Thursday, October 30, 2003

A New Project

It really is invigorating to be planning something new. Check out Carolyn's musing over her Viking cables and Claudia's dye experiments if you need a little inspiration.

I'm not sure if this is going to be too bulky. The gauge is about 3.5sts/inch, 6r/inch on size 9's. It will be a cardigan so the bulkiness won't be too much of a problem. Maybe I'll try to go a little thinner this weekend and see how that works up.

Back to grading - what stupid person decided to test in all of her classes today, which means about 130 tests to grade? Oh, that would be me. I usually have the grades back the next day, but I told the kids I might need the weekend for the bigger classes.

Sunday, October 26, 2003


nugget-batts.jpgI need a new, wider, motorized carder. I do really like my Louet roving carder, but when you do a pile like this it's little hard on the wrist and elbow. This was after the second pass. I don't think it would have needed three, except it really needed to be teased and I didn't want to bother. So I put it through the first time just to open it up. I'd like to make a cardigan with a ski-type yoke. I have the silver gray green ready to card. Then I could card up some of the natural. I'll have to play with the browns and grays I have to see which would be better for the main color. I was thinking about overdyeing the light gray with Cushing's khaki. Or not! Time to dig through the stash. But first I need ice!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

What <i>is</i> that on my counter?

Yikes! It's a mole. I don't even remember learning about a mole or Avagadro, but apparently is a big thing in Chemistry now :-) Maybe Chemistry teachers are just trying to lighten it up a bit. My niece Kori needed a little help, so this is what I created for her.

Finally got one of the two straps done for the tote. That's about all the fiber related news this week. Hopefully this weekend will be more productive. I bought 15 yards of muslin last weekend with hopes of getting it dyed this week and made into curtains for for the sliding door and window in the studio. I do get an extra hour Sunday, so maybe I stand a chance of getting it done.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Not much time for spinning

but I was able to finish up some more of the roving that I dyed at Claudia's this summer. I was particularly happy with this one as the roving didn't really do much for me. It's the second one from the left in this picture. I thought it was going to be too pale, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Work is progressing on the textile project for school. I bought all of the dowels, grommets, and cup hooks and we should be ready to make the spindles next week. I have one of my psychology students lined up to take pictures. She's in a photography class that meets the same period and I have her on loan!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I Found Grommets!

Finally, I found the right size grommet to make a CD spindle and it was right there in Home Depot. I know they didn't have them last year when I was looking. I am truly amazed at how nice it spins.

The ceramics teacher and I are going to work together with our 9th period classes (this is a World Cultures class - not psych!). I've been toying with a hands-on idea for the last couple of years. I've brought in my spinning wheel and last year a rigid heddle loom but it was more of a demonstration with a few kids trying it out.

Throughout this year we are going to try to incorporate several units. The first one is spinning which I am going to teach while my students are studying The Formation of Europe. Then she'll do a unit on clay bowls and pots which will fit into African Trading Kingdoms. Then we'll let them weave - probably around the Indian Independence unit. It will fit in well with Gandhi's boycott of British textiles. I'm going to bring in the rigid heddle, table loom, and inkle loom (if it ever gets here!). She also found heavy cardboard frames that are precut at 1/4". What I'm hoping for is that each student will have at least a few yards of handspun that they can use in their weaving.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Cover Your Eyes!

2003_1006_094020AA.JPGAfter spending the night outside, I emptied the dyepots and brought in the fiber to rinse and spin out.

I thought I would allow you to click on the Nugget Gold as it would give you a little time to shield your eyes. Have you regained your sight? Now for something to soothe those eyes - check out the Silver Gray Green. Doesn't it remind you of the penny in the ammonia solution. Lots of greenish, bronzy, even blue shades.

My original intention was to mix the two colors together and randomly grab handfuls and run through the carder once. Then I was going to strip them lengthwise and mix them up and card again. That's when I though the gold would be, shall we say - not so bright! Now I think I'll card them separately. I have another bag of this Finn/Dorset cross so I can still try out some other colors. I think I'll use the Cushing's Khaki for the main color and dye at least one more accent color.

I was dreaming about the Romney/Jacob last night. I was wearing an EZ Ski Sweater I made out of Candide years ago. It has made its way to Laura's room and is not coming back! The sample yarn I made reminds me of that Candide, but not as harsh feeling. So she can keep the old one - I'm making another one for me. This time it will be a cardigan as I no longer have to sit outside and shiver my way through football and baseball. I probably will still have enough for a shawl and scarf/hat set.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Faster than a speeding bullet...

My computer is singing now. I had a memory chip for months and finally decided to put it in tonight. Amazing what another 256 ram can do. I also added a 40GB hard drive for additional storage. I was quite pleased with myself. I did have one small problem. You know those ribbon things that connect the drives? Well, I have a zip drive that was in the intermediate plug between the original hard drive and the board. I couldn't find any other place to plug it, so I just unplugged the zip. I'll have to run to Best Buy tomorrow. I'm sure there must be one of those things with two intermediate pins, but what do I ask for without sounding inordinately stupid?

Speeding up my computer is not the only thing I did today, no siree! I washed a wonderful Romney/Jacob cross. I've already spun a little sample and it's really nice. It looks like it would be scratchy, got a bit of a halo, but it's quite soft. I got all five pounds washed, but I had to bring the rack into the basement for the last batch.

Then I dyed some of the fleece I brought home from Marie's in August. I used Cushing's Perfection this time, no mix, no mess. This pot is Nugget Gold and this one is Silver Gray Green. I didn't get started on that until later in the afternoon, and it was already getting cool. I had to take one of the pots off the auxiliary burner of the Coleman stove and use the hot plate. I think the Coleman is only going to be good for steaming, as it doesn't really keep the water at a simmer when it's cold outside. It took so long that I had to leave them to cool down over night.

Oh, and along with all of this, I tried to clean the kitchen. All I seemed to get done there was make a bigger mess. Well, I did get the cabinets and appliances clean and shiny. Good thing I have the day off tomorrow. It'll take me all day to finish what I started today.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Sarah's New Home

My younger daughter Sarah celebrated buying her first house by hosting us all for a party. I meant to take lots of pictures, but as usual I stashed the camera after the first couple of minutes and promptly forgot to take more. I did get one of Laura with our friend Debbi.

Sarah's new house is in the East Falls neighbor in Philadelphia. It's basically one room per floor, with an addition on the first floor where the kitchen is. She has an office on the second floor, along with a bathroom, and her bedroom is on the third floor. The stairs are very steep and spiraled and Sarah was worried about the grandmothers having to use the stairs to get to the bathroom, but they both were able to manuever, with help. It is just so cute, with exposed brick on one side and a cute fenced in patio in the back. She doesn't have any lawn, but there is a garden about 3' by 10' across the front of the house. We're going to plan out some perennials for there - she already has a shad bush the previous owners put in. For the back, she'll be doing all containers, so I'm going to help her plan it out, but we won't plant anything until next spring.

Dan, Laura, and Josh all helped her paint and helped her with the moving. She is so happy to have something all of her own (including the mortgage!) As the third child I think it also made her happy to be the first to be able to take this big step.