Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Day of 2015

What a day to do the things I love: spending time with my dear hubby & doggies, baking bread & cinnamon buns, watching a movie and spinning for my Olds in depth study. 

Happy New Year to all.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve Day

I got together and spent a great part of my day with a couple of friends, both Olds College Master Spinner program students, Linda and Marion. Linda now resides on P.E.I and Marion came from a few miles north of Kitchener.
Nice to see them both and be able to talk about spinning and weaving; knowing they know exactly what I mean. I shared some of my weaving experiments; showed off my new to me loom; and found out what they have been weaving or spinning. Marion brought her tansy dyed mohair/silk bumblebee shawl and some beautiful silk scarves she wove; plus we got to see some pics of her past weavings.
Thank you girls for the lavender and flying Christmas angel.

Here's a pic of us on Dec. 24, 2015 in my kitchen.
Left to right: Suzi, Linda, Marion
Merry Christmas everyone. Have a safe and happy holiday however you choose to spend it.

P.S. The weather today was about 8 C, 38 km/hr winds and bright sunshine.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bath Towels

I've been experimenting with one warp (cotton/hemp blend. Hand dyed) for bath towels. Wefts have been comprised of  hand spun woad dyed linen, 8/2 cotton, cotton chenille & mop cotton.

Width in reed: 35"
10 epi of 8/2 cotton & hemp blend
Woven length approximately 55"-57"

I've varied the pics per inch (ppi) & combined different weft material and had a lot of fun weaving the towels & seeing the washed results. 

The one I really like is one in which I used thrums for weft. I just used a square knot to tie about 45" thrums together. The colours used were limited to black, white, a dark red, turquoise, light blue,
wee bit of yellow, & a dark dull pink. The tails were trimmed to ¼" after washing. All thrums used were cotton & a tiny bit of hemp in a few. I used no particular order. 
The result resembles one of my rag rugs.

From left to right-cotton & linen, cotton chenille, 8/2 cotton & mop cotton; thrums. 

Yes I could look up a pattern, but I like doing my own thing and seeing what happens. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Little Break

from all the work. 
I'm using an app called Knit Companion and I like it. There are many features I have yet to learn; I really like the chart reading feature with the markers and line to follow your work. Easily imported 'fish lips kiss heel socks' into the program. 
These socks were knit with leftovers from other socks. The patterning is from another pattern. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

It's still a gorgeous day...

I have 2 bobbins spun and rewound of the Corriedale & 15% hemp. 

I'm making a 2 ply. I'm plying outside so I have a lot of space between the bobbins & my wheel. 
Skeined & ready for the hot wash soak. 
Corriedale with 15% hemp. 
This would knit into such a beautiful sweater. 

Sunny & Warm

Here I am on the 16th November, 2015, on my deck with my Lendrum spinning wheel & my 3 month old Aussie pup. 
Life is good. It's around 13•C. 
And the day off. 
From the top-my wheel, Bob & Corriedale & hemp. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

An Experiment

I had some lovely downy type fleece given to me a few weeks ago. It scoured up just lovely and was a lovely bright white, but there was a section - probably that was down the animal's back that had a lot of veggie matter in it. It just had too much to use so I left it sit on my prep table and I kept coming back to look at it and touch it.
It was especially soft so it sat there still longer, til one day I looked at it and thought why not try?.

So I took my hand cards and went outside and started to card by hand. A great deal of the vm (veggie matter) flew out. I went through it all like that, then I went to the drum carder and carded this into batts. By the look of things I had enough for a hat or some mittens or such or a pair of gloves which I have been wanting to try. There was quite a pile of vm accumulating and I would brush it off my work table every time I carded.

I went to my spinning wheel and divided the batts into 3 piles and started spinning on my Norwegian wheel at an 8:1 ratio. It had a new flyer made for it and was needing some time spent spinning on it so I choose this wheel for a 'fast' spin. More vm flew off as I spun. I was spinning a very fine singles. Every time I finished for the evening I cleaned up more vm off the floor.

I spun up 3 bobbins of relatively equal amounts. I wound each singles off to a niddy noddy, did the ties and then set the 3 packages of singles in some hot water and dish detergent to soak. More vm floated to the bottom in the soak. 2 rinses and more vm out.

My downy type gloves.
I dyed the singles yarn in 3 different acid dye colours - a clear light yellow, a mixed green with some black added to make a mid granny apple green and a mix of turquoise and black for a dark blue.

More vm came out in the dye pot. Washed and dried afterwards. Then the singles were wound back onto spare weaving bobbins and I went back to the wheel and plied a 3 ply fingering weight yarn. The overall colour was a slightly darker mottled green because of the dark blue influence on the mid green. When it was plied I soaked it again, blotted out the water and hung to dry.

