Navajo Weaving Part II

I did take a Navajo weaving class in 2004, from a lady named Pearlene. She taught me from beginning to end, and told me that when I took my piece from the loom to send it to her and she would fix anything I made mistakes on and send it back. She lives in Shiprock NM. I never finished the piece because it looked like it was beyond repair, it is still on the loom.

This is where most of my "craft" projects usually end up. Having several finished pieces in the last 18 months or so is totally new for me.

Now that I know how to "block" a wool finished piece, I can see what Pearlene was talking about. I never blocked a piece in my life before the shawl I made for the daughter-in-law Christmas before last, that one almost went into the dark recesses of the closet to be thrown away at a later date, but after blocking, it was awesome if you don't mind me saying so myself!!

Now I hope to adapt what I learned in Navajo weaving with what I've done in knitting (short rows and picking up stitches) to make some native inspired pieces. CANNOT WAIT!!


Navajo Weaving and Knitting

I cannot believe I spent years avoiding wool yarn. Now that I'm knitting and felting the wool yarns are so wonderful to work with, I'm thinking I'll never go back. So many things I made the past had to be washable, now with washable wool, I'm set.

I found the nicest pattern in Creative Knitting magazine for an Asian table runner, could be a future project, made with Caron Simply Soft in red, with gold thread embroidery - it may be in my future.

I'm wanting to tackle a design in my head. It is Navajo weaving with knitting needles, it's up here and I'm about to get it drawn on paper, this is crude drawing of the bag I'm about to finish? Actually the Burnt Orange and Mustard Colors are reversed on the bag, as I had more mustard yarn. It is Patons Classic Wool Chestnut Tweed, the handle will be an I-Cord, heavy duty. this one will end up being about 8" wide 3" deep at the base and 11" tall. It's so awesome. Have to find a top loading washing machine to felt it on the road.


One of my favorite things.

I really have several favorite "things." My favorite people know who they are, I hope!!

A few of my favorite things are fields of wildflowers in bloom, trains, miniatures, weaving, pottery AND ...

Yesterday, in South Dakota, in a truck stop, the hubby came in to the convenience store to get me, he said, "Put down the Sprite and pretzels we'll come back and buy them in a minute, you have to come out here to see something."

I stepped out into the parking lot and there were several semi-trucks each with extremely large white (wide-load) items on them. At first glance, I knew I was seeing the Wind Mills, in pieces.

Each piece was larger than a double length semi-trailer and each piece had it's own escort vehicle. We had just passed a massive Wind Farm where the mills were being assembled, and I mentioned I'd love to see these up close. Well, we walked the length and width of one blade, and I couldn't say how long they were but as we were walking back to get my sprite more trucks convoyed in with the generators that go on the top, and they were larger than our camper ...

I know there is some controversy over these big guys, but my thoughts are if we can make energy for cities using these - depending on how long it takes to recup the cost of a wind farm - then why aren't we using them anywhere there is a constant wind? How can a wind farm mess up the view any more than casino billboards, oh my lands they are everywhere.

I want a windmill.


Denim is still popular.

The small one was my first denim purse.

This is my second denim bag. The first was for the hubby's sister, she wanted a small bag to carry her wallet shopping, the second was for his other sister, she wanted a market bag, large, large.

The large faux diamond ring was a trinket she gave to me years ago, now it decorates her Tote. The red heart trinket on the small handbag was my mother's costume jewelry, and just looked right on this bag.

This one would hold a laptop computer. It's a great market tote, or holds all those ring binders and papers for that business meeting. It is felted with SWS Patons Soy Wool Stripes Denim, Patons Classic Wool Denim two yarns alternated to make the stripes, knit from side to side like a large tube when the seam is stiched, then the bottom seam closed, with the straps felted and stiched to the bag.

These are 100% wool, but washable in cold water, lay flat to dry, etc. Very verstile. Now that I've gifted many people with these bags, I'm getting serious about my book of patterns and my etsy store, to sell these.


Weather in the Midwest

Well that's a first. After over 1100 miles on a motorcycle we arrived home late last night, dry. Although the sky had 3 thunderheads in it, the sun was low in the West so it showed through the clouds above an obvious cold front that was black on the horizon, with a perfectly strait white cloud horizontal to it above the thunderheads.

The sky was black dark at 6:30PM. We got zero drops of rain, had some wind, dodged some downed limbs, rode in this for well over an hour and got home dry. I cannot count how many times we've ridden our motorcycles in and out of rain all day or for the entire trip, finally get out of the weather during the trip, dry out, then run into horrible storms a few miles from home and arriving home totally drenched. Timing is everything, I guess. (These are Google Images pictures but really look a lot like what we were riding in yesterday.)


Global Warming, Continued.

Well, yesterday, I was blabbing about global warming, because of the heat, everywhere we travel (by motorcycle). Today is a global warming break!! Unlike the erie looking sky and deluge of rain two nights ago, last night was cool and quiet, kinda made up for the ponding effect outside our tent.

It is low 70's in the Upper Penninsula, and the clouds are like giant cotton balls, the breeze is just enough to blow the mosquitos away, I'm calling it a bonus day.
On this bonus day, I'm using wireless at the campground to find Berroco Sox yarn to start an awesome project for Christmas in the Berroco Booklet 280. (It's for a certain 1 year old, (size 2 again). Cannot wait to find the yarn and get started. Wish boys were into knit items ... hmmm!! Got 4 of those and 3 men, think I'll stick to lady and baby girl stuff.
In a few days I'll be near a top loading washing machine so that I can felt the amazing denim tote that I've knit out of Patons Classic Merino and Patons SWS.
The next two days - lots of miles on the bike.


