Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays

Can it really be 74 outside on this first day of winter? We have had the most beautiful weather this fall. Perfect for spinning and dyeing wool - even better for knitting.

This week the Farmer's Market will be held on Friday December 24 from 9am to 1:30pm since Saturday is the Big Day.

Solstice Blessings to you all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanks to everyone who asked about how I've been doing this week. Much better. There is even new core spun on the big Ashford wheel right now.
This core spinning is kind of addictive. The colors are mixed on a large drum carder then spun with locks of mohair and coopworth wool with some angelina thrown in for sparkle. I'll have these at the market on Saturday so please come by and say hello if you are there.

Also a reminder that the Farmer's Market will hold a special Christmas Eve market on Dec 24 from 9-1:30 in case you need any last minute gifts.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Just to let you know I will not be at the market this week due to a hand injury. Hopefully back on Dec 18.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

New Yarns

Core spun yarn! I've been playing this week in between special orders and this core spun is the result. The skeins are huge well over 100 yards and surely enough to make a scarf or trim that special project. Have you tried the huge knitting needles in size 33 or even 50? They are wonderful to show off this kind of yarn and make the project knit up very quickly. Hint: you can order the needles from Amazon for less than $10. There is a lot going on around the Market on Saturday's this time of year with people looking for that one particular Christmas gift. This Friday is the December Ramble at the Galleries downtown and the city is also hosting a Winter Wonderland where the Market usually is. Come have spiced cider and cookies with us. See you there.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Just a quick reminder that I will not be at the market the Saturday November 6 because I will be at the Renaissance Faire instead. Bob Brown and I will be playing our Hammered Dulcimers near the entrance under a tree all day on Saturday. Come by and say hello!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sock Yarn

Autumn has officially been with us just over a month now and the knitting season is in full swing. So many people have asked me about sock yarn that I am now offering Wildefoote Yarn that is hand dyed. It is a Merino and Nylon blend that makes the most wonderful soft durable socks. I do not spin sock yarn because I cannot spin and ply that finely - others in this active spinning community are able to do so. I will stay with my bulky singles and two plys and be perfectly happy. However for those of you who NEED sock yarn I will have eight new colors on Saturday at the market. A reminder that we vendors will be dressed up for Halloween and there will be children trick-or-treating. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Home. What a sweet word. I'm home again after travelling to see my husband, this time in Ireland. I looked for yarn and expected everything to be woolen but was sadly disappointed. There were many, many sheep but relatively little wool on offer in Dublin or in the countryside. What little I found was from Northern Ireland in Donegal where the govt still subsidizes the wool and weaving industry. Ireland is a beautiful place, almost impossibly green. We were fortunate to have good weather and were able to get out and walk a lot.

Back here at home the dyepots are already in use so there will be new things for the market on Saturday. I'll be back in my regular place across from the Rio Grande Theater.

Two pictures for you from the trip. The first is a ruin in the town on Trim where the movie Braveheart was filmed. The second is from a churchyard in Killkenny where there were many Celtic crosses.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Spinning on my friend Lee Ann's Lendrum. Fall is just around the corner and it is time for some serious spinning. The latest thing I've been trying is Navajo 3-ply. The technique is easy - you can look it up on youtube to see how it is done - I just cannot get over the fact that you start out with this enormous amount of single ply yarn and when you have 3-plied it there is so much less. Of course that is obvious because you are making one yarn that is three times as thick, but it makes two ply seem somehow decadent in how far it will go. Must also say that the Lendrum is a dream to spin on. It comes with three heads for different kinds of spinning and a lazy kate for plying. Probably the most important thing I noticed is that the orifice, which is quite large, is also set higher than the one on the Ashford Joy that I normally use. I never thought about this until LeeAnn and her new Lendrum came to spin with me last week at the Ramble. We sat for about two hours spinning, then the next day I took my wheel to the market and spun for about 4 hours straight. My back was killing me after all that spinning and hunching down over the Joy - need I mention that I am awaiting the delivery of my very own Lendrum this week?

In more somber news I must report that my office manager George died in August. He was with me 12 years and his presence in every sense will be sorely missed.

