Thursday, January 22, 2009

There And Back Again

I've been to Wisconsin. We will not speak of the weather there. Suffice it to say that while I was there, it was warm here, like in the 70's. But I am back now. It is good.

We were working on dye books:
dye pages

dye pages2

There are darks and lights:
dye pages6

Stacks and stacks of colors:
dye pages4

For those of you who like numbers, that is 22 strands on each page, 40 pages per color (this run), 18 pages done in a week's time. We have 12 pages left. Of 34. It feels like we are nearing the end, even though each page is about 4 hour's work (4 x 12 is....lots). But close!

Some people were training an assistant:
dye pages5

Some assistants learned that they could lay down on the job:
dye pages3

Now all I need to do is lose the serious poundage I gained while snacking our way through M & M's, trail mix, cashews and almonds, goat cheese, sheep cheese, crackers and cheese. . . .you get the idea.

Knitting is tomorrow. This post is up in self-defense: Lindsey and Patricia? See you soon!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Red Sky at Night

I'm in the middle of a very long project, which is taking lots of time. I get ideas during the process, though, and some of them are just hard to put off. Distractions, digressions, and diversions.

One of the ideas involved color gradations in spinning. I googled around until I found some fiber dyed in the appropriate manner:
sailor's delight1

This is Sailor's Delight silk/merino from Yarn Chef on Etsy and is just perfect for a small sample.

I bought two lengths, 4 oz. each. My bobbins hold about 2 oz, so I divided each section of the top lengthwise, weighed the bundles and matched them up by weight for spinning:

sailor's delight2

I wanted the colors to match up closely in the plying, so I spun up each length, then plied the two bobbins together:

sailor's delight3

The fiber was a dream to spin, and worked up nicely as planned. I have 5 skeins altogether, which I plan to knit from violet-to-gold/gold-to-violet/violet-to-gold etc.:
sailor's delight4

The bigger project will have only one color run for the whole length, that is, the dyeing will be in longer lengths, so the colors grade from dark to light only once in the finished project. I know this will be grand to spin up: the interim colors are where it's all happening, and what makes dyeing and spinning like this such a treat. It's a lovely easy way to grade colors from one to another.

There's nothing really new or different about this idea, but I had great fun sampling. Lucky are we who can find such pleasure in simple things, eh?

Now back to work [sounds of nose and grindstone here].