Turquoise Cowl inspired by project in Kismet book, December 2017

February 4, 2018 by pmffadmin

Sett sample for Louisa Harding Noema, Block Island Blend and 8/2 Homestyle Cotton bought at Halcyon June 2015 (https://halcyonyarn.com/).

I used my 8 sett Purl and Loop Swatchmaker acrylic loom (https://purlandloop.com/) to make a sample to determine the sett for the cowl itself.

Warp: Noema 5. Block Island Blend 3. Alternated Noema and BLB 4 ends each. 2 BLB. Alternated Noema and 2 ends used as one turquoise 8/2 for 4 working ends each. 2 more working ends turquoise. Alternated 5 Noema and dk turq 8/2 (2 ends as 1). End 3 working ends dk turq. Not sure which blue the Block Island Blend is.

Weft. Aimed for 8 picks per inch. Started with 8 Louisa Harding Noema (discontinued). Then 12 dk turquoise doubled. 8 turquoise doubled. 16 Block Island Blend. 8 Noema to end.

turq woven and knit cowl sett sampler and yarns                turq woven and knit cowl sett sampler

I was originally planning a woven scarf, but decided to do a variation on the Wine & Roses cowl in the Kismet book now available as a pdf (https://hillcountryweavers.com/products/kismet-book).  I used a multicolor yarn for the knit section, rather than a solid color. My yarns are finer than the ones they used in their project.  I used my 10″ Schacht Cricket loom (https://schachtspindle.com/item/cricket-loom/, available from many sources.

My inspiration project (designed by Suzanne Middlebrooks):

kismet wine and roses cowl pic from book

I loosely followed the yarn mix of the sample when I warped and wove the fabric panel for the cowl. The actual cowl took up a bit more after wet finishing than the sample—I think I was a bit more aggressive with it, and I have read that the closer the sample is in width to the planned project size, the more accurate the measure of take up. My woven panel took up about 10% both in width and length.

The scarf was just over 2 yards long after wet finishing and attaching the knit and woven panels with big yellow plastic flower buttons. I had hemstitched each end of the woven panel and left fringe of about 1 inch. I overlapped the woven and knit panels by about an inch and sewed them together by sewing the buttons through both panels. The woven panel is just over 5 inches wide and the knit panel just over 4 (I knew it would be less wide as the pattern is a rib variation, but didn’t try to exactly match the width).

The knit panel uses Yarn Harlot’s One Row Scarf pattern that she blogged about using handspun (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2006/10/12/one_row_handspun_scarf.html). This is a rib variation, so compresses some in width. It is also reversible, which makes it nice for a cowl where you will see both sides of the fabric. I used a largish needle for the yarn so it is drapey (I used a 5; I nearly always use 1 size smaller than called for in a pattern to get gauge).

sample turn cowl kismet inspired dec 2017


closeup of turq cowl kismet inspired de 2017

I am quite pleased with my cowl—I like the colors, the texture and the big yellow buttons. I’m not a snazzy dresser as you can see in the picture, so draping the cowl is not my specialty.

For the future: I have enough of all the yarns left to make a matching bag or something else. I also plan to make more projects inspired by the Kismet book, probably using some of my handspun.

nancy wearing kismet inspired cowl dec 2017   turq woven and knit cowl full pic

Pink/Purple Handspun Rigid Heddle Panel, January 2018

January 31, 2018 by pmffadmin


I was scheduled to demo for my guild at a local history museum on Saturday, January 27, 2018. I have demoed there before, and it’s a lovely little museum with very nice employees and volunteers. There’s no guarantee how many people will stop by, so any of us who are demoing bring a project. I always bring my 10 inch Cricket warped, my Dr. Who lunchbox with a couple of spindles and fiber, and samples of handspun, woven items and knit items. Whoever is demoing sets up on the porch, as the inside of the museum is full of things to look at. My guild provides a demo loom with a warp on it and quite a few samples of woven items. There was also a lovely display of 1900 ish gowns, quilts from a local group, embroidery, and items on permanent display from the local area.

I warped my 10 inch Schacht Cricket loom on Friday, in the driveway, so I could direct warp without the assistance of cats (they are just TOOOOO helpful). It was a very breezy day, and the yarns kept blowing and catching on various parts of the loom or the slats of the roll up wooden tables I use. It took me about twice as long to warp as it would have taken if it hadn’t been breezy!

