Quillin Weaving

A blog about spinning, dyeing and fiber related things.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Urban Renewal

This being the day after Christmas I was thinking about the mall - not actually going there but about people who DO go there regularly. I tend to think of malls and young adults who might be kind of edgy-cool. You know the kind who stand around in small groups taking in everything and passing judgement on it. Being also a fan of the Borderland series I tend to see these young people as possibly crossing the line into fairy. (Read some Charles DeLint if you don't know what I'm talking about.) What does that have to do with yarn? I'm making a new series called Urban Wild Child. It is a two ply series of yarns made from batts of various colors and styles with some non matching edginess thrown in to keep it all interesting. Just the kind of yarn those kids at the mall might be wearing knit into a cowl or scarf..... It starts out like this as a single (you need two bobbins full)

Then the two bobbins are plied together (on the Ashford) to make the two ply yarn below:

The skein below was the first Urban Wild Child and has more gray in it than the above one will have. Lots of yardage and a fingering to sport weight yarn. Corriedale/Merino/Sari Silk/Bamboo/Tencel and Crystal Mylar. All hand dyed fibers.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from New Mexico! 
Old bears inside celebrate with a small tree of their own.
 We sincerely hope that Santa brought you everything your heart might desire, but in case he left something off the list....... take a lead from Harper and go sneak whatever it was you REALLY  wanted, like the new yarn mom was working with yesterday. She is already working with it, she obviously won't need this pesky label, I'll just remove it for her.....

Happy Holidays from Harper and all the rest of us.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Night before Christmas.......

And all through the house not a creature was stirring (except maybe the bunny)........

While they sleep I'm working on some last minute projects.... A scarf on the four harness loom....
Finally spinning some bunny fur.......

 Urban two ply from some wild child batts for knitting soon.

Hope you are all having wonderful holidays.

Blessed be.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Scarves

These are two of the new scarves that are finished just in time for the Solstice/Christmas holiday. The blue is a dark lapis blue with complimentary colors  in the warp, the cinnamon has complementary colors in the warp and stripes of matching variegated color on both ends and the middle. Two colors that look great with most things. They are woven in plain weave of rayon chenille and measure 7 1/2" X 65". They were woven on my old Harrisville four harness, as it is kinder to chenille than the big Herald.

The weather here has finally gotten a little cooler, there was frost this morning and the outside water bowl had ice in it. NM is finally catching up with the rest of the nation.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Ramble Preview

Just a couple of items I will be showing off during the Ramble tonight and the Market tomorrow. The shawl is a soft cotton boucle in terra cotta with a subtle turquoise stripe of rayon ribbon. It comes down to a V in the back.

Front with one side draped over the shoulder.

The V in the back is very flattering.
 The cowl is one of my merino and silk creations. All hand dyed and knit - they come in various colors.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Slow Autumn

Usually by December we have done with the gold leaves and warm days... but this year Autumn is taking her sweet time. Maybe she is in tune with the Slow Food Movement and the Slow Cloth Movement, this is Slow Autumn here in southern New Mexico. Our days are 65-70 and most nights don't make freezing. I always feel better for the outside animals that they don't have the harsh conditions. The garden is still hanging on, the madder plants still trying to escape the raised beds, although the indigo is long past.
I escaped out into the warm sunshine and took some knitting. This is hand dyed merino and silk knit together into what will be a cowl - available at the Ramble on Friday or the Market on Saturday. The rust and blue are a perfect compliment to our weather. 

Murphy was out enjoying the sun as well. Hoping the dogs did not bark and scare off his lady love. Murphy is a confirmed (fixed) bachelor and his new love is a sleek black stray that moved in under the barn. She comes to visit him and chats - cat style all the time while he remains silent but fascinated by her. 

New yarns for the market and etsy store. Kid mohair lace that is impossibly soft.

Cowls are the order of the moment. They make such a nice fashion statement and go with about everything. You probably need one in every color...........

This one is my current favorite in a rosy pink with orange and light pink highlights. Silk and merino.

Hope you are able to get out and enjoy some glorious fall weather wherever you live.

Friday, November 09, 2012


A cold morning to hang out roving but the color looks vibrant in the early light. Time to get back to things that matter after the election hoopla is over. I for one am glad the stupidity is done and hope to be able to answer the phone again without throwing it across the room as yet another recorded message comes across. Just for the record recorded messages make me hostile and very unlikely to vote in favor of anything they purvey. I read somewhere online that over a billion dollars has been spent on advertising for this election. That seems unconscionable considering how many programs have been cut and how many Americans go hungry on a regular basis. Is that really a good use of money? OK getting down off my soapbox to show you some new yarns that will soon appear here.
These are done from wild child batts that I make with corriedale, merino, blue faced leicester wools all hand dyed (see above)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


There are many reasons I love what I do but today in the Autumn Sunshine I was reminded again of why I love dyeing yarn. Color in all it's splendor......

Just about the time I think the summer colors are my favorite, the seasons change and the autumn coolness makes me shift. These are mainly duets that I dye two at a time, one skein is the textural cotton and rayon blend, the sister skein is the rayon ribbon. They are lovely to knit with although I have used them as warp on the loom with an 8/2 tencel for weft. Look for them soon in the etsy shop - all but the red which is already sold.

