Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tell me if this sounds crazy

I have been doing some weaving lately and I wanted to experiment with weaving silk without using my handspun for the experiment.

I have two partial cones of 60/2 silk (think sewing thread). One cone is white and the other is dark royal blue. Just to give you an idea of the fineness of this thread - it's 14,000+ yards per pound.

I knew that I didn't want to weave anything that fine - I'm doing good to put on a warp that's 12 ends per inch. I also didn't know how much thread was on each cone. I took my bobbin winder and filled three 6 inch bobbins with the white. I plyed those into a three ply and then cabled that back on itself for an almost fingering weight yarn. It's about 150 yards per ounce. I was able to get another one of those from the cone of white. So, I've got two skeins - not nearly enough for the ruana that I want to weave.

I wound off the rest of the white onto one bobbin and plyed that into a 3 ply with two bobbins of the royal blue for a barber pole yarn. I plyed three bobbins of blue together and then plyed that with the barber pole yarn.

The 4 skeins are sitting in a rich green dyepot right now. My plan is to warp with the overdyed blue and weave with the green. I'm hoping that the blue will take some of the green, the white thread in the blue will influence that and that the difference between the two colors will be noticeable but similar enough in value to not be contrasty.

I'll wait until it's dry to see what to set it at, but I think 12 ends per inch will work. I hope so, cause then I can get about 36" wide by 7 feet long (depending on the take up)

What do you think?

I know - I should have taken pics of the yarn before it went into the dye bath - but didn't. The yarn will sit in the dye bath all night long to be sure that the deepest possible color is gotten. This is my first time using Gaywool dyes. I didn't have the color I wanted so I did an emergency trip to the Fiber Factory and Gaywool is all they had.

I expect to get the yarn dried tomorrow and on the loom by tomorrow night.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Funniest thing I 've ever gotten in the mail

ok - a long time ago - I enlisted in the Navy during Viet Nam. I did my tour of duty and got out.

A few years after that, I re-enlisted, but this time in the Army reserve and I stayed in for about 6 years.

For those who don't know me very well - I'm 53 years old, pretty overweight and out of shape - so imagine my surprise yesterday when I got an offer from the Navy Reserve - asking me to reclaim what I loved so much about military service and consider rejoining.

Now I have to assume they got my name from my military records - don't they know that I'm 53?

How desperate must they be?

Anyway, I'm tempted to take the offer and go into a recruiting office just to see what they say when they see me with my knitting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fibers Thru Time 2008

I never did get around to writing up the fabulous time I had at Fibers Through Time 2008, but here are the photo albums from the event.

The Gallery of items submitted for the juried show - I'm sorry - the captions are still not entered. I'm working on it slowly

Photos all over the event

The workshops - the output of the participants was gorgeous and the examples brought by the workshop instructors were amazing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Socks

I have been working on this pair of socks for it seems like forever. It's the same stitch pattern - crocus bud - as my portland souvenir are, but I just got so tired of it.

I got the yarn last year at OFFF from some indie dyer, but have lost the band and have no clue what it's called or who dyed it - sorry.

I think I remember that it's a wool bamboo blend - it has a softness and sheen to it that is very very nice.

Here it is on my new sock blockers that I got from Bobbie in Portland - founding member of the PDX knit bloggers group and new spinner.

And an action shot - how long can a plump grandma stand on her toes before falling over? Taken by Fred at Tempe Yarn and Fiber - that's where I go to sew in my ends on FOs.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Little Scare

Ok, so I take my health for granted. I rarely get sick and when I do go to the doc - all my tests are normal for my age and weight.

On Tuesday at work I was sitting in a project review meeting with my whole team and my chest started to really feel tight. I've felt a milder form of this before - I think it's related to heartburn or acid reflux. I got up from the meeting, went to my desk and got a Zantac, and took it with a glass of water - that's always taken care of this before.

I went back to my meeting and my chest was still really tight - starting to hurt pretty bad - I realised that one of my co-workers was asking if I was alright. Instead of saying "yeah, I'm ok" which truely was what I was going to say - I think I said "no, I don't think so"

To make a long story shorter - I ended up on the couch in the quiet room until the pretty firefighters and EMTs came to take me away to the hospital. I spent the night and all of yesterday getting checked out. We did a full cardio workup and from all we were able to determine - it's probably not my heart.

I'm on a different proton pump blocker and will follow up with my PCP next week.

The cardio doc and I talked about two different things - What is causing the current pain and how to keep it from being my heart.

We are starting with the new proton pump in inhibitor - if I go the whole two week therapy without any more pain - that will tell us that it's gastro in nature and we can treat that. If I do have the pain again during treatment - then we have to do some more tests - perhaps an endoscope to look at the esophagus or a heart cath to see what the heart is doing in more detail.

My cholesterol is on the high side of normal and he wants me to start walking a couple of times a week - to get my heart rate up a little - he thinks that will bring the cholesterol right down to where it needs to be. That's going to be the hard part.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fiber Festival

I have to tell you all about a fiber event that I just returned from. Sorry - no pics yet - but I will post some.

A two day workshop in spinning silk taught by the incomparable Judith MacKenzie McCuin!

Sponsored by Carolina Homespun and held at the Point Bonita Lighthouse just north of San Francisco.

OMG - what a great time I had. I flew into SFO early on Friday morning and was picked up by Lann. We toodled on over to Carolina Homespun and we all got the YarnV loaded up with anything we thought might be helpful to have at the retreat. A quick trip to Trader Joe's for munchies and lunch and Morgaine and I were on our way out to the lighthouse.

We ate our lunch and then unpacked an incredible amount of stuff from the YarnV.

I took my personal stuff to the dorm and picked out my room. There were so few of us at the facility and no other groups there - so I got a room to myself. The bed was firm just as I like it - so I scored!

Nancy Finn - the genius behind the Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks brought some of her work to Morgaine and hung out for a while. Turns out that she and I know some of the same fiber people from the 80's. What a trip.

The spinners started arriving and we got to know each other over setting up our wheels and then over dinner.

We sat and spun and talked for quite a while - then headed off to bed about 10 or so. I slept very well, only woke up once and then dropped right back off.

The next two days was a blur of silk spinning - trying to cram more knowledge into my brain that it was ever designed to hold.

If you ever get the chance to take any class with Judith - take it. The amount of knowledge that woman drops in passing is incredible - I only wish that I had a video of the workshop - cause I know I only got about half of what she was saying.

It was so hard to leave - Judith was teaching another class right after this one on weaving - at the same location - sure wish I could have stayed - maybe it would motivate me to warp up one of my looms this year.

Now for the good news for you all - Carolina Homespun is doing it again - only bigger and better.

The Golden Gate Fiber Institute presents the Summer Intensive. 6 Instructors - 6 workshops - the only down side is that you can only pick two. I registered months ago - and can't remember what classes I signed up for - but it doesn't matter - cause any of these women have something to teach.

I'm not affiliated with Carolina Homespun or Judith - other than the friendships I feel like I formed this weekend -but I encourage anyone who is remotely interested in the July program to contact Morgaine - there are still openings.