Mar 8, 2013
Guess we lose an hour of fiber time this weekend. We may be "springing forward" but, winter is still good and handy right outside the door (and me with only 8 lbs of white wool left). Best start dying some more fibers. I wonder if we've got any colorful cereal boxes around this place.
Feb 10, 2013
(or: What Cabin Fever Looks Like When You're The Treadler)
Ah, February in northwoods and this weekend we're enjoying gusty breezes off of Lake Superior with pounding flecks of snow. It's pretty, (pretty dang cold), and it's very white out there, too white.
I need some color.
Guess I can't look to nature to inspire me over to the dye pot in a fervent attempt to capture some fantastic color combinations onto wool. No brilliant display of autumn leaves, nor woodsy mosses nestled against blue pine needles and tiny, purple wildflower blossoms to gaze upon. Just white. And, this wool is already white. Where's the challenge in that?
But, hey, Claxton sure did pick out a lovely hankie box at the grocery store! (You have cabin fever your way, I'll have it mine, which right now means attempting to spin a yarn that matches this hankie box.)
Thus far in the process I'm fairly happy with the dye job and am starting to think it does pay to take copious dye notes and double check weights and measures. Did you know 2 nickels weigh 10 grams? That's straight out of my winter diary!
Then I ran another portion of the roving gently through the drum carder which blended the colors a bit:
Here they are side-by-side:
I'll spin them each up seperately into little skeins of yarn and then take more pictures for further comparison. Why? Because the wind is howling, our "blustery mix" is now a "severe weather warning", Claxton's upstairs fighting with the vaporizer and I think it's too early in the day to start drinking.
Jan 11, 2013
I think I'll further examine those options (you know, rather than actually running the risk of doing something with this). If I figure out where I left off and what my next step is and then pursue it the thing might not turn out the way I picture it in my mind. I'd not enjoy replacing that picture with a less fortunate reality.
As it is I can look at these assorted parts and think, "Ah, what potential I have here for an awesome doll!"
Sometimes I don't think that. Sometimes I just enjoy contemplating, "Whoever the children pay to empty this house out after I'm gone might find it kind of creepy that I have a lunch bag of muslin body parts tucked in between old weaving magazines and a phone book collection." (It will toughen their resolve for when they discover the bag of dog hair I've been asked to spin.)
Then there's the option of throwing the cloth doll project away. If I do that when I'm already fairly happy with the progress made only 5 short years ago...well, it would be like saying, "I never, ever plan to make a cloth doll." and, I'm just not ready to say that!
So, as anyone can see, I'm duty-bound to do nothing. And, since I'm tired of thinking about this all together, I should tuck it completely out of sight.
There. Problem solved. While I'm on a roll I should figure out where I can tuck a half-warped floor loom out of sight. (I'm getting tired of imagining how great those waffle towels are going to look someday.)
Jan 5, 2013
It is tricky business setting goals when my main focus is to be more present in the moment at hand and enjoy what is going on now. And, I've been having modest success with this. Every so often I actually wake up and remember to pull my thoughts out of some wacky what-if scenario involving what I'll do if a dog attacks me next Tuesday while I'm out for a jog, if I go for a jog, and realize the present moment is Saturday morning, I'm peeling carrots and I just peeled my finger.
Last Tuesday I was out jogging while thinking about what if I was able to always remain in the present moment when I found myself running out in front of a car. The present moment tends to elude me.
But, the New Year is a good time to stop and intentionally look backward and then forward and set some nice goals, so long as one is only setting goals and not crossing roads or peeling things at the same time.
Looking backward - 2012
- I have successfully initiated about 50 more unfinished fiber projects and successfully added them to the work-in-progress pile. Why is starting a new project so much more fun than finishing an old one? Can it be that starting a new project is simply a method of procrastinating the completion of its predecessor? No. Forget I asked that. Where was I?
- Oh yes. I had my appendix removed. This was an unplanned project but, certainly I would be dead if it had not been accomplished by somebody else (I did not perform the surgery - and thank goodness the surgeon is one for finishing those projects that he starts). This adventure may have resulted in some hearing loss in my right ear because...
- While recovering from surgery I convinced my husband I needed a lovebird and he got me one. Her picture is at top of this post. She's very agile, terribly cute, eats spinach, popcorn and sunflower seeds out of my hand and has the most piercing, shrill tweet you ever experienced. I do believe she is quieting down some though, now that my eardrums no longer function at full capacity. I never thought I'd hear myself say that (ha, ha).
- My jokes have gotten stupider...which is saying something.
- Learn and experiment with new fiber techniques. I'm afraid this may involve creating a new work-in-progress pile but, I think I have what it takes to accomplish that. Starting a new pile is mostly a matter of ignoring Claxton when he says things like, "We're running out of real estate." or hints at wishing he had a place to set down his coffee cup. Thankfully, who can hear him over all the bird squalor!
- Teach a class and take a class. I'll be leading a couple of fun little by-member-for-member classes for the Duluth Fiber Handcrafters Guild in February related to fiber preparation and novelty spinning. AND, I hope very much to participate in this week long adventure in September:The Slow Felt Movement, Resist Dyed Felt Books and Brooches. If this adventure pans out I might need to set a goal of creating 3 or 4 new work-in-progress piles!
- Lastly, try to downplay this bird situation before I acquire an ugly nickname. Now that we have Quercus (parakeet) and noisy old Dusty (lovebird named for her ability to stir it up) and, ever since I collected and successfully dyed many a seagull feather...
Seagull Feathers Permanently Dyed
(Simmered in Kool Aid and vinegar)
...Anyway, it occurs to me that these sorts of escapades can result in an unwanted nickname. I don't want to be the "crazy bird lady". But, much like the present moment, a more desireable nickname such as the "smart, pretty girl" continues to elude me.
Oct 6, 2011
Over the summer months I was contacted by Gaia Gualtieri with Dyeing House Gallery in Tuscany requesting use of my Autumn Leaves Yarn for their web site's Fall Banner http://www.dhgshop.it/
Awhile back Claxton was learning a few phrases here and there of Italian so I asked him if he'd peek at the site and let me know what it was about. He reminded me of what our cute, 6 year old nephew (who is fluent in both Italian and English) said to him last visit, "Be nice to my uncle, he's still learning to talk." (This is all a moot point any way as it turns out the website has a translation button over the banner at the top left.)
I never dreamt while I was spinning this yarn that I would one day be jealous of it getting to go on a virtual trip to Italy and all. (Meanwhile I vacationed in Arkansas this summer.)
So where is this yarn now? Well, I knit it into a very strange hat and donated it for silent auction in support of the the good work being done at Critter Harbor. It's rather a sad ending though: it seems that while this yarn might be deemed pretty enough for a website banner turns out that nobody actually wants to put a silk leaf yarn-hat on top of their heads.