Search

A Little More Abstract

Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

Category

Big Project

Days 5&6 of Tour De Fleece

IMG_1364

I have made some progress on my major spin for Tour De Fleece.  More importantly from my perspective, I have decided to take my time and enjoy the step I am working on.  My personality is such that I am usually looking toward the next thing.  The next project, the next skill, the next thing to learn, etc.  This means that I do not really spend much time, if any, enjoying the step that I am on.  Recently I have been reading where several spinners talk about the hours of enjoyment they have gotten from a piece of fleece/fiber.  I have, for me, a large project that I am spinning toward.

Paradise Fibers sent me 8 oz of their Merino Blend in Bloom.  I split that in half to perform a Monet Spin, if you’ve been following me you know this already.  At present I am spinning about 4oz of the top in a straight short forward worsted spin on my ladybug.  This is resulting in the finest and most consistent spin I have ever accomplished.  However, instead of relaxing and enjoying this spin I am eager to get to the next step, spinning up the carded fibers.  I am also eager to see what the final plied yarn will look like, I have done two ply back samples and I believe I will have either a lace weight 2 ply or a DK weight 4 ply.  (it’s pretty fine)

Right now, I have spend almost three hours spinning up this first part of my fiber.  I am only capable of spinning about an hour or so at a time, the fineness of this spin means that should my concentration waver too much I will lose my consistency.  In those three hours, I have barely made a dent in my top.  This being said,  I have made a conscious decision to do my best to enjoy this time creating this yarn.  Haste makes waste is very apt in this case.  I am spinning a fine consistent yarn, taking my time, concentrating on how I am spinning and the results that I am obtaining will be key to enjoying this spin.  At my current rate of spinning I should get another 21 hours of enjoyment from this fiber.  Let’s see how it goes!

Happy Crafting!

Too Long Gone

I know, I have not updated in way too long.  Things have been moving and shaking in my crafting world.  I have had a lot of fun keeping up with my spinning, I cannot spin every day but those days that I do I really enjoy.  IMG_0034.JPG

I’ve been given the opportunity of a lifetime this summer, I will be holding weekly crafting classes at the public library I work at.  It is an amazing opportunity to introduce wool to my community and help them discover the different ways that they can create their own clothing, starting their design process from the fiber up.  It has been a blast getting everything together for these classes and figuring out what I will be teaching each class.  Unfortunately this has not left me a lot of time for updating my blogs.  I”ll work on that.

Happy Crafting!

 

Dyeing For Color

img_1177

I have to confess, this wool is so much softer than it looks.  All of these pieces of wool are dyed using either Liquid or gel food dyes as well as a combination of Alum and Cream of Tartar as a mordant.  I do enjoy how the colors have turned out, they are not as brilliant as I would have liked.  I did find out with the last batch of yellow I did, if I pre-mordant the fiber and cook up the dye bath in the mordant and use about half a container of the color then the colors come out very rich, the bottom two golden yellows.  The yellow right above was first dyed in Hibiscus Tea (a variety that was quite sharp though I usually prefer hibiscus tea).  This particular blend of tea is a very sharp red and initially turned the fiber a beautiful Burgundy…alas all of that color just ran right out of the fiber when it was taken from the bath.  The result was a very faintly beige color, you know that shade of eggshell where you are staring at it and saying “it isn’t quite white but it isn’t really anything else either.”  So I overdyed by plopping this fiber into a pot that I thought was exhausted (it wasn’t) and turned out to be very pretty and rinsed clear.

I am really happy with my experimentations.  If I get particularly brave this afternoon I might try to fill out cards with what information I have for them and start a dye dairy.  At the absolute minimum I intend to finish dyeing my fibers using the Wilton Cake Dye kit I obtained and Alum Mordant so that I have a wide Pallette of colors to play with.  If sometime this summer a yen takes my fancy I might look into obtaining some Jacquard dyes to get more colors.  I do hope to spend some time this summer and fall experimenting with plant materials and the dyes that they can create, how exciting!

Happy Crafting!