I went to Ann Budd's book 'The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns' and searched for a glove pattern. I knitted up a swatch in 3 sections with 3 different sized knitting needles and choose 3.25 mm as the size I was most pleased with in the knitted and now washed swatch.

This is a very handy book to use because the patterns are for different gauges and sizes of articles.

The gloves knitted up so quickly they were done in a couple of days. I fitted each finger on my hand as I knitted along. Yesterday I wove in the ends, added a loop for a button to hold them together when I'm not wearing them.

This was a very successful experiment. I didn't give up on the 'dirty' fleece. Spinning very fine allowed the veggie matter to fly off as I spun and now I have a very nice warm pair of gloves.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Woodstock Fleece Festival

Oct. 17, 2015 was the Woodstock Fleece Festival held in Woodstock, ON, Canada. I had the opportunity to visit the booth of Willow Farm where they had beautiful Icelandic fleece, of which 3 came home with me. Over the next 3 days I scoured all of the fleece, one at a time.

It washed up to be just beautiful!

Dark to light grey


White with champagne
 Spent a couple of hours looking around, enjoying the fibre and colours of the wool.

The Oxford Weavers and Spinners guild held a weaving workshop making a 'Boho' handbag in cotton chenille. Lovely little pattern and everyone that attended had a lovely handbag.

Looking forward to Woodstock Fleece Festival in 2016. Every year it gets bigger and better.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Targhee Dye

This is a 2 ply skein done up in a nature dye of leftover tansy with some fresh marigold added. Premordanted with alum and cream of tartar. 
This is uncarded Targhee that will be blended with dyed hemp top. Same dye as above. 
This is uncarded Targhee; alum mordant and a previously used cochineal vat. This too will be blended with fibre reactive dyed hemp.
These are 2 carded batts of Targhee blended with 25% hemp. A cochineal dye with marigold overdye. Alum & cream of tartar mordant. Here had the blended batts prepared with 25% hemp. Hemp is a cellulose fibre, so it must be dyed using fibre reactive dyed by either fibre reactive dyes, a substantive dye or with a different mordant process.
I decided to just dye the batts and see what the outcome would be. For this it doesn't matter if the dye on the hemp is permanent or not.

A satisfying dye day. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

IDS. 15% Hemp and Suffolk

I'm finally making a start on my study! So many things had to be looked after first before I could get to it.
A little cooking, some canning, gardening...some nature dyeing. I could not resist. 
But it lead me to the beginning of my in depth study.

Suffolk Goldenrod Nature Dye

Nature dye on Suffolk with alum premordant, goldenrod dye, and iron afterbath. 
Above is before the iron afterbath. Below is after. It was amazing how quickly the effect took place.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labour Day Acid Dye

I dyed 110 grams of a dark brown British Milk Sheep fleece today. 

WOF: 110 gr
DOS: 1%
Greener Shades Ruby Red acid dye: 110 ml
Assists: 22 gr salt
Acid: 36 ml 5% vinegar

Purpose: level 6 study

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hemp Dye

100 gr each colour
Fibre reactive dye

Beginning steps for in depth study. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Little Summer Knitting

Spinoff 2015 project. Wool & silk
I have been reading my last issue of Spinoff - Spring 2015 - where a narrow knitted scarf was being knit from some exotic blends made into a fingering weight yarn.

A little while later I found in my stash a ball of 3 ply fingering weight i had spun up last fall. Two of the plies are indigo dyed wool and one of the singles was an emerald green silk I spun. 
This seems like the perfect project for it. Here it is in progress.

Three rows repeated. Easy and interesting. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Gansey Sweater

I finished my Gansey. Darned in all the ends, washed it and now I am ready to block it. It took 7 x 100 gram balls of Wendy 5 ply Guernsey yarn.
The pattern is from the booklet:

Now to wait for a cool winter day to wear it. 
Pattern and booklet are available from: www.Morayfirth-partnership.Org

Cochineal on Romney

Cochineal with alum mordant & cream of tartar for buffering on Romney. The top photo is fibre having been combed, but dyed on the scoured wool in its uncarded state. 
The bottom photo is from the first dye - one alum mordant, the other with oxalic acid from rhubarb leaves ( center sample). 
The next photo is the same dyebath, possibly the fourth use of it on Romney, Merino top and silk hankies. All alum & cream of tartar for mordant/buffering. The last one was dyed July 18/15. This trio will be blended into batts.
One can see how the different fibres take on the dye differently. Yes it is getting lighter. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Back From Olds

I returned on Friday of last week after having spent seven days in class being tested for Level 6 of the Olds Master Spinner class. It was a stressful and exciting week!!

