Thursday, September 21, 2017

Split Float or Not





Some patterns call for a split float where you only pick up 2 threads of the 4 thread float on the way up and then pick up the 3rd and 4th threads of the float on the way down.  I stopped doing this a long time ago because I didn't like the effect...purely a personal choice on my part.

Instead, I put the needle through all 4 threads of the float, go up to the next part of the pattern and reverse the needle to go back through the float (picture 3) and then down to complete that part of the pattern. 

This is my preference only and both ways are fine to do. 

By the way, this is my new project, a Christmas runner where I'll be working the pattern in white yarn and green yarn.  I haven't decided how I'll do the side edges yet but will post photos when the runner is completed.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Peach/Coral Lap Afghan




These photos don't come close to showing the lovely peach/coral color of the monks cloth but it's the best I can do on a cloudy day.  This is the most recent lap afghan I've finished and I chose not to add lattice/diamonds inbetween the pattern.  That's partly because the pattern is very intricate and time consuming.  I also rather like it without lattice.

The pattern is "Waterfall" from Annie's Needlwork "Learn Swedish Weaving & Huck Embroidery.  I also used only about half the pattern and, even though I think it's beautiful, I probably won't use it again unless it's for a table runner and I can make the edge trim smaller.  The reason is how long it takes to complete.

I used Caron Simply Soft yarn in Sunshine, Persimmon, and Chartreuse.  I happen to love this combination, have used it before and will use it again.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Christmas Table Runner

This is an extra wide table runner...not sure why I left it this wide!  The monk's cloth is white and the yarns are red and green (Caron's Simply Soft Party)  There is a metallic thread through the yarn and it tends to break or unravel so I'm not happy with using it.  I won't buy it again.

The pattern is "Christmas Stars" from "Monk's Cloth Afghans for Christmas".  

I love the center pattern but I don't like the way I finished the fringe.  I tried something different and it's a bit of a failure...so I won't do it again.  We live and learn, right?

In my experience with Swedish weaving the thing I usually wish I'd done differently is the fringe.  I did alter the center pattern a bit but I think I improved on the pattern.  Again, live and learn...it's fun to use our imagination when we're weaving because sometimes we do improve on the pattern and that's our own creativity coming out.

I found the pattern fairly easy to do and would use it again.

Update:  I wasn't happy with the way the fringe turned out so I cut it back.  Below are the photos of the runner folded in half and with the red yarn removed from the fringe.  I like this much better.



Lap Afghan OR Tablecloth




I had decided to only make lap afghans from now on but saw that they are also a perfect size for a tablecloth.  This one is the "Cascade" pattern from "Learn Swedish Weaving & Huck Embroidery" by Annie's Needlework.  I did a bit of a variation on the diamond/lattice in the center to accommodate the space I had to work with.

The monk's cloth is a denim blue and the yarns are white and golden beige.  This was a very easy pattern to work with, too. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Now Back to the Peach Lap Afghan




I decided to use only 6 lines of the pattern because , even though it isn't difficult to work on, it still requires a lot of concentration.  There will be 6 x 2 lines in the center and then maybe 3 lines on either edge joined together with some kind of diamond/lattice.

In the first photo, I've shown the full 6 lines done.  The second photo shows the other part that is partially done.  The third photo shows how intricate the pattern is and why I don't want to do it completely.  The fourth photo is the pattern book (Annie's Needlework "Learn Swedish Weaving & Huck Embroidery") and the pattern I'm using"Waterfall Gift Bag" can be seen on the bottom right side of the cover.

This particular project will be sold at a craft show in October and I can't put a ridiculous amount of work into it when I still have more items to complete.  The pattern is challenging and fun to do but has turned out to be too time consuming.

Swedish weaving is a wonderful and satisfying craft but it does take a lot of time to complete any project...time that we can't charge for when we sell the item.  For years I made afghans for family and friends and never worried about how many hours, weeks, months it took to make them.  It's another thing entirely when the item is to be sold.  We can still enjoy making them but we have to be reasonable about how much time we want to devote.

I'll post photos of the 2 lap afghans, one recently finished and this one when both are hemmed.


Friday, August 25, 2017

A Few Hints

Swedish weaving is addictive, fun, and good for the soul because we create things of beauty.  Besides those lovely benefits, we also can start Swedish weaving clubs, blogs, Facebook pages, etc. to show our projects, get advice, and learn new techniques.  These are all win/win/win benefits of the craft.

One technique I learned about recently was how to finish off the selvage edge other than machine stitching it down.  Someone came up with the really bright idea of using stitch witchery.  You cut the stitch witchery to size and place it under the fold..I only fold over once because I don't want too much bulk.  Then press it down with your iron.  So easy and so neat!

Another nice idea was in adding some of the yarn colors used in the pattern to the fringe.  I've done this forever but someone came up with the idea to place them in sort of a wave instead of straight across.  I love that!

There were more but I didn't write them down...note to self, write them down from now on!

