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Two years ago I asked for an inkle loom for Christmas and I only recently learn to use it. The first thing I noticed is that there are very few resources online for inkle weaving. I’ve been spoiled by the vast sea of resources out there for knitters. I expected to find everything I needed in a neat and tidy place online. The reality is I had to piece things together through bad 1990’s websites and poorly focused videos. 

This is my third attempt to weave something and my first successful project. The previous two attempts end up with really wonky bands. It took some time to figure out how to keep my edges even and to keep the tension right.

I decided to draft my own design. I did this more to see if I understood how the wrap facing thing works. Weaving is like knitting in that it helps a lot if you know how to ‘read’ you work. 

Setting up the warp takes patience and attention to detail but once that’s done the weaving part goes quickly. I love seeing the pattern build.

I feel a new addiction coming on. There are some many cool things I can make using these bands and there are several techniques including tablet weaving (I have the cards I just don’t know where to start). I forgot to take photos but after I did this traditional two-row type weaving I tried out some pick up weaving which has you pick up warp threads below and dropping corresponding top warp threads to created a different kind of pattern.

I plan to make several belts and sell them online and craft fairs next year. I used two d-rings for two belts I made in last week, but I plan to use d-rings and metal belt tips for the belts I’m going to sell. I also discovered that pick up patterns have front and back sides and don’t work well with the d-rings. I’ll have to use different belt hardware for that style of weaving. 

Here are my belts which are kind of rough but I’ve been wearing them anyway.

Traditional, two row inkle weaving
Pick up inkle weaving

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While I was on vacation my internet connection was spotty so I wasn’t able to do any blogging. I did do a lot of relaxing.  It was a week of board games, knitting, watching movies and vintage t.v. shows, photography and swimming. Just what the whole family needed. 

So my latest project is a kitchen mat. The one I have now is hard to clean and the rubber backing is flaking off. I can’t vacuum it properly and when I throw it in the washer the rubber back comes off and sticks to everything. I decided if I knit one out of cotton I can wash it easily. The cotton is very heavy and my hope is I won’t need any anti-slip backing. If I do, I think I have some options that would work well like non-slip backing from the fabric store that doesn’t have to be stuck on the mat or waterproof bathroom caulking (hopefully it could stand being washed). I’m not going to worry about it too much for now.

There is no pattern for this Kitchen Mat – it’s seed stitched using three strands of worsted weight cotton. I’ll be sure to post the pattern when I’m done. By the way this thing weights a ton already and it’s only half done.

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So you know that saying “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch?”, well I should learn to listen to that concept. Twice now in the last month I got excited thinking I either had a great new job or a blossoming business contract only to have both fall through. It makes it difficult to feel confident or inspired about anything when nothing seems to work out. Well at least I have my knitting, right?

I finished my Bertram tank and wore it to a friend’s BBQ on Saturday.  It was a pretty hot day at around 26℃ (78.8℉) feeling a hotter with the humidity and I was worried that the top would be too warm since it’s made from wool. I was pleasantly surprised to find it cool and comfortable. I think the garter stitch is open enough and the wool is a light enough weight that it doesn’t trap body heat keeping it cool. Here’s a rare photo of me in a final project (thanks to my daughter for taking the picture).

Next week I’ll let you know what new thing I’m working on!

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I had hoped to post on a regular basis, but sometimes things get so busy that weeks go by and I suddenly realize I haven’t written a blog post. Like last month, my dad had hip replacement surgery and there were complications. So I ended up spending the week with my parents in another city. Then I went back and forth about a job that I really wanted and ended up not getting. This month my graphic design business has started to pick up and the girls are home for summer vacation – which is great, but also takes time away from blogging and knitting.

I pulled out my loom and tried out my second inkle band. The beginning of the band is way too loose but as I went on it got better. I hope to figure out how to weave inkle bands so I can make guitar straps, belts, wallets and whatever else I can think of. I found the weaving to be relaxing and seemed to go so fast compared to knitting. The set up takes time but then it’s just weave, weave, weave.

I finally purchased some blocking mats and t-pins which made blocking my Bertram tank top so easy. Today I plan to sew the seams and do the crocheted edging around the armholes and neckline. It’ll be ready to wear at a BBQ I’m going to on Saturday!

