Metric Conversion

Monday, March 30, 2009

Inkle Loom

As I was reading the latest issue of Handwoven one of the articles tells you how to make an inkle woven hat band. Pretty cool I thought, you know what’s even cooler. The article also tells you how to make an inkle loom. This loom is made out of PVC pipe. So the strength of a wooden loom may be missing. The only way to find out is to make one.

Since I don’t have an inkle loom I decided to do just that make one of these looms. Also since I do card weaving I was looking for a loom to use for that as well. I think I may have found it. So we shall see if this works out the way I’m hoping it will.

The first thing I did was cut all the pieces to length and marked them. Since you can take the loom apart for storage I wanted to mark all the pieces so I knew who went where when I put it back together.

Next I got the threaded rods step up with the nuts and washers to the correct places on the rod.

Then all I did was assemble the loom and it’s ready to go. The final thing for me to do is to warp the loom and try it out. I will be doing that later this week, or at least that is my goal.

This project cost me less then $20.00 for all the parts. I do remember reading on one of the Yahoo groups about a PVC warping board that was in a previous issue of Handwoven. There was some concern that it might not hold up to the high tension that it would receive. That may be true with this loom also, but since I don’t have an Inkle loom and I really can’t afford a pre made one. I figured I would try this out. Since the cost is minimal and it takes no time to make I don’t see the harm in experimenting with it.

Knitting 8

Here is this weeks knitting, well actually this weeks and last weeks. I found out, now that spring is here and I’m going to be outside more. Gardening manly I’m not going to be able too get all the knitting done that I have been. So I won’t be posting it as often. Unless of course we have a lot of rainy days this year that end up keeping me in doors a lot.

I was able to get 15 swatches knitted up so that isn’t too bad. So now I’m up to 75 completed swatches. Still a long way to go but I’m getting there.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Seeds Planted

Today was seed planting day. I got all my summer seeds sowed and in there warm little incubators so they can germinate. A total of 36 different varieties of plants in 4 flats of 72 cells per flat, that a total of 288 seeds that I sowed today that’s a lot. I do have a couple of more trays to plant yet one for the front yard of the house and one for a garden near the vegetable garden. I have to wait for the seed I planted today to germinate so I have room for the next two trays. Below I have a list of all the seeds I planted if you would like to check it out.

  • Delivious Tomato
  • Principe Borgehese Tomato
  • Chrimson Cushion Tomato
  • Amish Paste Tomato
  • French Marigold
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Nastrium
  • Pomigranate
  • Egg Plant
  • Dill
  • Cheese Pepper
  • Paprika Pepper
  • Cayanne Pepper
  • Hungerian Black Pepper
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Sesame
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Amaranth
  • Indigo
  • Woad
  • Henna
  • Weld
  • Dyers Broom
  • Fullers Teasel
  • Eucalyptus
  • 2 Variaties of Zinnia
  • Ipomosis Rubra
  • Kiss me over the garden gate
  • Snapdragon
  • Cosmos

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Natural dying

On one of the yahoo groups there was a discussion on soaking wood chips in alcohol. As I was reading, it reminded me that I had some wood chips soaking for six months. So I decided to do some test samples to see what I would get if anything from what I had soaking.

What I had soaking was nutmeg, hickory chips, apple wood chips and I remembered I had some mushrooms in the freezer as well. So I decided to do some dye experiments. I don’t remember were I herd or read this but someone uses small baby food jars when sampling. I liked the idea and decided I would try that for my experiments as well.

I did this for all four sample batches.

1 Made a mordant solution of each mordant (a pint of each mordant)

2 Made the dye bath

3 Placed the sample yarn, 1/4c of mordant solution and 3/4c of dye in each jar (one jar for each mordant)

4 Placed each sealed jar in a large pot of hot water (just like you do to process can goods)

5 Left the jars simmer in the water bath for and hour

6 After cooled I let them dry, rinsed, washed, rinsed again and let them dry.

So I had a total of seven jars one with no mordant added, alum, tin, copper, iron, vinegar and washing soda. The dye baths were simmered at 212 degrees and the water bath was at 202 degrees. I like the way this worked out and have decided to use this method again when I have new dye stuff later this year to try out.

The fun stuff that I’m going to try out this year after I get them growing is, henna, amaranth red dye, dyer’s broom, eucalyptus, French marigold, weld, bull’s blood beet. If you take a look below you will see the finished results.

This is Nutmeg from left to right no mordant, alum, tin, copper, iron, vinager.
This is Hickory wood from left to right no mordant, alum, tin, copper, iron, vinager and washing soda.
This is Apple wood from left to right no mordant, alum, tin, copper, iron, vinager and washing soda.
This is Mushroom from left to right no mordant, alum, tin, copper, iron, vinager and washing soda.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Children are here

My little seedling children arrived, If you believe this or not on Friday the 13th. Most of them took only three days to germinate, the celery and soap wart are being suborn in when they wish to be born. While I was checking in on everyone today I did notice what looked like some celery pocking through. So we will give it a few days to see what happens.

The first set of pictures are from last Friday when they started showing there little leaves. The second set of pictures was taken today. So they will be a week old tomorrow and are doing really well.

In the nest few days I will be getting the rest of my seed in the ground so they can sprout. These seeds will be the summer veggies. Such as tomatoes, peppers, herbs, ect. As they grow and develop I will blog about them as well.