I had been thinking about what yarns to use, and hadn’t decided until it was time to put SOMETHING on the loom. I decided to use a variety of balls of handspun in pinks and purples that I had spun and plyed a few years ago. The yarns weren’t remotely the same size, fiber or twist. Some of the yarn was a fine fingering/lace weight and overplyed in spots. Some was a 2 ply with very soft spots, held together overall because I had plyed the softer ply with a well-twisted merino/tencel blend. While they weren’t the greatest examples of my spinning, all the yarns coordinated! I had wool (mostly Merino), a Merino/tencel blend, a Merino/bamboo blend, probably some BFL, a small batt of mixed fibers and colors and a blend that had some silk in it as well. Naturally this was spun before I started (mostly) keeping track of labels for fiber so I would know what I had after it was spun. As I still don’t consistently log how much yardage I end up with, documentation is a work in progress.

I used a 10 dent rigid heddle and started playing with the warp yarns. I was hoping that mixing yarns across the warp, including whether or not I used two very fine threads in one dent or hole vs a much larger yarn in a dent or hole, would even things out after wet finishing. It was fun (other than untangling things in the breeze) and the colors were pretty when it was warped. I missed a hole or two during my initial threading, and simply used a yarn from a nearby slot with doubled threads.

cricket warped with pink purple handspun jan 2018

I learned something I “knew” intellectually but hadn’t experienced before: when you mix yarns that don’t have much recovery/sproingyness (yes, I made that up) with yarns that are very springy, you won’t get a shed if you don’t pull all the yarns very firmly as you wind on. It took me 4 tries and a hand cramp to properly tension the warp so I had a clean down shed as well as a clean up shed. There were a few minutes when I thought about giving up and cutting out the bouncy yarns….

I also remembered why I shouldn’t put that wide a warp on the loom. The sticks and paper I use are 10 inches wide, which is really just barely long enuf for a warp that is over 9 inches wide—at least, the way I wind on. I had a couple of ends that slipped off the paper when I loosened the warp for travel (yes, I know that some people never loosen their warp, but I haven’t tried that yet). I was happy I had my trusty S hooks of different sizes (weights). One of the other two guild members demoing with me is a recent rigid heddle owner, and she really liked the S hook idea. I don’t remember where I first saw them used, so can’t give proper credit. (She is an experienced multi-harness floor loom weaver, does gorgeous bead weaving, and has taken many, many classes to try out different techniques.)

The warp was about 2 ¾ yards long and just over 9 inches wide. I decided to start using the finer yarns as weft and see how far they went, and use the thicker yarns as needed towards the end of the warp. I was really expecting that the cloth would have lots of texture from the springy yarns shortening a lot more than the finer, less springy yarns. I was planning to use the fabric to make a bag to use at future demos to explain how different yarns behave differently after wet finishing. I had about equal amounts of a pale but bright pinky coral yarn, and a purple yarn with bright and intense sections. Both had bits of other colors from the blends I used. The heavier yarns had a wider range of color, including bits of white from tencel only sections.

first few inches pink purples rh jan 2018


closeup pink purple rh fabric jan 2018

another closeup pink purple rh jan 2018

I wove some stripes of different lengths, and just kept going. By the end of the demo, I had woven off about 2/3 of the warp. I really liked the colors, and everyone who saw it liked the colors (although not everyone was a pink/purple person). I did a basic hemstitch at the beginning and end of the weaving. As I assumed it would be unsuitable as a scarf/wrap, I only protected an inch or so of fringe.

I finished weaving the next day, weaving right up to the end of the warp. At the end I used the heavier, textured yarn that had at least one ply spun from the batt. I have a small ball of the heavier yarn left. Off the loom the woven fabric was just over 2 yards long, and 9 inches wide.  You can see the texture in the panel off the loom, before wet finishing.

end of pink purple rh warp jan 2018

most of pink purple rh panel

On Monday January 29, I put the fabric panel in very warm water with Eucalan wool wash I have had for years. Tons of color ended up in the water, which reminded me that there had been a lot of excess dye when I originally wet finished the yarn. I did three more passes with very warm water and a bit of Eucalan, adding a color catcher at the end. Very little color attached to the color catcher, so I called it good enough. I squished out as much water as possible in a towel, and then laid it out on doubled towels on my bed (away from cats) to dry. I changed the towels twice, and even set up a fan to blow on it some. After four hours it was nearly dry, so I hung it over a hanger to complete drying over night.

