Tapestry Weaving with Maryanne Moodie

Monday, November 24th, 2014 | class, crafts, FO's, People I Meet, start to finish, tapestry, weaving | No Comments

In case you couldn’t tell, I have been all about tapestry weaving lately. I think I caught the bug when working on my Iron Giant Tribute piece…now I’m hooked!

I was having problems finding instructions for specific weaving techniques online, so I started following a handful of tapestry weavers on Instagram. One of these fabulous weavers was Maryanne Moodie.

Imagine my surprise when I read one of her photo captions and found out she would be in Los Angeles teaching at Design Love Fest. I needed to take this class! So I signed up right away and immediately turned in my time off request for work.

The class started off a little shaky. They hadn’t received all of the looms in the mail and they thought they would have to refund money to about half of us (those of us that were local). Luckily, I had told them I would like to stay and watch…and at the last minute, the looms arrived! We all breathed a sigh of relief and class got underway!


The lovely Maryanne Moodie!


Warping the loom.


So coordinated! Even my mimosa matches!


Some close up detail of my practice tapestry.

I didn’t have a whole lot done by the time class was over, but I got the chance to try a bunch of techniques. I also had taken plenty of video to get me through some of those techniques if I was stuck. They helped a lot.


My completed tapestry.

It’s finally done!! I am not totally in love with it, but it was great practice. I am glad I got the chance to learn some new rules so now I can try and break them. I have some different ideas for some tapestry designs that I am really eager to try out!

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Look out, Friday!

Friday, September 19th, 2014 | blah blah blah, class, Fiber Rock Stars, tapestry, weaving | No Comments

Let me just start off by saying I know I have craft ADD lately and that my impulse control is bordering on obscene.

I woke up this morning and, while brushing my teeth, scrolled through Instagram… as is my habit lately. I saw a lovely picture of a tapestry woven by Maryanne Moodie and was awake enough to read the caption.

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 3.59.10 PM


Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.19.22 PM

Click, click, done.

I’m signed up for the class. See! No impulse control. In this case I am super glad I didn’t wait to make a decision.

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Stitches West 2014: Adventures in Fleece

It was a few years ago when I had convinced myself that I wanted to adopt a fleece. I had gone through this whole phase of wanting to go from sheep to garment. This involved me bringing home a dirty fleece once. A really dirty fleece. So dirty that I gunked up my kids’ bathtub and then my husband instating a Renfroe household rule banning me from bringing dirty fleece into the house.


Bella on the scale.

But I can explain…


Walking the floor with two bags of fleece.

The household rule banning my possession of dirty fleece is common knowledge amongst my knitting group. But Courtney is a smart girl, and adept at getting around the rules. So months ago she told me she had an idea.


Courtney and David with Bella and Lucky.

Courtney did her homework and came up with the perfect plan for us to wash a fleece in the hotel bathroom. She knew exactly how to sell it to me… my husband couldn’t possibly get upset with me if I brought home clean fleece.


The bag of Bella fleece.

So David, Courtney and I went to Judy’s Novelty Wool booth and we split 2 fleeces, three ways. Now, Bella was already cleaned, so no problem there. She was greasier than David liked, but I don’t mind my fleeces slightly buttery. That lanolin is good for my skin. So half of the work was done and Bella was tossed aside. Lucky, however, was our dirty one. The three of us put down a shower curtain on the floor, dumped the fleece out, and started to sort pieces into “dirty” and “less dirty”.


Starting to sort the fleece.


Proud parents!


I actually took this picture by accident when trying to take some video.

We stuffed the fleece into lingerie bags to soak in the tub.


Lingerie bags are ready!


Soak #1 with plain water…


Check out that water! Here is where I let Courtney know she is making me nervous holding her phone over the tub.

We soaked the fleece for twenty minutes in plain hot water. Then we soaked in hot soapy water. Of course there were multiple soaks, but I passed out on one of the hotel beds sometime before 1 a.m. I hear that Court and David were up until 4 a.m. They let me sleep because I had to drive us home from Santa Clara and they knew I needed the rest. Of course, this means I don’t have any photographic evidence of David breaking one of the salad spinners that they used to dry the fleece when they were done. Sorry, I’m no journalist.


