Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Natural dyeing...

Well,  this natural dyeing is a favorite sport of mine in the last several are some recent photos: osage orange, no premordant I believe...

Cochineal (which I unfortunately overdyed and it turned muddy, oh well...), the above photo'd osage orange, osage orange overdyed with indigo...and them!

Results from a madder workshop I lead together with my guild:  premordanted with alum, no mordant, and premordanted with iron.  The latter is a lovely purple that you can't really see...results are very different from the workshop at SAFF I attended...  

these lovely muted shades were from the end of the almost exhausted dyepots...madder and iron...but the fibers hand't been premordanted, just dipped in the dedicated dyepots so obviously there was mordant materials in the water

 I just love this....

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My Triloom

Long ago, I went to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.  There, I spotted my first triloom at HillCreek Fiber Studios Booth. I have wanted one ever since.

I have a friend from college who is a fabulous woodworker.  He actually made me a tri-loom.

Here is my first effort, a 7' triangle.  Made of some  very inexpensive lightweight yarn purchased at a mill in Ireland, supplemented with some very expensive kidsilk haze!  Not pictured:  if I pin the three ends together, it makes a decent shrug...

Friday, February 17, 2017

My 19th Century Double Drive Spinning Wheel

I was very lucky to have a friend named Ruth  from Fiber Guild of the Savannahs help me to "rehab' my old wheel, while at the Oatland Island Harvest Festival outside Savannah last year.

Ruth taught me a whole lot and I thank her!

She believes that it is a "Pennsylvania" style wheel, and dated it to 1860 to 1890. The man I bought it from three years ago said that he and his wife bought it  at an antique store in New Hampshire in the 1960's, they were antique collectors.  I'm sure he told me that she was not a spinner. It has a treadle sewing machine band on it which broke easily so someone at some point tried to get her going.  (It was stapled together). We removed the band, which was old enough that it could be broken by hand.

We had to clean the spindle and get some gunk off.  There was also some old wool separating the bobbin from the flyer (what's pictured is actually the drive band, below is the wool which Ruth thought looked like Shetland) , and we got them moving freely.

She told me that often women would use chicken fat to oil their wheels and then little animals would chew on the wood or leather parts. Mine has some teeth marks (hard to see) around this old repair. The string from the repair would have absorbed the lubricating oil or fat and darkened the wood in this area

She thinks that the footman and the treadle are newer than the rest of the wheel especially as the footman has a more contemporary type of manufacture.  The tie up  between the footman and the treadle is loose and I will need to retie it

Ruth was very taken with the detail that the maker did to adorn this wheel which we think is mostly oak

If I get it running well enough, she will need some new bobbins

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Little Goddess

A member of our guild passed away last year; she was a student of goddess representations in textiles all over the world.  Her name was Mary B. Kelly.

We decided to make some goddesses for a little "shrine" as it were for her.  I copied a graph of one of the embroideries out of one of her books and executed it in knitting.  The blue yarn is indigo dyed. To get it to stand I added triangular gusetts at the bottom and weighted it with some small stones at the bottom. The top is stuffed with wool 

I love the fact that she is holding trees and looks a bit like she is giving birth!

Mary wrote a number of books on the subject, here are covers of a few, many are available on amazon.  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Knitting for Syria in 2016

I did a fair amount of knitting to donate to Syria in 2016 and posted on some of it before.  Since then, I have completed two more sweaters and a blanket.  The Ravelry group "Hats and more for war-torn Syria" was my happy find.  These sweaters are collected by the Salaam Cultural Center in Seattle and distributed to Syrian refugees abroad. 

Elizabeth Zimmerman's baby surprise jacket has been my touchstone for these sweaters. 

Here are a few more completed this year

The yarn in this one is Harrisville Shetland

This one is larger, knit from Studio Donegal Tweed in worsted weight, acquired during my trip to Ireland. It wasn't wide enough so I added a crocheted band for the buttons which turned out to look really good!

And this is a wool blanket done in squares from the last of the yarn from a friend. Two friends and I dyed the yarns at different times, some synthetic dyes and some natural, as the yarn was white which is not practical. I was not the only knitter so I can't take full credit. It's about 5' x 5'. There are different gauges but all squares are 6" x  6". I alternated directions of the garter stitch in sewing it up, thinking that that might make it a bit sturdier. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Making 2016

(Threading lights  through a wheel is harder than it looks!

Well, it's been a low production year for gifts knitted or otherwise, but here the few that I did

I knit these at the last minute for my niece who loves the bunnies, they are mitts that I spun and knit from my white angora then dipped in a dyepot of a leftover brew that contained cochineal, madder, and some indigo (from something else that had been overdyed in it). I am still working on spinning even yarn with my angora but I kind of like the bumps...

This habotai silk scarf from Dharma was dyed in indigo, then I dyed some primarily wool sock yarn in the same vat. I did an overcast stitche with the yarn then picked up and knit a lace border. I really like this but it went to Susanne.  I'll do more...

This is Evelyn A Clark's shawl, "Ripple."  I am a huge fan of Evelyn's, perhaps because one of her lace shawl patterns was one of the first I knit. This is done in Noro Silk Garden sock, and  goes to Beth. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

SAFF 2016 part two

Here are a few  more  photos from my SAFF journey this year. First, one of my favorite views every autumn

This little black lamb's ewe rejected him, he was being bottle fed by the owner and got lots of attention

My friend the amazingly talented Milissa Dewey working  on a loom from the 1850's from Kentucky which had not been used for 100 years 

And here is Alan Dewey and his bowler hat behind a lovely old walking wheel and another barn loom, this one from Ashe County NC dated 1830. The original owner wove her son's confederate uniform on this loom...

and here is my new loom,  hand created for me by an old friend. It is a 7 foot triloom but adjustable. I'm having great fun with it!

And here are some animal photos

The horns on this ram were impressive,  we actually did see one back up and "ram" another cage, quite scary (see the next photo down)

The sign below reads "stay  back please"

I did a class on knitting from silk hankies, here are some coccoons

Here is a large mound of silk caps from China

I stayed with my brother who lives in Campobello "Beautiful Field" South Carolina

Part of my brother's "Stable" of Corvairs


 Max loves to chew socks but the ones made of rabbit fur are particularly enticing...