Amazingly, the fabric didn’t take up in weird and wonderful ways, given the differences in stretch/recovery of the yarns. I expected the prior wet finishing of the skeins would limit how much it would change due to simply being exposed to water. In fact, the fabric is smooth, feels wonderful with the tencel, bamboo and silk, and is fairly soft. Those overspun bits didn’t affect the overall fabric much. It has a lot of drape, and is really not suited to be a tough bag fabric if I actually wanted to use the bag. Now I need to think about what it will become. I can always spin more coordinating yarn to add to the panel, altho I might have a small skein of yarn that will coordinate in my stash of “spun for fun” yarn.

Finished size: just under 2 yards in length, and an average of 8.5 inches in width, varying from 8.25 to 8.75.

Side 1 full length and a bit of a closeup

pink purple washed s1           pink purple washed s1 closeup

Side 2 full length and a bit of a closeup

pink purple washed s2      pink purple washed s2 closeup

Crocheted Bag with Lucet Cord, January 2018

January 19, 2018 by pmffadmin

This bag was inspired by one of the cords I made for my short Lucet demo at the 2018 Orlando Distaff Day. The yarn was spun and plyed at a demo I did for my weaving (and other fibery stuff) guild, the Weavers of Orlando (http://weaversoforlando.org/) (just celebrated our 75th anniversary). Some of the yarn was from Porkchop’s fleece (Romney blend) and the rest was bits and pieces of things to add color (probably mostly Corriedale). I liked the colorful cord, so decided it needed a bag. I also needed more yarn, as I didn’t have a lot of the colorful yarn or of the Porkchop brown by itself.

I had just spun 2 ounces of a Louet wool/mohair/bamboo blend, Rosewood colorway, that I had won at the guild’s holiday luncheon raffle (you put your tickets in the bag corresponding to an item you would like to win). I pulled it off in staple lengths and spun from the tip to blend the colors. I chain-plyed. It made a sturdy yarn (we’re not talking merino and kid mohair), and ended up being about the same “size” in general as the cord yarn.

rosewood fiber for crocheted bag on spindle

I decided to (1) use some of the basic Porkchop brown for the base of the bag, (2) use some of the more colorful demo yarn at the bottom of the straight part of the bag, (3) put all the Rosewood blend yarn in the middle, and (4) do the top and drawstring row with the remaining colorful demo yarn. I did not use a pattern—I decided to do this while watching the Orlando Magic lose yet another game (not their best season so far). I used a crochet hook I thought would make a sturdy fabric and started with 6 stitches using what I think is Emily Ocker’s method I learned from Elizabeth Zimmerman many moons ago. I did 2 single crochets in each stitch, and continued to increase (after a couple of rows I pulled up the starting end to close the hole). I mostly followed the sc in first stitch, 2 in next stitch around, increasing one additional sc before increasing for each row. My base is generally flat, and mostly circular, and I quit when I thought it would make a good base and I would be able to make a “tall enough” bag with the remaining yarn. If I ran out, I could always look thru my other short bits of demo and practice yarn. I didn’t mark the beginning of the round (too lazy to find the proper type of marker), my yarn was not perfectly consistent, and I was making the bag for fun…therefore, the base is not perfectly flat and not perfectly circular. The yarn is rustic, and so is the bag!

I crocheted around and around, changing yarns as I had “planned” until I decided it was time to put in the drawstring “holes” and finish it off. No, I did not count out the stitches around the circle and make the holes evenly distributed, I estimated. For each drawstring hole, I skipped a stitch and did 2 chains. For the next row, I did one sc in each ch2 space. I did a couple of additional rows, and stopped. I crocheted about half the bag the first night, did a little while riding in the car doing errands the next day, and finished it that night. (Front of bag with lucet, back of bag, to show color difference)

front of crocheted bag with lucet jan 2018

back of crocheted bag jan 2018

I threaded the cord thru the drawstring holes. I hadn’t made the cord any particular length, but it’s enough for the bag (about a yard, without weight on it; will be longer with things in the bag to weigh it down). I decided I will add a button to connect the beginning and end of the cord, and to the midpoint of the cord. That way I can pull on the buttons to open and close the bag. I need to see if I happen to have suitable buttons in my button stash (if only it was all in one place to make this easy), or if I will need to buy some. I hope to use some I already have, as that would keep with the goal of using “stash”….

closeup of lucet cord jan 2018

My completed bag is about 15” in circumference, and 10 inches tall from the base to the top of crocheted fabric.

