Thursday, May 27, 2004

Off I Go!

My maiden voyage to Cummington starts as soon as the dismissal bell rings tomorrow. My new carder will be here soon and I know it will be hungry.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Let's Talk Turkey!

Kate and Carolyn have been regaling over their turkey roasters and I have to agree they are great. I love using mine for both immersion and steaming. But that's not all folks ..... look what I got for my birthday. Cool, huh? I've been using my Coleman stove, which I converted to propane, but it doesn't seem very steady when I have a 20 qt. pot filled with water. This comes with a 30 qt. pot, but it's aluminum so it's out for dyeing. All of my dye pots fit securely in the stand however, so that's not a problem.

Josh has moved back home (yes, it does seem that we've replaced the garage door with a revolving door) and he's brought me a buddy. Seems the best place for the fish tank is next to my loom in the basement. The picture does not do Freddy the Frog justice, he's the pastiest, whitest frog I've ever seen. Right now he's on my dye table - Josh better bring the stand home soon or this guy is going to turn into an appetizer.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Summer Fun

I was able to get a little spinning done this week. All my finals are finally finished and we're on the big countdown! Today was gardening day - or more truthfully, big-time weeding day!

Don't let my husband fool you. He's known in the neighborhood for ducking yard work and heading to the golf course. When my neighbor saw me taking the picture she asked for an 8x10 glossy! I'm going to transplant some of my daylilies once we get it all cleared. I've really neglected the gardens the last two summers and I'm paying for it now. The bindweed in the front is so bad - I just stick my fork in and it looks like I pull up a bunch of spaghetti. The rest of the gardens just need a good cleaning up and some dividing of perennials.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Plain Vanilla

With all the options available to us these days, sometimes you just have to go with plain vanilla. I'm putting the Romney through its second pass and as I spin it I'm contemplating a tapestry or rug (for the wall). I think I'll spin it all up and then dye the yarn once I've come to a decision about what I'm doing. This last month of school can be very hectic and plain vanilla can be very comforting!

I ordered a wide, electric carder and it should be here in a month. That works for me, in fact, if it came any earlier they'd have to pry my hands off it to go into school. The Louet is great with the Romney (as long as I remember to stagger carding sessions with spinning) so I'll continue on that project with the roving carder. The new Corrie, along with the two I have from last year, are going to wait for the Duncan.

While the Corries are waiting, they'll be treated to a dip in the dye bath. I'm reading Color Works: The Crafter's Guide to Color and can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Okay, picture this: It's 4:20 and you are standing on 45th St. between 7th and 8th. All of the students are accounted for and the bus is on the way. The heavens open up, thunder roars, lightening crashes. We huddle under the canopy of the Imperial Theater, hoping for a little shelter. We see the bus across the street. I manuever the kids across the street and as we approach the bus a policeman makes him continue on his way. We run back across the street. Bus driver calls my cell phone. He's trying to get around the block, but is required to go several blocks out of his way. The doors open. Yes, Virginia, The Boy from Oz has a matinee letting out. *#$% People pouring out. Buses are loading and blocking the street - we finally get on our bus 40 minutes later. We begin inching towards the Lincoln Tunnel - at 6:30 we finally emerge. Two more hours until we are back at school, much to the chagrin of two of my students who were supposed to be playing in the concert at 7:30. I think we'll go to Washington next year!

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Textile Travel

The new Handwoven came today and I can't put it down! Travel dominates the issue as the fodder for articles along with being a source of inspiration for the weaving projects. I'm putting the Loita Hills Blanket (inspired by Maasai blankets and beadwork) on my summer to-do list. The Ikat and boundweave projects look interesting too, along with the guide to textile travels (one can always dream!)

Actually, travel is in my future as I take 50 students to the Big Apple tomorrow. Am I nuts?!?

Saturday, May 08, 2004

A Full Day

I was so tired yesterday I went to bed at 9:30. That meant I was up at 4:30 this morning and had the whole day to do what I wanted. First I cut and and almost completed a blouse made from some of the cotton I low immersion dyed last summer. I wanted to try out the pattern before I used handwoven material. It fit, barely, but instead of working out after seeing how close fitting the blouse was, I made this instead. I don't think I've made mandel brodt in years, but I've been going through old recipes so I can make a cookbook for the kids and these oldie but goodies keep popping up! Speaking of popping, I need to get buttons for the blouse.

I thought it was supposed to be cloudy today, but the sun was shining brightly so I washed up Nancy. This is going to be so much fun to dye and card. It varies from almost white to a medium gray. The wind was picking up, so I had to bring out the roll of screening (that's just waiting for me to make more drying screens, with legs so I don't have to use up patio furniture!) and cover it up. Thanks to the wind it was all dry by 5:00.

Before giving in to sleep last night I started carding the white Romney I bought last summer. Tonight I finished the first pass. Five pounds - my shoulder and elbow are give me hell tonight! An electric carder is looking better and better. I did one more pass on a small sample and started spinning it up. It's going to make great tapestry or rug yarn. I think I'll spin it all up and then dye the yarn.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Aren't They Gorgeous?

Tree Peonies

This is the view as I drive up the hill and out of my driveway. It's enough to make you want to stay at home! I walked around when I got home from school today and took a bunch of pictures. You won't see those until I have a suitable "after" picture to show with it. Let's just say the score is Char: 1 Weeds: 1066

Two Skeins to CompareFor those of you who haven't seen the results of overblending - here's your chance! (sorry about the shadows) The skein in front is from the blended batts and the skein in front is from the second batch of roaster roving.

The well-blended yarn isn't really as ugly as it looks on screen, but it's a very muted variegation. Maybe I'll use a strand of each for another fulled bag. My daughters seem to think they grow on trees.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Meet Nancy!

I just had to buy this fleece. My youngest sister's name is Nancy and she was always the willing victim, uh, I mean recipient, of my budding hairdressing skills. She suffered through my attempts at "just evening up this sides" which resulted in shoulder length hair turning into a page boy bob and, once the hair grew back, the recreation of Amy of Little Women fame, when I set her hair in rags. She had the tightest ringlets seen on anyone for a least a century - I have to find that picture. When I thought I had the best idea when I suggested rolling her damp hair around a round brush to give it a little more body. (the brush had to be cut out) Believe it or not, she actually forgave me, or at least she's letting me think that she has. Oops, there I go drifting off course. Well, THIS Nancy is a Corriedale - 4.75 lbs. It was described as "Fine - Light, Medium & Dark Gray Dappled" and it certainly lives up to the description. I'm going to love dyeing this. Hopefully I'll have an electric carder by the summer to help speed up the process.

I've been doing a lot of spinning lately. Partly because I'm too lazy to warp up the loom and partly because I've been doing so much dyeing and blending that I just have to see what it looks like spun.

I finished the small full tote. I just need to get a button or bead for the closing.