Saturday, 4 March 2017

Spinning, weaving, printing.

The Blue Faced Leicester is plied.  I used the jumbo flyer for my Kromski Minstrel to make a huge skein of about 430 yards.  It's soft, squishy and I'm happy with the spinning.    There is so much roving left that when I eventually get around to finish spinning it, that I'm sure to have enough to do something with.  I just have to convince myself not to dye it before it is all spun up!  I'm spinning up a bit of cotton sliver right now.  I thought it would change things up a bit, but it's white too and really sort of feels the same, even though it's a totally different spinning technique for the cotton.  It is still white.

After a bit of trial and error on the loom, I'm half done the 2nd log cabin rug.  I tried using two colours and I really disliked the lighter tan that I'd used.  It looked grubby to me.  Log cabin uses 2 shuttles, but adding a second colour also added a 3rd shuttle, which I didn't really enjoy using.  I tried just manually setting in strips, which helped a lot, but in the end, after about 8 inches of weaving, I unwove it and started again. 
Next I tried 3 strands of 2  ply rug wool.  It was a dark grey and looked fabulous.  If I'd had a narrower piece on, it would have made great tote bags, but with a rug width, it was just too light weight.   I will either try it with 6 strands of yarn or use it for a warp specifically for tote bags.   I did have this dark red sheet, already cut up into strips and waiting for me to use it.  I'm happy with it and it's a quick weave.

I played around with making a new block print.   This only took a couple of hours to carve.  I tried using an acrylic paint, which is why the stamp is stained black, but I didn't read the fine print on the label.  I'd presumed that acrylic paint, meant just that, but this is matte finish and I'm guessing is kids tempera paint.  It covered well, but had a horrible texture once dry.   I worried it would flake off in time.   I used the purple ink, the only colour I have at the moment, to make a few cards with this print.  I have learned I need a barren, to rub over the applied stamp or carved block , to help keep the ink adhering evenly.  My son who can actually draw, sculpt and paint (really do so, not just dabble like myself) suggested a small paintbrush to add a bit of extra ink to places where it tends to be lighter.   I'm officially out of supplies though, and for the moment I can't do anything new.   There is no art supply store locally, so it means a trip to a nearby city at some point, and I've no idea when that will happen.

Despite it being cold today, the sun is out and the wind is fairly gentle, at least compared to the past couple of days.   The chooks are enjoying the sunshine.  This girl is determined to dig up the front flower beds with her sunning and dust bathing.  She really looked like she was enjoying herself, so I let her dig away.  Hopefully she'll dig up some of those weeds.

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