Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sometimes in February here we get these perfect days when there is no wind (a rare thing) and the temperature is in the upper 70's. I've been sitting out on the back porch in the sun spinning wool for several hours. If there is a better way to spend time I don't know what it is.

The yarn on the left was spun first and then dyed and the yarn on the right was dyed as roving and then spun. The difference is subtle. I like the way yarn looks when it is dyed as roving first but sometimes the roving is so fragile that I end up felting it instead of dyeing it, hence the yarn on the left. I have read recently a lot about people dyeing roving in their dishwashers. I just use a heavy bottom canning pot on the top of the stove. If any of you out there have done both and would like to share the pros and cons with me I would like to hear it.

I'm just about to start the weaving on a shawl that will have all handspun natural browns for the weft. I'm cheating a little and using shetland for the warp.

Whatever you do with yarn I hope you are enjoying it!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Art yarn from yesterday's post, finished and dried. It is wool, cotton and rayon, 116 yards.

This evening I've been knitting. This seems such a decadent pastime to me as I always feel like I should be spinning or weaving. However, my house is full of this beautiful hand dyed, hand spun yarn and my fingers just itch to get into some of it and make something before it flies out the door. I am making a hat. It is orange and olive greens and much nicer color combination than it sounds like it would be. Autumn is my favorite time of the year and this yarn is like having Fall in my hands. Of course where I live it was in the 70's today and not very Fall like, but I'm an optimist and I'm hoping someone will see the hat and decide they want to make one of their own, using my handspun preferably. I love to see people wearing hand made hats, or really hand made anything because I think things made by hand are a thousand times better than stuff made on machines or by slave labor overseas. I believe all gifts should be hand made! Let's start a revolution!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Don't you just love toys? The next best thing after yarn is new toys to make yarn! I love my Ashford Joy spinning wheel, but the orifice is just a little too small for all the stuff I want to add in to my art yarns - and the bobbin is too small to hold enough yarn once the plying begins. So I ordered a Country Spinner from Ashford. It came a week ago and I spent most of those days since staining and varnishing it. This morning my husband and I put it together and I got out the yarn. No time to waste, get busy!!! It works so differently from the little Ashford Joy that it took me some time just to figure out how to get the fly wheel to move freely and twist the yarn, then I had to get used to the slower pace. A couple of hours later and I think I get how it works and how best to use it. I can't imagine having this as the only spinning wheel in the house because it doesn't make small yarn, but it is great for plying and that huge bobbin will hold 2.5lbs of yarn. This terrible picture is of the yarn I worked on today.
It is a gold and purple with eyelash and cotton boucle all twisted around an antique gold colored thread. Will try to post better pictures soon but it is now drying in the bathroom.

We had a wind storm out here in Eastern New Mexico today. The wind got up around 65 mph this morning with lots of dust in the air. It was a good day for staying in and working with wool.

If any of you have experience working with the Country Spinner I would love to hear what you think about it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Joy of Art Yarn

The only thing more exciting than spinning up beautiful singles from hand dyed wool is making it into fun art yarn. The yarn on the left is a single in pinks, reds and purples that I call Heart's Desire and the one on the right is Pink Party Yarn, that includes wool, eyelash and small pom poms all coiled around gold lame thread. While I like them both there is definitely more going on with the yarn on the right. Art yarns are taking off all over. I was in London in January and saw people everywhere wearing scarves made from hand spun wool with all kinds of stuff woven in. I think an accessory item knitted up with art yarn is just the thing to chase off the winter blahs. Look for both of these new yarns on my website: http://www.quillinfiberarts.com .

Also for all of you who emailed me about not posting more, I will try to mend my slothly ways. After four years working overseas my husband returned home this past weekend. While he is trying to decide what to do next I am working on building inventory for the show in June and spinning as much yarn as my fingers can! It is great to have him home.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Happy Candlemas to you all! This is the day in the old pagan calendar when people would celebrate the return of light. The days were perceptibly longer and there was new hope for spring to come. The goddess who had been featured as an old crone at the end of the year has changed herself into the young girl in white emerging from the woods. A lovely image to begin the new year. With new things in mind I am beginning the update of my website http://quillinfiberarts.com with the addition of a page for my yarns. I'll start by posting them six at a time and should anyone want one, emailing or calling me would be best, to make sure they are still available. This yarn is a single ply in Romney in spring green and violet, there are 143 yards, so enough for a hat or other smallish project.

Warm thoughts of spring to you all!