What did I learn from this project: I can indeed create a bag that I like by “winging it”. It reminded me that fiber and yarn doesn’t have to be next-to-the-neck soft to be useful. I have a bag to demonstrate the use of lucet cord.

Idea for the future as a result of doing this project. For another bag I’m thinking I could make a sturdier base if I crochet 2 circles, sc them together and work the base from there. I could also embellish the bag with more cord (similar to icord embellishments).

Distaff Day Orlando 2018

January 8, 2018 by pmffadmin

Note: naturally I forgot to take pictures all day!

My spinning group now organizes the annual Orlando, Florida Distaff Day event. Next year will be our 15th anniversary, and we are already pondering what we might do for a theme…

We had a cold start to the day for Central Florida—38 degrees F at 7 a.m. It was exciting at the house before I left—my husband had to do a major drain clean in one side of the kitchen sink and fix a leak. We “thanked” the cats for telling us about it, as they frantically messed with the sink. Apparently they thought the smell was just wonderful. Human opinion was otherwise…

People were asking to enter the meeting room at least one half hour before official opening time, while vendors were still setting up. Next year: Three people instead of two will work the registration desk first thing! We ended up with a great turnout of 111 paid entrants (we even had a toddler who had a wonderful time all day, giving his mother a chance to have a basic knitting class and time to practice).

Our location allows us to bring food, coffee pots, etc. The food selection was abundant and varied, and the last minute addition of hot cocoa was a big hit, given the temperature outside. I ended up finishing off a box of chocolate covered potato chips at the end of the day – there is a bonus for helping clean up!

I was scheduled to provide a short demo on lucets, and discovered that one of the vendors had made a few. I just had to buy one for myself to be able to tell people if it was nice to use (definitely a yes). Bonus: very reasonably priced! I have provided a handout listing some basic info about lucets, books, videos, etc. As I say in the handout, usually I can teach myself from a book, but with the lucet I needed to check out a video to see what people were doing with their hands to make sure my method wasn’t totally inefficient. I prefer to try something with a book, then take a class or observe someone who is good at the technique and have them offer feedback about what I’m doing rather than watch Youtube, but I have reconciled myself to the fact that I will have to sit at the computer or practice a lot more with using my Roku to access Youtube on the TV. I have many spinning and weaving dvds, but haven’t seen one for lucets yet.


Lucet Information

Swatching with my Handspun

November 6, 2017 by pmffadmin


Begun about September 10, finished September 17 2017 (part of my Hurricane Irma fibering).

Inspired by the September Challenge in the Akerworks group on Ravelry (https://www.ravelry.com/account/login), I decided to spin my 1 oz of Electric Eel colorway merino on my Electric Eel 5 wheel (https://www.dreamingrobots.com/products/electric-eel-wheel-5?variant=27234518278), chain ply it, and then swatch. I also wanted to try my Swatch Maker (https://purlandloop.com/) small looms which I bought to use to sample my handspun. I spun while watching a dvd, so my consistency isn’t bad, but isn’t great either (it’s handspun!). I always buy a fun colorway from Rebecca (sunshineknitter on Ravelry, dyes fiber as Long Dog Fibers) when I see her at fiber events, and loved the coincidence of buying Electric Eel fiber just before I learned about the Electric Eel 5 Kickstarter and ordered one!

fiber label for electric eel merino

The chain plying went fairly well, as I set the speed to be quite low to allow for fiddling with the singles to make the loops. I wet finished the yarn using a few drops of fiber wash, rinsed, and spun out most of the water using a salad spinner. I then hung the small skein on a plastic hanger to finish drying.

Pics show top and bottom of the one ball to see the full range of colors.  Nope, forgot to take a pic of the fiber braid  before spinning!

top of ball of 1 oz electric eel merino chain plyed

bottom of ball of 1 oz electric eel merino chainplyed

I started by knitting a sample of stockinette using a long run of gray, and switched to Old Shale when the colors showed up in the yarn. I haven’t knit with my handspun for a while, and really enjoyed it.

