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Archive for the ‘fingerweaving’ Category

Completed fingerweaving project

When it comes to yarn, as I’ve said many times, I’ve fallen so far down the rabbit hole that there’s no coming back, even if I wanted to! I’m always discovering new-to-me crafts, and while not all of them have stuck, most of them have, and I take a lot of pleasure in learning about the less well known fiber arts.

When I say “less well known”, what I really mean to say, I guess, is that they are niche arts. When you walk up to people and say “weaving”, they instantly have a picture in their heads that, while maybe not completely accurate, indicates a general knowledge of the term. Same for knitting, crochet, etcetera. Even if they don’t take part in the craft themselves, they at least know enough to recognize what you mean. But if you walk up to John Q. Public and say “naalbinding”, or “fingerweaving” or “taaniko”, most likely you’re going to get a blank stare. If you follow it up with “fiber arts” and you’re talking to people like me, they’ll be compelled to go look it up. If they’re really like me, they’ll also be compelled to at least try it.

Thus my repeated attempts at fingerweaving, which finally paid off and were successful: I got through an entire band, with pretty decent selvedges, and I’m pretty proud of it. Will I continue with it? Most likely. It has the feel of one of those things that stick for me.

Practicing taaniko

Another thing that has that feel is taaniko. In my last post, I mentioned seeing a Maori artist who had posted a demonstration video of taaniko, or taniko, which is Maori weaving, and also resembles, as I discovered, the Chilkat weaving of the PNW nations.

I was so enthralled with this video–and the fact that no loom is actually necessary–that I hunted down a book on taaniko weaving to give it a shot and see if I liked it.

The book arrived a few days ago, and I finally got to it to make an attempt. The book was written in the 70s, and, for me, didn’t give me quite enough information. It went over setting up the warp, and the first two rows of actual weaving, then mentioned something about starting row five differently, then I turned the page, and the author was talking about finishing the piece.

Whoa, hold on!!!! There’s a whole heap of things that take place between row two and finishing! Where is all that information? What happened to rows three and four? Do I just repeat the same thing I did for rows one and two? Why is row five begun differently? And why are we talking about finishing the piece ten seconds after beginning it?

I tried, I truly did. I made two attempts in mercerized cotton that were absolutely disastrous. Then i decided to try what I should probably have tried in the first place: I hit my tutorial go-to website: YouTube. Some things just never click for me without a video.

I found a bunch of tutorials on taaniko, more than I honestly had expected. And the ones I chose to watch not only demystified the art, but also de-complicated the book. What I saw in the videos was far simpler than the book had been. Then I made an attempt in acrylic that went a little bit better. Then a fourth one in acrylic that went even better, and I began a fifth in unmercerized cotton that is only slightly better than the fourth, but the key is that I improved each time, and I’m proud of that.

The funny thing is that, watching the videos, it looks simple and easy, and in a way, it is. At its most basic, you’re twining two different colored wefts around your warp threads. That’s it. If you want color A to be visible, put color A overtop of your warp. If you want color B to be visible, twist the weft until B is on top.

It sounds simple. It looks simple.

It’s not simple at all, and yet it is.

I’m still working on my fourth and fifth attempts, and I’m just beginning to maybe-perhaps-possibly figure out how it works. I’ve given up on trying to follow even the easiest pattern yet, and just get the hang of getting the twining itself right, and the color changes. When you look at my photos, you can see there are mistakes…lots of mistakes. And I kept going because right now, it’s not about getting it perfect. It’s about figuring it out. Getting it right comes a little bit later.

It’s been a bit less frustrating than fingerweaving was. That, pardon my language, royally pissed. Me. Off. For years. I could not get it right. I couldn’t even get it going. I can now, but it has taken me nearly ten years to get to this point. Taaniko, thankfully, clicked a bit better! And yes, I do intend to continue with it, because it’s fun for me.