Although it is beautiful here in the desert today our thoughts are with those of you on the east coast. Blessed Be.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October Moon

The moon was so lovely this evening that we decided to sit outside and make an evening of it. We lit the fire in the outside fireplace and the dogs came to keep us company.

This seemed like such a perfect way to enjoy the fall coolness and the quiet outside in the evening. I always want to tell people - turn off the TV. Go Outside. Do something that feeds your soul. Take your dog along and maybe some knitting. All those sitcoms and sporting events will wait. Do something that makes you feel alive and in touch with the other people around you. Enjoy your life and Give Thanks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


With 30 fleece sitting around waiting to be washed and worked into yarn, it was hard to be patient. So what did I do with all that fleece? After washing it, I've been dying it in small batches like this:

Then I carded it on a fine tooth Louet drum carder and added some crystal mylar and sari silk waste - what is life without a little bling?

Then I corespun it into this yarn which is available over in the etsy shop here.

One difference between this corespun and others that I spin is that the locks carded on the fine tooth carder make a smaller and smoother corespun yarn. This is rambouilette with wensleydale locks and is very very soft. The wool takes color well and is not dull at all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Spinning

October days seem to be slipping by. Fleece washing is taking place at all hours of the day and it seems like there is little time for spinning. I was thinking the other day about corespinning being a little bit like weaving. The core is like a long warp that you put on the loom. Since in corespinning the core doesn't show it is easy to go from one skein to the next without changing the bobbin. This is really three skeins..........

The Ashford bobbin holds a huge amount of yarn. I've never completely filled one.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Apples Are In

It is turning fallish in the air even this far south in New Mexico. The local U-pick apple farm has a sign out for .50 cents per pound. Who could resist? So off this morning we went to pick apples. As with most things I tend to think I need more than I probably do.....

The house smells of applesauce and cinnamon.

This treasure was out in the old apple tree here and looks like it was well used this year. The gray tufts are wool! A bird after my own heart.

There has been a lot of dyeing this week and there will be new roving at the market soon.
May you all have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Back of Beyond

 Usually the trip to the Wool Festival in Taos is a destination all on it's own - much anticipated during the year. This time the most exciting part of the trip took place on Sunday when we were invited to go to the Rio Nutrias Ranch and buy fleece. The ranch is located near Tierra Amarilla which is a couple of hours north and west of Taos through the Kit Carson National Forest. This national forest might be the best kept secret in the west as hardly anyone is up there. This time is year is even more beautiful with the aspens turning. We saw a few camps with hunters as it is elk season but even those were few and far between.
The Rio Nutrias Ranch is nestled in the foothills of this beautiful place. The sheep ranching part is run by two sisters, Veronica Montano Coale and Ana Padilla who I had met last year at Wool Festival. They raise mainly Wensleydale with a few head of Ramboulette to round out the herd of about 40 animals. This is sustainable sheep ranching at it's best. These animals are coated in winter and have one of the most beautiful and lush pastures I have seen in the west. It is unusual to find small growers like this who are not raising churro here as that seems to be the sheep of choice among those who don't raise the animals for meat. Churro is wonderful for colcha and rugs but not what I consider garment quality so to find these wonderful people raising garment quality sheep is akin to winning the lottery. 
 Sheep barns where the sheep and their dog spend the nights.

Sheep along the Rio Nutrias river. No fences in sight, just pasture and shade trees and clean water. What more could a sheep want?
This ranch has a good life affirming feel to it where you know that these animals are not dinner when they have been sheered. Veronica and Ana are building up their flock and I saw the new ram who is solid black. Most of the sheep are white but there will be more color in the future.

Updates in the shop as the week progresses - I'm busy washing fleece right now. I'll be back with you shortly.

Friday, October 05, 2012


We are off to Taos and the wonderful Wool Festival this morning. The etsy shop will remain open this weekend but any orders will go out on Monday. Don't worry, we will take pictures and report back.....

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves...........Or how the yarn turned out from the previous post. Fall is the one time of the year when I can tolerate much yellow in the pallet. Yellow like falling aspen leaves or turning cottonwoods with a hint of pumpkin. This skein will be listed in the etsy shop here.

Monday, October 01, 2012

October First

This should be an official holiday. The first of October always feels like a milestone to me. The heat is done for the year and the mornings and evenings are cooler, crispy even. I would compare this to how people in the far north feel about the end of winter when the snow finally melts. That is how fall feels to me. The heat backs off and things don't look so burnt around the edges. The roses come on again strong before the freeze next month.
This is the climbing Polka Rose.

This made me think of doing  this...................

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Outside Office

This is where I'm working today. Taking full advantage of the great fall weather here. No doubt the animals will be out to help shortly.
This is the batt, already divided for corespinning that I'm working on this morning. Purples always make my heart happy. This one is mixed with some soft browns that will make it nice for a fall garment.
Part of the backyard. This area where I live is a birding paradise as it is between the bluffs of the desert and the lush Rio Grande Valley. We have counted some 26 different kinds of birds here this summer and more will be migrating through as the weather changes.

New updates in the etsy shop here.