I used a American #6 needle (I nearly always use one size smaller than called for in patterns).

Pic of entire swatch:

knit sample of stock plus old shale

and closeup:

closeup of old shale ee merino sample

I warped the 8 dent Swatch Maker loom with more of the EE yarn, and then woven plain weave aiming for about 8 picks per inch, ending up with more like 7.5 overall. I really like the loom, and will definitely do more swatching with it and the 10 and 12 dent ones. I also have Liz Gipson’s small book introducing swatching (https://purlandloop.com/collections/books/products/a-weavers-guide-to-swatching). The warp that is left when you cut the sample was just right for making knots to hold the ends and have a short fringe. This made an open fabric.

weaving on swatch maker loom

entire ee merino woven sample 8 dent

I copied both swatches using my printer, which copies to size. Then I wet finished both of them, again with a few drops of fiber wash and rinsing. I patted the knit swatch out and let it air dry on a hand towel out of range of cats. I fulled the woven sample by swishing it in the warm slightly soapy water for approximately 2 or 3 minutes total. I stopped when I liked the look of the fabric, rinsed it, removed water using the salad spinner again (wouldn’t do this with a large chunk of fabric), and laid it to dry on a towel. I switched out the hand towel a couple of times to help it dry faster.

fulled sample with gauge

When the knit swatch dried, it hadn’t changed size. The fulled woven sample is quite a bit smaller, as is shown where it is placed on top of the printout of the unwashed swatch. I trimmed the fringe a little for neatness and to make it easier to see the size change.

fulled woven sample compared to prewashed size

I like the feel of the fabric–it isn’t firm, but it isn’t open any more. This has reminded me I need to be more careful about labeling my handspun fiber content, as I haven’t always made a note about superwash or not. I would definitely change the sett and picks per inch if it had been superwash and wouldn’t full much, if at all.

Note to self:  need to learn more about photos, as the same camera pic posted to Ravelry looks much sharper on Ravelry.

Hurricane Irma Spinning, 2017

November 3, 2017 by pmffadmin

Prepping for Irma, trying not to worry too much during Irma, and dealing with the aftermath of Irma basically took 2 weeks. We were lucky not to lose any big trees (need to take a couple of the big pines down, as one is definitely leaning more), and only lost power for a day. Long enough to have to toss the kitchen fridge/freezer stuff, but not enuf to need to toss the garage freezer stuff. Too bad I didn’t think to move the kitchen freezer stuff into the other one before we lost power. We still have the plywood in one van, instead of returned to the storage place, as the elevator is still out of order. We had so much rain that the lake across the road from the storage place spread and filled in the elevator shaft area to a depth of at least 6 feet. The water also flooded the first floor of two of the buildings—I think it actually went over the road for a bit. Not pretty!

Update: 7 weeks after Irma, still no elevator at storage place….

I decided to pick some fiber to spin to distract myself in the last hours of waiting for Irma, continued some while the power was out, and finished off the second braid of fiber in the first few days as distraction for the clean up (we still haven’t finished dealing with everything in the backyard). I picked out a gorgeous braid of 85% Superwash BFL/15% nylon in the Rainbow Connection colorway from Mad Color Fiber Arts. The colors were so pretty and suited my goal of distraction perfectly. It spun nicely and feels quite soft. I spun it on my Lendrum and chain plyed it on my Electric Eel 5. I divided it in half (close to halves), ending up with two skeins of the gradient-style yarn, just under 200 yards of sport/dk ish yarn.

irma fiber label 2017

rainbow connection irma yarn

I had time left to distract myself, so I rummaged thru my stash to find a braid I had dyed at my spinning/dyeing/weaving/knitting sister’s house (the other sister doesn’t spin/weave yet) that had very similar colors. That one isn’t divided quite as neatly in half. It is missing a bright green, but otherwise has similar colors, although the blue and purple are somewhat lighter shades. I ended up with one skein of just over 100 yds, and the other is about 75 yards.

rainbowy irma yarn dyed at sue house

In all I have 4 skeins, 8 1/8 ounces, approximately 375 yards total of sport/dk yarn. I’m pondering a suitable post Irma project. I’m thinking about knitting something, but I could weave with it. I have several fairly large (mostly triangle style) shawls I’ve knit from my handspun, and don’t wear them as often as I should (it’s central Florida and I often just toss an old Lands End cotton cardigan in the van for dealing with over air conditioned buildings).