Monk’s belt patterns

I also tried out monk’s belt patterns on my new Windhaven Ukulele. And, by the way, I couldn’t be happier with both of the Windhaven looms, and I plan on getting at least one more, if not two.

But anyway: monk’s belt. It was a different kind of bandweaving for me. Dressing the loom was different than I’ve ever done before, and bandweaving has always been warp-faced before, but monk’s belt is weft-faced, which made it weird for me. With a monk’s belt chart, the only threads you actually manipulate are the pattern threads. The other threads just change sheds back and forth and don’t get manipulated at all, really. They’re really just there to help anchor your weft down; that’s the only way I can think to explain it. Weird, but pretty. Naturally, I’d had to try it because, new loom, and Celtic knotwork! Once I’d seen that, there was no way I wasn’t trying it!

Well, I think I’ve babbled enough on this post. I’d better get to bed!!!!

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The results of the micro macrame sampler

As I patiently wait for my Windhaven Ukulele, and not so patiently wait for the European rigid heddles, I’ve been playing with different things, as I’ve been posting (Windhaven has been great about updating folks. The European company seems to be unconcerned about the lateness of its order.). Ply-split braiding continues to go well, but I’ve also been playing with micro macrame and fingerweaving.

I’m not particularly good at either one, although I’d like to say I’m getting better at both. I don’t know if that’s strictly true, but it’s what I’d like to say!

With micro macrame, it’s not tying the knots that causes difficulty, it’s getting them to line up properly and actually look good. I keep redoing the one tutorial DVD that I have, because it covers all of the basic knots. It’s definitely going to take more practice!

Fingerweaving is something I’ve tried several times over the years, and always failed at. Of all the different types of weaving, this and tabletweaving are the ones that give me the most trouble. Years have passed, and that still holds true. I haven’t completely given up on either one, though. And this is the furthest I’ve ever gotten with fingerweaving!

The third fingerweaving attempt.

The first two pieces, I anchored the weaving to a clipboard, which doesn’t work as well as I had hoped it would. It does fine for the first few rows, but as the piece gets longer, well, there’s no take-up rod to enable you to keep your hands in a good position to keep weaving. I tried a couple of things that didn’t work, so those two pieces are necessarily short.

Finally, I decided to pull out my 10″ Schacht Cricket, and anchoring to that has worked out a little bit better. My selvedges still need work…a lot of work…but the weaving itself is getting somewhat easier.

Ideally, with fingerweaving, you’re supposed to anchor to the back of a chair, a nail on the wall, something like that, but the Cricket seems better to me. I like having a take-up rod.

It’s a little strange, not having the weaving anchored at both ends, as that’s what I’m used to, but I can see the appeal of fingerweaving.

Speaking of fingerweaving, there’s a Maori woman who has posted in a couple of the Facebook weaving groups, and she does traditional Maori work called taaniko that looks a lot like fingerweaving, and they’re not small pieces!!!!! It’s interesting to watch her videos. They’re not teaching videos, they’re demonstrations, and her fingers just fly. It’s something I’d love to learn. Yeah, I know, another fiber hobby. As if I need more. But in my defense, I think every type of weaving has something to teach that helps with other types.

Great defense, right? It’s even true!

I learned something else, too. I was watching a Taprootvideo class by Carol James on fingerweaving, and she has a different way of changing sheds on her weaving. So, naturally, I tried to do it her way…and screwed everything up. Moral of that story: if you have your own way of doing things, and it works, don’t change it to someone else’s way just because!!!

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Working through different motifs in the book

As I mentioned last time, trying this new technique has helped my brain to focus more than it has been since the quarantine started. I haven’t been bouncing off the walls, mentally, nearly as much. So when I’m not crocheting or playing Animal Crossing, I’m working my way through Laverne Waddington’s book Andean Pebble Weave.

