Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Cotton, wool and catkins
The guild is offering an in house design class, which is interesting, and the instructor really knows her stuff. She was trained in England and did her Master Weaver specifically in the design process, so she comes at things a bit differently than a lot of weavers I know. It seems to have confused a few people in the class but luckily, the difference in terminology really wasn't an issue for me. The plus is that I've been used to doing fibre related homework whereas others didn't seem to be able to figure that part out. It can be really hard to sit down and do a homework project.
I've been spinning to weave again though, just because of this course. I did the sett samples with handspun and now I'm spinning Falkland wool singles for the next project. I've played around with spin patterning before, just once. I tried stripes and while there is definitely a difference in the look of the fabric, I didn't like the fabric, nor was I sure that it wasn't just a variation in the fleece colour and texture that created the visual effect. This time I'm using Falkland top. I am spinning singles, 40 wpi, about 7 or so tpi. I will dye it, most likely with woad as a friend and I had a discussion about spin patterning and we both figured that pigment would help the spin differences show up more. I got a little bit excited about this yesterday and this bobbin is now over 3/4 full. Who knew you could get sore muscles from spinning?
The spiles have been pulled from the maple trees and the buckets put away. We did our last boil on Sunday and in total we have 5 1/2 litres of maple syrup this year. The suggested finishing temperature recommened by Omafra info is 119°, but the info from Vermont suggests 220° gives a better taste and mouthfeel. I finished the syrup at 220° this year and boy, it really does make a difference, in a really good way.
The other day, after some particularly cold and blustery weather, I found these little sprigs of birch catkins, laying on the deck, like a gift. It was heartwarming. Not quite pussy willows, but still, soft and fuzzy and a sure sign that leaves are on their way.