Knitting 7

Here we are close tot the end of March and I have been working on my knitting goal for about six weeks or so. In that time I have completed sixty swatches. I have been enjoying the creativeness with knitting the swatch and the challenges have just pushed me even more to figure them out. I hope you enjoy them. Yes I know it’s not Monday, that’s my new goal to get back on schedule with posting.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Seed Germination

Now that I have my shelves and lights up Wednesday was seed planting day. I do realize for the area that I live in I should have started my cool weather seeds earlier. That just wasn’t a reality this year so I got them in on Wednesday.

I started celery, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, soap wart and cotton. I know what your saying the list of seeds that I post back in January didn’t have cotton in it. Ya’ I know that’s because the supplier couldn’t send them to me. So I had to search for a new supplier and I found one that would send them to PA. So I have green cotton and brown cotton. Yes cotton comes in a natural green and brown, no dyeing necessary. I do know that cotton is a hot weather plant but I was reading up on it and I found out it could take up to three weeks to germinate. So I wanted to get that started now to give it a little extra time.

So after they come up I will post all about how they are doing.

Seed Starting System

What has been taking me so long to get my seeds started is I needed a self and lighting system. So Tuesdays project was just that, we went out and got the wood for the shelves and I picked up the lights on Monday and we put it all together on Tuesday.

The shelves are eight feet tall; I used 1” by 3” for the uprights. The rest of the lumber is 1” by 2” for the side brasses, shelf supports and self slates. The construction was very easy; I have the shelves over a desk so the first self had to be 40” from the floor. The rest of the shelves are 20” apart. This is for room to move the light up as the plants get bigger.

The cost of the shelves was $18.00 for the wood; I already had a box of screws from other projects so they were free. But if I had to buy some I think they would be about ten dollars for the box, depending on the type that you are going to get. The lights were $45.00 total the one light cost $10.00 the other $15.00. The $15.00 light guarantees that it will turn on in -20 degree weather. I really didn’t need that guarantee but they were all out of the $10.00 lights except for the one I bought. The bulbs were $10.00 a pack and I had to buy two packs; I did buy a pack of warm fluorescents and cool fluorescents. This will give me a full spectrum of light or as close to humanly possible, that is.

The last two things were the hooks to hang the lights from which cost $3.00 a pack of four and a timer for the lights to come on by them selves at $4.00. So for $70.00 I have an in door green house. That sure beats the hundred or hundreds of dollar ones you see in the catalogs.

Knitting 6

Sorry I didn’t get this weeks knitting posted on Monday. I haven’t been feeling well. That time of year for sinus problems. I did get ten more swatches knitted up, so I’m up to 50 of them being made. Not counting what I have knitted this week. And here I was thinking I would only get five done a week. Well maybe during the summer that will happen with being in the garden and out doors more, we’ll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I finished my latest project which is a lanyard. I haven’t card woven in a while so I had a lot of fun with it. As I said this project is card woven so I had to figure out how to weave it so the cards would be threaded correctly. After weaving the neck I wanted it to come together so it would be one piece that slipped over your neck. Then I would attach a lanyard hook so you could attach your id or anything you wish to it.

So the first thing was to get the cards set up so I could weave 34” of the band. This part was a little tricky, since I had to thread two cards on the same warp in ex. 1-20, 2-19, 3-18, 4-17 and so forth. That way when I put the card together they would all be facing the same way in the correct order.

I achieved that except I twisted the one pack of cards so the wrong side is showing for half the band. This is actually ok because it gives it some interest and it’s also a learning curve. Next I had to bring both packs of cards together and mach up the fell lines. That was really easy I held the fell lines together with pins.

Next all I had to do was weave a couple of inches with the cards together to close the loop and give me enough band to attach the hook. Since I was using two shuttles to weave with when I bought the cards together I made sure the shuttles were to the outside of the bands. The left shuttle on the outer left, and the right shuttle on the outer right, so when I started to weave this part I used both shuttles. One for some extra strength at the stress point and two that way I was able to hide one of the wefts in the weaving. That way I wouldn’t have it unraveling on me.

The last step was to attach the hook, I machine sewed this on. But first I had to figure out how to attach the hook. If you have ever seen a lanyard hook it’s just the hook there is nothing else to it. So I did find a bag of fasteners as they were called. They where lanyard hooks and key rings all in different sizes and colors, I got them at Wal*Mart, so I just attached the hook to the ring, which I then sewed to the lanyard. Project complete please check out the picture and let me know what you think.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Philly Flower Show

I was at the Philadelphia Flower Show yesterday; this year’s theme was Bella Italia or Italy. It was absolutely gorges; the main display was a Roman Palace. As you walk in to the hall you were welcomed by the Palace walls and the formal garden that went up to the Palace it’s self. Around the long garden were four square formal gardens, all of this had statuary of the time and made for a beautiful place. That I felt you could really imagine your self being there. In ancient Rome that is.

One of the things that I enjoyed the most with this years show was that most if not all the displays had vegetables and or herbs among the flower beds in the front yards. What I have herd was that is common practice in Italy and most of Europe. I have also seen some people in this country do it as well, my self included. I just don’t see it as common practice here in the US. Which is a shame, if people would start producing there own food in there front yards they would be able to feed them selves, families and neighbors for the whole season. If they can, freeze or preserve in some other way they could have food that would keep them feed all year long.

Perhaps one day that will happen. The show was a wonderful place to be yesterday, with the onset of snow lurking upon us. I did come home with some wonderful ideas and lots of memories. I didn’t get anything from the market place; they have wonderful things at wonderful prices that I can’t afford at this time, so maybe next year.

Knitting 5

I have eleven more swatches knitted up, that brings me to a grand total of forty thus far. I do enjoy the cable and Aran knits as I mentioned before and am learning a lot for them.