Progress, or not

So spinning every day was a great idea.  Unfortunately it did not take into account my being sick enough that dragging myself to work was about all I could do.  Therefore my spinning has fallen off track a bit, not irreparable though.  While I will not actually get 365 days of spinning this year, my goal was to take each month as it comes and deal with it that way.  January is sort of shot, I missed about 3 days, but I will finish strong and start up with February.

Speaking of starting up, Mom is almost fully recovered from her previous illness.  She has decided to see how many crafts she can finish with the supplies we already have laid in.  Essentially she has declared this her year of Stash Busting Crafts!  So far this month she has crocheted up 2 cowls from yarn she had on hand, I will put up pictures of those in my next post.

I have decided to accompany her on this quest, though for my major tapestry project I will need to purchase more wool in periwinkle, though I will admit to a desire to see how much of that project I can get done with the supplies I had already laid in.  (Warp threads, white weft, and some singles spun in periwinkle, with an addition of gold silk I hope to use to accent a particular portion).

I must freely confess I fear I am already making excuses for not following through, since my next thought is that I wanted to purchase some white wool to test dying techniques.  I suppose the best way of doing that would be to dig out what white wool I already have (alpaca, sheep, etc) and plan on using that to dye with until I have figured out which, if any, of the natural dyes get me the colors I want.  If the natural dyes don’t work the way I want then I will have just used some of my wool-stash anyway.  My next experiment is probably going to be centered around washing the batts that I carded containing ‘sticky wool’.  I am hoping that there is some lanolin or other processing oils contained in the batts that is making them sticky.  If that is the case then a good hot soak should loosen up the oils enough for me to wind up with a fluffy batt.  If not then washing with Dawn, if they start to felt then I might try to spread it thin and experiment with felting.

I am sort of excited to let the wool speak for itself and decide what it will become.  I am still spinning thin with the blues, now that I am feeling better.  So many exciting things going on!

Happy Crafting!

New Goal for 2017

A new year brings about a lot of new ideas and reflections.  This past year seems to have gotten lost; but there are many things that I have to be grateful for.  My continued decent health, my mother’s life, opportunities to be creative, new skills to be learned, and new goals to accomplish.

My goals for this year:

Spin 1lb of Corriedale wool in Periwinkle as singles

Warp my tapestry loom

Weave the Train tapestry

Create a project using Sprang

Create a Sampler using the tabletop 4 harness loom

Spin once every day for at least 15 minutes and post on Instagram with the tag of #spin15

My aspirations for this year:

Dig out the back raised beds for a potted garden

Purchase the pots to be put in the potted garden

Plant a potted garden, vegetables and flowers for dyes

Finish the external garage as a fiber studio

(This includes cleaning the whole thing out, putting mesh wire in every section for   mouse repellent, probably putting in insulation, and covering the insulation with some kind of particle board/drywall/pegboard for finishing things up. (Or I can see what mom’s handyperson will charge to do all of this))

Turn one room in the house into a craft room, with an organizational system in place

Create a teaching plan that involves some form of crafting each week of a year.  It would be easy enough to include some psychology and sociology into this; be productive, remember to appreciate your skills, there is as much knowledge gained in failure as success, etc.

While I am certain I can accomplish and will accomplish my initial goals, I do hope that I can accomplish at least one of my aspirations.  The aspiration I am most hopeful to accomplish is creating a craft room with an organizational space.  Truthfully, that is more for Mom than for myself.  She has her yarn scattered all over the house, which would not be a problem but then she has troubled putting her hands on what she wants when she wants it!  I purchased a clear organizer with 20 cubes that all have doors to them.  This should allow her to get an idea of what is in each cube while keeping the actual materials clean.  Yay!

 

Happy Crafting!

 

My New Drum Carder

My drum carder came!  My Brother Drum Carder finally arrived, and it is all ready to go!  As you can see from my ‘unboxing’ pictures my Brother Drum Carder arrived assembled and ready to go with instructions in a lovely plastic pouch.  The intake drum and larger drum are at the right depth, though there are detailed instructions for how to change that depth if needed.  I will admit I followed directions from another website, I cannot find them again to give them credit, and did some sanding.  I took an emery board and ran it in all directions across both drums of my carder, this was supposed to take out any little burrs left by the manufacturing process.  The emery boards were all chewed up at the end of the process so I hope it worked.  The carder itself works like a dream, but it really is a good idea to be up on your tetanus shot before working with something like this.

