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Monthly Archives: November 2010

I finished the NaNoWriMo novel and wove up a Bambu 7 scarf for a friend. Then the already-cut Araucania yarn beckoned. I found it in the sale bin at Tuesday Morning and wondered what it would look like woven. Sett at 8epi.

Araucania Knitting Yarn

Araucania Knitting Yarn

I used the bumpy yarn for the warp (3 skeins) and the smooth yarn for the weft (1.5 skeins). I know, that wouldn’t seem to make sense, but I wanted the bumpy yarn for the warp. I think it turned out fairly well, and will soon be winging its way to a relative for her birthday in December.

Araucania Knitting Yarn Shawl

Araucania Woven

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” – Frank Borman

Support your local independent businesses by shopping with them on Small Business Saturday rather than at a chain store on Black Friday.

If you spend $100 at a locally-owned business, $68 of that $100 stays in your community. Spent at a chain store, only $43 stays in your community. Shop online – nothing for your local economy.

One great way to shop local is with your local craft fairs. If you’re in the Denver Metro Area, there are some good ones coming up.

Nov 27 – Boulder
Joyful Furniture Artist Sale

Dec 3 & 4 – Denver
Holiday Handmade Alternative Craft Fair at Fancy Tiger

Dec 3 & 4 – Applewood/Golden
Jefferson Unitarian Church Holiday Arts and Craft Faire

December 4 – Boulder
Shining Mountain Waldorf School King Winter Faire

Nov 13 – Dec 30 – Golden
Foothills Art Center Holiday Art Market

“A machine has value only as it produces more than it consumes – so check your value to the community.” Martin H. Fischer

“You learn something every day if you pay attention.” – Ray LeBlond

Well, so much for that personal challenge. I buckled down and finished what I’m calling the Horrible Harlequin for NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in 21 days. I’ve potentially gotten that out of my system. Of course I introduced several characters that are crying out for their own book, and I’m not sure if I can wait until next November to write about them.

In the meantime, I missed a co-workers birthday because I wasn’t paying attention. Lovely. Just for that, she gets a purple and gray bamboo scarf. Bambu 7 in lavender and chrome I think. I sett it at too tight of an epi – 24epi instead of 20epi – because it was a twill. And because I wasn’t paying attention. It is a little stiffer than I’d like, even after throwing it in the dryer. I’ll hope that it softens up with use.

Bambu 7 at 24epi

Sett too close but still pretty!


“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver

I’m taking a short break from crafting after finishing the alpaca shawl last week. I have warp cut of some kettle-dyed Araucania knitting cotton I found half-price at Tuesday Morning, but it has to wait.

November is National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month

30 Days, 50,000 words

Trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’m at 26,000 and counting.

“Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.” – Don Delillo

As I typed earlier, I ran up to Switzer-land Alpacas and purchased two shawls worth of beautiful local alpaca.

Using an old pattern from Handweavers, I put a basic lace shawl onto the loom. I actually cut enough warp to make a wider shawl but it wouldn’t fit. Ah well, now I’ve got warp ready for a scarf!

Alpaca Lace Shawl

Snapped selvage and all - it is done!

My advice on weaving alpaca:
– If you are using a floating selvage, do not use alpaca for it. Get something like a soft but sturdy (not stretchy) cotton knitting yarn. As I progressed through this shawl, the floating selvage kept stretching out of shape and being an annoyance instead of a help.

– Pull the 2 inches on the edges tighter when you’re tying up the warp. As you weave, you’re going to be banging on the edges and they’ll stretch. If you’re like me, you’ll end up propping stacks of index cards between the back beam and the warp to tighten it enough to finish weaving the length of the warp.

This is the before picture, but you can see the lace already beginning to form. Solid black warp, heathered black and gray weft. Hopefully the recipient will find it cosy and comforting!

“Comfort was allowed to come to them rare, welcome, unsought: a gift like joy.” – Ursula K. LeGuin

The Handweavers Guild of Boulder has their annual sale this week.

November 3 – 7, 2010
10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Boulder County Fairgrounds
Hover Street and Nelson Road, Longmont

Having just spent several hours arranging scarves, shawls, hats, mittens, vests, hats made from dog hair and hand-dyed bandanas for dogs, and more I know just how much wonderful stuff in on sale. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and see what remarkable things these fiber artists have made.

“A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.” – Louis Nizer