May all your skeins be tangle free.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last of July

Earlier this month I started checking in with the amazing artists on Ravelry. The Art Yarn group continues to inspire and amaze me. This week I did a mixed bat that became an autowraped single here

But I have not posted here very much in the past two weeks and it is because my very short attention span has been taken up by this lovely new instrument that arrived finally from the wonderful people of Dusty Strings in Seattle:
It is a 4 &1/2 octave Hammered Dulcimer, Dusty Strings model D650 with dampers. I am so in love with it. You can see the hammers on the stool below the dulcimer. Because of this obsession I will be absent from this blog and the farmer's market for at least the next week while I attend the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College in Asheville NC. Look for me back at the market August 14.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Latest Greatest Idea

People at the market are always asking me what they can do with a skein of yarn. Now most of my handspun skeins are 225+ yards - which means that you can make something and have lots left over. Or maybe make two somethings, like a matching hat and scarf. But since I've never been a matchy-matchy type I would be more interested in more colors and less matching. Which brings me to my latest idea, ready made pull-balls in various colors that come in around 100 yds. (They are marked so you know how many yards  you get.)
For those still wondering what to do with a ball of yarn I suggest the books by Judith Durant, One Skein Wonders and also 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. Check with Amazon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Midsummer in the Desert

The Solstice reminds me of England and Stonehenge and the abundance of fecund green things everywhere. In my mind it is pleasantly warm with trees and flowers. In my reality it is over 100 and scorching sunlight that few things are able to brave to celebrate this mid-turning point of the year. In my yard this Mexican Bird of Paradise flowers and prospers energetically making bean pods that reseed it all over. In my hot summer kitchen I am dyeing wool and chenille - though not in the same pot. When I started this project of selling hand dyed yarns at the Farmer's Market back in February I did not dream that by midsummer people would still be buying wool and other fiber yarns from me. When it is hot I don't think about knitting as much but clearly there are many people who get their start on fall projects when it is blistering hot outside. I'm grateful to them. May you all be blessed as the wheel of the year turns.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer 2-ply

It is hot here in New Mexico this summer. I'm dreaming of cool ocean breezes with these colors. This yarn is a 2-ply of handspun wool and eyelash/flag all dyed in the same pot and twisted together for a fun yarn. This would make a great hat.

The heat is also reflected in this Shetland roving that is the colors of our sunsets:

And finally a yarn that reflects many of our local colors, turquoise orange and purple:
See you at the market on Saturday!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Books, Books, Books

Just in case you missed the Ramble last evening - there were lots of books. For the past few weeks I've been making coptic bound books. The above ones were covered in paper, the below ones were covered in hand dyed silk velvet and vintage laces. They were well received and several sold. Don't think I will be changing career directions any time soon because I still love yarn but these books were fun to make.
Have a great weekend and try to stay cool...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

What is that stuff???

Every week at the Market someone comes up and asks me what that yarn is made from. Or maybe they finger the dyed roving and wonder what it is and what you do with it. Humans have been on this earth a long time but it has only been since the Industrial Revolution that we became distanced from our own lives. We used to understand where milk and steak come from, just like we understood where yarn came from because probably someone in our home was spinning it next to the hearth in the evening. For thousands of years that went on and now within just a couple of generations we have no idea how to bake bread, make butter and spin yarn. To me that is a great sadness. I enjoy this wonderful technologically savvy world we have created but I wish we didn't have to loose so much of the basic things while we are so very plugged in. All those people listening to ipods while spinning would be my idea of perfect! So here I leave you with a picture of roving, undyed and still in the huge ball as it comes to me from the mill. This ball weighed in at 20 pounds.

A small reminder that the First Friday Ramble is this Friday from 5-7 at the downtown mall in Las Cruces. The Quillin Studio (owned by Sally Quillin) will be showing handmade books with a variety of different bindings. Stop in and say Hello if you are in the neighborhood. Those shawls from the previous post will be there too......

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sneak Peek - or wasn't this a blog about weaving?