Courtney and Dawn.

Now, this isn’t the end of the story (or process). While I have Bella here at home, Lucky is still at Courtney’s house. Lucky was dry enough to bring home in the van, but she still needs some work. I am hoping to get together with Courtney sometime soon so we can finish work on her and get her ready to spin!

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Trying something new…

I’ve been a busy bee! Between the new job and the new knit group, I haven’t had much time to get stuff done. However, I’ve decided that, if I have a free moment, I should get down to business on making things for Christmas.

Luckily, I took Lexi’s Tunisian Crochet class at CogKNITive again this year. I seriously needed the refresher! I had started a baby blanket way back for Blanketeers, but promptly forgot what I was doing and had stowed it in the back of my minivan.

Lexi had been wearing something she designed in tunisian crochet, and it was lovely. I bought her pattern and now I am practicing. Of course I can’t give you too many details…because, well, Christmas.


This decided it didn’t want to be for it’s intended recipient, so I started a new one.

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The “L” Word

I thought I had a plan. I sat here, days before Stitches West, flipping through Ravelry patterns in my queue and making a list of things I wanted to make and what supplies I needed. I had a whittled it down to a short list of yarn weights and yardages. I was so very organized and ready for just about anything until…

I believe we were on the convention center floor when it happened. Courtney looked at me, and in a tone that clearly conveyed she was unsure that what she was about to say was a good idea, she said “I think I want to get a loom.”

My brain exploded and started leaking out of my ears.

That was all she had to say. I completely went into that “state”…the state I was in my very first year of Stitches when one of my friends from the AV suggested I get a dirty fleece. That story is still told to this day…of me walking out of the showroom, eyes like saucers, talking so fast that no one could understand me. I had gone off the rails.

It was happening again. Saucer eyed…Courtney could tell that Stacy went “bye-bye”.

I think there might have been nodding…and telling her what an amazing idea it was…and that she should definitely get one…AND I MUST HAVE ONE TOO. Yup. It was all over for me.

Then I had apparently mentioned it to David…and he went off the rails too.

Saturday morning it all went down. After David (who had a vendor badge) went ahead of us for some recon on the Slipped Stitch Studios TARDIS project bags, and I had successfully acquired one of those bags and won a smaller project bag at their booth, we made a bee line to Purlescence. David got there before us and was already on the floor practicing on the display loom. We sat and watched, and then all three of us pulled the trigger.


Now, I had done a little bit of Internet research the night before…and figured out what came in the loom and tried to figure out what type of reed I needed to weave fingering weight yarn. Of course, we are a hive brain and I know I wasn’t the only one that had this idea. When we asked the awesome folks at Purlescence to hold the looms for us to pick up later, I asked for a 12 dent reed.

They held it for me, but it was the only one they had. Luckily, there were other booths that had them too, because I felt like an asshole blurting out the 12 dent reed request as they were putting the looms aside for us, and I know that Court and I both have enough fingering weight yarn to choke a small third world country.

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I swear I still spin…

Thursday, November 18th, 2010 | blah blah blah, class, dye, fiber, handspun, Random Craftiness, spinning, yarn | No Comments

I totally intended to type this during my downtime today, but every time I got the chance, something seemed to come up. It’s a good thing, sometimes when your day doesn’t go quite as planned, it makes the time go by faster. I was super busy this morning, then I went out to lunch with Suzanna, then we had a software meeting where I actually spent most of my time sketching out plans for a new sweater…when I wasn’t drawing unicorns or how I spent my day yesterday. Of course Mike had to add some details to my quick sketch…

Toon boom meeting

What I did yesterday. Mike decided to add the missle.

Did I think to snap a pic of my sweater ideas? Of course not! But maybe I can sketch them while I hang out in the cell phone lot at LAX tonight.

So now, as promised, actual factual finished yarn!

Army Girl plied

Army Girl. It's really more green than yellow.

It’s over 300 yards of fingering weight. Not quite sure what I am going to do with it yet. I also started working on that roving my friend Wendy dyed. I had already spun up one cake (single, laceweight) so I am starting on the second bobbin. I think there is twelve ounces, so I am going to guess that it will be done in three bobbins. Spinning laceweight takes forever though. I will eventually ply these.


