride it till at least October before it gets cold enough to make me want to lay off. haha
There is some gardening going on at my house too. You can check that out over at my flickr page.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

More Loom Stuff

I ordered the following things from Yarn Barn in Kansas. They're SUPER NICE. Jim took my order and even speculated with me about how old my loom is. (We think it was probably built in 1971, so it's one year older than me.)

- A set of 6 treadle hooks
- A set of 12 treadle cords
- A set of 2 upper roller cords
- A set of 4 lower roller cords
- 2 45" aprons
- 4 45" steel rods
- 1,000 inserted eye headles
- A 45" 12dpi stainless steel reed
- 2 beater bumpers
- 1 boat shuttle (I already have one at home)
- 1 dozen plastic bobbins

All that was about $500. I might also get a "Shed Regulator" attachment for it later on, but those are over $200 so I'm going to see how I get along without it.
I also got a Louet bobbin winder for the store because I figured if I get good enough at this I'll teach beginner classes and we'll need that thing. I've got the warping board on the back of my Kromski Harp rigid headle loom, so I figure I'm pretty much set up now. I just need to plan out a project.
I was reading about using handpainted yarns as warp, and that sounds pretty cool. I'm thinking about pre-winding a warp with some wool yarn and hand painting it myself, or I have some black and purple alpaca at home that I dyed at yarn school which would make good weft. Maybe I'll try that. It would look pretty cool in a point twill pattern with a hot pink warp.
Oh, and I also found Weavezine. It's kind of like Knitty, but for weavers! I'm hoping they'll have a lot of good beginner info in the issues to come. I'm not a weavecast listener, but it's the same girl behind it if you're familiar with that.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well, it turns out the loom I bought is a Mira instead of a Fanny. No problem! They're really similar. This is what it looked like when we arrived to pick it up.


Most of the metal parts have a little rust on them, a lot of the nuts and bolts aren't original and dont really fit well, but I have the correct sizes written down from the manual so I can replace those easy peasy with a trip to the hardware store.
As for the loomy parts, the reed is pretty smushed up and rusty and so are all the headles. I'm replacing those, the aprons, (the warp beam has a sectional thing on it that I don't care to use at this point, and the apron on the cloth beam is pretty nasty + frail feeling) all the nylon cords, and I'm adding some beater bumpers.
I'll have another $500 in it before I'm done, but it still comes out at costing me less than half price of a new one. The wood is in pretty good condition - just a little scuffed up here and there.
Does anyone know how to tell how old it is by the serial number? Here's a shot of the sticker on the side:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Creativity Attack

Just when I thought my creative spark had fizzled out/dried up/been blown away I'm suddenly just bursting with ideas and projects I want to do. Whew!
Surprisingly, most of them are not knitting related. They're all fiber arts related and most even involve yarn, but the knitting just isn't calling out to me so much lately. I finished my Kiri Shawl and hung it up behind the cash register at the shop. It looks amazing and makes a nice spring/summer backdrop. I took a picture, but it's still in the camera and I don't have time to get it out so you'll have to wait to see it unless you come by. Now I just need to finish one or two of the jillion WIP's I have laying around before the knitting gnomes start whispering in my ear about new stuff.
Here's what I have going:
My own version of the Babette Blanket (look it up on Ravelry if you can or just google it) made with just 5 colors instead of 17 and with worsted weight yarn instead of sock yarn. I'm using Universal Classic Worsted, but if I'd maintained a little self control and not started for another week-ish I would have used Berroco Comfort. I'm kicking myself every time I pick it up to do a square or two. So far there are 50 teensy tiny squares and about 15 4-round squares done.
Some Mittens - I started wanting some when it was really really cold out and my fingers were freezing off. I now have about half of one. It's kinda pathetic.
About 4 or 5 pair of socks - Not starting any new socks until I complete all the second socks. Really. I mean it this time.
The Triangles Within Triangles shawl - This was almost going to be a xmas gift for Steve's Mom. She was in the hospital all around then and just recently got out so I should probably finish it up. It's pretty close to being done.
Several Top-Down Raglan sweaters and cardigans - Not feeling the love. Most are past he point where there is anything to do but boring stockinette. feh.
The Giant "Let's Use Up All This Fucking Wool-Ease" Crochet Stripe Blanket - I'll be working on this thing ten years from now, I'm pretty sure of it. I think wool ease is related to tribbles. (google it if you don't know what a tribble is)

