Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Scarf 63 & Scarf 64 Get Married

Last weekend I went to Vermont to celebrate the wedding of one of my dearest friends.  It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend of tranquil scenery and lovely new friends.  Here we are with the happy couple, standing in front of Sunset Lake, where the wedding was held.  (And yes, I admit, this photo does make us look like we're auditioning for roles as hobbits and giants.  Let's just say there's a little height difference.)  

These dear friends live in Boston, so naturally I wanted to make them scarves as a wedding gift.  She had been weaving when we got married and made us the loveliest throw pillows, so it was fun to weave her a wedding gift in return.
Knowing they liked deep, warm, earth colors, I started by yarn shopping at Gauge Knits and picked up some rust and eggplant and red and brown yarns.  I started with Scarf 63 for the groom and decided on stripes.  I alternated orange and red stripes with a thin line of dark teal running between them, and used a deep, dark brown as the weft yarn (the one that goes side to side) to tone everything down a bit.  
Here's Scarf 63 on the loom.  Below you can see it all woven up.

For the bride's scarf, I went for a lightweight ruffle.  Using the same red wool as Scarf 63 and a mohair/silk blend in the same rusty orange color, I added in a stripe of dark, eggplanty-purple.  Hers was woven in a thinner stripe, with alternating purple and red, with just a few lines of the orange mohair on the end for a frothy look.  I spaced the stripe yarns farther apart than usual so the scarf would have a gauzy openness and stay very lightweight.  I used the mohair as the weft (side to side) yarn, so that the whole thing is barely held together with these very thin, fuzzy threads.  

After  weaving it, I carefully pulled the threads along one side to create the ruffle.  The openness of the weave kept it from being too bulky, but the ruffle still provides the dimensionality that I like.  I hope she does too!

I know I'm a sap, but I love the Beatles' song When I'm 64 and am so pleased that this love scarf happened to be my 64th!  

Monday, July 23, 2012

When I'm 64: My Weekend Project

This weekend I made scarves for a beloved couple about to get married.  I'll post the full deets when they've said their I Do's, but here's a little sneak peek.  

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stormy Seas Treasury

I'm totally digging this treasury.  Look at all that lovely turquoise!  Don't you think gray and turquoise look lovely together?  I can't get enough.
It doesn't hurt that Scarf 19 is one of my most favorite scarves - the two grays are a special alpaca blend that are super soft and squishy.  It's also super long.  And of course, there's the turquoise.

It's only 79 degrees in Austin right now, which is approximately 30 degrees cooler than the hottest temperatures of the past week.  Not exactly scarf weather (even I can admit that).  But just today the wind began to blow, the clouds turned a little darker, and suddenly it felt . . . cool.  Yes, when you're used to triple digits, 79 actually feels cool.  The sky was gray, the breeze was reminiscent of the ocean, and then I came home and saw this treasury, the perfect picture of what I'd been feeling.

I can't stay inside a moment longer - I have to go for a walk to gaze at the clouds and fully appreciate this all-too-fleeting moment of cool.  I hope that wherever you are the weather is doing something nice, giving you a fresh breath of whatever you've been craving.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Make Good Art

The best advice, given by Neil Gaiman in a graduation speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and illustrated by Gavin Aung Than.  I encourage clicking through to see the rest of this comic on zenpencils (it's funny - you'll like it!) and viewing the commencement address on vimeo.  

You know that making good scarves was instrumental to my recovery when things got tough last year. And now I find that making things - art or craft, good or bad - is always a great tool to lift my mood and help me center, no matter what the problem.

The other secret weapon against tough times is to do something nice or helpful for someone else.  Bonus if you can make good art for someone else.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Headband

My favorite niece is turning seven today.  Seven!  What a great age!  To honor her birthday I did something I never do:  I followed a pattern.  In all my creative pursuits - cooking, knitting, crocheting, collage -  I usually make things up or modify an existing recipe heavily.  Weaving usually requires a lot of planning and math, but with my table loom it's very intuitive - very let's-see-how-this-goes - which suits me perfectly.  

