Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Almost Done

This table runner is almost done except for the fringeing.  I don't have my sewing machine here in Florida but the park has one I can borrow.  Some fabric will be wasted because I only want my fringe to be a couple of inches long.  

I used the Marquise pattern for the center with a slight modification and then decided to use a part of the same pattern for the border...also with a slight modification.  Altering a pattern slightly means making it your very own.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

What Was I Thinking?

I brought 2 pieces of prepared monk's cloth to Florida with me to work on this winter.  I've been wondering ever since why in the world I have 2 pieces measuring 28" wide to make a lap afghan.  What was I thinking?  Anyway, it stopped me in my tracks for a while wondering just what to do but I've decided to continue with the Marquise pattern (which I started in the middle) and work towards the edge until my work measures a decent sized table runner.  Then I'll just snip off the excess.

Lately I've been preparing large batches of fabric instead of one at a time and I think this is what happened here.  I must have been in a rush and didn't pay close attention.

Anyway, I'm using the beautiful marquise pattern from the "Diamonds" booklet but I'm also planning on edging it with a different pattern, one that meets up with the existing points, of course.

The yarn is Caron's Simply Soft in a variegated "baby brights" which looks lovely on the denim fabric.  I hate wasting fabric but this time it was just necessary.  I'll post a finished photo.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Monk's Cloth

I have a very good friend here at my Florida park who is downsizing her craft supplies and I have gained the benefit of this.  She sold me a ton of monk's cloth at the same price she paid for it a few years ago... much of it is remnants with sale stickers, too.  I just hope she's still going to be doing Swedish weaving and has kept some for herself, though.

I already have more than my fair share of monk's cloth back home (mostly white and beige) but there is no way I could have turned away an opportunity like this...much is in colors I can't even find any more.  

We crafters are a special breed.  We enjoy crafting so much that we might be a little too irrational when it comes to amassing too many supplies.  Some, like my friend, see the light and realize the time has come to downsize.  Some, like me, did a bit of downsizing of crafts I haven't done in years but still continue to buy for Swedish weaving.  I've said I'll have to live another hundred years to use up all my craft supplies and I'm not kidding.

Now, monk's cloth is fairly easy to find at Walmart or Joann's Fabrics in the white or beige but colors come at a much higher price so you Swedish weavers will understand why I've continued to add to my collection when I had the chance.  And it just might be what's keeping me happy and alive.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bought Remnants

One of my friends from the park here in Florida decided she'd accumulated too many monk's cloth remnants.  Like me, she bought as many as she could when they were more plentiful and available at Walmart.  Unlike me, she managed to buy a lot of different colors...even one lovely piece of red!  Also, unlike me, she decided to sell what she has in an effort to downsize her craft supplies.  I bought them all from her because I couldn't resist, especially since she only wanted what she'd paid for them.  I think I now have enough monk's cloth to last me a few lifetimes.

I've already notified Faye and Donna that they will inherit it all if they survive me.

Hard core crafters will understand this completely.  We know value, price, and availability.  When product is scarce and expensive we can't walk away from a good deal.  That said, I make no apologies for adding to my collection of monk's cloth.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

What Sold

I took many Swedish weaving afghans, table runners, and lap afghans to the craft show but, even though people admired them, they weren't prepared to pay the price of anything but the Christmas runners.  That taught me to only make Christmas table runners next year.  Also, the first Christmas runner to be sold was the red on red.  Unfortunately, I have no red fabric left and probably won't buy more now but I do have lots of white.  Sparkly yarns in red and green do look lovely on the white fabric.  I also have ecru fabric and will make a few runners with that, too.

I brought some of the other runners I made to sell on Ebay but haven't had great luck with that.  It's interesting to note how many people at the craft sale in Canada knew about Swedish weaving so it's popularity is spreading.  

Friday, October 27, 2017

Craft Sale

I don't know how many of the blog followers are from the Hamilton/Ancaster area but I just wanted to remind everyone that I'll be at the craft show tomorrow selling some of my Swedish weaving pieces...I'll probably be the only one with Swedish weaving.

The bazaar and craft sale is Saturday, October 28th from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. and it's at the Ancaster Achievement Centre, 622 Alberton Rd. S., Alberton, Ontario, (just outside Ancaster).

I was there last year for the first time and there was a beautiful selection of items, some handcrafted.  I'll be selling Swedish weaving pieces (afghans, table runners, place mats), and costume jewelry.  The costume jewelry will be priced at $3-5.

A lady stopped by last year very interested in learning how to do Swedish weaving and I'm hoping more will be there who are interested.  It's such a beautiful craft and one that has been slow growing in Canada due to the cost of materials here but interest is certainly growing.

If you read my blog and are able to come by our table to chat, I'd love to see you!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Last Christmas Table Runner

This is my final Christmas table runner this year.  The monk's cloth is a deep beautiful red and the yarn is really a gorgeous green with a silver thread through it... Bernat's Happy Holidays.  My photography skills are terrible but it could have something to do with the dark overcast sky this morning.