Laverne does her pebble weave on a backstrap loom, which makes it really portable. My house, currently, is not fit for backstrap, because I’d be sitting on the floor, and all four of my Arctic dogs are well into a summer coat blow. There is no escaping the fur, but sitting on the floor is just asking for trouble. Especially since the younger dogs take that as an invitation to jump all over me, which is not very conducive to weaving. So, I’m using my inkle loom. I have no idea if the way I have it set up is proper for pebble weave, but it seems to be working. As my dad always said, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I had started with the first project in the book using a very thin weaving cotton I’d bought several years ago. Long enough ago that I no longer have the tags that told me what brand or size it is, so it could be as long as nine years ago. Who knows? But though it was going well, I quickly cut the strap off. It was so tiny that I was having trouble with the weaving of it. I warped the loom again, with DMC satin floss, which you might remember from previous posts being used for tablet weaving. I doubled each warp thread and got to work. And though it can work, satin floss is very fiddly. It’s slippery, for obvious reasons. It might have worked better had I used some other material for the weft, like I did with the tablet weaving experiment, but my weft this time was also satin floss.

What is woven on the front, is woven on the back in the contrasting color

That warp went away too.

I went back to the original weaving cotton, and decided that to make it easier for me to see, I would simply double the warp threads again. Then I realized, the inkle loom I was using wasn’t wide enough to carry the warp comfortably. Every time I had to advance the warp, I’d have strings slipping off the sides.

I brought out the big guns: Moya, my beautiful first inkle loom from Northwest Looms. She’s nine years old now, and still as beautiful as ever, and more than capable of carrying this warp. What I didn’t count on was the fact that for the first time, I would have to remove her right side in order to put a warp on her. I’d always used those tiny skeins of embroidery floss on her before, so warping with both sides on made sense. It couldn’t be done that way with large cakes of yarn. Off came the side, and I got a warp on her while video chatting with an old friend.

Once I started weaving, I realized that, though it works almost perfectly, I’d forgotten one thing to make it perfect: I didn’t double up on the weft thread.

Oops.

With the weft thread being half the size of the warps, there’s less separation between picks, which means that the little dots, the “pebbles”, are all but impossible to see. Since they’re such a huge part of the pattern — it is called pebble weave, after all — it won’t be right until I double up that weft. For now, the warp remains, and I returned, once again, to the smaller inkle loom, which I proceeded to warp for a wider band. Although I didn’t double up warp threads this time, for some reason I seem to be managing better, even though the yarn is so thin.

The big guns: Moya. You can see that she’s bigger than the piano stool!

This is the slowest type of weaving for me, because almost every bit of it is warp manipulation. I am not fast with that, in part because the yarn is so thin and the lighting in my living room isn’t fantastic. It reminds me a lot of fingerweaving (yes, I do that, too), because you basically hold the warp in both hands and transfer the needed strings from one hand to the other, keeping some and dropping others. I’m sure other weavers are a good deal faster than I am. I don’t mind being slow with this. I kind of just…enjoy the journey, and watch the pattern appear. It’s fun. And I certainly have time right now!

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Red and black finger woven strap

Red and black finger woven strap

Another strap started. This one I chose to do in black and red perle cotton, and I’m now working on a clear plastic clipboard. It anchors the work perfectly, with the added bonus that I can see through it to the book beneath. It doesn’t get any better than that!

This one will be a good bit longer than the others; I’m hoping to use it as a tassel belt for Aneira. If all goes well, there will be a diamond pattern in the very center, with chevrons to each side of it. So far, not so bad. The chevrons on the present working side are going pretty well, although using black might have been a tiny mistake. The lighting in my studio is not the best all the time, so seeing which thread I need to work next is difficult when the color is so dark.

have figured out the secret to working a successful chevron though. When I’m doing the chevrons, my bottom shed always has the outermost threads, so when it’s time to change sheds, the first thread I pick up always comes from the bottom. In a chevron, your weft weaves from the center outward; you’re taking two threads from the very center of the piece. The one on the right goes through the shed to the left, the one on the left weaves through to the right, leaving a gap in your upper shed. When you reach that gap during the change of shed, once you pick up the last upper thread before the gap, you’re going to pick up two threads before continuing to change the rest of your shed.

