Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spinning Challenge

With having shingles I did not feel like doing much but spinning in the garden was a good way of getting through part of the day. So that is what I did this week. I'm not a great spinner but I had a challenge that lasted 6 years....
The Online Guild has a spinning challenge each year and in 2004 this was North Ronaldsay. 6 years later and I have finished spinning my 500 grams. I have been spinning other fibres over the years, just left part of this 500 grams to be done. It has been a real challenge for me as I found it very short fibre to spin. I left the dark brown to last and half of this was very hairy and the end result is not soft at all like the rest of the spun yarn.
I now have 425 grams (about 1400 meters) of lovely soft yarn in 5 different colours (that is discarding the hairy brown skein at the bottom of the photo). So, my next challenge is to weave something with these yarns. I will not take another 6 years for this next stage ;-)
Luckily I feel a lot better than earlier this week.

Friday, June 18, 2010


The neighbours of our hostess yesterday (Guild outdoor day) have a stork nest in their garden.
It was great to be able to see that so near by with the camera.
 The beaks of the youngsters are black against the adult birds being red.

Guild outdoor day

Yesterday we had our annual Guild outdoor day to finish before the holiday season. And as usual we had glorious weather. This time we have been felting. Only a small project as we were with 15 and you need space for felting. With the silk that I dyed we have made paper by laying out the silk on some wet net curtain (that itself lay on top of bubble wrap plastic with the bubbles down rather than up). When silk was layed out we put a gauze over (the type used for insect blinds) and than a wallpaper paste smoothed over to bind the silk together. 
Next stage was to get the silk, together with the gauze, of the table and dry the silk with a hair dryer. This took some time to do.This was my paper silk when still wet.
After the silk was dry we cut out shapes to put on top of a layer of merino fleece. We each had a piece of about 30cm square of this fleece.
Here we are busy cutting out shapes. In the foreground you can see my first flower.
When the silk shapes were cut out we put a thin layer of wool fibres over the silk and the gauze over this again and next wetted the merino with warm water and soap and started the felting proces.
We had great fun and we ended up with this result together
My end piece looked like this
I might decide to make another piece and than have enough to make a small bag or something.
We had a great time together and after the felting we had our meal together. Everyone brought something to either eat or drink.

I was ready for bed when I came home as I'm suffering from shingles. Lucky only a few spots since this week (and how I found out that it is shingles) but the pain has been there for a few weeks now and I have not felt like doing much. This is the 2nd time for me to have shingles. Oh well, it will pass again. For the time being I will take it easy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lavender garden

It is almost a year ago that I took this photo. And look how it looks now:
Not all the plants have survived, so there are some distinctive gaps but I will take my time to fill them in again.
All the different lavender plants are now showing up. Different flowers, colours, hight. The agapanthus plants survived but no flowers to be seen yet. May be they need to settle a year before they start to flower again.
I'm also pleased that the fig tree survived the cold weather that we have had this last winter.
But if it will have fruit? I'll find out soon enough.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Acid dyeing day

I dyed some silk caps and fibre with acid dyes today.
We have our last Guild day before the Summer on the 17th and for that days activity we need some coloured silk. It was a lovely sunny day, so ideal for drying the dyed fibres outside.
 I would have liked a bit more dark patches for contrast, but over all I'm pleased with the end result.
Back to weaving now.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Fun with twills

It is fun playing with twills with so many shafts!
This loom I'm using has 40 bars but I'm only using 24 at the moment.
 Here is a photo where I played about going from bar 1 to 24 vice-versa
But, when only using either the even or uneven bars you get this:
Now, is this fun or not?
As Cally already mentioned in her blog I'm using Bonnie Inouye's book Exploring Multishaft Design as a guide in PCW Fiberworks software for my designs.
Oh, I'm having fun here. Thanks Marian!!!