Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

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!