2015 was such a crazy, full year! Some of it was bad (like one of my classes this semester, with a teacher who was hell bent on trying to fail everyone) but most of it was good (like finally upgrading to a baby grand piano!) I didn't do a lot of costuming this year (just the 1920s ensemble early in the year, the sheer Regency bonnet and red reticule over the summer, and a bit of patterning and fixing/re-fitting here and there throughout the year), and I only sewed a few everyday wearable items, but I still managed to somehow average more than three finished items per month! The majority of this was weaving and miscellaneous doll and craft projects. The weaving and small projects were easier to manage without neglecting school!
I also managed to learn a lot of new stuff this year! For one, I finally converted to continental style knitting. This was well worth the effort, because I can knit so much faster now, and switching between knit and purl stitches is a dream! No regrets on this one! I also made my first foray into quilting, finally got around to trying out using seam tape to bind inner edges (and this is now my favorite edge-finishing technique), and expanded my embroidery skill set to include sashiko and crewel embroidery (which are really just variations on the basic embroidery theme!) I even managed to work in a little jewelry-making, both out of necessity (needed specific stitch markers and a commute-friendly way to count rows, so made beaded stitch markers and a row-counting bracelet) and for fun (a fabulous 18c-early 20c stone necklace, which I'll blog about some day soon!) But by far the most exciting thing I did this year was go insane with weaving!
I bought a rigid heddle loom last fall and made a simple scarf on it, but wasn't until the summer of this year that something in my brain exploded and suddenly I had to weave ALL THE THINGS! Some of it, you've already seen on my blog, and I have several more scarves and projects to post about, (including my first adventures with pick-up sticks and double heddles), but most importantly, I learned to use a floor loom!!!
For the past three months, I've been taking a weekly class at a local weaving studio, and I've been making tartan!!!!!
The loom I was assigned was big and old, and exactly my cup of tea!
First up, warping on the warping board!
Next, the hundreds of ends went on the loom and had to be pulled through metal eyes in a specific order. This took forevvvvvver!
From the back, you can really see the pattern coming together. . .
And then. . . Pulling all the ends through more slots!
Finally, it was time to tie the ends onto the front rod. . .
And at long last, weaving!
It didn’t take long for me to find my groove with the weaving, and then I was zooming along!
And in no time, it was off the loom!
Success! My very first tartan! Major bucket list item checked off!
This is the MacFarlane hunting tartan (the clan I’m descended from), and the yarn is Nature Spun Fingering by Brown Sheep. I decided to finish my fringe by twisting the ends, like this. . .
I’m sorry to say, I haven’t quite finished it yet! I managed to twist the fringe along one side, but I’ve yet to do the other side. Holidays, then a family wedding, and now another holiday slowed me down a bit (but all good reasons to put the project aside, of course!) but hopefully I’ll complete this project this weekend!