I don’t know if I’m explaining this clearly. Let’s try this. Let’s say you have a piece consisting of sixteen threads, which is eight upper (U), and eight lower (L). Your upper shed will only have six, because your two upper center threads have gone on a trip through the shed in two different directions, leaving the aforementioned gap. Starting from your outermost thread on the lower shed, you’re going to switch them out. Uppers are going to become lowers. So you’re working this way:

L-U-L-U-L-U-L-U-L-U-L-U-L-L-U-L-U-L-U-L-U-L-U-L-U-L

The two Ls you just picked up in the center become the two center Us, which will be the next ones to go on vacation through the shed in opposite directions, leaving a new gap.

It might help if I explained quickly how you’re going to change the sheds in the first place. Your warp threads will be in one hand, held separately so that you can see which are upper and lower. You’re going to use the index and middle fingers of your other hand to pick up each thread of the warp. Your index finger always picks up the lower shed, your middle the upper. Whichever shed has the outermost thread, use the corresponding finger to pick up that thread and work your way across the warp until you have all the threads on those two fingers. The two vacationing threads are not included; they should be up out of the way.

Look at your fingers. Between them, there’s a cross, right? Take your free hand, and slide your index finger into the space occupied by your other index finger. Slide your first index finger down to separate the threads, while leaving the second in place to keep upper and lower separated. You’ve now changed sheds.

Let me just say, learning to change sheds alone was a royal pain. It doesn’t feel natural, and you will fumble it a whole lot before you get it right. Well, you might have better luck than me, actually, and get it right away.

I honestly didn’t mean to turn this into a tutorial. I tend to think of tutorials as being made by people with some expertise, people not me. I’m no better than a novice myself. Truly told, it’s probably more honest to say that I aspire to be a novice! My original intent was just to write down my own observations of what I was doing, for anyone interested in trying it, and somehow it turned into a tutorial. So I hope it helps, and if it doesn’t, let me know, and I’ll see if I can explain it better!

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Chevron pattern

Chevron pattern

HA!!! YES!! Thanks to Gerald Findley’s book, I’ve managed to start a finger woven chevron pattern, which is the same pattern I tried when I made the initial running-before-walking mistake. When I tried it the first time, I couldn’t get it right because I was doing it from a YouTube video and books that were just a touch too vague, at least for me. I just could not get the hang of it. But the step-by-step pictorial in Fingerweaving Basics was actually detailed enough that I could follow it and create a respectable chevron! Go, me! So I’ll practice that for awhile before trying anything else. I’m totally proud of myself on this one, because finger weaving is a real challenge for me. Weaving is much easier when all of the warp is under tension and changing the shed is as simple as treadling! In finger weaving, everything is literally done with your fingers, from tension to changing sheds. Your warp threads are hanging free at one end out of necessity. In loom weaving, both ends of the warp are under tension, and you have a dedicated weft on a shuttle that goes back and forth through the sheds. In finger weaving, because the warp threads are also the weft, they have to be free to be pulled through the sheds, and that lack of tension makes the weaving that much more of a challenge, at least for me. Maybe as I get used to it, it’ll become less difficult.

Maybe I put it wrong. I said finger weaving is a challenge, then I said difficult, which, in my mind, are two different things in this case. A challenge isn’t necessarily a bad thing, whereas being difficult is. So, ideally, I’d like it to remain challenging, but less difficult. And who knows? Maybe it is just a matter of getting used to a different way of doing something.

I’m going to keep at this. I’ve seen pictures of large sashes, with really complex patterning, and I’d like to get good enough to try my hand at something larger than a strap. Right now, I’m in no way ready.

While I’m practicing finger weaving, I’m giving thought to dressing my Flip and making something with her. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a warp on her, and I’d really like to try again on a doubleweave blanket. The last attempt was an unmitigated disaster, but I’d like to give it another try. But there are so many things going on here that I don’t know if I’ll be able to really do a large project.