The pattern is part of Pinon Pine from Avery Hill's "Swedish Weaving for Monk's Cloth"...this pattern book is the first of her 4 or 5.

This happens to be the last of my red monk's cloth so I'll probably make next year's Christmas table runners on white monk's cloth.  That will be pretty also.  I still have a large stock of colored monk's cloth to go through so I'm not sure I want to buy any more right now.

The craft show I'll be selling my wares at is on Saturday, October 26th at the Ancaster Senior Achievement Center, 622 Alberton Rd. S in Alberton, Ontario.  All table runners will be $20 so you can see I don't charge for my time.  I love Swedish weaving and will continue to create as long as I'm able!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

One More Christmas Runner

Hopefully, this is the second to last Christmas runner I make this year.  The monk's cloth is a beautiful deep red and not the shade it shows in the photo, unfortunately.  The yarn is Bernat's Happy Holidays in white which was very nice to work with.  It has a glitter thread that held up well without breaking, too.

I used part of the "Dazzling" pattern from the Diamond pattern booklet.  It was a very simple pattern to follow and one I've used to make many full sized afghans.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Yarn With Metallic Thread

I'd previously used Simply Soft Party yarn when I wanted one with the metallic thread but didn't like the way it held up so I bought Bernat Happy Holidays and have been using the white one on the runner I'm making.  What a difference and what a nice surprise!

The yarn is a little thicker than I usually use but that just gives more texture.  It has a metallic thread wrapped around the yarn itself and I wasn't sure how strong it was or if it would break while weaving.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it held together extremely well even when I was drawing triple lengths through my piece of yarn did about one row of pattern completely around the length and width of the fabric.  

It does ravel a bit at the ends but that is really no problem at all because you can cut it off when you reach the end.  What is very nice is how the yarn itself stays well aligned with the metallic thread.

I bought all three colors so will have plenty to use next Christmas, too.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Another Christmas Runner

One more Christmas table runner ready for the craft show next month.  The red fabric shows best in the first photo but I couldn't get a good photo of the yarn colors in the pattern so I've added a photo of the yarns I used.  One is a soft gold (lost the wrapper but I'm sure it's Simply Soft) and the green is Simply Soft's chartreuse.

The pattern is part of the "Christmas Stars" from Monk's Cloth Afghans for Christmas.  I did this one before and like it a lot.  Of course, I twist it around somewhat  such as adding the green into the loops.  I used the soft gold to create the basic pattern.

Today I went out to buy some interesting Christmas yarn to use on the next Christmas afghan and will post all the info when it's done.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Red on Red Runner Finished

I had made an afghan with white fabric and white yarn and just loved it so I was anxious to see how red fabric and red yard would look.  I love it!

I used up the last of my Simply Soft Party and found to my surprise that the red wasn't nearly as difficult to work with as the green had been.  I still won't buy it again, though.  The pattern started out to be "Christmas Joy" from Monk's Cloth Afghans for Christmas but ended with the first row.

As I was weaving in the first row (2 of them), I was thinking how you can't pull out mistakes when you're using this particular yarn because there's too much chance you'll break the glitter thread.  It wasn't until I started the second row that I realized I'd made a mistake on the first row.  I didn't hesitate long before deciding to carry on and make the pattern my own.  I often do that instead of going back and correcting mistakes unless it really matters.

Because I wanted only the red yarn on this runner, I had to improvise again with the pattern because I didn't have enough yarn to complete enough rows.

I improvised with the pattern again at the ends because there wasn't enough room to make a large "V" so I created a small "V".  One day I'd like to do a project and follow the pattern properly but with this runner I did what I could.  And I like it!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Red on Red

I'm hoping one day to have a camera that will capture the correct color.  This is a deep rich red monks cloth and yarn is also a deep rich red.  I've been wanting to do a Christmas runner like this for a while so I started it today.  I like it.  I'll put photos and details in the blog when it's completed.

Christmas Table Runner

I really love this Christmas table runner and I wish the photo showed the true brilliant red of the monks looks kind of maroon in the photo but it is a perfect red.

The pattern is part of the "Holiday Traditions" from "Monks Cloth Afghans for Christmas".  As usual, I changed it just a wee bit by eliminating the final green row because I got fed up with dealing with the awful Simply Soft Party yarn I used.  I'll never buy it again because it's almost impossible to keep it from unraveling.

I copied someone's idea to frame the runner (in white) because I love the effect.  It's neat...and I found that, by weaving in the white frame before zigzag stitching above the fringe, it made it much easier to follow the line.

As unhappy as I am with the Simply Soft Party yarn, I'll use it on a few more Christmas runners because it is pretty and I don't like to waste yarn.  LOL!  

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 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'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.