Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wind and dust and sand, oh my - this is no day to be in the garden. Out here on the plains we have many days like this in the spring when the wind begins before dawn, or never quits from the night before. The light is hazy from the stuff in the air and being outside for any length of time is like being sandblasted.

A good day to get back to the looms. All this red chenille is very cheering. It will be a V-back shawl for one of the librarians here in my hometown. Chenille is so soft and has such a nice drape when finished it is no wonder so many people enjoy wearing it.

If you are new to chenille, this is rayon chenille in Ruby from Webs http://www.yarn.com the 1450 yd per pound put up. When you are deciding on the length and width of a piece be sure to add in some extra for the shrinkage. I usually add a couple of inches to the width and at least six to the length. When you take it off the loom and wash it be sure it is in a gentle cycle so it doesn't get too mangled, but then when you put it in the dryer (one of the few things that really improves by going in the dryer) put in a towel (one that does not shed) or two and dry on medium/low heat until completely dry. It should come out with that lovely hand and drape we love in chenille. It needs that abrasion in the dryer and also the warmth to make the rayon fibers fill out. Check your lint trap because it can shed quite a bit.

This is one of my assistants, George who is practicing the art of taking up the entire six foot sofa so that the dog cannot get up there. This necessitates a lot of deep sighs on the part of the English Cocker who has to lay on her big round cushion on the floor. Life is so unfair....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fingerling seed potatoes sit on the table near the south facing window in my little dining room. They are dreaming of days in the earth, very soon now when they will get to make whole plants and reproduce more fingerling potatoes. I thought these potatoes were lost as I had looked all over the house for them, in cupboards and closets over the past few weeks. Then I had a call from the seed company http://www.seedsavers.org to tell me they had not yet shipped. Of course I thought they had already come and been put away somewhere that I would know not to eat them but would remember for spring. You know, the kind of place you find five years later. So I was glad to see them arrive in the mail this week, one step further in their journey to the garden.

Below is one of the broccoli plants I put out last week, being very optimistic about the weather. After it had been in the ground about three days we had wind that was terrible and a bit of snow and the temps got down to 24 in the night. Fortunately it seems to be doing well as are it's brother's and cousins the brussels sprouts. Some Yukon Gold potatoes went into the ground on the equinox along with onions but since they are well buried I think the weather will not affect them much.

You may wonder why this blog suddenly became about gardening and not so much about weaving, for weeks now I had been thinking about just doing away with this blog since my ability to write about weaving had taken a vacation and been supplanted (small pun) by gardening. My latest strategy is to write about both, depending on where my interests are at the current moment - and those of you who know me will remember that I have a very short attention span. So you may hear about raspberries and yarn all at the same time.