Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snow Flying

We raced ahead of the storms to get to Denver for Thanksgiving, and made it, mostly! We did run into some snow, but not the worst of it, and we've managed to avoid the long power outages which followed this storm at home. Thankfully, we'd drained the pipes, and a neighbor came by and emptied our freezer for us, so we dodged a bullet on all counts.

What made it imperative that we hit the road in November? Well, you asked:
marin fist nov. 2010

Some (very little) people are like magnets, and attract whole families to come and visit!

We've also been to Taos:
LaLana handspun

This is handspun wool from LaLana Wools. In my haste to pack and leave before the storm, I forgot a hat. No matter: I had yarn and needles! so I knit one out of Cascade 220 that I brought along for Christmas stocking knitting. Well, the quick-hat was done by Salt Lake City, and it has served, certainly, to ward off the cold during walks in Denver, but it is boring, not like handspun! This new yarn did not help on this trip, but I was inspired, nonetheless, to buy some beautiful yarns for future hat knitting (that's my story!).

I also bought some hand-dyed Churro singles yarn at Weaving Southwest:

wweaving southwest churro

I can't imagine wearing this scratchy stuff, but it will be perfect for knotted pile. I have several skeins of Mattgarn, also a singles, and also a coarse fiber, which will go nicely with these. Someday. This project is in the as-yet-undefined stage of gathering yarns, a bag? A rug? We shall see.

I saw lots of beautiful weaving all over the Southwest on this visit. Surely it must be inspiring to be a weaver in that part of the country, and certainly the communities seem to understand the value of weaving better than most. It's encouraging, to say the least!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Attempt at Chronology

Whoops! Much time passes, here is a quick photo round-up:
Marcy weaving Nov. 2010
There was weaving in Vermont.

More weaving:
November download 422

November download 428
The Gathering went quickly: a weekend only, it was over in a flash.

Then there was a last-of-the-year boat ride on Lake Mendota in Wisconsin:
November download 472

with doggies:
November download 446

Then, I actually went home. Waiting for me when I got there was this:
November download 484

a several-months long experiment in cold batch natural dyeing. The jars contain madder and wolf lichen (also yarn). The aluminum pot contains more madder and yarn:
November download 485

Nest Rubio wrote an article in SpinOff (Spring 1993 for those of you following along) about cold batch natural dyeing. These are some of the samples she made of madder batches:
madder  samples

I, of course, tried a variation on the theme: instead of mordanting in alum for 30 days, I used pre-mordanted yarn for um, let's say 60 days (have no real idea when I started this, but it was summer, after I came home from England in July, and before I left for Colorado in August).

There was some scum on the top of the lichen jar, but the lid was cracked so it was not really sealed. The madder jar, and the pot of madder were both pristine (as in yarn and madder only) and the colors were:
November download 491

One of the madder skeins is muted slightly, I think it's the one from the pot. The jar yarns were fabulous! I have never seen that bright and clear a yellow from this lichen (I usually heat it for dyeing),lovely! I will do some sun-tests next.

Of course, I will get new! updated! photos of this little bug at Thanksgiving:
Marin October 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

Change of Venue

We have left Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan:
Lake Delavan

And have arrived at Mt. Snow in Vermont:
Mt. Snow

Mt. Snow2

A bit of change in the weather! There were also unfamiliar mountain roads in the dark and rain, and a late arrival last night, making this morning's coffee/tea and knitting particularly welcome. We are here for The Gathering of the North East Handspinners, which starts today.