Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Topophilia is the love of place. It is when you experience such a connection to a place, a home or a natural wild area that it becomes part of who you are inside. It imprints on the memory and soul. I have a great love of my home and of being in this place out here on the plains, where the wind blows and the light is ethereal. It is hard for me to leave this place even for short times. I find myself missing it, the way the afternoon sunlight slants on the wall through the lace curtains. Missing the birds and the sounds of nature here in my own backyard. Most people love to travel and I get envious comments on all sides about my yearly trips abroad. Tomorrow I leave for England and will be gone a couple of weeks. During that time I will try to appreciate the way light falls in the Chalice Well Garden in Glastonbury and the wind in the trees along the Thames. I will try not to think about the furry children at home or the spinning wheel still in the corner. I will try to gather inspiration for my artwork and take pictures to remember and also paint from. I will be looking for weaving shops!

Happy New Year to you all and may the place you are in bring you astounding joy.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A basket of yarn for the new year! Here are a few of the skeins that have kept me busy over the past week or so. At the end of January I'll put a page on the website to list yarn in case any of you out there would like to buy some. I have a hard time staying away and not using it myself but I've sold a few skeins as they are finished and know that the knitters are eager for handspun! I love the Romney because it has a good feel, the fibers are long (and so not scratchy) and it has a nice sheen to the yarn when it is finished. I'll have more to post soon.

Happy fiber to you all!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The eve of Christmas eve.. there are candles lit and soft music playing, snow clouds are piling up outside and the temperature is dropping, and on the stove is not some wonderful fantastic smelling holiday treat but, YES!!! Another dyepot simmers away! OK, so the house smells like a herd of wet sheep but it is the thrill of the color and the fibers that will spin through my hands soon that more than makes up for the fragrance. This effort above is a domestic roving in burnt orange, yellow ochre and some plum, there are about 6 oz, so enough to make something nice. This morning I dyed some Romney in green and violet and can hardly wait for it to dry enough to spin. Now on the stove is some Corridale in Olive and Russett.

Tomorrow ends our local art association Christmas Gallery and I will be there in the mall with my spinning wheel most of the afternoon. It is a good way to visit with people from my home town who are here again for the holidays. People always stop in to chat and it is actually easier than having an open house (and with no cooking and clean up!).

I hope that you get every wonderful thing on your list.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Turquoise and blue roving from the dyepot this week. This is domestic roving and I'm setting it aside to spin when the big snow storm reaches us this weekend. It will be something to look forward to!

This Yellow and violet single is from corridale roving. I have had such fun mixing colors. Spinning Sisters--- Do you ever stand in front of the refrigerator deciding what to take out and make for dinner when your eyes come to rest on the dye jars? Instead of thinking beef or chicken, I begin to think burgundy or russett? How would those look with blue or violet? Then I wander away to put some roving on the stove, dinner forgotten. The dog sighs loudly and goes to lay by her bowl.

Yarny Blessings to you all.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Merry Winter Solstice to you all. This view is of the elms north of my house and the sun at its most golden this time of year. No wonder so much of my weaving is gold and brown (OK so there is no excuse for so much purple!). This time of year is my favorite. No excuse needed to stay in and work with fiber projects. A pot of tea just seems mandatory and not excessive at all. I've been dying roving at a great rate to fill those long dark evenings with productive spinning. In the new year I may have some posts with handwoven items made from hand spun yarn. I will admit to knitting more than weaving just recently and I blame it entirely on the yarn. Who can wait until there is enough spun up to weave something when you can just jump in with the knitting needles and have instant gratification!

Holiday blessings to you all and may your presents be fiber related!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dyeing wool is almost as bad as eating chocolate. I find myself thinking about it at the oddest times. Different color combinations dance through my imagination. In the produce isle I find myself thinking, orange and purple, how would that look in roving? The world has become yarn for me, I'm seeing through a haze of fiber.

The red roving that I dyed a few days ago is slowly becoming single ply that I'm planning to make into two ply. This bobbin is single ply and the second bobbin is almost full. There may even be a third. I think it will make a lovely scarf woven in plain weave with some rayon thrown in the warp for sparkle.
Surely Santa would approve.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The green roving spun up as a single in thick and thin. It came to 116 yards. I love the way the subtle colors change on the spinning wheel. Spinning is nothing short of magic to me. The new wheel is getting a lot of use this weekend. The red roving is next and I'm filling a second bobbin with single ply and when it is done the red will be a two ply. More wool comes Monday so the dye pot will be bubbling away this week!

I had a chance this weekend to meet a wonderful local spinner/weaver, Joyce Johnson. She was very gracious and showed a friend and I through her home. She has a wheel that has the largest bobbin on it I have ever seen. The wheel was a California Spinner and was made by hand by an artisan a number of years ago. The bobbin looked at least 8 inches long and like you could spin all day on it. Does anyone out there know about a craftsperson who makes spinning wheels like that? I sure would like to find one.

Happy Weaving, the holidays are almost here!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The dog is better and I've been busy! Frisbee has survived her latest crisis and while I am at a loss as to how she could have cut the underneath side of her tongue, I am grateful that she is better. I have assured everyone I know that I do not ever let her lick out of tin cans so it remains a mystery. In the meantime I have been dyeing wool roving for spinning. The green one and the yellow in the middle are about 4oz each and the red at the bottom is about 6oz. They are corridale top roving and it dyes beautifully using acid dyes from Dharma. http://dharmatrading.com I think a person could spend a lot of time just playing with the colors. I can't wait to put these in something handwoven. The spinning is coming along quickly with the new Ashford Joy wheel.

Monday, December 04, 2006

We had snow at the end of last week. While it was probably only 1/2 an inch it was great to see the white stuff. This is the field south of my house where the buffalo grass was left to grow high in the summer. I have always loved the gold it turns in the fall. This is also the last full moon of the year. In typical full moon fashion things around here are a little haywire. The dog has been sick and is at the vet's this morning. She should be back home later today. As my full time best buddy it is awful when she is gone.
To keep busy this weekend I worked on this project that is 50% merino wool and 50% silk. The heavier threads are a merino hand dye that blended well with this weft on the shuttle. I think it will be a shawl unless I get a wild hair and cut it up to be something else!

The new spinning wheel is getting quite a bit of use and I'm hopeful there will be pictures of yarns to show you later in the week.

Stay warm.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December is upon us. We had snow this week and I planned to post pictures here of the white stuff and also the latest weaving. Alas my blog host is not uploading pictures this morning. The race has begun to get the special orders off in the mail in time for the holidays and still have time to weave presents for friends. The cold these past few days has kept me inside and working with yarn. I have a new spinning wheel. An Ashford Joy and am spending part of each day improving my spinning skills. It goes so much faster than a drop spindle and the yarn is much more uniform. Hopefully soon I will have new yarns to show you.