For one thing, I go back to school next week, into the technician portion of my education. That’s going to be a lot more grueling than the assistant program was. It’s funny, but people don’t really realize how much is involved in anything veterinary. Human doctors and nurses only have to learn about one species: humans. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians have to learn about every other creature on the planet, and know enough to be able to work on those animals. That’s a lot of work!

We’re also making plans to move out of state again, this time way to the north. We considered the South, and decided against it. The contender areas now are the PNW, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. I’m leaning toward the midwest, personally. As beautiful as mountains are, my fear of heights borders on phobic. I am utterly terrified on a mountain, and I’d like to avoid them, thanks. I think I’d like the land of 10,000 lakes, and I miss autumn in a place with lots of trees in a big way! So while I’m still in school, we will also be getting the house ready for the market and packing away non-essential things so there’s no clutter during showings and it will be easier (snicker) to keep clean. Of course, “easier” and “clean” are relative terms when you’re talking about a house that contains four big dogs and two children. Just sayin’.

And all this must be done while studying, doing homework, cooking, and helping Aneira with her schoolwork. Small projects might be all I’m capable of for awhile!

Ah, well…I’d better hit the road to pick up Aneira. Blessed be, happy crafting, and happy living!

 
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This is what happens when I take an interest – a serious interest – in any type of craft: I buy books. Books are a weakness of mine. Well, my mom was a librarian, so I doubt anyone is surprised by that. Fiction goes on my Kindle; crafty stuff goes hard copy. One: it’s very hard to flip through a book when it’s on the Kindle. Two: my Kindle isn’t color. Three: computers aren’t always up. They need to be charged, or the connection can be wonky. Hard copy? Never an issue.

When I started playing with the finger weaving, I realized that none of the books I already owned contained the information I needed, which was a step-by-step tutorial of how to do each pattern. So I went to Amazon and found the book Fingerweaving Basics by Gerald L. Findley, and it arrived today.

Score!!! Step-by-step, illustrated tutorials for tons of patterns. And looking at some of the more advanced patterns I was playing with before, I can categorically state that I would never have figured them out on my own. Now I can make an attempt at something a little more advanced. I’ve been flipping through the book all evening.

When I say advanced, I truly mean it. Some of the patterns are complex enough to be confusing even with the illustrations, and yet they don’t look that complex at all when you see the finished project, thus my earlier failed attempts. What looked simple, really wasn’t. These patterns are going to take some real practice. As always, though, I refuse to be beaten by an inanimate object, especially when winning means I can create something pretty. So: into the breach!
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Another experiment underway.

Another experiment underway.

Another finger-woven strap begun tonight, another experimental practice piece. This time I used some old acrylic worsted weight that I had lying around. I had some questions I needed to answer for myself. For one thing, as I’m left-handed, I had to know if I could do this as well with my left hand. I know this sounds strange. If I’m left-handed, wouldn’t I have been working with my left hand in the first place? Yes…and no.

I write with my left hand, yes. But there are some things that I’m more comfortable doing with my right hand, and in some cases, when I try something new, as with finger weaving, the instructions are written for right handed people, so that’s where I start. Sometimes it’s difficult to translate those instructions to my left, so once I get the hang of it with my right hand, then I can translate it over. It’s very odd. I think sometimes it has to do with size, for lack of a better term. Big things = right hand, little things = left. If I’m hand sewing with a needle and thread, that’s my left hand. If I’m pitching a ball, it’s my right. Weird. I don’t get it either; it’s how I’ve always been, so I don’t sweat it.

Anyway. So I needed to know if I could do it with my left hand, and the answer was yes. It took a try or two, but once I got it, I got it.

A finger woven strap is woven on a diagonal. It’s what the threads do, no matter what. Left-handed, it’s an S diagonal, meaning that the direction of the weave matches the diagonal of an S. Right-handed, it’s a Z diagonal. The other question I had tonight was whether or not I could change direction on a strap, or weave in both directions without splitting the strap in the middle as you do with the arrowhead and diamond patterns, neither of which I’m ready for just yet.

