It’s been a busy day. Signed up for a dye class at Tempe Yarn and Fiber. The great part was a that there were only five students, so we pretty much ran the roost and had a blast playing with the colors. You can see the results. Fearless color mixing. Well worth the forty minute drive. Dyeing can be fun, but I am still at the point where I need to be supervised when dyeing. There is a very strict protocol for “protein” versus “plant” fibers. For me, it’s a lot safer working with vinegar than soda ash. Either way, I don’t have a “dedicated area” for dyeing at home, and the number one rule is NEVER use dyeing utensils for food-based activity once you’ve used them for dyeing. That said, there is so much discovery and fun in the whole process. It’s a few steps past easter eggs, with a lot of creativity involved.
The finished product! I have three skeins that were completed in the class and that are now hanging out to dry. From the far left – Desert Rocks and Grass. In the middle, Desert Sage. At the far right, Cranes on the Platte (see Smithsonian March 2014). Sunsets, landscapes, cityscapes – all are inspiration for color ways that are awesome when used with yarns.
I had been knitting a vest pattern by Sara Morris – Dye Cut Vest. I ended up ripping it all out after I was done. I hated the armholes and it was not a flattering pattern. I loved the yarn – Meadow, in Fennel, by The Fibre Company – but it will have to find another project to give it life. These things happen all the time, and when they end up like this, you just have to suck it up and move on. Part of the party.
I also just finished this “commission” for my sister – a colleague is expecting a child, congratulations! Valley Yarns 100% cotton, should work well for the babe in arms. It sure was soft to work. It took about 12 hours, and went quickly. Once you’ve gotten into the groove of knitting, you find that you’re attracted to projects that give a pleasing tactile interaction with the yarn. I find if I don’t like the hand of the yarn, it feels like the project takes forever to work (and that is not fun).
My poor spinning has been taking a back seat, and I do miss it. This past week I managed to finish carding the rest of the cotton slivers we dyed from the cotton spinning class I took (now when was that, again???). So now it’s a matter of sitting at the wheel.
Bonnie Inouye is a REALLY talented weaver, and I was lucky to take her class this February. We learned about working color in the warp and utilizing computer programs to design network drafting, turning drafts, and what seemed like thousands of techniques. Three full days and it felt like a full semester of work! She’s inspiring, and open to new ideas and methods. Here’s my humble sample of A parallel, half-curve draft, with a rep weave variation:
Ha. And you thought I was sitting on my lazy butt all this time.
After the workshop I flew out to Santa Clara to visit with my sisters in fiber and play at the Stitches Convention. Talk about an unlimited source of inspiration! Most people walk about wearing something they’ve made. In this picture with Laura and Jocelyn, in Laura’s Handwerks booth, I am wearing my Eco-vest, in a linen-cotton blend.
I did manage to finish my linen scarf. I’ve worn it a few times, but really have to break it in to get it softer. With time, with time. Overall I am happy with the way it came out. I managed to minimize the loom waste, and I really enjoy working with linen. My next project will be an attempt at making a variation of the Hunger Games Catching Fire scarf that Katniss wears when she is hunting in her home District, 12. I have a lot of good leads on patterns, it’s a matter of pulling the salient structures from them and weaving a few samples.
Last but not least, here is a project that I am working on as a fun diversion for a no-brainer scarf that will look great and has such a decadent hand to work – Yak, silk and mohair, hand spun. This one is all for me!!!!!