Monday, May 31, 2010
And just for fun: who'd like to take a guess on the publication date?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Meanwhile in other news, I picked up my car yesterday. I'm very happy about having my very own wheels again. So I'm about to hop in the car and zip around to various places which have been much less accessible lately. I'm so excited that I'll have to restrain my desire to just go everywhere today!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The quilt is going to have a scrappy look, but within this colour scheme. I picked up some paint chips from the hardware store to give people a colour reference point. We decided to ask each person to contribute blues and yellows and use a set fabric for the red colour. Luckily I had this hand-dye in my collection--just enough.
A sheet of instructions, a sandwich bag with paint chips and the hand-dyed fabric for each contributor and we're away. The Quilters' Circle met yesterday afternoon so I had my perfect opportunity to hand out the kits. A couple of the knitters who meet at the same time are also quilters, as are several of the staff, so I easily got to the target of nine blocks. Now to wait for the completed blocks to come in. Then we'll have the fun of piecing them together to make a quilt top. Meanwhile the raffle ticket team are already getting themselves organised. We're planning on selling tickets from early August and drawing the raffle at the AGM in mid-September, so the timeline is looking good.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
As for environmental credentials: apparently this stuff is a made from a byproduct of tofu. That should please my vegetarian friends. I couldn't get any meaningful information about the actual processing, so I can't do a side by side comparison between cotton, bamboo and soy for "green value".
The next thing to think about is dyeing. I'm going to have to experiment. I'd lumped this fibre in with the "semi-synthetic cellulose" group, but apparently it takes acid dyes well. And if it's a tofu byproduct, then mabe there's more protein in there than I thought. I don't know enough about it at this stage.
I'm still strongly focussed on getting my spinning requirments ticked off, so just now it's most valuable feature is that it is done. Now for a soy-wool blend--maybe today--and two tencel skeins. The countdown continues!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Last weekend I looked at a second hand car which is being offered for sale by one of my students. I'd done my homework: the make and model suit me--small, but with adequate and versatile luggage space. I'd driven a few similar cars. I like the way this one goes. The price is more than I'd budgetted for, but then the car is better than I'd planned for--not that I'd planned for my car to be written off, but there you go. I'm, ticking boxes so far. Now the dilemma. I claim to know a fair bit about textiles, but cars are not really my thing. How am I to know whether I'm buying myself a convenience or a truck-load of trouble? Thankfully the state automobile association has an inspection service for people like me. I booked a "comprehensive inspection". I was a little apprehensive about receiving the report. Would it be in a language I could understand? Would it help me to make a decision? It arrived this morning: Yes and Yes . . .
These guys must be used to working for everyday car buyers. There's a huge long speil about all the things they looked at--very impressive. Then there's a summary statement. Oh, I love summary statements. For each group of items they give a green light--go--an amber light--caution--or a red light--stop. There's a short paragraph to spell out the significance of each. OK, I can deal with this. The car I'm looking at got green lights in all sections--go, go, go! The road worthy inspection is booked for next Monday. I'm looking forward to being a whole lot poorer and a whole lot happier. Oh, and did I mention . . . the car is blue--bright metallic blue:)
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This year I've done several small projects on circular needles. That's been ok. So, now for the challenge of double pointed needles. Four of them:
Please note: this is not a sock. If all goes well, it will be a little wrist warmer. I like to break my challenges down into small, small steps. For the first few rows I was constantly dodging and rearranging needles. Now I've got a bit more of a rhythm going, but it's still rather awkward. It seems as though there's more bulk of needles than actual knitting in my hands. Come to think of it, I guess there is. So, I'm persisting. I'm given to understand--isn't that a great cop out phrase!--that if I just keep knitting along, I'll eventually stop worrying about the four pointy sticks I'm holding and get back to enjoying the knitting. OK, knitting, knitting, knitting . . .
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Back to my wheel. If I can complete the spinning, ply and finish this skein this morning there will be four more on my list. And now I can look forward to the helping hand of wool in two of them.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Yep, batteries! Usually when my camera runs out of juice it gives a simple command on the screen, "please change the batteries". Admittedly there was no such signal and the camera apparently did have power because there were lights and movement. I wasn't long since I'd changed the batteries either, but I usually use rechargables and these were everday disposable batteries. It couldn't hurt to try. So out with the old batteries and in with a fresh pair. Now the camera works fine! That's a good thing and I'm glad I got to feel foolish in the privacy of my own home.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
- OK, so it's glossy and white with good drape and inherent antibacterial properties.
- OK, so the plant grows quickly and is incredibly versatile.
- But--it's a pain to spin! It's slippery, doesn't hold twist well and breaks easily;
- And at the end of the day, the yarn doesn't make me sit up and take notice.
I have to finish this sample of bamboo alone, then do a sample of bamboo-wool blend. The bad news is that I then have to do the same for soy and tencel, and I expect them to behave in about the same way. All three are semi-synthetic cellulose fibres. My vote is that they should just stay in the factory where they've been chemically broken down before being extruded into fibres. They can just go ahead and form a yarn there, without coming out half prepared to tease and frustrate a spinner's fingers. So! On the other hand, bamboo does take dye particularly well, so maybe, just maybe it will redeem itself.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Now look:I've spun my way through all this delicious fibre and it's ready to ply. I'm not enough of a purist to ply it all on my drop spindle. The first attraction of drop spindling for me is portability and plying vast lengths of tightly spun lace-weight yarn from two little bobbins in not portable. I'll use the wheel for plying and set myself up with a new batch of fibre for my drop spindle. Hmmm, what to choose? I'll ponder that over a cup of coffee while I gloat over my beautiful bobbins. Or maybe I'll just gloat for now and choose later.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I went on to blend some white silk waste with mohair and wool. Two bobbins are spun and ready to be plied. After that all I need to do is work through a list of cellulose fibres and put everything in order ready to hand in. But today it's beading. I'm off to the Neighbourhood House soon for my first session of Jewellery Making.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
I'm not really sick enough to stay at home--just a burst of hay fever really--moderate nuisance value. But it's been a difficult week and everything has been twice as much effort as usual. I'm heading out on the train to Williamstown tomorrow. That will mean three trains each way. Usually I don't mind. Catching the train can be fun. I have plenty of crafts to keep me occupied and I always end up with an interesting conversation or two. I just don't have it in me to make the effort today. OK, I'm staying at home. I can explore the dyeing another day. I can do some of the myriad creative projects that are cluttering my big table. It's OK. If I read this post to myself three times over, maybe I'll be convinced.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
I've been thinking a fair bit about the boundary between jewellery and textile accessories lately. I'm about to teach a couple of sessions of jewellery making. Add to that the light and airy Northern Hemisphere patterns coming out for their summer season and I have lots of food for thought. I decided to crochet a little neck band with the yarn I had and then see what inspiration comes to embellish and add to it.
This is where I'm up to so far:
- a few rows of crochet, long enough to drape around the neck;
- a tab with a button hole--on the right;
- a reinforced strip to hold a button or bead-- on the left.
- loose ends which haven't been woven in, dangling in case they're needed to attach something or other.
Now I have no more of that yarn. I'm going to improvise with other materials until I come up with something I like. But first, I'd better do a little more of the spinning for my folio and take my morning walk before it starts raining again.