That question, I haven’t satisfactorily answered yet. I did try it, and the way I did it, I was weaving back and forth with the same thread, rather than taking it across and turning it back into a warp thread, which is the premise of finger weaving. You don’t have dedicated warp and weft. If you have eight warp threads, you have eight weft threads. Each pick, you take your first warp thread from your selvedge, weave it across the other seven, and drop it down beside those seven, thus becoming your eighth warp. Now your second warp thread has become first in line, and your eighth has become your seventh. You take that first warp once again, weave across, and it becomes your new eighth. And you repeat the pattern all the way through the weaving. If you switch directions, you have two things that can happen. 1 – one pick descends on an S diagonal, and your next descends on a Z, which means that you have a whole triangular section of warp threads that aren’t actually woven. 2 – it looks just like any other plain weave, but not a finger woven one.

I imagine that the second outcome isn’t that bad; if you want your strap to look like a different type of weave, you could do it that way, but why bother? If I want to do plain warp-faced weaving, that’s what my inkle loom is for, and it moves much faster than finger weaving, because the entire warp is under tension and I’ve got heddles.

The reason the question hasn’t been answered to my satisfaction yet is that I only tried it with one warp thread. I need to try it a different way before I’m satisfied that it can’t be done…or it can.

It’s probable that the answer I’m looking for can be found in a book that I don’t have, or somewhere on the net, but then I have no reason to experiment, so I’ll keep messing about this way for a moment. Hey, I’m having fun.

But now, I’m going to take a break from both blogging and weaving and go watch some Firefly. Good night, everybody!

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Progress

Success! I've gotten as far as the first repeat!

Success! I’ve gotten as far as the first repeat!

Last night, as Genius on my Mac segued from Bob Seger to Foreigner and Bon Jovi to Blackmore’s Night (I’m pretty eclectic in my musical tastes), progress was finally made on my finger woven strap. It was awesome. I won’t claim it came together right away, but – and I don’t know any other way to explain it – I’m learning to see the threads so I can catch a mistake before it goes too far. I actually caught a couple last night and fixed them. Pretty proud of that! So it’s about eight inches long now, and 1/2 inch wide. Still need lots of practice; my selvedges aren’t perfect, and there’s a little bit of color stippling in some areas. And, of course, there’s plenty more to learn about pattern work. The diagonal pattern is pretty, but it’s also fairly plain. Lots more work to do, lots more fun to have!

Of course, now that I’ve had some success here, impatience rears its ugly head again. What can I say? I’m an Aries; it’s my nature. Now that I’ve crawled a bit, I’m ready to skip walking and go right to running again. I’m actually controlling that urge quite well, I think!

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That sounded like a really interesting title, actually, at least to me! Homeward Bound doesn’t mean what you think it does though. It was our field trip yesterday, and it’s a pet crematorium. In point of fact, it’s the only pet crematorium for hundreds of miles, apparently, and also the one that cremated our Smoky, so during our tour I found myself standing across from a shelving unit holding dozens of urns identical to hers. Not my best day ever. I’ve learned far more about the cremation process than I ever wanted to know. I can see how it might be wise to know something about it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it, right? I definitely did not like it. The staff were all very nice, don’t get me wrong, it’s just the subject matter. It’s not something I like to spend much time thinking about.

I did take the advice of opusanglicanum on my cooking problem yesterday, and made an attempt at Yorkshire pudding. It actually went pretty well, as far as the cooking mechanics. As far as flavor, well, never having eaten Yorkshire pudding before, I have no idea if I did it right. Alone, they were pretty bland. With gravy they were awesome! So, I’ll probably make them again. I put them with a kind of end-of-the-month-toss-together meal: egg noodles with onion gravy and hamburger meat over them. Not exactly gourmet, but filling nonetheless. Thank you to opusanglicanum!