After all the preparation and anticipation...the classroom part is finished and all that is left to do is the 'Indepth Study' component which must gain approval then finished by spring of 2016.

Just a week or so before class was due to start, I injured my right foot which left me somewhat at a disadvantage, but I coped with it and made the best of the situation by carrying on and using just my left foot to treadle. The Ashford Traveller that I rented and I did not get on very well until the very last day. This was the wheel rented from the college which was among a bunch new wheels 2 years ago. I don't think it has seen much use. I have a feeling that it just became conditioned to being spun on by the last day I was there using it. By then it was cooperating well with me.

I completed my work, though everyday I knew I should have had my own wheel there to use. It's done now and overall I am pleased with my results.

The dye sessions and the silk reeling were terrific. All went extremely well.

Indigo Pot

Today I spent the entire day getting my thoughts for the in depth study entered on my computer-writing and rewriting, but not as fast as my mind raced along. I think it's finished and it has been passed along for the first assessment. It may need more revision, but the plan has been put into action.

And that's a good thing.
Indigo results

Coleen on the right. Our esteemed guide.

Silk reeled from coccoons.

An early morning sunrise from my townhouse window.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fibre Week 2015

I am readying myself for the trip west to Olds College in a couple of days. What to bring and how to pack it?
Choices to be made and it's a busy time indeed.
Such exciting times to be into Level 6 of the Olds Master Spinner program. Can't wait to get there!!

I submitted an in depth study proposal and am waiting to hear about revisions I will have to make. That was difficult putting it down on paper in the space of a page.

June Update

I was very fortunate to attend Tom Knisely's Weft Faced Rug Workshop at the OHS event of Panoply 2015 held in Burlington May 21 and 22.

This pre-event 2 day workshop was held at the Burlington Art Gallery in the room that houses the Burlington Handweavers and Spinners. What a beautiful facility!! Really inspirational. Art everywhere you wandered and looked.

In one of the galleries the weavers had their display set up with wonderful weavings

We didn't have to worry about bringing a table loom, but were able to walk in and sit down to pre warped floor looms. Just perfect.

Tom was just as you would expect - gracious and full of knowledge - and most willing to share his craft. He even signed my copy of his rug book.

I had a wonderful 2 days and soaked up lots of info.

My work in progress

Our classroom at the Burlington Art Gallery

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lilacs 2015

So beautiful this year!!!

More May

The 21st and 22 of May 2015, I have a Boundweave Rug making workshop happening with Tom Knisely, weaver, teacher and writer.

It's part of OHS Panoply. Looking forward to that too. Here is the link: .

And I must ready myself and pull things together for my Level 6 studies in Olds, Alberta in June 2015 at Olds College.

The dye skeins for the class I haven't quite finished spinning. Tonight will be the final episode of 'Mad Men' and some spinning.

This is a blend of Border Leicester and hemp. I experimented with blending on the combs, but prefer the hand carded rolags instead.
Here's what it looks like. The hemp content gives the the yarn a manilla colour. I suspect that the indigo dyeing we will be doing in class will have a slight greenish tinge because of this fact.
B. Leicester & Hemp

I should get out to my garden for spring chores.

May...a lovely fibre month

I have been slow to post to the blog, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy.

Boring Grey Sock
Just a sampling of projects:
Seems like just plain grey socks? Well sometimes that's just what is needed. It's almost auto knitting _ I can knit on something like this at work on breaks or before I actually start work; just pick up and knit. It's surprising to see how a few rows knitted here & there add up to a whole sock rather quickly.

Wendy 5 ply yarn. Beatrice Gansey
This is my much anticipated Gansey project. I've been fearful to start this project, but finally just plunged right in.

I'm using Wendy 5 ply Guernsey yarn I purchased from .

I have a few books and have done some research, so look forward to completing the sweater before it gets too warm to knit a large project.

Socks are great warm weather projects.

Bath Towel project

Bath towels are on my to do list.

This is ready for some sampling with cotton chenille from .

Previously I had tried to use mop cotton, but it makes a better bath mat than a towel.

See what happens with this.

Cotton/hemp tea towel warp. MX dyes.

Pictured to the right is hand dyed cotton/hemp warp for tea towels.

Pattern is for a twill gamp which I find fascinating to see happen.

Each section is a different threading and combined with different treadling combinations beautiful twill patterns emerge.

Hand dyed cotton/hemp. Twill Gamp.

This again is hand dyed cotton/hemp warp for more tea towels.

Love the pattern!

Lilacs of 2015

It's a beautiful year for the lilacs. Our house has many in front and across the road lining the farmer's field.

Log Cabin patterning

All cotton. Log Cabin tea towels.

Mother's Day from Lauren