The Weaving Bug

It must be that time of year. I caught the weaving bug.

I’m planning out an Anglo-Saxon undertunic for my husband, and I decided it’s time to do this right. I’m going to tablet weave some simple trim for the hems.

I haven’t done any serious tablet weaving since college, so I needed to refresh my skills and reacquaint myself with the glorious freeware program called Guntram’s Tabletweaving Thingy.

I’ve given a plug for GTT before, but seriously, this Guntram guy is an angel. With GTT, I save so much time and yarn and frustration by trying out different threading patterns and colors and weaving sequences before I warp anything.

For example, the bands below are a few of the possible designs I could weave with the exact same threaded tablets.

possible AS tabletweaving patterns

I prototyped each one virtually so my husband could pick out his favorite. (In case you’re wondering, he chose the center one.)

Now I’m ready to warp up.

Happy Weaving!

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Put Down Those Scissors: An Alternate Approach to Fringe

I’d finally finished my Hufflepuff scarf–even finished weaving in the dozens of loose ends–when I remembered the tassels. I still had to make fringe on either end.

In the past I’ve cut all the tassels first, attached them with a crocheting hook, and then trimmed them even. But I didn’t like all the fiddly bits of string.

Here’s the new method I (might have) invented.

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You’ll need a darning needle, scissors, a straight object (like a knitting needle or ruler), and the yarn of your choice.

IMG_4530 Continue reading

Maiden Voyage of the Up-cycled T-shirt Grocery Bags

I finally evicted the assortment of too-small and too-holey t-shirts that have been living in my dresser. I hoped to make them useful as grocery bags. Three cuts and three seams per shirt was all it took. As a bonus, I get to sentimentally hang on to my college t-shirts a bit longer.

Here they are.
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Here are the instructions I followed.

Today I used my new bags to get the groceries home, and they performed admirably.

Happy Yarning!

Filet Crochet Anniversary Present

Today marks five years since my husband and I were married and sealed together for time and all eternity.

A few weeks ago I decided to add some lettering to the filet crochet temple from a previous post and turn it into an anniversary present for my wonderful man.

I still need to finish the edging and blocking, but here’s the piece so far.

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I can’t wait to hang it on the wall as a reminder that as long as we’re true to each other and to God, not even death can part us.

Happy Yarning!

Book Report: The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

wpid-wp-1438904248923.jpgI enjoyed The False Prince. The setting and characters felt fully formed and dynamic. Since someone spoiled the big reveal for me early on, I was able to study how Nielsen went about dropping hints and obscuring information. It’s a short read, so I recommend reading through once for enjoyment and then, if you’re a writer, going through a second time to learn how to write a good unreliable narrator.

Happy Yarning!

A Successful July Camp

I’m on track to finish camp today! 10,000 words doesn’t seem like very much when I glance back across the scenes I wrote this month, but it’s a big accomplishment for me. Really, any amount I write gets me closer to that sweet “The End” summit up ahead.

If you’re staring at a word count goal you know you can no longer reach this month, remember:

Every

New

Word

Is

Success.

So, how did you succeed this month?

Edit: I won!

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Happy Yarning, everyone!

So, How’s Camp Going?

Where did the week go? Friday snuck up on me.

This morning I went looking for some pre-Incan ruins on Google images to fuel my next scene in Featherfolk. Maybe it was a mistake to fill my head with all that right before checking out the sale at my local toy store? Maybe not.

I came home with this little herd of alpacas and this sand castle mold.

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Baby also approves!

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I’m a few hundred words behind in Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m determined to catch up by the end of the month. So far, some awesome scenes have taken shape. Here’s hoping for some more.

See you at the finish line!

Happy Yarning.

Fun with Filet Crochet

So I know I said I wouldn’t start any more crochet projects until I finished my Hufflepuff scarf. In my defense, the scarf is almost finished.

Here’s my newest project:

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Filet crochet!

This is going to be a picture of the Provo Temple to hang on my wall.

Whenever I saw filet crochet in the past I assumed I didn’t have the patience for it. But I fell in love with a beautiful piece in Provo last month. I finally decided to give it a chance, and I’m surprised at how quickly it comes together.

Here’s the pattern I drew up.

provo pattern

I have crazy plans of piecing together different colored fabrics as a backing to look like sky and mountain behind the temple. We’ll see.

Anyway, my point is that filet crochet is actually kind of magical and not boring after all.

Happy Yarning!

Book Report: Woven by Michael Jensen and David Powers King

wpid-wp-1436475450142.jpgRarely do my passions for string crafts and fantasy collide as “seamlessly” as in Woven.

This was a fun read, and it felt fresh and original despite its rather run-of-the-mill pseudo-medieval setting. (I didn’t read the back of the book beforehand, so I was surprised when the main character died a couple chapters in. He is loads of fun as a ghost!) I particularly enjoyed the magic system, as it is based on sewing and weaving.

My niece read the first half of the book to me while we drove back and forth to WIFYR, and I liked it so much that I bought a copy after I got back to Washington. I will be sure to watch for other books by these authors.

I recommend Woven for teens and up, particularly those of a crafty persuasion.

Happy Yarning!

WIFYR Notebook: “Unputdownable”

I’d like to share a few things I learned from Ilima Todd’s “Writing the Unputdownable Story” lecture from WIFYR last month.

An unputdownable story will have a character you want to follow. He or she doesn’t have to be likeable, but s/he should be relatable, have a complex personality, have faults, and go through some kind of growth.

S/he needs to have a need. A concrete need. As the author you have to make sure s/he doesn’t get it and make it more and more difficult to get as the story progresses. At the end, s/he either gets it or learns that s/he doesn’t need it anymore.

Another element to keep readers reading is tension. Each scene should have conflict, internal or external or both. Let things go wrong for your character. Have characters with conflicting goals, where both can’t win. Or give your characters’ actions unintended consequences.

Stakes. This is an area I was falling short in with my recent drafts. What happens if your character doesn’t acheive his or her goals? There need to be stakes, which should rise throughout the story and series.

These were the big things I took from her lecture. I hope they’re helpful to you.

I’m putting my fingers where my mouth is (yum?) and doing another 10,000 word Camp Nanowrimo this month.

Happy Yarning!