Friday, 25 May 2012
It was more of an experimental evening rather than leader led program. The first skein I tried, I really wanted a bright green for bright green and black stripes. I got a nice green, although it wasn't nearly as bright as I'd wanted. I realized that I wasn't quite as prepared as I should have been. Although I did swatch, I didn't have my stripe calculations worked out and as the workshop leader used certain numbers as examples, in the rush , those numbers stuck in my head. As soon as I realized this, combined with my not quite bright enough green, my project changed to a colour wheel, which a single tertiary colour between the primaries. The stripes won't be quite wide enough for my liking, but they'll be fun and colourful socks none the less.
Painting the skeins was a lot of work. First winding the ridiculously long skein, which I did using my warping board and then laying it out on plastic wrap. Then applying the dye, wrapping it up, steaming it, letting it cool, unwrapping the skein, rinsing it and in my case cooking it as second time to finish the dye setting process. After all this is done, you have to put the long skein back on the warping board and wind it into regular skeins for aging (like fine wines some sock yarns are) or straight into cakes to use immediately. That winding took a long time as I had to unwind a few yards and then wind them up. In the end, my sweetie helped me which saved a lot of time. Note that the colourwheel skein is still in it's absurdly long state and not yet a normal skein.
A couple of hours in the evening for a project like this, when you haven't done it before isn't quite enough time and it really felt rushed toward the end of the evening. I've got a whole slew of ideas for future projects though, which is exciting and so totally what I don't need in the project queue. However the nice thing about dyeing is when other projects seem to weigh or bog down due to length, dyeing is pretty much an instantaneous gratification project and we all need those once in a while.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
I was away for the weekend and came home to amazing colours in the garden. These beautiful Irises were hidden in the garden. I'd meant to dig them up last year and replant them, as they were originally planted a little too deep and rarely bloomed. Obviously some chicken scratching and dustbathing has helped a lot this year.
Another flower which needs thinning are the Poppies. There are now scads of orange Poppies. I'd really like some other types and colours. There are some pink and varigated pink Oriental Poppies which would make a nice addition. The Icelandic Poppies I planted last year don't seem to have made it through the winter, nor have several other plants. Whether that's due to the lack of snow cover or the chickens, I don't know.
Monday, 14 May 2012
When loading up the truck for a dump run, I found this old door. It's still sturdy, although it certainly needs to be cleaned up. I've been doodling on graph paper, trying to design a cupboard to fit around the door. In the process, I came up with 2 other cupboards which would fit in places around the house. Now to draft something more concrete and get materials lists for one of them.
Saturday, 5 May 2012
The lovely grey is more Blue Faced Leicester and Merino, both with a bit of nylon, mixed with some black merino. I really bought the first superwash fibres on a whim. However I've rather enjoyed spinning them as they draft nicely and are easy to re-card into batts. I'm on the second bobbin now, so if I can actually get myself to card up the last two batts, sit down and spin, I'll be plying in no time. The problem is that I sat down one day to play with the little support spindle . It's certainly not fast, but it is very enjoyable. Now of course, I'll probably have to unlearn all the mistakes I've picked up in teaching myself to use it. Darned if I was going to let a spinning device sit unused and untried, lest it spend it's days taunting me! I can see now that a slightly shorter spindle might be nice and even a little heavier would work as well. However I do like the tip for spinning off of this one and it's beautifully finished, so has a lovely hand feel when using it.