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Friday, April 22, 2011

New fiber books!

Interweave Press was having a sale recently, and as there were a couple of books and a DVD I had been wanting to order, I gave in and bought them.

The DVD I bought is called "Spinning for Lace". As I thoroughly enjoy knitting lace, and I also prefer to spin my own yarns, I thought it would be pretty useful.  It has information about washing raw locks, tension, plying, and more.  I have not opened it and watched it yet, but it's here for when I am ready for my next lace project.

One of the books is called "Get Spun" and it's all about art yarns.  I am familiar with most art yarn techniques and I have the Pluckyfluff books, but this book sounded like it has a section about using a drum carder for different effects. Since I haven't had the chance to play with carders a lot before, and I am not sure what to try next, I thought this would give me a little insight and inspiration.  The information contained in it turns out to be about blending fibers evenly, but that's also useful, and I will be using that later as well.  There's not a whole lot of new stuff for me in this book, but it'd be awesome for someone who has been spinning traditionally and wants to expand, or someone who is completely new to fibers.

The book I am most excited about is "The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing".  I have been interested in natural dyeing for quite a while, but I have never known where to get started, and the information on the internet can have large holes in it.  This book is a pretty comprehensive guide to using plants for dyeing.  You can choose your page based on the color you want, or you can look up various plants to see what colors you might get.  It talks about various mordants and how to use fresh vs. dried plants.  There is also information about storing plants or bark or berries for future use.  I am super excited about this book, especially because it's getting to be summer - the sun is out and the plants are growing!

We'll see what I start out with, but I'm thinking I'll find shield ferns or ivy and see what kind of greens I can get from them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Adventures in Rug Making (pt. 1)

I did just a tiny bit of dyeing on Saturday when I had some free time to myself with no other demands on me - dyed a set of 3 silk hankies and a sample of wool in a new colorway that I'm in love with.  It's unnamed as of yet, but if you want to see photos, they are available here:

My wonderful, fantastic, amazing grandparents sent me a Dorothy table loom for my birthday (see photo below!), and I had been planning to weave a soft, squishy kitchen rug for Tim with it, using raw llama fleece.  However, I didn't like how it was turning out, so I scrapped that project.  And then I remembered felting!  I have 2 huge bags of raw llama, and since I have no plans to sort through and separate the guard hairs from the undercoat, it's pretty much only good for rugs.  I'm going to mix several methods I've found online with my previous knowledge of felting, and see how it turns out.

Dorothy, hard at work!


I went to JoAnn's and got some tulle, since I didn't have any.  I'm going to forgo the matchstick blind, since I don't have one and also don't feel like searching for one.  Today is not the day to start this project, as it has started to rain, but he needs a rug and I still have this week off of school.  It's been a long time since I've felted anything; this project should be exciting and educational.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


There is a very large and sometimes nonsensical internet culture out there.  There is a meme (a widespread internet sensation) called Rickrolling.  Perhaps you've heard of parts of it, or maybe you're an active participant.  If you are unaware of this phenomenon, the point of it is to get a person to go to the YouTube video of "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley without them realizing.  Once a person has opened the link, they must listen to the song in its entirety.

I suppose it takes a certain kind of humor to find this amusing.  I happen to enjoy a good rickroll, whether I am tricked into watching the video, or doing the tricking.  So naturally, when I was alerted to this news article today, I was quite tickled:

I think I picked the right state to move to!