Friday, January 14, 2011

Bias Binding, How Do I Dislike Thee, Let Me Count the Ways

It is a mystery to me why I would have picked a pattern to actually make that relied so heavily on bias binding. A classic, "What was I thinking????" moment. And then to follow through on making said binding and applying it while squinting through bloodshot, red and irritated eyes, only the Universe will know for sure. I am begging a cold and flu addled brain. Now you all probably think that all's well that end's well and my complaining is much ado over nothing. Well, the binding came out absolutely horrible.

My kingdom for a good technique as a substitute. Love's labour was not lost. The garment, a poncho of good hard tweedy wool, was specifically slated for wear around the house and barn.

If it had come out well I would have worn it to town until the hay became embedded in it, or the first smelly slobber stain. You may not have seen it, but I would know it was there. I will say it is quite comfortable and just the right amount of warmth for over a turtleneck in the house. So even if it was a comedy of errors, it is still a wonderful and useful addition to my working wardrobe.

Since I am feeling much better, I managed some towel warp weaving.

This lovely yellow is towel two, the first was the soft jade green I used on one of the pillowcase hems. The pattern a simple triple 4 shaft bird's eye. I am quite happy with it and can see these doing fine service in the kitchen. There is a fair amount of tracking on this, mostly due to the fact that my fine reed was still tied up on the pillowcases when I wound, threaded and sleyed this warp. I believe most of it will disappear after it's first wash in hot water and then the hot dryer. The second color of silk is half wound onto a cone and hopefully I'll get that done and be working on the warping board this weekend. I am going to do a fancy pinwheel design using the eight shafts on the Delta. I've found three different drafts and need to sit down and look at all of them for differences in the tie-ups and how they affect the pattern. They are all so close on a quick inspection as far as the woven pattern

Fabric has been cut for a second pair of pants. I have sized the pattern down to a straight medium.

This fabric is a cotton/poly blend twill left over from the slipcover for the large sofa. I have some lovely pants fabrics ready to go, but since I am playing with sizing and also new smaller pockets and placement, I figured I would use this.

They will make fine sturdy pants even if they aren't the prettiest.

A quick note about what's coming up on this blog and Michelle's over at Boulderneigh.
We'll be doing posts tomorrow about some wonderful products that are local to each of us. Michelle had the idea and I have often thought about mentioning all together some of the wonderful stuff available locally to me in one place. If any of you would like to join in on your respective blogs and tell us about local to you fab products, please, do!
And of course, there will be the yarn drawing winners posted on Monday.

Finally, the parting shot. Stuck or Not? That is the Question. And it needs some explanation.

My man Dennett, now that he is about 18, hard of hearing and vision impaired (although not 3 legged which had been a requirement for being off leash on walks), has earned the right to be off leash in areas close to the house and under very close supervision. Face it, should he even see a squirrel, he can no longer out run me. Being still an independent cuss he takes off (really, imagine slowly wanders), towards the woods and into deeper snow. It looks like he's stuck, so I snap my photo and go to help him. Ah, he was just playing keep away! When he saw me come into range he plowed through that snow and into the woods trying to make a break for it, a very slow break but the spirit still burns bright. He also knows that there is less snow under trees! You go kiddo, I'm right behind you. And yes, I carried him back through the worst of it, while allowing him all the dignity he deserves. ;)


  1. Loved the tale of Dennett... you know you can't keep a good man down.
    The poncho looks like a perfect addition to a functional, classy wardrobe.
    Susan x

  2. You've been productive!!! All that sewing. I get mad about my sewing technique too. I wish I was better at it, but I don't really have a plan to actually get better at it. From here the poncho looks great though!

    There was an article in Weavezine recently where Sharon Alderman commented about tracking. I'm very curious to try her technique to reduce it.

    Great idea to feature local products! I'm working on a post right now that would fit right in....just about one product.

    Love the Dennett story. I've got a pup leaned against me right now in the quest for warmth. I'm lazing around waiting for the house to warm up!!


    PS: I have to doublecheck, but I don't think your favorite (and mine), that yellow mill building in Exeter made it onto my blog in it didn't make the best of 2010 blog photo list. Have to remedy that in 2011!!!

  3. Awww, Dennett. What a wonderful life he's had. He looks so darling out there in the snow. For a moment I thought he might be laying down!

  4. I'm not sure what the answer is for bias binding. No matter how careful if it's being sewn completely by machine I'm not sure how to get it looking nice on both sides. My standby has been to sew it from the right side, then turn it over and instead of stitching by machine hoping to catch the back-side I hand stitch it, like on quilt binding. Of course, that's a lot of binding on your poncho! Looks like a nice warm one in spite of your not being happy with that trim.

  5. Lots of sewing going on at your house! And you always have such good helpers! Dennet's story gave me a good chuckle....terriers are so independent! (and have so much personality!!!)

  6. You always inspire me. I'm just waiting for my energy to catch up to my ambition. I look forward to what you and Michelle will post. I can't think of anything but maybe I'll get ideas once you two post.

  7. One of our weavers uses a serger on the raw edge and then crochets all around in a matching yarn. It looks really good. My pups love the snow, and any running time they can snatch too!

  8. I'm so glad you all liked my Dennett tale. I often wonder if I bore you all with critter stories. The D man is such a special guy.
    Sue, I plan on trying to take some short local sewing classes on certain things. Maybe something like that in your area for a jump start? I'll have to check out Weavezine for that article. Give Bailey a hug from me.
    LA, yes, I think that's what I love about terriers most, their independence. More sewing happened yesterday but I'm saving that for future blog.
    Oh Tina, good idea. I also looked at another poncho I have that was manufactured. Edges were heavily blanket stitched.
    Sharon, I know once you get energized, you'll be ten times more productive than I usually am.Cindie, I couldn't bring myself to do all the binding by hand. Don't think I could have even seen it at the time.;)

  9. Theresa, I made a wool fabric poncho/wrap for myself to wear while expecting my first baby in December. I crocheted the edging because I could not get the bias binding to look right and not curl. The tweedy fabric was easy to put the hook through. I loved that wrap!