Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Silk Obessesion

I dyed so much yarn yesterday that I collapsed a drying rack. And today I am dying roving. Happy, Happy me! 

Pictures next week!

This past Saturday, Jacquie Vaughan taught a silk spinning workshop at Woven Art.   We learned a bit about the history and cultivation of silk. I briefly thought it would be fun to raise silk worms.  I think I am over that.  Then we boiled up some dyed silk cocoons and stretched them on wooden frames ( or cardboard for disorganized me):

Above is one stretched cocoon.  After you get about ten stretched out together they make a very pretty "hankie". Then, you can spin from it.  During the course of our class we got a chance to spin from a silk cap, a silk hankie and also from a Bombyx silk brick.  
I quickly fell for spinning silk on a drop spindle.  Currently I am spinning it fairly fine, and alternating spinning from the cap, with spinning from the brick.  Spinning from the cap gives you a little bit of a slub as bits of the cap hang on.  And the bombyx brick yields a very smooth yarn.  Well, I  get some thick and thin parts, but I am just still learning. My guess is that these two plyed together will make a beautiful, somewhat rustic silk yarn.  So my spindle is always near by, in a little bag my oldest daughter made me ages ago.  I pick it up when I have a minute.  I have one cocoon shaped lump, and am working on the second.  Maybe I can ply tomorrow! 

I am a nerd. 

Go here for fun.  I am not the only one who likes to dress up trees!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More signs of Spring!

The tree just outside Woven Art in downtown East Lansing Michigan is in bloom! No kidding! I haven't found any forsythia yet, and no crocuses either - but here, before my very eyes, bright yellow flowers all over my tree.

I don't know how long they'll last. A good stiff breeze could take them all away.





And another sign that time is marching in a warmer direction:
Our March Stitch Challenge - thanks Jessy, it is really beautiful.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mystery

Pictured here are some loom parts I recently acquired. I didn't get all the parts to this loom, and I am looking for more. I need to find out who made this loom. It is very sturdy, and well made. If I can find out the name of the company that made it, I can figure out what is missing, and get the rest of the parts. Any ideas?