December 14th, 2008
September 20th, 2008
The upshot of this (it is fiber related, trust me) is that my mom "evacuated" us to her house about 30 miles away. She still had power, you see, and the kids did not have school.
She also has the dyeing stuff! So I finally got around to dyeing the yarn my friend asked me to dye for her from ArtFibers in San Francisco.
It didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped: neither of the skeins (alpaca and an angora/silk blend) took up the dye the way wool does. And although I didn't intend them to be similar/complementary, they sure turned out that way although I dyed each skein separately.
Pictures can be found here. You'll note quite a difference compared to my first dyeing attempts. I tried Jacquard Dyes this time; I think the ProChem One Shot are actually better dyes but they're also slightly more concentrated. The JD didn't leave a tinny taste in my mouth after dyeing, whereas the OneShot did. But it might be worth putting up with that for the intense colours. I'd like to buy more of this yarn and try it with the OneShots to see if the take up is better or the colour is more intense. Maybe when I win the lottery.
August 29th, 2008
August 28th, 2008
August 1st, 2008
Mind you, it was not a bad trade, and I love the Schacht double treadle, but ever since the Louet left I have had a hole in my heart.
Since my husband bought me a new laptop for our anniversary and I don't have to worry about saving for one now, I went ahead and raided the laptop fund for a used Louet S-10 from the Netherlands on eBay.
It's been in customs since Jul 29. I am obsessively hitting refresh on the USPS page. I want it *so* badly.
Gmail seems to understand this: I got an ad for the following website today while I was clicking on the email with the tracking number. And I *want*! I love BF Leic! It's second only to Romney hogget in my sheer joy of spinning love! (Not counting silk caps, of course.)
::clicks refresh again::
PS: I've also finished the Shepherds Socks socks for my friend in Minnesota. Will hopefully have pics soon.
July 24th, 2008
January 8th, 2008
November 15th, 2007
How (not) to build a computer from scratchI recently had occasion to build a computer with my son, who wanted a computer that would be able to handle his 3D games and, eventually, Spore when it comes out. Building one seemed to be, first of all, a fun idea, and, secondly, we knew it would give us control over exactly which components we used. Since our fruitless attempt to upgrade the video card on our Dell, we were loath to try that again.
We also tried to explain to the Man of the House that building our own would not only be fun, it would be cheaper than buying a brand new computer that could handle Spore, etc.
I had occasion to type up what we used for a friend of mine and then I decided that it might be of use to others.
July 4th, 2005
My husband and son go to Origins every year and this year Helen and I went with them because they snagged a suite in the Hampton Inn right across from the convention center. What a great location - and what a great job Columbus has done revitalizing both downtown and the convention center area ("Short North"). We were literally across the street from the convention center, half a block from Barley's microbrew, half a block from North Market, and two blocks from a fabulous little Greek restaurant (the Happy Greek).
At any rate, on my way out of town I stopped at the erstwhile Wolfe Fiber Arts on 5th Avenue. It's now called Heavenly Creations Fiber Arts. The inventory was a little low but other than that, it was worth the stop. I got some more Kidprint mohair, a cute Fiber Trends pattern for a felted kitty for Helen, and, bonus, some awesome wool/hemp blend dyed by a woman in Athens, Ohio (Dzined). It's soft and pretty, and 400 yards of sport-weight yarn. I can't wait to see what project in Lavish Laces will work best with it. ;-)
May 1st, 2005
Only six of us showed up, but since we had to do it all indoors, that was probably good. We used ProChem One Shot dyes and KnitPicks worsted and fingering weight dyeable yarn.
I was favourably impressed with the yarn quality, actually. The fingering weight is very soft and the yardage is a great value - over 400 yards in a skein, enough for a pair of socks. The worsted was also nice and soft and took the dye well. It was about 220 yards/skein, so I toyed with the idea of dyeing three skeins for a clapotis, but am not sure if I'm ready to tackle that yet.
We used a microwave and plastic casserole dishes and experimented with a variety of techniques. Some of the yarns were painted (using hair dye bottles) flat on plastic; we rewound some skeins into longer (2 metre) skeins and painted those; my mom tried winding some into a 42" skein and painting the skein on the niddy-noddy; my sister and I tried coiling a skein into a circle and painting it in pie wedges; and of course we tried the ball winder method (the bottom of the ball one colour, the top of the ball another colour). I went up today to take pictures and we tried a somewhat different technique with a ball-wound skein - we painted that skein in wedges, like a pie, instead of top and bottom.
Pictures! I took one of the skeins so I could see that the different techniques looked like in the skein, then tried to take pictures of each skein so that I could see what the techniques looked like "flat," as it were.
1 & 2 - ball wound and dyed. 1 was dyed with cherry red on the bottom and maize yellow on the top. 2 was dyed with mountain aqua, kiwi green, and then we squirted bright orange into the middle of the skein and cooked it some more.
3 & 4 - painted skeins. 3 was the skein Mom painted on the niddy-noddy. We think she got pastel-like colours because the yarn was under tension when she painted it. 4 was a 2 meter skein that we attempted to paint like a Koigu skein.
5 - the skein we coiled into a circle and painted in pie wedges. We did three different shades of green and filled in with some indigo and some bright orange.
6 - the "test" skein we had on the table! Every time we mixed a colour, we tried it on this skein. At the end of the day, we looked at it and thought it was pretty cute, so we added a little more dye and cooked it too. ;-)
Individual pictures of the skeins can be found here:
1 and 2 | 3 and 4 | 5 and 6
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
This was so much fun. They are planning to dye some more on Weds. I might take the day off! I ordered some more dye yesterday when I got home too. We needed/used a lot more yellow than we thought we would, and we've discovered that colours like burgundy and teal and purple aren't all that easy to mix.
There's a lovely maple leaf scarf at Earthfaire so tonight we tried to dye an autumn-colours skein for the pattern, which I ordered yesterday as well. I also think a lot of the projects in Lavish Laces could use this yarn, at least the fingering weight yarn.
Oh - I also took some pics of the unblocked (!) but still completed alpaca stole from Lavish Laces (it's the background knit in the yarn pictures above, but you can't see much of it). My daughter was a very willing model. I went ahead and started working on the Falling Leaves project in my grey handspun from Lavish Laces too. Go me!