I haven’t spun since February, thanks to a bad case of tendonitis in my right thumb. So I’m giving it a break. Instead I’ve been working on other things, mainly a huge cross-stitch project. It’s The Pointed Fifth from Long Dog Samplers. Here’s what it should look like finished:

A complicated cross stitch design, kind of medieval looking, with lots of animals in it.
Picture from Long Dog Samplers

There’s about 50,000 stitches in it. When finished it will be about 23″ square. The pattern takes up 20 letter-size pages, five across and four down. I have completed four of the five pages on the top row, working right to left. I’m stitching on it a couple hours each morning, and it’s taking about two weeks per page. Here’s the first four pages, complete. I’m about 1/4 of the way through page five now, at which point the top row will be complete.

Black cross stitch on light gray fabric.

I’m also dabbling in sprang. What’s sprang, you might ask? It’s an ancient craft — probably even older than weaving — that’s kind of like braiding crossed with net-making. It involves twisting yarns together. The finished fabric is extremely stretchy on the horizontal and not stretchy at all at all vertically. There are stone age pottery shards with imprints of sprang fabric in the clay. Cultures from Africa to indiginous Americans have made sprang. (Some groups use a frame, some don’t, but either way it produces the same fabric.)

Sprang been used for all sorts of things — bags, hats, clothing, bra-type garments… It’s not common any more, probably because knitting also produces stretchy fabric and is more portable. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Carol James’s web site: SprangLady.com. She’s an expert, and has books and tutorials as well as free videos on YouTube. I’m still learning, so I’m not sharing pics of my work yet. I’ll get there.

I’m also starting a small weaving project on my 8-shaft table loom. I’ve wanted to try huck lace for a while. I’m making a simple scarf as a sample piece. Fingers crossed the result is nice. It’s cotton, which will be a lightweight scarf, but I’m in Florida and don’t need anything heavy! (Actually, I’ll probably donate it to the homeless shelter if it comes out okay. I don’t need any more warm things.) Here’s the draft I’m trying. (Pic from the pattern book — mine will be different colors.)

Close-up of beige and gray woven fabric.
Huck lace example from Anne Dixon’s Handweaver’s Pattern Directory

I have a fair amount of time for crafting right now, because I also got tendonitis in my Achilles tendon and have to stay off my feet a good bit. (Using my floor loom is right out!) I have a pneumatic walking boot to wear when I need to go out, but mostly I’m sitting with my feet propped up so I don’t make things worse. Yay for crafting and books…


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.