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!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CSW Afghan Almost Done

I've finished the "crazy Swedish weaving" afghan except for the hemming and I really like it.  The patterns I used are nothing I'd normally use but, when you run low on yarn, you do the best you can.  Most of the patterns came out of  my imagination as I tried to deal with the mess I'd created at the start and make it look halfway nice.  I'll post a photo of the completely finished afghan soon!  

My next project will be some Christmas table runners using the Simply Soft Party yarn.  It has a glitter that I'm looking forward to seeing on the finished items.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Finding a Group

I got a message from a lady in Tampa who is looking for a Swedish weaving group to get together with.  I suggested googling to find one but it would be nice if one of my Tampa readers could send me information.  I told the lady that it isn't necessary to be in a group to learn and improve our craft but it certainly is a lot more fun being with people who love it.

When I first started Swedish weaving I thought I didn't need hands on instructions and that was true but it took me longer to learn.  I was lucky to have a neighbor in my Florida park who took the time to speed me up.  Even with my fumbling start I loved the craft from the very beginning, though.

There are a few Swedish weaving pages on Facebook that I follow, too.  People post photos of their work and ask for advice so it's very informative.  Swedish weaving is much more popular in the States than Canada simply because of the cost of supplies.  Our costs in Canada can easily be double what they are in the States.  If a Canadian visits the States they can use the opportunity to buy their supplies at a better cost to them and that's what I've done.  Right now our dollar is not good against the U.S. dollar so it's possible it's cheaper today to do our buying in Canada.

Here are a couple of Facebook pages on Swedish weaving: "Swedish Weavers Around the World" and "Christine's Swedish Weaving"....there are probably lots more but so far I only follow these two.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hints From Other Weavers

I love that so many weavers have found the blog and are sending photos of their work or just supplying their expertise to the blog.  One of the most important things I found at our group in Florida was how we continued to learn from each other.  There are definitely more adventurous weavers who aren't afraid to try new procedures and that keeps us improving our own skills.

Something I learned recently from a weaver was to use different thicknesses in the yarns on the same project.  I'd always been taught that was a no-no but her photo showed an absolutely beautiful finished item so now that's what I'll try on my next one.

I'm still finishing up on the "crazy Swedish weaving afghan" and, though it has been the bane of my life, it does look pretty now but I hope to never make the same mistake again.  Most of us will create some kind of blunder but even the blunders look pretty darned good when finished.  It's the nature of Swedish weaving that it's just a really beautiful craft.

And so, ladies, keep contributing to the blog and I hope my readers find it useful.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Yarn Choices For Swedish Weaving

I put out a call to Swedish weavers to let me know what brand of yarn they use and received the following:
Red Heart Acrylic, Caron Simply Soft, Caron Simply Soft Party (glitters), Hobby Lobby (didn't leave me a name, though), Patton Canadiana, Red Heart Soft Baby, Red Heart Love, Bernat Satin, and Yarn Bee Soft Secret.

My preference has been Caron Simply Soft but I've used the Red Heart and Patton, too.  One of the ladies posted a photo of a project she did with the Yarn Bee that looked lovely.  I really want to venture out and try some new yarns and thought maybe other weavers would feel the same way.

One lady mentioned she doesn't like the Simply Soft because it seems to unravel as you work with it and I'd noticed that also but with every yarn I've used.  Now I twist the needle every so often to tighten the yarn.  A few ladies didn't use the Simply Soft because they felt it got fuzzy after a while.  This is something I've noticed too and that's why I want to try some different brands.

I would love it if any of this blog's readers would comment on the yarns they use.  Any and all information is welcome! 

Just a note for Canadians:  It's a simple fact that we pay more for both fabric and yarn here in Canada than in the States but I found that Len's Mill Store's prices are even better than buying in the States and they have a huge selection of yarns.  I don't know how many of those stores are around but there is one in Stoney Creek, Ontario and I know there are at least a few more scattered in southern Ontario.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Re-do is Done



This re-do (adding a color to a completed afghan) is as done as possible and, even though I wish the dusty rose showed up stronger, I am pleased with what I was able to do.  I'd never added to a completed item before and it was fairly easy.

The bottom photo shows how I wove back in the dusty rose yarn.  I wanted my readers to see that weaving back like this means you have to pick up only 1 or 2 strands from the 4 strand float otherwise the stitching would go right through to the front.