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I pin a lot of craft projects, but the honest truth is that I rarely make them.  Sometimes I riff off an idea, sure, but I rarely follow the pattern.  Then along came Maya Donnenfeld's new book, Reinvention.  You may recognize Maya's hugely popular coffee bean bins, which were a hit on etsy and led to her developing the patterns for this book.  All the projects use materials that had a previous life, from jeans and vintage linens to tyvek mailers.  I want to make about half of them, but I probably won't because, well, you know.  I don't follow patterns.

 But with a new seven-year-old in the making, I simply couldn't resist the allure of these sweet little Blossom Bands, as Maya calls them.  They're made from old t-shirts, which of course I just happen to have on hand (being the craft hoarder that I am), and stitched together by hand.  I mostly followed the pattern exactly as it's written, though I couldn't resist a little customization in the addition of some glow-in-the-dark yarn.  Who can resist glow-in-the-dark yarn?Here's the present all wrapped up and ready to go with another little t-shirt pom-pom on top.  Happy my-favorite-niece's-seventh-birthday to you all! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Dad, Padre, Papa by Natalie Kasif

I just couldn't wait to share this gorgeousness.  Do you see that birch journal in the second row?  So lovely.   I'm also loving the old-school-meets-high-tech elements, like the typewriter iPad stand and the distressed iPhone case.
Click on the caption to go to the treasury page and see all this gorgeousness up close.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Turn Old Newspapers Into Scarves

Photo courtesy of Emma Jeffery on Spoonflower

That was the subject line of an email from Spoonflower, the custom fabric printing service, and you can bet it caught my attention!  Spoonflower takes any image you upload and prints it on a variety of different fabrics.  This one is printed on silk, designed as a decorative (rather than winter) scarf.  The designer had a newspaper from the day her mother was born, so she scanned the images, arranged them in photoshop, and uploaded them to Spoonflower to make this scarf.  Voila!
See the full tutorial and all the original images on the Spoonflower Blog.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Place Mats

Yep, you read that right.  Place mats.  I've been commissioned to make custom place mats for a friend of my mother-in-law.  She has a set of sturdy cotton place mats that she's had for twenty years, but the colors are all wrong for her current decor.  She gave me this swatch and asked me to make place mats to match it.  I spent a good two hours with Suzanne, the owner of Hill Country Weavers, matching the yarn and calculating how much is needed of each color.  The colors to the left will be the most dominant and those on the right will be accents, just like the swatch.  The swatch is a plaid and the place mats will be more of an asymmetrical stripe.  What do you think?

It's doubtful that I will get to this project any time soon, but I couldn't wait to share it with you.  The brown and gray houndstooth scarf that I showed you at the end of April is still on the loom.  I've had two bad bouts with poison ivy in the past two months, the second which had my eyes swollen shut.  Between these episodes I've been catching up on work and haven't had as much time for weaving.

I had a vague idea a few months ago that I might try to complete all 100 scarves within a year, which would mean making 38 more scarves by August 1st.  I don't think that is going to happen, and I'm okay with that. Besides, place mats do not count as scarves and I do want to prioritize this project.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Treasury Time Is Here Again

I'm just loving the colors in these spring treasuries.  I'm biased, of course, but each treasury seems so perfectly crafted to show off the colors of my scarves.  Those luscious, mossy greens and fluffy creams.  Sigh.

Don't you just love how the yellow chevron pillows call out to Scarf 29, in all its yellow and white houndstooth glory?  And get a load of those teals and grays.  Those teals and grays are probably my favorite.  Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Thank you, fellow Etsians, for wrapping my scarves up in prettiness.

Moss by meaicp
Treat mama well... by Claudia Aguilar
Mix And Match by oneperfectday

Teal and Grey Scale by Luke Kelly

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