Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
For the past several months I have been spinning cotton almost to the exclusion of anything else, apart from some already agreed upon spinning I did for a friend. It started out as something to do during long work meetings where I had to pay close attention. Keeping my hands occupied keeps my mind from wandering and I started out by spinning some of a large stash of cotton bolls an online friend sent me several years ago, several different colors and variety that had been grown in her garden. I spun singles on a takhli spindle and plyed the resulting singles on a high whorl spindle.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Monday, March 16, 2020
One thing I have needed desperately as the news changes and unfolds day to day is comfort knitting which I can pay little attention to, but will be pleasant to hand and relaxing. I chose to begin a new top down raglan sleeve sweater in handspun Corriedale cross yarn. Two ply. This is from a fleece I got last spring from Strawberry Ridge Farm and which I had processed into roving at Rach-Al-Paca fiber mill. It was a complete joy to spin (and i have several lbs of roving left, which is a wonderful thing) and It makes a wonderful yarn to touch. Sturdy yet pleasant against my skin and wonderful to knit with. This has been my go to at night when we watch the news or episodes of Poirot, something to keep my hands occupied and it also lets me enjoy the feel of the yarn.
Sometimes we need to focus, to take our minds off of worry and fear and this is where a project that takes all your attention can be useful. A friend of mine is making a new reed to use when she weaves with her backstrap loom. This takes incredible precision and attention and I admire her skill so much. I am spinning singles for weaving. This makes me pay much closer attention to what I am doing as I want a smooth even yarn and so need to pay extra attention to my drafting. My standard default yarn is mostly spun with much less attention but for weft I want to make sure my yarn is as good as I can make it. This attention grounds me and that helps so much to focus my mind on what I am doing, leaving no thinking space for worry. When I am spinning this yarn I am focused on the fiber source, the drafting, the grist, the feel of the wool as it passes through my hands. It is an active meditation. I am spinning Border Leicester from a fleece I purchased from Kate Larson several years ago. I dyed the fleece with various natural dyes and will use it as singles for warp.
For pure joy I have a plan to dig into my stash and pull out the treasures I have been hoarding like Smaug and his stash of gold. The braids of fiber whose colors make my heart sing, the blends that feel like air against my fingers. Right now I am not sure what I will grab first, it could be the box of silk I have been hoarding, or the indie braids that are so pretty to look at, or perhaps some of the special camel or cashmere blends I have tucked away. If there ever was a time to break something out that we have been saving 'For that special day' or 'Just in Case' this is it.'
For those of use who are able, this can be the time to support our fiber small business and teachers by purchasing that pattern we have looked and looked at, or place an order for that hemp or alpaca or fleece that has always looked intriguing. With festivals being canceled we can use our privilege to both add spice to our fiber life and support those whose livelihoods are so endangered.
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
I also learned, I want to replace the tie up rods and the heddles with texsolv, to reduce the noise.
I had planned to make a new bath sheet from this fabric. To sew three panels together. The twill fabric is a bit too thick for my bath sheet preferences though. I will sit on the roll and try and decide what to do with 7 yards of hemp cloth. Some might go into a spindle bag. I am envisioning embroidering in the negative spaces between the stripes.
I loved having a piece on the loom and immediately wound a warp and dressed the loom with handspun Romeldale/CVM for a scarf for this coming winter. I was extremely careful in winding on the warp bouts and it was an absolute joy to weave. I cannot wait to wear it, though I do need to find my fringe twister now.