May 01 2009

Like a crazed spider…

Published by under Spinning

I’ve been spinning like mad lately — handspun for weaving, for knitting, for the sheer pleasure of wheel and spindle.

bits and bobs
bits and bobbins

I am beginning to think that the crazier the world gets, the more appealing spinning yarn is to me. I don’t suppose there’s any way to spin straw into gold, is there?

How about Corriedale into yarn instead? I’m aiming eventually for a 3-ply knittable yarn. Below is Corriedale dyed with indigo and osage orange from Handspun By Stefania. It just so happens that Stefania is the mother of my best friend from junior high and high school, who I saw at last summer’s Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair. Stefania’s dyeing is wonderful, and I’m spinning up nearly a half pound of this stuff.

one-third down, two to go
one-third down, two to go

This is also hers:

two cakes of singles, one small ball of 2-ply
two cakes of singles, one small ball of 2-ply

Corriedale dyed with two concentrations of cochineal. Looks like raspberry twist in the singles…and I think it’s much nicer as singles than as a 2-ply. That starts to look like a cabled yarn, and not in a good way. I’m thinking to try it as a singles weft, although it might make for an interesting 2-ply warp. The cabling would disappear and it would become a tweedy sort of fabric with the right weft. Hm.

Oh, and here’s more Corriedale (with silk added!) waiting to be spun. This is dyed with logwood and cochineal:

the roving is actually a little darker than this
the roving is actually darker and more purple

And let’s not forget the first two wools of hers that I spun up: some Coopworth in indigo and more in osage orange. The shine of the Coopworth is glorious, although I find it feels a bit like spinning wire. And if there’s just a tiny bit of osage orange pigment left in the wool, well, my fingers turn fuschia! Yes, the hottest of hot pink. Very silly…and not what I would have expected, but the yarn is washed and my fingers are clean. Wish I’d have taken pictures of that.

mood indigo
mood indigo
oooh, shiny!
oooh, shiny!

Huh. I guess you can spin wool into gold after all. And into a lovely color-graded yarn (roving from The Fold) with a bit of gold in it, too.

color-graded polworth roving all spun up
color-graded polworth roving all spun up

There will be more spinning in the next few posts; I’m beginning to think that I might need to take a break and go play in the garden or read a book or something.

Crazed spider, I’m telling you.

this one’s been stalking me in my bathroom for a week!

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Apr 02 2009

Johnny blog lately…

Published by under Uncategorized

I can’t believe I’m doing this — it seems a little silly to start one more artsy/crafty/fibery blog. There are plenty out there, after all!

…but I’ve got a few people who keep asking for pictures of what I’m working on (you know who you are, lunarawe!), and so this seems the best way to keep people up to date. Besides, my partner tends to get a blank look on his face and feigns boredom to the point of pretending to drool when I get enthusiastic about my work. I have to have some place to share my fun!

As for the other blogs I read or artists’ websites I visit regularly, I’ve listed them on the left side panel.

The picture above is my own weaving: linen upholstery fabric in an 8-shaft complex twill, the dark french blue is weft I dyed myself. Some day, it will become the cushion on a piano bench and the seats and backs of two more chairs in our music room/library here at home. Once that happens, I’ll post pictures, I promise! Eventually that and all the other stuff will end up on the Finished Objects page as they’re completed. And, now and then, I”ll have some completed projects that need new homes, so if/when that happens, I’ll label them “for sale.” I don’t expect that to happen too often, though. I tend to make things for specific people…and often just for me!

As for the pictures, here’s what I’m currently working on:

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