I do like fingerless mitts and an occasional scarf, so that might be the way to go. Knit both? Knit mitts and weave scarf? I don’t really have a nice pair of mittens for the occasional suitable cold morning/evening, so maybe I should do that, and/or a cowl.

Maker Faire Report November 2017

November 3, 2017 by pmffadmin

We had a lot of fun at the Maker Faire! We had a count of 338 weft picks (most done by kids and some adults) on Saturday and 266 on Sunday. This resulted in about 2 yards of 13” wide fabric, after wet finishing. There was only one weft pick that had a long float that we didn’t catch before I cut the panel off the loom—the many weavers and I did an excellent job of noticing when the shuttle didn’t pass thru the shed nicely.  The solid color weft was Caron Simply Soft yarn (solids) and Bernat’s Dippity Dots (has “dots” of fiber; I bought a dozen skeins when it was discontinued at Jo-Ann’s summer 2016).  The warp was nearly 14″ wide, using a 12 dent rigid heddle and 2 strands of 8/2 cotton used in each slot and hole.

Woven at Maker Faire:

mf 2017 faire fabric panel


mf 2017 closeup faire fabric

Everything actually worked well, including sending the count to the cloud using the Particle Photon. I was happy to see many girls who were interested in both the weaving and the Arduino/RFID/Photon to the cloud stuff. Several boys were as interested in the weaving as the computer part. One father was delighted to see the Particle Photon aspect, as he had recently bought Photons and other supplies to work with his two daughters on computer projects.

I finished weaving off the warp with a single strand of the 8/2 cotton, using the warp yarn and a pink and multicolor, textured yarn I had on hand. I’m thinking about using the fabric woven at the MF to cover a Tidy Cat bright yellow litter bucket with handle—it will serve as a sample of what can be done with RH woven fabric. Not my idea, tho—the chair of the guild Demo Committee covered one she brings to our demos with prior demo fabric.

I have just over a yard of 12” wide lighter fabric woven with the 8/2. I could make a dress or skirt and top for an American Girl doll to show at demos. That will give me an idea about that weight fabric for a top for me in the future.

Fabric folded to show the various sections:

mf 2017 82 panel folded to show all colors


mf 2017 closeup 82 fabric

Short list of spinning and weaving resources for 2017

October 20, 2017 by pmffadmin

Local ones are for the Central Florida Area.  If you’d like to take a multiday class in Mid-March in central Florida, check out the Florida Tropical Weaver’s Conference (ftwg, on the list).

Spinning and Weaving Sources, 2017

1. Drunken Monkey Spinners Ravelry group (https://www.ravelry.com/account/login ). Group meets at the Drunken Monkey coffee shop (http://www.drunkenmonkeycoffee.com/) at the corner of Bumby and Amelia in Orlando on the first Saturday of each Month from 8 – 11 a.m. We are ready to do a quick “introduction to spindle spinning” class or demonstrate wheel spinning.

2. Weavers of Orlando (http://www.weaversoforlando.com/). Meets the third Saturday of the month, has workshops, an annual sale, and an extensive library. Ask about demos.

3. Florida Tropical Weavers Guild (http://www.ftwg.org/). Statewide guild. Has an annual conference in mid-March where you can take a variety of classes and shop for supplies.

4. Distaff Day is typically the first Saturday in January. It’s a fun get together with some vendors (http://orlandodistaffday.org/). The Drunken Monkey spinners coordinate this now.

5. Florida Fiber In (http://nomadicfiber.yolasite.com/) is the third weekend in September. Free mini classes, vendors and lots of room to get together and spin, knit, crochet, weave, chat and more!

6. A local shop has basic spindle and fiber kits and offers rigid heddle weaving classes and supplies (https://fourpurls.com/).

7. Online sources of spinning and weaving tools and supplies—there are many! Here’s a few that have a variety of items: The Woolery ((http://www.woolery.com/store/pc/home.asp), Paradise Fibers (http://www.paradisefibers.com/ ), Spunky Eclectic (http://www.spunkyeclectic.com/), Susan’s Spinning Bunny (http://www.spinningbunny.com/), Turtlemade on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/TurtleMade).

