Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What to do with all that hand spun yarn? I've been spinning for quite a while but with little to show for it besides a lot of yarn in hanks or skeins. So this little project came out of Spin to Knit, by Shannon Okey. I was curious about how much yarn it takes to make something like this and it took about 50 yards. So much of the hand spun yarn I see on the internet is sold in small skeins of less than 100 yards and I've wondered who would use just a little yarn. Now I realize that a hat or a small scarf (just finished one of those too) are perfect for a small bit of special yarn. I always think in terms of a sweater or an afghan or something woven. For one of my short jackets it would take at least 500 yards of handspun in this sport weight to make up. Soon that will be my project, to show some garments made entirely (or at least the weft) from handspun hand-dyed yarn. I have to admit that this project was very satisfying in that it let me handle and work directly with the yarn. In weaving the yarn goes on the bobbin in the shuttle and doesn't pass through the weaver's hands like it does in knitting -- and with handspun I really wanted to touch it all I could.

We had snow this evening. We have had more so far this winter than in the last couple of winters combined. It is pretty neat. The dog had to go in the backyard and check it out. I really think she just likes to be dried off with the towel when she comes in!

Happy spinning to you all!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Weaving on the four harness Harrisville. This shawl is a twill mixed with basketweave. To emphasize the basketweave I've made the stripes a variegated color in the warp while the twill warp is solid blue. The weft for this piece is kid mohair from Brooks Farm http://www.brooksfarmyarn.com These people had a booth at the Taos Wool Festival last October and I indulged in some fantastic yarn. Their colors are subtle and their yarn is of the finest quality. This shawl is the first weaving project that I'm making for an upcoming show in June here in Hobbs, NM. I will be showing with two good friends who are also members of our local Llano Estacado Art Association. The show will be called Earth, Fiber and Color. The other two artists are John Lathrop, professor of ceramics at NMJC and Carrie Swenson, pastelist and oil painter. I want to make some really fun things for this show that use my skills and imagination because my fellow artists produce such high quality work. Now that the holidays are over I can focus on building the inventory back and getting ready to show my work.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me about the Sock of Happiness. The spaniel herself is doing just fine, currently laying upside down on the couch with her feet in the air. She has a hard life.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The sock of Happiness....

Late yesterday afternoon my friend Frisbee, the English Cocker Spaniel was laying on her favorite large chair in the room where I work. She had herself flung across the chair and every so often a dramatic sigh would come from her direction. It was almost time for dinner, but not quite yet. I was spinning and trying to ignore her when I finally gave in (not that she is spoiled or anything) and went to cut up some chicken to put on her dry kibble for dinner. I put her bowl on the floor in the kitchen and went back to the spinning wheel. A few minutes later I saw her parading happily around the house tail up, head held high, with yes, a sock in her mouth! She danced around the house then asked to be let out. I stood in the doorway and watched as she pranced around the yard, the Sock of Happiness held in her mouth. She brought it back in and layed it on the youngest of the cats, Murphy who was trying to sleep. He raised his head to look at the sock that had been layed across his body and went back to sleep. At some point in the evening I returned the sock to the laundry hamper but I noticed that after her noontime snack (not spoiled) it has been retrieved and sits now, an offering of happiness at my feet.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

As a single.
Plied with itself.
This is the latest spinning project. A lot of gold, yellows rusts and reds went into this skein. It is a mix of domestic and UK Corriedale wools and there are actually two skeins for a total of a little over 200 yards of this that I will call sunset. It took forever to spin the singles but plying them went faster, as it always does.

The dyepots have been in constant use for the past couple of days and there are new rovings drying, so more yarn to be born soon. The website has been made obsolete by the holidays and everything on it was sold and then some. It will take some time to make more of the kind of things I would like to show on there, and in the meantime I hope to have an update by the end of the week with a few new things and a new page that will have yarns on it.

The snow was beautiful around here, we got a couple of inches and it stayed on the ground longer than I thought it would but it is melting fast today.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Home from London to the snowy plains of New Mexico. England is a magical place and for a couple of weeks my better half and I saw all the artwork we could and listened to as many symphonies as possible. We walked miles in the rain to find a little weaving shop way out in the burbs that had the most wonderful fibers I've seen. The weather was fine most of the time and considerably warmer than back here in New Mexico. But it is marvelous and fantastic to be back home again. The dog is recovering from her depression over being left at home and the cats, well you know how cats are. The dyepots are back on the stove and my fingers cannot spin fast enough to make up for lost time. Today the world is white outside, it is a perfect day for spinning. William Ackerman's Conferring with the Moon is on the CD player, the candles are lit and all the animals are snuggled up for a nap. It is good to be home.