Wendy's wool/nylon roving. She dyed this at Sheep Shed Studio.

So that’s all for now. Probably won’t be updating via video blog for awhile since my folks will be in town. I guess I will have to see how things go.


What did I do at lunch today?

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 | charity, class, crochet, handspun, knitting | 1 Comment

I worked on teaching a lefty to knit! Taught someone to crochet! I feel like I’ve accomplished something!

Teaching...and stuff.

Everyone working hard...

Here we are…knitting, crocheting…making scarves for soldiers. Mostly I was teaching, bouncing between teaching one person to knit and one to crochet. I think they are starting to get the hang of it!


I did get to start a scarf though...

My scarf is going to be gray with red stripes. I actually bought a skein of red yarn just to give a small piece to Robert for his gag-condiment bottles. Ridiculous, I know, but I figured I would just use the rest for my scarf.

Because I am a yarnie...Robert has me doing this...

Robert has me doing this...

I also pulled out some of my very old hand spun. It is probably some of the first yarn I ever spun. I am going to knit a scarf out of it too. Hey, I am going to knock out as many scarves as I can. I even put the call out to people outside of this little group that might want to donate. I think a couple of people have their mothers contributing to the cause.


Old school singles spun waaaay back.

Ooh and tomorrow I have the day off. Appointments and stuff to attend to. Maybe I will get some knitting done in my travels!

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Project Runway – Unwind Style!

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 | blah blah blah, class | No Comments

After coming back from the retreat Saturday night I was in for some serious work. My lil’ girl was sick, so at midnight, while the boys in the house were passed out, we ran to the local grocery store for tylenol. Poor thing had a fever of 102. I ended up staying late to make sure she fell asleep and that the fever was going down.

This is where the excitement began.

It begins here because my late night turned around to bite me in the butt! My husband, who was passed out while my girl and I ran to the store, got locked out of the garage, and tried calling up for help, decided to let me sleep in. He was trying to be nice…and didn’t realize class started at ten.

I woke up at ten AFTER ten.

I have never moved so fast in my life. I grabbed as much as I could carry, hoped I had everything needed, and hit the road.

I made it to my duct tape dress form class a half hour late, unshowered….hair not combed. I felt bad because my partner in crime, VivaScrapper, had already been paired up with someone else. Since one of the ladies didn’t show, I got paired up with Lisa Limber, the teacher. It turned out to be a good thing because she started to tape me up with lightning speed and before I knew it, I was ready to be cut out!

I was told I looked like an anime character...

I was told I looked like an anime character...

Since I don’t mind being the guinea pig, she demonstrated on me how one cuts this duct taped craziness off. She cut straight up the back…and once it was off I taped the seam up a few times.

One of the other students has been cut out...

One of the other students has been cut out...

There is my dress form, waiting for stuffing.

There is my dress form, waiting for stuffing.

The part of the base that goes inside the form.

The part of the base that goes inside the form.

Since I was busting a move to get everything done, I finished a little early. It helped I didn’t have a partner to tape up though. Turns out that all of us were low on polyfil to stuff the inside of these things, so I volunteered to run to the closest JoAnn’s to pick some up.

My trip to JoAnns

My trip to JoAnn's

I bought the last 12 bags of polyfil they had. These things are huge! I couldn’t fit them all in the cart!! I dropped a bunch in the parking lot trying to get them out to the van. A few people stopped to help me pick them back up.

I made it back to Unwind just in time for lunch. Woohoo!

After lunch we started the second portion of the class. We talked about garments we brought and what we liked and disliked about them. We also talked color. I got the stink eye for picking up some teal yarn. The girls would love to see me break out of *that* color rut, especially since they can’t understand why I always pick that color when I walk around wearing garments that are much crazier in the color department. It really is my “safe” color. There were some really good color suggestions though. Navy and plum…and I found some yarn I would like to knit a hoodie with…

So pretty, and the ladies think it looks like a good color for me.

So pretty, and the ladies think it looks like a good color for me.

Vivascrapper is knitting a “Fauxdie” with it. You can see it there in the background.

So the class was a success, and now I have this dress form hanging out in my living room. Maybe I’ll dress her up for Halloween.

Here we are!

Here we are!

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