Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy | Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy

Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy | Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy

I don't want to sound like a boring broken record. If there were jobs out there our kids would be able to pay these student loans off, instead they are saddled with major debts because this is what it costs to get a degree. In many cases $100,000 or more and gaining interest every day! The banks, got major bailouts, the middle class needs some help! If you can't give us jobs then forgive Student debt!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My name is Elizabeth and I'm a spinner

Somewhere along the way I changed from being a knitter & sewist (is that a better word than sewer?) into a spinner. What does that mean exactly? It means that I used to spin knitting or weaving yarn for specific projects. My focus was on the finished product. This was not a bad thing it kept me a bit more organized and kept the stash down to a manageable size.

Then I started spinning aimlessly because it's a relaxing and meditative activity. I spun tons of the default yarn, worsted or sport weight, 2 ply. And I was happy doing this for a long time.
Now I analyze my yarn a lot more. Largely due to the influence of spinning books & dvd's that have emerged in the last couple of years. It used to be I NEVER read about yarn, I just made it! These days I read and study about it all the time.

Since yarn is now my end goal, and I really don't want to become a hoarder I also have to look for ways to best use my yarns. And that is a really exciting creative goal. I love yarns just the way they are but it doesn't seem right to do nothing at all with them, and since of I have collected an enormous stash I must either sell or make something with it. This is a redefining of myself and I like it.

And you know what? Just because this is what I am at this point in my life doesn't mean I will stay this way. So don't get too comfortable!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Making batts & scarves

This is some less than perfect random wool I had in red, I mixed it with pinkish red mohair and some Angelina. It's really nice now.
I made a huge batch of this black I'm calling it Witch's Hair!

My guild has a beautiful Pat Green drum carder. And generally we are not allowed to rent it. They use it for the sheep to shawl event & maybe at the guild open house for demonstrations but it was really expensive so they don't loan it out. But I've been a member a long time and for some reason I was trusted to rent it. And I was really scared to use it! I was so afraid that I would do something wrong and everyone would get mad at me and I'd have to pay them $500 for a new one.
But I finally used it and once I started I guess I couldn't stop cause you should see the pile of batts on my coffee table. I love it. I love it so much it's my mission to buy one of my own. eek! I hope I can find a gently used one somewhere. And since I had to unregister myself from SOAR I'm going to use that money to help buy one, I feel it's best to use the money as a fiber investment.
This was a batt I purchased online and it didn't look the way I expected it to when I received it in the mail. So I blended it and LOVE it now. I made a very fine 3 ply...I hope there is enough for a pair of socks.
Carding is so much fun, any wool that isn't so perfect on it's own or you dyed weird colors & you want to fix them to be pretty...just run them through the carder and voila! You have a lovely bunch of fiber.
This is a blend of 2 wools that I had dyed green (much of it was really ugly and too dark) some of it was merino, & some just random lumpy wool plus I added cotswold locks and tried to make sure the locks stayed under blended.

Another mix of lumpy wool, w/ merino & cotswold.

And I've been weaving too...some scarves for the gallery...I hope someone buys them!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Michael Rhode Dye workshop

Over the weekend I took a workshop in dyeing given by fellow guild member & weaver extraordinaire Michael Rhode. He uses liquid dyes and has a very scientific method for getting the exact colors he wants. The dyes we used were Remazol Liquid Reactive dyes you can get them from Dharma Trading www.dharmatrading.com & www.prochemical.com I love this no more danger of breathing dye powder. Although I've got so much dye powder it may take my entire life to use it all up.

During the class I was so busy that I didn't snap one picture! But we made a great dye reference book and that I can show you!

Michael uses 6 colors for all of the colors you will see here. A cool & warmer version of Red Yellow & Blue. I've labeled the color names below each photo.

First we made these samples of colors from full strength to more dilute.
Fuchisa, Bright Yellow, Bright blue.
Scarlet, Golden Yellow, Navy.
Then mixing Fuchsia & B. Yellow, B. Yellow & B. Blue, Fuchsia & B. Blue.
Scarlet/Golden Yellow, Golden Yellow/Navy, Scarlet/Navy.
Fuchsia/Green, B. Yellow/ Violet, B blue/ Orange
Scarlet/Green, G Yellow/ Violet, Navy/Orange

It's pretty involved with formulas etc, but simple once you understand. If you ever get the chance to take the workshop from Michael I highly recommend it. I'm really excited to have this notebook because I can just pick the colors I want and then read the formula. I was also thinking it's great for blending fibers on the drum carder. Some other great references for color are the books Color in Spinning & Color Works by Deb Menz.