Monday, 6 April 2015
I do love hanging out the laundry though. It smells so fresh when you bring it in. I don't even mind that linens get a bit crunchy and stiff sometimes.
Luckily, I guess, I had some flax fibre left from last year. As this is hopefully going to be a woven project, I am hoping I have enough hemp for the weft and can use the linen thread as the warp. I really hope that Keven is over his linen thread chewing stage, since he ruined my last linen project, by chewing on the warp threads.
I'm not horribly happy with the flax. It isn't a strick, but rather a processed flax top or sliver. It is supposed to be longer fibres , but not as long a a strick. Instead, what I am finding is that it is a mix of long and short fibres, mixed with lots and lots of tow cruddy bits, tangles and neps. Some of the fibres spin smoothly until you get to the shorter bits. Then it is stop and start, picking out the garbage. Sometimes I get lazy and just try to spin some of the smaller bits in. Once in a while it gets a bit slubby and I have to start picking it out again.
Monday, 30 March 2015
|Hills, valleys and loose tension on unpadded bobbin|
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Trying again since I managed to do a whole blog update and forgot to save it. I got distracted by Maple Syrup.
First, take a photo of some sort of interesting outdoor scene. I had to go outside at dusk to get the lighting right for this one. It did take a few tries to get the drip just right.
Define the colours in the photo, find suitable fibres and blend them into batts. I used the drum carder for this.
Spin the batts into singles on two bobbins.
Hunt through the bead stash to find the clear glass beads. I really thought the dark amber beads would look nice but to look like the photo, I needed clear ones. These are dollar store glass beads because there is no bead store within an hour drive of here. They are not horribly uniform in shape, but they work nicely and it isn't noticeable. I used a dental floss tool designed for braces for threading the beads onto the single.
Ply the two singles together, dropping a bead off at fairly regular intervals. I kept them fairly far apart as the sap was dripping rather slowly at the time. Okay, I'd have kept them fairly far apart anyway as I prefer yarns like this to have less frequent beads. I think it looks classier when knitted up into something, rather than heavy with frequent beads.
Sunday, 15 March 2015
|painted warps for scarves|
We have an array of the basic colours and with syringes, squirt out a bit of this colour and a bit of that, getting some interesting and one of a kind results. Invariably, the finished projects are absolutely breathtaking or at least beautiful.
The skein was just wound normally on my 61in niddy noddy. I started painting it with the blue, which was a strong concentration of the turquoise blue colour. For the green, I used a bit of the leftover blue, with a small percentage of yellow and watered it all down a fair bit. The pink was a dilute mixture of straight fuchsia. I'm not sure what I'll make with this skein, but I think the colours are really pretty.
Nylon takes acid dyes readily. The nylon Icicle fibre is strong, sparkles and not a really soft fibre. It tends to be used in small quantities to add sparkle to more modern or arty type yarns. It is too rough for my liking to add to strengthen sock yarns. I use fake Cashmere nylon for that purpose as it is soft as well as strong. But the Icicle dyes beautifully. I did a lighter concentration of the same blue left from the yarn skein. The pink was some very diluted leftover fuchsia. I added the last few drops of blue to the mix afterwards to get the purply pink. I mixed a bit of yellow into the now empty blue container, for the pale green. The orange was made from adding yellow to an empty red container that I found in the discard area. Everything went into my dye steamer when I got home. In all, I think I captured spring colours rather nicely. None of the colours are easily reproduced as no measurements were taken, but even if I never find a use for it, it was a fun experiment and a great morning out!
Thursday, 12 March 2015
The sky is a glorious blue to the north. Right at the centre top of this photo, is a wasps nest which survived the winds and snows of this winter. The buds on the trees are starting to swell. We probably won't have leaves until May, but this is a sure sign that spring is on the way.
Sometimes it pays to look down. This pretty little round stone was sitting right by the front door. It's smooth, round and unlike any of the gravel bits on the driveway. I think it must have been dug up when the boys filled in the hole in the foundation or from when my son dug up the ancient, overgrown shrubs from the rest of the flower beds. I find it amazing that it didn't get lost in the gravel, buried in garden dirt, hidden under leaves or sent forth by a lawnmower.
Saturday, 7 March 2015
The hot chocolate is actually dark chocolate almond milk, which is a gazillion times superior to just regular hot chocolate. Smooth, thick, chocolatey, almondy and creamy, with no dairy. What is not to like?
Most of my homework skeins are finished up. There are a few I'm redoing because it was too early in the healing process and they show a bit too much distraction. However, I am really happy with this skein. It is 1 tpi, or 1 twist per inch. For scale, every two twists in the yarn equals about 1 inch in real life. It is fat, fluffy, squishy and such a huge departure from my spinning norm of worsted or semi-worsted fine yarns for weaving. Now to do the last couple of skeins, mount everything and figure out what my final project will be.
The weather has shifted and the temperatures are supposed to rise above freezing this week. They will be perfect temperatures for the Maple sap to start running. We will be setting the spiles this weekend. Last year I did the job by myself. It was really quite enjoyable, drilling and tapping the spiles into the trees and then hanging the buckets. However this year I get to watch from the window as I'm not allowed outside to play until the snow melts. At least I should be allowed to play in the dirt once it's time to turn the soil and plant some seeds.
Tuesday, 3 March 2015
I finally finished the toe on this sock and grafted it together yesterday afternoon. Now to cast on the second sock. Last hip check up I had, I'd forgotten to bring my knitting bag and had to sit around twiddling my thumbs for a bit until I remembered I had put a game on my phone. It was my least desired waiting room activity. I don't think I will forget to bring a project or a book along next time. My sweetie suggested I just leave a project bag with a pair of socks in the truck, so it is there when I need it, which isn't a bad idea actually.
I spent 45 minutes this morning sanding this simple boot jack. It was a quickie project that my sweetie made for me last night, out of a scrap of wood. It isn't horribly pretty, but it works just fine. With something like a boot jack, function is really what is important. Many years ago I had a pretty little blue one that my uncle made me when I was a kid, to help me haul off my riding boots. This one is needed so I can get my new boots off without mucking up the heels too much.
The deal was if I got my hip done, my sweetie would get me new boots. Love the boots. They are super comfortable. A bit ticked off that they cost $100 more in Canada than in the US, but we're used to that. On the other hand, the service and selection from Keleher's Western Wear was pretty awesome. Awesome service is hard to come by at a lot of stores these days.