There's always something new to learn, isn't there?

Friday, April 14, 2017

Adding to an Original





I made this afghan for my daughter, Kim, quite a while ago when her bedroom walls were a dark blue.  She's just completely redone the room in dusty rose walls with white trim and a white comforter so she asked me if it was possible to add some dusty rose to the afghan.  Of course it is!

So far I've added a dusty rose yarn to some of the bare spots but I'm worried it isn't enough to show up.  I do see a good opportunity to add more in the second photo and that should be enough.

When I got the yarn to the finished border, I wove it through and under, then brought it back underneath about 6 floats to anchor it (bottom photo).  This is how we used to anchor the ends so I know it will hold up well in the wash.

What a lovely craft this is! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I'm Starting To Like It


I'm actually starting to like how this afghan is turning out...still mad at myself for having to join 2 pieces of yarn, though.

The first picture shows how I tried using white yarn for one of the patterns but realized that yellow would be better and that's what I'm going with.  I'll have to remove the white, though.  I've wasted a whole lot of time and yarn on this afghan!

Turquoise is my favorite color and what I had wanted for this piece was a unique and southwestern color choice and that's what I'm apparently getting now.  It's been a long road for this little afghan but I know it will be beautiful when I finish it.  I've never posted so many updates for a project before but I thought it necessary for this one because it was a failure made right...or as right as possible.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Update on CSWA

The photo above shows how I choose a yarn when I'm not sure which shade to use.  I'll weave in both (in this case, the yellow) and see which one appeals most to me.

I should have removed all of the yarn before restarting this afghan because I've changed my mind so many times, pulled out row after row of yarn, and now I've come to that awful point where I know for certain I don't have enough of the salmon yarn to finish it.  I checked out my yarn stash and I have many skeins of salmon yarn but no more of the shade I've been using.  If I hadn't changed my mind so many times, I would have had enough but that's life.  I'll have to join 2 pieces of yarn to complete a row or two and that's something I've never done before.  This afghan has been a disaster from day 1 but I'll complete it the best I can and donate it.

This mess reinforces the fact that we need to have a well thought out plan before starting a project.  On the top of the list is knowing you have sufficient yarn!

I'll post a photo of the finished afghan.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Crazy Swedish Weaving Afghan

This is how I've chosen to to complete what will now be a lap afghan.  For whatever reason (I started this so long ago that I've forgotten) it was very, very difficult to line up the points.  I can see why but I don't want to remove the orange circles so I'm doing the best I can to accommodate them.

You've heard of crazy quilts, well this is certainly going to be a crazy SW afghan and I will never, ever again start work on an afghan with the intention of making up the pattern as I go along.  Some can do that but I apparently cannot.

Seeing the photo, I think I need to remove the center of the white and put it back in with the orange yarn.  This afghan is going to be a little too unique for my tastes but it is what it is!

The moral of my story is to only use an existing pattern that you can alter if you wish but at least start out with a true pattern with definite points you can build on. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Can This Be Saved??


Sometimes I think I'm smarter than I really am and this discarded afghan proves it.  I set this aside quite a while ago because it wasn't turning out as I'd hoped.  I thought I could make up my own pattern as I went along and make this into a really happy, colorful afghan but it looks empty to me so I had to stop working on it and put it aside.

The fabric is that gorgeous turquoise blue and it deserves a beautiful pattern.  I decided to save what I could and remove what I couldn't stand so wish me well!

Friday, March 31, 2017

4 Placemats Done

It didn't take long to finish all 4 placemats and I'm happy with the way they turned out.  I ended up removing some of the stitching from the first placemat because I wasn't happy with spacing but we should always do this if we're not pleased with the way our project is turning out.  It took me just a short while to redo it and make it even nicer so it was well worth the trouble.

Now on to the next project!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

One Place Mat Done


It always feels good to be started on a new project even if it's a small one like these place mats.  I prepared them over a month ago and even took them to Florida to work on but brought them back home untouched.

Yesterday Faye, Donna, and I started back to our Tuesday afternoon Swedish weaving get-together and I got back in the game.  I'm only doing an easy design on these place mats because they'll be for sale at a craft show so I don't want to put too much time into them.

The fabric was cut to size from some of my ecru remnants (always save your remnants!) and I used a pretty variegated yarn in soft pinks, blues, greens, and creams.  I finished one yesterday and now have 3 more to go.  No rush, though!