I mentioned that I've been working on 2 lap afghans at the same time because one has a really intricate pattern that sort of tires me out.  The second lap afghan has a more simple pattern to follow.  Well, I finished the simple pattern one except for fringeing the top and bottom and now have to face the more difficult pattern.  I'll post photos of both when I'm finished.

One more thought...the lap afghans would also make excellent table cloths.  I've made table cloths from the full size afghans, too, but these smaller ones work just as well.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New Pattern


My unfinished project had become kind of a strain for me and my aged brain so I decided to put it aside for a while and go on with a simpler pattern.  This is called Cascade and it's also from Annie's Needlework "Learn Swedish Weaving & Huck Embroidery"....actually featured on the front page.  I was quite relieved as I started the pattern and felt so relaxed because it is a much easier pattern.

I'm going to finish the project exactly as shown although mine will be wider.  The center will be all lattice/diamonds but I'll probably improvise a bit there.

My fabric is a denim blue and I've chosen something very different for the yarn.  It's a variegated mainly white with short runs of blue and beige.  I usually choose a variegated with all short runs of colors but this yarn appealed to me to at least give it a try.  I think this pattern would be gorgeous with many color choices so I'll use it again.

Update:  It turned out that I didn't like the variegated yarn because of the extremely long lengths of white and the few shorter lengths of blue and beige so I pulled it all out and began again.

I chose white yarn and bone (what I refer to as golden beige).  I'd known I wanted a lot of white but chose the bone when I saw how nice the other beige looked on the denim blue fabric.  This is only part of the border pattern but I think it shows nicely how well the white and bone yarns look on the denim blue.  I'll post another photo when it's all finished.


Monday, July 31, 2017

My Dilemma

Now I do plan to finish my latest project, the lap afghan with the difficult but doable pattern, but I think I might set it aside for the moment and work on something else with an easier pattern.  I'm not having any trouble managing the difficult pattern but it's tiring.  Yes, that's what it is...tiring.

Anyway, I feel I need a break from too much concentration and will be much happier working a pattern that's easier on my old brain.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Washing the Afghan

I always say I just love how we learn from each other...techniques, yarns, patterns, etc....and one of the smartest things I learned this week was on how to wash our fringed projects safely.  This is especially important to know after poor Faye damaged her afghan after working on it for so long.

Anyway, someone suggested buying one of those garment bags that are used for delicates in the washing machine.  You can get them at the dollar store.  This is such a smart idea and so simple I wonder why I never thought of it myself.  This is why we need each other to keep improving our craft!

I think we'd only need to protect our project like this if the fringe is a little long but it couldn't hurt to use the garment bag for all our Swedish weaving projects.  I think I will!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Project


This is my new project...a lap afghan.  The fabric is a lovely coral color and the yarns are bright green, yellow, and salmon.  The pattern is from Annie's Needlework "Learn Swedish Weaving & Huck Embroidery".  It's actually called "Waterfall" and is for a gift bag but we can always use any pattern for alternate purposes.

The pattern is sort of complicated but not too bad once you catch on to the rhythm.  I haven't decided yet how much of the pattern I'll use before adding lattice/diamonds.  It's nice to have that option.

You might notice that I always scan and print patterns from the book and put them into a clear plastic sleeve.  This is a good way to keep your expensive pattern books from falling apart from use.  I keep a binder of all the patterns I've copied like this.

The pattern is a bit of a challenge but it's fun to stretch my brain a bit to conquer it.  I'll post a finished photo!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Faye's Afghan Complete/Maybe Damaged


Faye and Donna didn't want their photo taken but here is Faye's beautiful afghan completed.  So much work as we Swedish weavers know and sad to say it might have gotten damaged right after this photo was taken.

Faye lives in a condo with her own washer and dryer but they don't work well with heavy items.  She asked if she could use the washer here in my apartment building and, of course she could, but I told her the washers here don't have a gentle cycle and they might damage her beautiful new afghan.  She used it anyway.  It came out of the wash with the fringe terrible tangled and frayed in spots.  I could have cried and so could Faye.

She took the afghan home wet and said she'd try to untangle the fringe there.  I think the problem was that her fringe was quite long but I'm sure the tangling wouldn't have happened if there'd been a gentle cycle on the washer.

I've had a similar problem when I've been preparing monks cloth and gotten a lot of pilling unless I used the gentle cycle but I don't normally leave a long fringe like Faye's so I hadn't seen this kind of mess before.  It's heartbreaking and I hope to heavens that Faye can fix it in some way...maybe cut the fringe shorter.

Tip for the day:  When preparing your fabric use hot water and gentle cycle in the washer.  On a completed project, it is still wise to wash it in a gentle cycle, especially if the fringe is a little long.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Just a Note

I have 2 pieces of this peach colored monk's cloth and am working on one already using 3 different colors but I wanted a pretty variegated yarn for this other piece.  There wasn't much to choose from but I really love this Bernat Satin "Rose Garden".  I'll post a photo when it's done but I have to finish the one I'm working on already.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Janet's Project

Janet is a fairly new Swedish weaver who was kind enough to send me a photo of her project.  She's done something here that I haven't so far and that's to frame with a row of contrasting yarn just above the fringe.  I've seen it done before and it really is a nice touch that I'll use, too.