Radiology. Oh, radiology, how confusing you are. Actually doing an x-ray isn’t as bad as learning what’s involved in one. You measure the part you’re going to radiograph, figure out how big the image needs to be, follow the chart for the kvps and mAs, place the animal, and snap. Overly-simplified, but essentially that’s it. It’s learning about the kvps abd mAs themselves, and the cathode and the anode and how everything actually works together. But I managed to get an A on my final anyway, so it’ll be on to the veterinary technician program in about two weeks! In the meantime, I can catch up on my favorite television shows, of which there are few, and restart…again…my finger weaving project.

I refuse to be beaten by a few strands of string. Absolutely refuse. So one way or another, I am going to get the hang of this and get it right. I am not going to change materials, and I am not going to chuck the thing across the room. What I am going to do is alternate between the finger weaving and the fur I’m spinning for the rescue. Yes, I’m still doing that. There’s a lot of fur! And speaking of which, if there are any spinners out there willing to volunteer for the rescues, I’d like to encourage you to contact them. Right now I’m spinning for SOS-SRF, and I know they’d be happy to hear from some more spinners, but there are other rescues out there that can always use help, even if it’s not crafts or fostering. There are some, like SOS-SRF, that use crafts donated to them by selling them in eBay auctions to raise money to support the dogs they help. So never think there’s nothing you can do. Even kids can help!

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What I should be doing right now is studying. My final is Friday, and it’s my final final for the veterinary assistant refresher before I go into the veterinary technology program next month. I need to come as close to acing it as I possibly can, but my brain is fried. Kaput. Done for. Instead, here I am again, for the third time today, which is a record for me, especially as I’ve been inconsistent in blog posts for quite awhile! And, I’m playing with yarn again. Naturally.

The children, thankfully, are in bed and actually staying there, which itself is miraculous. Bryony is generally put to bed and is out of it again within ten minutes. Tonight she isn’t giving anyone any trouble.

Unlike my little finger weaving experiment, which is giving me tons, as if to make up for Bryony’s lack. I’ve frogged and restarted several times now since last night. I’ll get about twenty rows in, lose something somewhere, and in my lack of experience, I can’t yet simply unweave back to the mistake and correct it, because I’m not familiar enough with what I’m doing to even recognize where the mistake is, only that there is one. So, at present, once again I’m looking at a complete restart. If nothing else, I will be an expert on how to start a finger weaving project. My expertise in finishing one, however, is very much in doubt. At the rate things are going, I’m far more likely to take the whole mess and pitch it across the room.

It’s possible my problem is my choice of material. I used embroidery floss for my first experiment, and only twelves strands for that. While it was pretty, it didn’t look the way it was supposed to, so somewhere I made a mistake that I didn’t recognize, and that probably came about because 6-strand embroidery floss is made for the express purpose of being able to separate it, which means that in a project such as finger weaving, it’s not really a wise choice. Eventually, as you’re picking up threads, those threads have separated enough that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between one thread and the next one.

So, for the second experiment, which is the one pictured in yesterday’s post, I decided to try perle cotton. It’s a three color strap utilizing 36 strands, 12 of each color. I may have been too ambitious here. It’s possible I should have stuck with worsted weight yarn and fewer strands until I was better at this, something that’s easy for me to see mistakes. Problem is, I’m a big fan of small. No, really.

In beadwork, the smaller the beads, the more detail you can put into the image you’re creating. For the computer savvy, it’s like pixels. If you have a 32 inch tv, the smaller your pixels, the sharper, more defined the image on the screen, right? Well, it’s the same with yarn. The thicker the yarn, the clunkier the project becomes. Some projects, obviously, are meant for clunky yarn. This is not one of them, thus the perle cotton. Once again, I’m running before I walk. The downside of this is the constant frogging and restarting. But there is an upside: if I keep at it, I will eventually get it right and have a strap I can be proud of. There’s my motivation.

 

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