I am having an absolute blast playing with my new drum carder.  I am experimenting with corriedale, merino, and some other colored wools.  I will post later today or tomorrow about my new batts!

Happy Crafting!

3D Printed Drop Spindle

drop-spindle

I managed to download this pattern from Thingiverse and it was created by kg6gfq.   One of the libraries that I work at obtained a 3d printer about a year ago but I have not heard of it being utilized too much.    Being the very curious person I am I decided to poke that particular rattlesnake and print something out.  I checked out Thingiverse and found Drop spindles, bobbins, even the plans for an Espinner out of printed materials.  I was over the moon, so I downloaded the ones I liked, came into work a couple of hours early, and started to mess around figuring things out.  The first thing I found out was that none of the files were in a format I could use.  Some checking around led me to believe that I needed them in Makerbot Formula.  None of the libraries computers had that format so I would have to bring my laptop next time (my home computer is a Mac but my Laptop runs Windows 10) install Makerbot and see what I could do.

The next week I brought my laptop in (I only work at that library once a week) downloaded the software and began to convert the files, it was actually pretty simple once the program was installed.  I was very happy thinking that I would now be able to print out, at least, my 3d spindle.  I went home pleased with how next week was going to go.

The third week into my venture I went to work an hour early to see about getting my printout started.  I plugged my usb drive in and went through the materials I wanted printed.  Everything worked perfectly, time estimates, printing sizes, etc.  Except that nothing would print out.  There was no filament waiting to be used to print.  Darn.  I looked around a bit and finally had to admit, I was going to have to ask someone.

After a couple of e-mails and a further couple of weeks I now have my 3d printed turkish spindle.  While it would have been a lot less aggravation to just order the thing from Turtlemade or another company that prints them, I am pleased that I now know how to convert a file to be usable on a Makerbot printer.  My next steps are to see about creating an original pattern to print out, finding out what they are going to charge in the future for printing jobs, and testing out my spindle.  I knew I should have brought fiber to work with me, lol.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday’s singles = Friday’s ply

I managed the monster mile!  

My first five skeins are beautiful 2-ply yarns at about 14 wpi.  I managed to go well over my monster mile. Hitting my first goal out of the park. For my sixth skein I created a 4 ply yarn that I think of as my unicorn yarn, just beautiful and magical.  

I’m not too sure where I am, though I know winning rogue is out of my realm, but it’s fun anyway.  I have an event I will be at tomorrow, but hopefully I can continue my plying.  I am surprised at how much of my fiber I have spun.

I’ll see what happens tomorrow and do a frantic rush on Sunday, posting my totals then. 

Happy Crafting!

Monday’s Singles = Wednesday’s Ply

monday-and-tuesday-progress-2016

The singles that I spun on Monday and part of Tuesday were waiting for me on bobbins.  I decided to let them rest, as much as I could stand to, but when I woke up at 1am Wednesday morning it seemed like fate.  I had to ply them and find out how much yardage I had!

So 3-4 hours later I wound off the last of my three skeins and I have to say 474 yards of 2 ply yarn is not bad for just messing around for a couple of hours before work, after work, and when I wake up in the middle of the night.  Since each ply counts, and the time I spent plying counts each of the skeins counts for X3 credit.  This means that 474X3=1,422 yards spun!

This is fantastic!  1,760 yards is a mile spun, also known as the Monster Mile so I am 338 yards or a 113 yard skein of 2 ply away from making this goal!  If I spin up the 2 bobbins I hope to tonight, and spend some time plying it tomorrow, or spinning up more bobbins, then I should be able to make a couple of miles by Friday!  Tomorrow is the first day that I can spend devoted to spinning instead of worrying about work, so I am beyond thrilled!

Happy Crafting!

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