Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ahh, autumn

Yep, my favorite season is here. I'm planning to get back to my neglected rigid heddle loom, which you may (or not) remember was an ebay purchase maybe a year and a half ago (or not, middle age memory block). It's been weird having no children at home during the school day but productive! I'm almost at the end of putting up tomatoes, and I've been doing a variety of household projects. I've also dipped into the archives of the Cast On and Weavecast podcasts.

I've made some time for crafts, too. And just this morning I was thinking I ought to have a local mill card the rest of my fleece for me. Feeling weary of my preparation "skills", I tossed the bag of remaining fleece on my kitchen scale. One pound. You have got to be kidding. Do you know how much space one pound of clean fleece can take up? Apparently a lot. I'm not going to ask a mill to put a measly pound on their giant carding machine. Time to get back at it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Silk Fusion

Hi Cindy!

Hope the kids are still enjoying the new school year. DH had two tests this week, both on Monday night so he spent much of last weekend studying. While he was busy I took a Silk Fusion at Tempe Yarn and Fiber on Saturday afternoon. Here is the store's account of the class along with a few more pictures. Do you remember the article from last year's Interweave Felt where they fused a stack of silk hankies to make a small purse? This is basically the same process except the fibers are teased apart and laid flat. They are then dried vertically to give them a better feel.

Here are the five panels I made. This was the first time the class has been offered and they scheduled it for 3 hours. It was a bit long. I had used up my first pack of silk fibers (the blues, purples, greens and reds) by the end of the first hour and picked out a second pack.

We used 18" square plastic trays to lay the fibers out on top of tulle. The first layer was laid down and then a second layer was placed at right angles. A second layer of tulle was put over the top. From there we wetted the entire packet with a dilute solution of Textile Medium (1 part medium to 4-5 of water). We worked the solution in and then flipped the packet over and made sure all the layers were thoroughly wet. We then squeezed out the excess and hung the fused silk out to dry.

Being a hot Arizona day the fibers quickly dried. I did have to touch up the Textile Medium on one of my squares as it was not completely fused, and I may do the others too this Saturday. I have enough of the gold and green silk, with a little red, that I can do another square before I need to get more fiber.

This last square is my favorite and was actually the first one I did. It reminds me of a peacock. I have it hanging up in my cubicle at work. It could use a pressing but still looks really nice. I need to come up with a design for a bag.

Take Care, A

Monday, September 7, 2009

Take 2

Hello! Hope things are cooling off there, and that the start of fall is going well for you. We're in the midst of tomato harvest (yep, lots of the garden is slow because of our cool summer) and adjusting to school. My house is strangely quiet during the day now. I'm doing a lot of jobs around the house to celebrate (??) my "freedom." I still feel busy but my stress level is going down!

I had to restart my felted bag because it was using way more yarn than I thought it would. I decided to go with a single-strand of yarn rather than the double I was trying and use a simpler color pattern to get the most mileage out of my handspun. I'm now making Hermione's Magic Knitting Bag from the fun book Charmed Knits. I also started my first real lace project! It uses laceweight yarn but on size 6 needles (whew) and is from the All New Homespun Handknit; it's called the Prairie Scarf. I got the book on ebay and it came with some alpaca/silk laceweight (not handspun, but it'll be eons before I have the skill the spin enough consistent laceweight to make anything). I don't have pictures of those yet, but I did update my Ravelry projects page with pictures.

Bye for now, love, Cindy