I'll admit that I'm prone to getting distracted. For months now I've been distracted from weaving, seduced by the color and texture of spinning and dyeing. There has been a warp languishing on my loom for months. Finally this week I got down to the weaving part. Here is a preview. The two new shawls can be seen on the Ramble Friday June 4 from 5-7 at the Quillin Gallery at 217 Water Street, Behind COAS, where the coffee shop used to be. Right here in Las Cruces, NM.

We all love yarn and I'm assuming that means you too or why would you be reading this blog? In the making of the above shawl I took out all kinds of yarn and spread them around the floor and auditioned the colors and thought about texture and then went to bed. Here is my office manager, George trying out the new stash to see if it is comfortable enough.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Magic

Magical sparkly red and turquoise and purple batts made from wool, mohair, silk and crystal mylar. Putting these fibers through the drum carder (Louet) was like making a party. It spun up quickly on the Ashford Country Spinner. Now it is out drying in the sun on this georgous warm day. Happy Monday to you all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blue 2-Ply Friday

A sneak peek for you of a new blue/green 2 - ply that I'll have with me on Saturday at the Market. Friday's are always kind of exciting, maybe we are trained to feel that way from an early age. In school Friday was the end of the week with hopefully a two day break ahead without much homework. In the world of work Friday was a blessed release from other people's agendas. Now I love Friday because I am getting ready for the market - I get all my yarn and supplies together, load my truck, ready to head out early Saturday morning. I did craft shows for many years. One of the cool things about them is the sense of family that evolves during the show, you get to know your neighbors who sometimes become life long friends. The Saturday Market is like that also. My neighbors tend to be a little different each week because my space is not assigned (I'm on the list but who knows how many years that will take.) so I set up where my block captain tells me and hope for the best. Usually it is great, most of the people are super nice. One of my other favorite things is seeing all the dogs that come to market to help their people walk around and buy things. Some of them come every week and I know their names even without a clue to who their people might be. I like a world where dogs get to participate. Hope your weekend is super, if  you are in the neighborhood on Saturday stop and say Hello!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2 Ply Process

Some people love singles and some love 2-ply, I guess that's true in life as well as in yarn. The advantage of 2-ply over singles is that singles tend to pill when knitted into something that gets a lot of abrasion and 2-ply does less of that. If you are knitting something like a hat or a scarf then I think it really doesn't matter much but if you are making something like a vest that would get rubbed by a coat or a shirt then the single would eventually get little pills of wool on the surface. Remember those sweater shavers and stones from years ago? I'm dating myself here - they worked better than endlessly pulling little balls of wool off your favorite sweater. When I think about making a 2-ply yarn I think about colors that look good together or are complimentary on the color wheel. This roving was dyed with Turquoise, Fire Red and Burnt Orange Acid Dyes. The wool is Punta from Argentina and feels like our Merino, not itchy at all. I dye the roving and then divide it into two equal lengths (there may be other ways to do this but I'm sharing how I generally work) I spin each length onto a separate bobbin using my Ashford Joy wheel. This is what the singles look like before they are married up on the larger box spinner. It looks like the colors are different but they are really from the same bit of roving.  
I then put these bobbins on a lazy kate and spin them together on the Ashford Country Spinner - an integral piece of equipment. The bobbin on that spinner is huge - I've never even come close to filling it. If I had to ply on the Joy the yarn would have several places where it is tied together as the smaller bobbins are filled, but by using the Country Spinner the yarn is one long continuous piece.

Here the finished yarn has been wound into a skein.

One more picture from the Ramble last week - Bob Brown and I playing our hammered dulcimers in the patio. Thanks to everyone who came and supported us. Bob leaves for Ireland at the end of June - this is his big dream and we want to help him get there. He will be playing at the Farmer's Markets on Saturdays until he leaves.