8. Online and print spinning information—there are many, many sources of info. Interweave (www.interweave.com) publishes books, magazines, and digital products. Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) is an online craft portal for sharing information about fiber crafts. Craftsy (www.craftsy.com) is a terrific source for online classes and patterns. Spinoff and Handwoven magazines (www.interweave.com). PLY magazine (http://plymagazine.com/ ). YouTube and Facebook.

9. Blogs: http://www.yarnycurtain.com/, http://www.postmodernfiberfun.com/ .

Maker Faire 2017 — it’s almost here!

October 20, 2017 by pmffadmin

We are nearly ready for set-up later today, and the Maker Faire Orlando tomorrow and Sunday.  “Weave your way to the internet of things” involves weaving on Reggie, my Schacht Flip rigid heddle loom, using stick shuttles with RFID sticker tags on one end.  The Adafruit reader is mounted on an Arduino on the right side frame of Reggie.  There is a long 1 x 2 mounted to the left side of the stand frame which has an led sign showing Picks: and the current total number of weft picks.  The info is sent from the Arduino via a wire across the botton of the frame/floor.  A Particle Photon (built in wifi for easy IoT things) also receives the info which is sent to a public page on Thingspeak (Particle provides demo webhook setup).  I am officially taking the class my husband is teaching on Embedded Computing, and doing a reasonable amount of this myself.  The key to embedded projects is that many wonderful people have provided sketches/programs for use/editing by anyone who wants to, plus details and youtube videos on projects they have made.  A big thank you to Adafruit and Sparkfun, where we bought many necessary items, and to Skycraft, a terrific Central Florida resource.

this "reads" the rfid tags on the stick shuttle

this “reads” the rfid tags on the stick shuttle

reggie with shuttle in shed cropped

Anyone who wants to weave (or can be bullied into weaving) will receive the basic instructions on the sequence for weaving, so that rfid sticker end of the shuttle “taps” the clear protective setup for the reader at the proper time.  The way things are set up, the reader won’t see/record a tag unless it has finished showing the updated count on the display.  As it takes a few seconds to fiddle with the weft and beat, the weaver won’t be inconvenienced at all.

Other members of the Weavers of Orlando and Drunken Monkey Spinners (check us out in Ravelry) will be demonstrating spinning and (maybe) helping me with the showing people how to weave part….

I have updated the weaving and spinning resources handout for 2017 and will post that as well.

Spinning and Weaving Sources, Oct 2016

October 20, 2016 by pmffadmin

1. Drunken Monkey Spinners Ravelry group (https://www.ravelry.com/account/login ). Group meets at the Drunken Monkey coffee shop at the corner of Bumby and Amelia in Orlando on the first Saturday of each Month from 8 – 11 a.m. We are ready to do a quick “introduction to spindle spinning” class or demonstrate wheel spinning.

2. Weavers of Orlando (http://www.weaversoforlando.com/). Meets the third Saturday of the month, has workshops, an annual sale, and an extensive library. Ask about demos.

3. Florida Tropical Weavers Guild (http://www.ftwg.org/). Statewide guild. Has an annual conference in mid-March.

4. Some local knitting shops have basic spindle and fiber kits and/or offer rigid heddle weaving classes and supplies.

5. Online sources of spinning and weaving tools and supplies—there are many! Here’s a few that have a variety of items: The Woolery ((http://www.woolery.com/store/pc/home.asp), Paradise Fibers (http://www.paradisefibers.com/ ), Spunky Eclectic (http://www.spunkyeclectic.com/), Susan’s Spinning Bunny (http://www.spinningbunny.com/), Turtlemade on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/TurtleMade).

6. Online and print spinning information—there are many, many sources of info. Interweave (www.interweave.com) publishes books, magazines, and digital products. Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) is an online craft portal for sharing information about fiber crafts. Craftsy (www.craftsy.com) is a terrific source for online classes and patterns. Spinoff and Handwoven magazines (www.interweave.com). PLY magazine (http://plymagazine.com/ ). YouTube and Facebook.

7. Blogs: http://www.yarnycurtain.com/, http://www.postmodernfiberfun.com/ .