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A few weeks have gone by and I haven’t posted anything! The beautiful weather is finally here and my garden, although full of weeds, is producing lovely blooms. My favourite are these maroon clematis I received for Mother’s day last year.

The previous owner planted all of the other flowers in the garden.  She must of have loved purple because they are all purple flowers.

My Bertram Tank is coming along and I hope to finish it up next week.

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Last weekend was the first Canadian long weekend of the spring/summer season. This year, as is our family tradition, we went camping. May long camping weather is always a surprise. Some years it has snowed  and others it was warm enough that we went swimming in the pool. This year is was kind of in between. It rained and was pretty cold at night Friday and Saturday but Sunday and Monday it was sunny and warm. All in all a good weekend.

Today I’m exhausted and I’ve hardly done any work except cleaning up camp supplies and repacking everything (think loads of laundry and dishes). I love camping but it has a strange effect on me. I’m excited to go, planning and packing and loving so many things about my time in good ‘ol nature but often coming home is my favourite part. Maybe it makes me appreciate things I take for granted like running water, quick cooking and being able to stay clean. Of course I alway appreciate my knitting whether I’m home or camping.

Here’s the second side of my Bertram Tank top.

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Actually the warm weather has been here for a few weeks now and I’m so happy to blink my winter tired eyes in the warming sun of the spring. The last few weeks have just slipped by as I’ve been running around filling appointments and other errands. I wish I could say I’ve been busy with work but things have been slower than I hoped. On the upside I’ve partnered up with another local business and I hope to see an increase in projects soon. Speaking of projects I’ve finished the first side of my Bertram Tank Top. I took a break from the second side because I wanted to knit my Mom a pair of houndstooth wrist warmers for Mother’s day. The pattern will be coming soon. I have to knit another pair because I forgot to take pictures of the pair I knit my Mom!

Here’s the front of the tank top. There is a mistake. It doesn’t ruin it so I don’t mind it. Can you see it?

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Normally this time of year it should be warming up, but for some reason mother nature has decided to prolong winter. Only a week ago it seemed like spring was here. It had been warm with a fair bit of rain and then on the weekend we had an ice and snow storm. It sucked big time. No-one left their house if they didn’t need to as the roads were ice rinks. The storm was worse than any of the storms we had during the winter. My girls had a snow day on Monday because of it – the only snow day they’ve had this year. It’s hard to believe that this time last year we were wearing short sleeves. Especially when it looks like this:

It needs to warms up so I can wear my Bertram tank top as soon as it’s done. I love the modular way it knits up. It’s something different from the usual way of making a sweater which makes it fun. I can’t wait to get to the next part of the pattern to see how it’s going to go together. The mitered square was cool to make, but I messed it up near the end. I ended ripping out several rows because, a few times I missed decreasing 2 stitches at the centre (I only decreased 1 stitch). The result of my error shifted the middle decreases over to one side and everything was off centre. If you decide to knit this pattern make sure to constantly check that you have an equal number of stitches on either side of your marker. It would have saved me a headache and a fair bit of swearing if I had been checking more often. Now that it’s fix it’s coming along nicely.

 

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Yesterday I started a new project! It’s from Creative Knitting magazine called Bertram Tank. I’m excited about this one because I get to learn 2 new skills, mitered squares and provisional cast on. Provisional cast on is a method of cast on that you ‘unzip’ later on to give you an edge with live stitches which are picked up and knit. I love that the tank top is knit modularly making it more interesting to knit.

I wasn’t keen on the colours the designer choose – I look bad in yellow, so I decided to go with some very different colours. You can see them in the below photos. The first photo is my swatch and the crocheted chain for the provisional cast. The second is the chain again (you actually need two of these for the pattern). The third is the beginning of the cast on. The fourth is where I am on the tank top as of this morning.

Tutorial

I don’t liked the sewing part of  knitted projects and sometimes I want to knit a scarf in stockinette stitch and not have it curl. So when I discovered that you could create a hem and not have to sew it I did a little happy dance.

Today I’ve created a tutorial showing you how to make three different type of hems, stockinette, picot and ribbed. They are simple and can add a lot to a project. You will have a open ended tub that you can put a drawstring through.

You can download a pdf of the tutorial here.

 

And here are all three!