I hope she continues to find useful information on this blog.

Faye's Swedish Weaving Afghan



This is Faye's afghan, all finished except the hemming.  The truer colors show up in the bottom 2 photos but even they don't show the richness of color in this afghan to it's best effect.

Faye used a lot of variegated yarns and chose her pattern as she went rather than having a full plan from the start.  She also worried that her fringe might be too long but I think it's perfect.

I haven't been a fan of this fabric color (I think it's called potato) but, after seeing how beautiful it looks with the yarn she chose I want to do one, too.  

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Lap Afghan Complete



I finally finished the lap afghan I've been working on and it's turned out well.  The 47" x 30" size is perfect for a lap afghan and easier to manhandle than the full sized one.  The fabric is white monks cloth and the yarn is Simply Soft in medium purple and soft green.  I love this color combination, especially on the white cloth.

I did the weaving horizontally but planned for the pattern to be viewed vertically...I hope that makes sense.  Playing around with and designing the lattice/diamonds was lots of fun.  I do this with most of my projects now and it's another way to make them unique.

I'll be sticking to lap afghans and table runners for a while now.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Unique Lattice


Something I enjoy doing very much is creating unique lattice/diamonds in my projects.  I began this lap afghan using part of an existing pattern but waiting until that was complete before figuring out how I'd do the lattice.  The only rule is that everything has to connect and be consistent.  I've only finished one section but I hope it shows what I mean.

When I first started learning Swedish weaving it was accepted to do large lattice/diamonds inbetween the patterns but one day one of my friends decided to use small diamonds instead.  And this is how we came to open our minds to the many other possibilities we could produce.

Sometimes innovations come out of mistakes but, regardless where they come from, it's fun to try new ways.  If you don't like it, you can pull it out.

I'll post a photo of the completed project when it's finished.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Coming Along Nicely

This is really a lot more colorful than it looks in the photo...yarns are medium purple and light green on white monks cloth.  The pattern is vertical rather than horizontal.  Once I've finished the pattern, I'll fill in with lattice but I haven't decide yet exactly how I'll do that.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lap Afghan




I wasn't up to starting a full afghan but I had this piece measuring 48" long x 30" wide already prepared so this will be my new project.  The yarn colors are aqua mist and lavender blue...I've used this combination before and really like it!  I'm not sure yet what color or pattern I'll do the lattice but that's a long way off.  I do have some leftover variegated with these colors in it but I'm not sure I have enough so we'll see.

I guess you can see I'm sometimes not very neat when I put my work aside for the day...it's very wrinkled but that will smooth out.  The pattern is complete on one side and barely started on the other side (pattern will be done vertically instead of horizontally) and I also have one row of the pattern started in the center.  I'm still deciding how much of the pattern and how much of the lattice I'll do, though.  There is already fringe on each side so I'm pretty sure I'll fringe each end, too.

I'll post a photo when it's finished...I think it will be lovely!






Friday, June 9, 2017

Christmas Runner Done



I finished this runner, measuring 48" long x 19" wide and am as pleased as I can be considering the difficulty using the yarn I did.  I used Caron's Simply Soft Party which has a silver thread running through it and it wasn't easy to keep together.

It helped to cut extra long strands of yarn so I wouldn't run a little short at each end because that is where the silver thread was most likely to unravel.  All in all, I will use the yarn I have for other projects but I would never buy it again.  I've heard from other weavers that they didn't like it, either, so I'm not alone in my opinion.

I haven't hemmed the ends yet but won't leave a fringe for the simple reason that I feel I need to fold the ends over and double stitch to keep the silver thread from coming loose.  You shouldn't have to do that to secure your yarn...you should be able to leave a fringe but, in this case, I'm not sure that would hold well.

Anyway, it's done, it's pretty, and I've learned a lesson.  That's success as far as I'm concerned!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Christmas Runner


I like to prepare my fabric pieces all at the same time.  For instance, if I have various sizes of white monks cloth, I'll machine stitch the ends of each piece and then wash and dry together.  In this instance, because I was doing so many pieces, I neglected to machine stitch one end and now have loads of lint on each piece of fabric.  Note to self...double check!!!

Most of the pieces from this lot will be table runners and I'll just have to use my little lint remover plus individually pluck off any remaining lint by hand.  A little time consuming but I really should have been more careful when I was preparing the cloth.

I've started one Christmas table runner and am using the Caron Simply Soft Party which has a glitter thread running through it.  Something I've learned is that you must use an extra long piece of yarn for each row because the glitter strand will begin to unravel on the end.  Other than that, it's very nice to work with.

I've barely started the runner but wanted to warn of the unraveling.  I'll post a photo of the finished project. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Done

It's finally finished and I think it turned out kind of pretty.  I believe any patterns on this beautiful turquoise fabric would look nice, though.  This isn't a project I'm particularly proud of but I am glad I completed it the best way I could and that someone will enjoy owning it.

Now on to the next project!