Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bobbin Boy...SAFF part two

Several years ago, I purchased an old 19th century spinning wheel and am working to get it functional. 

Wood and fiber just go together. As the daughter of an antique dealer, I of course find antique items interesting. So while I was at SAFF I was very happy to meet Milissa and Alan of Bobbin Boy, who restore old fiber equipment.  They have an array of videos at their facebook page and some diy tips for old fiber equipment. Here are some photos. Here is Milissa at an old wool wheel. Wish I had one...

An old adjustable skein winder

This lovely barn loom really caught my eye...

Do read this...most touching

Here is a form of clock reel also known as a "weasel" 

Alan will make bobbins for your old wheel...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SAFF 2015 part one

Dear friend J and I had a lovely SAFF weekend...

here are some photos...

first up an enlightening course on making yarns for fractal spinning...Esther Rodgers inspired me to actually try to use my acquired drum carder...

Of course I forgot to bring my wheel. The woman sitting next to me just "happened" to have an extra Kromski in her car...many thanks to Cindy!

Of course, her are some sheepy kisses

Monday, October 19, 2015

Burn Test or...I am still learning to spin or...we pass our fiber knowledge down in ways we would never guess

So in this prior post I described acquiring some unknown fiber (as well as a new wheel and a drum carder...)

Here is a photo of some unknown fiber that was in the acquisition

I really couldn't tell what it was, other than very very soft.  I spun up a bit; if it was wool I felt that it had a lot of short clips in it.  Despite the softness I felt that it would only make a really thick and thin kind of yarn (not my preference). The staple length is very short...2 or 3 inches. My guess was cormo but the short clips/flecks are lighter in color.

Now, this autumn I took on a large task and taught a  course on for Life Long Learning of Hilton Head this fall.  The topic: What We Wore : Home Based Cloth Production Prior to the Industrial Revolution.  Here's a couple photos of me trying to be erudite

(I am hardly a weaver, I'm sure I'm laughing at a blunder, at least two women in the audience were experienced weavers).

In the process of prepping for this lecture I pulled out a stray boat shuttle that I received as part of the acquisition.  

I used to weave a little and always thought that boat shuttles were pretty clever...

and when I got it out I realized what the former owner (who has now passed) had spun the mystery fiber that is on the shuttle

Nice huh?

We pass our fiber knowledge down in ways we would never lesson: go back and get better at spinning!

So, I decided to do the burn test to analyze the fiber, directions here

Yep, burns and smells like wool...that may be the most I'll ever know!

Friday, September 25, 2015

FO: Sacre Coeur

I finished Sacre Coeur and I may have a new shawl model, my friend Cheryl

as well as a new favorite designer,  Nim Teasdale. This is a free pattern

I used one strand of Malabrigo Lace, which I thought might be too mushy-felty so I combined it with a strand of Habu silk stainless in lighter pink, and of course added the beads per the pattern.  This was enjoyable to knit and I would recommend the pattern, which is a crescent shaped, top down, modular pattern. Be sure to peruse Nim's other patterns, very lovely ...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Bunny Planet...Yep, I did it

Why yes, I've gone and done it. There are bunnies in the house.

I looked back at Ravelry; I have been a member of the Angora Bunny group since 2009 meaning that I was thinking about it even before the minor commitment of even joining the group!

So my friend new friend and farmer Heidi brought over 6 bunnies one sunday last month. My neice was pretty excited too. Eventually she and I decided on two sisters,  white and reddish/fawn.

Preparation/ cage assembly:

Names: Rosa and Blanca.

Both cats and bunnies are nonplussed with each other. Here, Fiona climbs over Blanca. 

Handfeeding is recommended by my local animal training/operant conditioning expert, (that would be Malmaid), to make friends. 

Thus far I have been combing them out to get fur and there has been a small amount of trimming. They are living in my kitchen (yes I know that might be yucky) so there is a lot of floor mopping going on.  I live somewhere HOT.  But I LOVE having them in the kitchen where we can talk.  They are much for comfortable / less nervous now and approach me for treats when I walk in the kitchen.  They will be out on my porch when the weather here in SC cools.  It may be a while till I have enough to spin!

And...yes, it's Labor Day.  Just when I feel the world is going to hell in a handbasket, I see an image like this and see how far we've come (compare this little one's expression with my niece's above).  This image was taken in Newberry, SC 100 years ago.  Thank you to Lewis Hine for using photography to change our world for the better.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Felting and Eco Dyeing Chez Margo

My dear friend Margo over at HermajestyMargo lives nearby.  Her blog is at HermajestyMargo. She does beautiful work. She invited myself and several other friends for a day of felting and ecodyeing. Here are some photos:

the upstairss studio

outdoor dye shed

(It's a bullet steamer)

Margo has two books on felting on Amazon!