Friday, May 07, 2010

First Friday Ramble in May

Today is the First Friday Ramble for May in downtown Las Cruces. This event includes a number of local galleries, the local art museum and the Rio Grande Theater. It starts at 5 and goes to 7pm. People park and walk to the different galleries/studios and have a nibble of something and check out the artwork. The Rio Grande hosts a Poetry reading until 7:30 that is free to the public and you can read your own original work. The Quillin Studio which is owned by Sally Quillin is where I show my handwoven things. Sally shows paintings and Aline Fister shows silver cast jewelry. Tonight we have a special treat - Robert Brown will be playing the hammered dulcimer in the patio. This instrument is a delight to hear, very like a harp but played with small wooden hammers. Robert plays very well and is an extremely patient person. I know this first hand because I've been taking lessons from him since December. I saw him at the Farmer's Market and was immediately entranced by the sound of his playing and the look of the instrument. It is one of the hardest things I've ever tried to learn and I played the piano for many years and can read music. The dulcimer is a challenge because of the arrangement of the notes and the precision involved in only hitting the strings you want to sound and not making a cacophonous noise. My treat for tonight is that I get to play my dulcimer with Robert on three songs. Very exciting.
If you are in the neighborhood please stop by. Don't forget that Saturday is the Farmer's Market and there will be lots of new yarn for you to see.
Just in case you wondered, it is a 16/15 made by Russell Cook of Masterworks.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Iris Inspiration

Sometimes the colors for yarn come out of my head, or even out of a book. Sometimes they come from the yard. Iris are my favorite flowers. These are just blooming and inspired the following yarn, I almost expect it to smell sweet.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Best Friend's Birthday

Frisbee is 11 today!!! This is my chief helper, constant companion and all around darling best friend. She is an English Cocker Spaniel who has been with me for the past 9 years. Even as I write this she is asleep at my feet having already had breakfast twice and snuck into the cat room to sample theirs. It is impossible to think of working at home without the help of the furry children. In old posts I notice that the cats get more blog time, maybe because they are always right there checking out the yarn and ready to be photographed. Frisbee would say they are  pushy that way, that the best behavior is just to stand by patiently and wait for ways to be helpful. This is something she has perfected.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the market on Saturday and especially to the woman who told me she actually reads my blog. It made my day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Red - Start to Finish - This red art yarn started out life in Silver City NM when I bought some sari silk fibers to go along with some red wool and coopworth locks and mohair. They all danced happily through the drum carder and then spun up into a bulky single. I'll have this with me at the farmer's market on Saturday unless someone needs it sooner - send me an email dedriquillin@aol.com The price is $25 plus shipping. 128 yards.

Wool meets sari silk.


Friday, April 09, 2010

Lots of new yarn this week but not at the Farmer's Market until April 17. The Mesilla Valley Weaver's Guild is going to Silver City this Saturday so I will be out prowling around looking for fun new fibers to put in my yarns. Also on the 17th I'll have more in the way of chenille, rayon and cotton for summer so please stop and see me at the north end of the market.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The end of February is almost here. This week has been full of spinning new yarns for the market. It has been a while since any 2-ply Corriedale went out of the studio and this week there are three offerings. They are so pretty I'm tempted to keep them myself but like all good children they need to be sent out into the world.
This green and yellow below is a single art yarn spun up from wool and mohair.
This last picture is a 2-ply of Corriedale in purple and green and a Romney single in raspberry tones.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yarn Everywhere! This week I was juried into the local Farmer's Market in Las Cruces, so if you are in need of yarn or roving come by and see me Saturday between 9-1:30 - winter hours. The dyepots at the house have been working overtime and the purple yarn above is the one I was spinning during the Ramble last Friday - for those of you whom I met at that time. I'm excited to be in the market, some of you will remember that I helped start the Hobbs Farmer's Market and we modeled it on this one here in Las Cruces. I am a big believer in Farmer's Markets because they are one of the best ways to build a community. They do more for good will than any golf course or chamber of commerce. They are a great place to visit with your neighbors and make new friends - and don't forget to EAT LOCALLY!

If you are on the web and too far away to visit the Las Cruces Farmer's Market then the best place to see Outstanding yarn is from Lynn at the Yarnwench http://yarnwench.com/hers is the standard the rest of us should go by. I have admired her work for years and encourage anyone with any interest in yarn and spinning to visit her site.

Go make something!