When we were in Florida, I cleaned my trailer out of a few more things and one of them was a stash of monks cloth.  There were 2 large pieces of red so I think that will be my next project...Christmas runners.  I'm not ready to get back into doing a full afghan yet but probably will do a few smaller lap afghans once I've had my fill of Christmas runners.

Speaking of Florida, I was sad to learn that no-one carried on with our Thursday morning Swedish weaving get-togethers because I wasn't there.  I guess I was the catalyst that drew the weavers together and that's too bad.  I never thought of myself as the leader, just showed up at the clubhouse at 9 A.M. and did some weaving until the rest of the group arrived.  Maybe it just takes one person to start but not necessarily to lead...everyone in the group was just as good or better than me at the craft.  I'm hoping my health issues will allow me to spend next winter in Florida and it will be interesting to see if we can form our group again.

Now I'm just happy to have a project on the go, one I can pick up at will and work on for as long as I wish.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Getting Ready

I haven't started a new project since I finished Nick and Bev's afghan but I do have something prepared and ready to go.  I'd noticed that a few people at the craft shows asked if I had any place mats but that isn't something I normally do.  And so I pulled out some of my smaller remnants and prepared 4 of them to complete as placemats.  They sit in the bag along with half a dozen different colors of yarn until I can decide which colors to use.

I was away in Florida for a month, along with the supplies for the placemats, but got busy with so many other things that I never started.  Since I got home, I've been doing spring housecleaning and taking care of other business so I've really got to get moving on those place mats.

Swedish weaving is so forgiving of time and space because it's something that sits unobtrusively until you're ready to work on it.  When I compare that to the quilting I used to do (and still hope to do), Swedish weaving is the perfect craft for someone who just wants to pick it up occasionally to work on it.

That all said, I have been sorely missing the feeling of satisfaction as my project is being created so it's time for me to get back at it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Nick and Bev's Afghan




I wasn't sure I'd enjoy working on this afghan because of the subdued colors but they look so good together that I ended up liking it a lot.  It's for my grandson, Nick, and his fiance, Bev, and the colors in their home dictated that I couldn't use vibrant colors.  The monks cloth is white and the yarns are charcoal, grey, and teal which look subdued but lovely together.  I added teal fringe along the white fringe on each end, too, which I think looks very nice.

The border patterns I used were chosen at random as long as their main points lined up.  This is how I like to create a completely unique design for all of my projects.

I guess it took me about two months to complete this afghan and I know it took one whole day to do the fringe alone.  A lot of love was woven into it and I hope this precious couple can feel that when they cuddle up with it.   

Monday, January 2, 2017

Choosing Patterns

A lot of people ask me what pattern I used for a project and I have to tell them that I now prefer to mix and match patterns according to my whims.  I simply make sure that the main points of any pattern match up with whatever I started out with.

There seems to be a progression of process in the craft of Swedish weaving where the novice starts out with a basic pattern to complete their project.  This is the wisest way to begin.  Even though everyone discovers that Swedish weaving is not nearly as difficult to do as we first thought, beginning with the basics is where we really learn how to do it.  From learning the basics, we can very easily go on to "doing it our own way".

I like to think I'm pretty experienced but one thing I have not been able to master is how to weave letters, numbers, or pictures, and that is on my to-do list for the future.  I tried once and failed miserably and have been unwilling to try again but that will change!

Novice Swedish weavers will already have discovered how expensive the pattern books are but you can get by with just a few of them if you do as I do and mix and match.  Every project will be totally unique and never seen anywhere else.  I like this!

We also learn from our mistakes.  Last year I decided to make a large quantity of Christmas runners for a craft show I attend.  I foolishly bought the cheapest red and green yarns I could find because I knew I probably wouldn't use them for anything but Christmas runners.  Visually they looked fine but they weren't fun to work with.  I enjoy working mainly with "Simply Soft" but there are other good ones, too.  I guess my point is to use your time to your benefit and buy the yarns you enjoy working with.

I'm still working on the afghan for my grandson and his fiance.  She was just the girlfriend when I started it a few months ago but they made the big commitment on New Years Eve.  We are all thrilled with his excellent choice of a life partner!

Well, I hope we Swedish weavers make lots of beautiful creations in 2017 and I hope many more novices join us.