Tuesday, February 16, 2010

First Attempt at Spinning on a Wheel!

I joined the Knoxville Handspinners this month and loved it!!!  Everyone was so helpful and inspiring. 

One thing that was so cool was that I could borrow an older Ashford traditional spinning wheel!  I was showed how to work it and since I had bought a pound of Shetland/Rhomney mix from one of the members, I went to work with it.  Of course, Britney had to try it too and really liked the wheel.

Knowing that I only have it for a month, I have worked everynight almost on the wheel.  Got alot to learn but I really love it.  So relaxing!!!  The roving I bought is very forgiving for a beginner.  Here is some of it after I have plyed it and wound it into a ball. 

Looks very folky which is something I really like.  I know it is not great but thats okay - gotta practice to get good.  I still have more to do and I am hoping I will be able to make a vest with it.  Got a knitting class coming up in March.  After I do one vest, I am hoping I will be able to use this yarn in the next - won't that be so cool!!!!!!!!

Right now maybe it is alittle thick but it is double plied and there are some thick spots but that is okay.  I got more to do and hopefully will improve as time goes on.  Maybe will get it right by the time I finish the pound - ha! 
One thing I know is when I cut the ties on that pound of roving - it grew and grew, just like Linda said it would!  I hope she will have more to sell later on because I would like to do it again when I get a little more uniform in spinning.

This is the best way to enjoy all the cold weather & snow we have had this year!!!

Antique Shop Find!!! Cotten Cards!

I love prowling around antique shops.  Going thru a little shop in Athens, I came across a set of cotton cards for $25 back in December.  I know new ones are around $60.  Of course, I looked, talked myself out of them and walked away.
After talking to some on Ravelry, I realized that I could do more with them than cotton.  Went back and they were still there and now they have a home in my weaving room and they look good!

Of course, I had to try them out.  Phyllis at R&M Yarns gave Brit a cotton flower straight from the plant.  She got the seeds out (gonna try to grow some this year).  We cleaned it the best we could and I got the cards. 
Not sure how to do it but I did get it fluffy and I am able to spin it on a spindle that I had made from a really neat bead. 

All that fluffy cotton came from one flower (can't remember what they are called).

Blueberries & Cream - All Spun up!

I could not wait, I had to get the blueberries & cream roving spun up.  Now I am not sure about calling it Blueberries & Cream - little too aqua.  It was hard to spin but I had to remember, 1st. I am a beginner spinner and 2nd I did use the not so great roving to practice on.

I like what I got when I was finished - a couple spots that was puffy and a couple that were thin - but all together it is very pretty and looks like springs.

Now I have to figure out what I can do with 46 yards because I want to use it and not store it.
I am really looking forward to dyeing more roving!!  I have been to the Sheep Shed Studio web site and I am wanting to order roving so badly.

Friday, February 12, 2010

How fun - Kool-Aid dyeing!

I have been reading about Kool-Aid dyeing and really had been wanting to give it a try.  I love to fabric dye so I just had to do this, of course.

First I found the roving that Angie & I bought at the Sewing Expo two year ago.  I have some I bought from Nancy at the Spinnery but just not ready to use it.  I figured if I messed this up, I could always felt it.

I used blue Kool-Aid (which has been discontinued), 1/2 cup white vinegar and an old dawn detergent bottle.
Washed the roving in hot water first with detergent, rinsed next.  Squeezed it, laid it out on saran wrap.  Mixed the vinegar with Kool-aid and put it in the bottle.  (A turkey baster would be better but I worked with what I had)
Squirt it up and down the roving, leaving some cream.   Fold the saran wrap and rolled it up.  I put it in a glass pie plate and nuked it in the microwave.  I had read to do it for a minute but after 30 second I heard it pop and knew it was getting to hot, so I did it for 30 sec then rested it for 4 minutes - did this for about 5 times.
Let it cool to room temp, then rinsed it in room temp water.  First rinse showed that all the Kool-aid had been taken up into the roving.  Hung it to dry.
It is so pretty - I love the cream showing thru the blue so I called it Blueberries & Cream.  I pulled it into long pieces and rolled it into a ball so I can spin it.

Now I am ready to do the really good roving that I bought in Gatlinburg!!!

Weaving up a storm - snow storm!

Had a nice snow a couple weeks ago, power went off for 18 hours.  Thankgoodness for wood heaters and city water.  We had heat, a place to cook and plenty of water.
My car was parked and we had to walk up the hill.  Got new tires on it now so maybe that won't happen again.
I took advantage of the being house bound to get my loom warped up for rugs again.  Had to finish threading up by flashlight because it started getting dark.  But I am weaving again!

Oh, here's my weaving buddy!