Now, here's the scoop on what I'm about to start doing and what I want to do and all that mess.
First, I'm getting a giant floor loom. This thing is about 4.5 feet wide, just as tall, and 3 feet deep. It's a 4-shaft counterbalance Leclerc "Fanny" for those of you who know about the weaving. So, there will be more weaving content on here soon. I'm buying it from a lady in Kansas, and we go to pick it up April 6th. The plan is to install it at the store over by the coffee area, but I'm not too sure how that will work out. I might end up needing to move it somewhere else. We'll just see what kind of contortions I have to do to be able to warp it over there. It weighs 130 pounds, so I'm hoping it can stay put.
Now, do I know how to weave on a 4-shaft loom? Hell no. It was a crazy good deal, so I'm just buying the thing. I've been reading the weaving textbook "Learning To Weave" by Deborah Chandler, and have learned how to read a draft and do a drawdown of one so far. I'm pretty happy about that. Next I need to learn to create my own drafts or this will get old pretty damn quick. I know me. haha I signed up for a beginning weaving class in Bella Vista in July. Hopefully by then I can have at least warped the thing once and done some easy twill pattern dishtowels or a shawl or a table runner or some such thing. There will be pictures and updates about that. My hope is that I get good enough at it to be able to sell some stuff on etsy or in the store or both and maybe do commissioned shawls and stuff.
I'm almost finished with the purple tri-loom shawl I've had on the loom for over a year. I'm slower than xmas on that thing and might just sell it. (the loom not the shawl) I'm still thinking about it. It depends on how good I get with this 4-shaft monster. For now, as soon as the shawl is off it's going in the dry end of the store's basement for a time out.
I have officially outgrown the "yarn room" at home. It is basicly a very crowded storage area right now. No work is getting done in there on anything. I've been talking to Steve about trading rooms with me. He has his gun cleaning stuff and old computer stuff/desk out in the patio room. There is also a bunch of other junk out there needing removed. So my plan now is to remove the junk, clean the floors out there, then get either carpet or wood laminate installed. (the existing floor is all gappy and makes it hella-drafty cold out there in the winter) After that we move Steve's desk and junk into the current yarn room and my stuff out there. One side of the room can be sort of a studio with a big table and all the yarn, fabric, the Ladybug wheel, the Rigid Heddle Loom, the sewing machine, the painting junk, and all the other assorted craft junk on shelves. The other side can be for the gym equipment we can't get to because it's currently burried under all that other junk.
Now, getting Steve to actually get off his ass and help me sort though the junk/take things to to dump/donation station/freecycle/whatever will be the big challenge to this plan. He'd much rather run off to play on weekends and that is really the only time I have to devote to it.
Once that's all set up I want to try making some quilts and big needle felted doo-dads and maybe some paintings since I have all the supplies and haven't used them in years. We'll see.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Originally uploaded by Elabeth.

Hahahahahaha! I stole this from Miranda. She probably stole it from someone else who stole it from

It kills me.

So, what's new with you?
I still read blogs, but have been sucked into the Ravelry timesuck. I'll post some FO pics soon, but basicly here is all the latest news:

- The Store is going great!
- I am thisclose to being done with a Kiri Shawl.
- Stargate Atlantis on DVD is like crack (thanks Kristen)
- My house is hella messy. The clutter is killing me slowly, and I seem to be the only one living there who cares about getting rid of any of it.
- The weather needs to take it's meds.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Pile of Handpsun
Originally uploaded by Elabeth.

In back there is the yarn for the recently finished Handspun Hat made from a batt sent to me by Melissa and some top left over from Yarn School. The middle one is from two blobs of funky roving I got years ago at the Okiefiber retreat, did the singles at Yarn School, then finally got around to plying recently, and the front one is from a wonderful everything but the kitchen sink type bat I bought at Yarn School from Maisy Day Handspun.

Here is another one:

I made that one from some fiber of the month club stuff I collected over the past year. I got it all and never did anything with it, so I'm trying to spin it all up now.
Oh, and here is that handspun hat I finished. It's kinda poofy on the top, but I dig it.