Storm of the Century and Record Heat, Global Warming and Fuel Costs

It just isn't fair.
It seems like if I wear rain gear the Sun comes out and walla! it's over 90 degrees, if I don't wear the rain gear, there goes the neighborhood, the clouds open up and pour out buckets. Well, this is the story of our last couple of days doing what was supposed to be about 500 miles and camping at night. Camping went well, got into the tent around 9:00 the first night just before the rain cut loose, 2nd night, well, at least got under the canope, but the hubby was several yards away in the bath house when it dumped - I mean the giant bucket was just over our campsite, well slightly from the southwest coming in a bit from the side, which we didn't know we were set up in a common PONDING area till 5 minutes into the deluge!! The new tent actually stayed dry. Let's just say there ain't been no knitting these last two days.


Knitting foopahs - Cast On 6 or 60? Where's the REMOTE? and Get me a Straw, Please.

If you spend that much time knitting it, you'd better be prepared to wear it.

At least there's an opening for my morning coffee and devotions.

The Advertising art of Vincent Fournier for MIR laundry detergent.
This is why I love the UK and Simply Knitting. Britains' Best Seller Knitting Magazine!!

Motorcycle Rally - Motorcycle Camping - Sport Touring

Motorcycles and Tents

Yep, take the tent and sleeping bags, the JetBoil coffee press, pack some changes of clothes and head out to campgrounds North of here, it's heating up in the MidWest!
This doesn't have a lot to do with knitting, but a lot to do with appreciating
the great outdoors, and packing light (well lighter than in a car, truck or camper).
Yep, out for 5 days and 1,000 plus miles, this time, but in September it's 3 weeks and probably close to 2500 miles. The last time I traveled like this (a few weeks ago, I took a spill because my bike was piled too high (top heavy) so this time the center of balance is lower, and less weight. (No I didn't diet.) On the road again...


New Web Page I Discovered

www.jimmybeanswool.com They have a great "Market Bag" that is knit and felted. Probably one of my next projects. I'm doing a LARGE bag similar in DENIM for Suzy, Suzy, Suzy. (Yep, can't say it once, it must be said 3 times.)

Knit While You Wait

I'm carrying the knitting more, in fact I'm designing a bag to carry my knitting. I hope to have a way to carry it on the motorcycle (while we TENT camp), over the next few weeks. I'm also still learning new techniques. LilSis wants to learn cables, she really has passed me up on knitting, though because she has incredibly fine tuned crocheting, and I've only recently taken up knitting.

Yep, I've strayed again.

The picture in my title bar above is not ME or MY SISTERS. Just an awesome picture of three ladies knitting.

I've strayed from knitting to make polymer clay pendants and beads to match two of my completed bags. I'm also making a special insert for one bag that I decided is a gift to someone who encouraged my on our cross-country motorcycle ride, Run For The Wall, this May. She had several inspiring words for me, and I recorded them to use for future reference ... back at you, Denise.

I certainly plan final pics of this!!


I actually have three bags ready to sell, although one may be a gift.

The three bags are done that I'll be listing on ETSY. One is a brown, russet, off-white stripe and it has the handmade polymer clay pendant and beads - this one is totally my design, so I still need to perfect the pattern. Made with Patons Classic Wool.

The Candy Corn bag I mentioned in this old post:


And one in SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) by Patons, the color is called PLUM, it's gorgeous, and my design also. These little items are rolling right along, and I'm doing price comparisons as I get ready to sell them. This one is the one that has the outside key and phone pockets ... it's small and very cute, the pattern is easy enough so I think the pattern on this one will really sell. Pictures in a few days.

Packing, Unpacking, and Closets

Well, I'm sure there is a service out there that cleans closets, or one of those organizing shows on T.V. they could come in and go through closets. It was decided this weekend to use a completely full closet in our house for a totally different purpose, thus goes the re-organizing of the chaos.

First of all I don't throw out the same things the hubby would throw out, so I go in first, save the marketable items (EBay here we go again), then he goes through the remnants. He doesn't debate what I list on EBay anymore because of my 100% positive feedback, and minimal success at clearing out items we would have tossed in a hurried move.

A lifestyle of traveling includes packing, unpacking and storing in a manner that you can pack again on the fly, ha!

Well, our re-packing looks more like a scavenger hunt than a planned trip. It means sitting down and remembering the last time we laid hands on the item we're planning to take along. We had a friend years ago who organized all of his hobbies, outings, school supplies (in college), etc. in milk crates. A trip meant going to that crate to pack, another adventure meant going to the hobby crate, he had one for skiing, camping, bicycling, backpacking, etc. Whew, I feel like I'm wasting big organizational moments just typing this.

Today, because we will be home for about 10 days, I'm trying to find closet space for every motorcycle jacket we've accumulated. One for very cold weather that plugs into the bike and heats up (actually two - one each), one each of rain gear, rain gear for cold weather, rain gear for extremely hot weather, hot weather cool vests, outer coats, light weight for hot weather, heavy for cold, that's one closet full right there, not to mention the leather chaps, the textile riding pants with armor (very bulky) and the rain gear that goes with each...whatever happened to traveling light?


Knitting with Double Pointed Needles

This is my next task. Learning to use these needles.
I THINK. Whew!!

I-Cord Making a Handbag Strap or Purse Handle

I remember learning to do this stitch with some kind of homemade spindle in Camp Fire Girls probably about 4th grade. Here's the step by step in video.


I usually use one strand of yarn for each color that is in the handbag to make a pretty sturdy i-cord. I-cords are like a braided rope when completed. If you plan to felt the i-cord make it 1/3 longer than the finished length you plan. if it needs to be 24" long add 8" before felting, it shrinks that much ... then stretch, stretch, stretch it so that it is back to 24" this makes the item very sturdy. ENJOY.

You can buy this poster.