mightyjesse: (Default)
( Feb. 16th, 2009 11:15 am)
My Thing for yesterday was another tumeric dying experiment, and I'm somewhat sad to report that I don't like the result...

This time, I heated the tumeric until the color developed and then strained it through a paper towel... Most of the goop came out so I don't need to re-card the resulting dyed roving, but the color was less than satisfactory:

As you can see, it's significantly less vibrant than the previous batch. On the other hand, my non-Thing-A-Day project that the last batch of dying was used in, seems to be coming along quite nicely... Gunther will be positively BLINDING in his "Von Kulmbach Twill" leg wraps...

And yes, intarwebs... You don't have to tell me "I told you so!" about the sizing... Next time I'll take the extra day to add sizing to my warps, because the fluffing, and felting being caused by the motion of the sheds was shredding my warp yarns... The aquanet trick for sizing projects on the loom is saving my bacon, but now my office REEKS of 1980's beauty queens... But at least I've managed to get a fair chunk of the weaving done...

Only 5 more yards to go...
So, [livejournal.com profile] eithni came by the house last night for a tasty-cheesy dinner at La Belle Italia and to help me warp my loom. I am pleased to report that the warping process was MUCH faster and completely error free when attempted with a "helpy friend."

I spun up a chocolate brown single to use as weft from my tasty-tasty wool order from R. H. Lindsay, and managed to weave this last night before I went to bed:

I'm very pleased at the evenness of my selvedges, but am a bit concerned by how stiff the fabric is. Hopefully it will be suitable for it's intended purpose.

On a side note, I'm fairly happy with the $8.50/lb sliver that I got from R. H. Lindsay. The price was super-cheap and the quality was medium-good. The wool itself is very soft and the staple length is great for spinning. The only place in which the wool loses points is on the amount of vegetation and odor that is still present in the roving. It's like... 1% stick by weight. Most of that falls out as I spin, and the odor should go away when I wash it... I've become accustomed to "sheepy smells" over the last 8 months, and kind of find the odor comforting, but I suspect the uninitiated might find the slight musk "offensive."

[livejournal.com profile] eithni Also got a chance to experience first hand, the "helpiness" of my two dingdong dogs. Jasmine was in absolute BLISS leaning on her, while Miss Maggie ran around the house like an idiot, nose whistling and fidgeting. I think her skin problem was making her itchy and anxious. She calmed down a little bit after I gave her some Benedryl. We are a bit concerned about Jasmine, as she has been growling at the BabyDog more than usual, and her appetite is down. She also appears to be somewhat constipated. We will keep an eye on her and maybe feed her a mild laxative. (Maybe I will make her some rice and ground beef for her dinner tonight.) If this doesn't clear up soon, it will be off to the vet with her.

Tonight, there will be more weaving (I was half tempted to ply my single to make the weaving go faster, but the inconsistency of the fabric would then drive me nuts. Plus, the fabric is already a little stiffer than I wanted and I think that using a plied weft might make the problem worse.) then fighter practice.

[livejournal.com profile] sirzig tells me that my wool is here from R.H. Lindsay, so I can start spinning weft like the wind. My spinning wheel has lain dormant for nearly a week now... Time to get it going again! (I suppose it's a good thing I went ahead and got the entire spool of fishing line to replace tension bands... I've melted TWO in the last month.)

At the Rose Tourney last weekend, I got to see [livejournal.com profile] teffan for like... 4 seconds. (She was fighting, so she was busy most of the day.) During that four seconds, she mentioned to me that she was meaning to make herself some "leg wraps" but hadn't gotten 'round to it yet, and could she commission some from me? Apparently her boots kept falling down and she wasn't willing to tolerate it long enough to learn how to tablet weave and make her own.

Now, I thought it was a bit odd that someone would try to tablet-weave leg-wraps, rather than inkle weaving them, or just using a regular loom, but I was delighted to have a useful project to try. Better still, [livejournal.com profile] teffan said she didn't care what they looked like since the boot would hide most of them anyway. This left me free to try out some of the more "visually offensive" patterns from my weaving book. (Why did it not occur to me to question her odd fashion decision to wear leg-wraps under boots? Because I have been getting cankles at events for the last 2 years, and leg wraps have helped to alleviate the problem. I just thought she had the same problem/solution.)

So last night, I diligently measured out 7 yards of warp yarn for a 4 inch wide "selvedge practice" exercise, and was quite pleased with my color selection of tan and white.

I jumped on instant messenger to ask [livejournal.com profile] teffan whether or not she thought 3.5 yards was too much and this was the point at which we figured out that we were NOT talking about the same thing.

7 YARDS was WAAAAY too much... And actually 4 inches of width was also overkill... She actually wanted a pair of garters, which I would also be delighted to make... just not with the warp I already cut.

So for 8 or 9 hours today I had some "orphaned" leg wraps. I was going to finish them anyway and donate them to the silent auction at Crown, until I got to talking with Keg. Apparently, he's been looking to get a pair of leg wraps for some time now, but just couldn't bring himself to wear the silly horse wraps that some of the fighters have been strapping on. Can't say I blame him. So now my leg wraps have a home to go to when they are finished, and the project in my head is gelling. Gunther wears mostly dark colors, so I will spin up a natural black wool to use as weft. I'm going to try weaving it as a single, just to see if I can save myself plying time, and in a week or two, I will have a Gunther Gift to exchange for Loom Construction Help on October 25 when [livejournal.com profile] eithni and I invade his shop and use his toys to make ourselves a warp-weighted loom and a tapestry loom.

I love it when misunderstandings can be worked out! (And no worries... I'll make [livejournal.com profile] teffan a pair of garters too... And maybe a pair for Michael while I'm at it... I saw more of his stockings during the Rose Tourney than I really care to... Was he on the winning team that GOT garters? Someone please say yes...)
Well, I certainly didn't accomplish much yesterday. I did finish de-looming and washing my pretty gold/black twill, but that's about all I managed. I blame this neck pain that's been plaguing me since the weekend.

But since complaining about pain and lack of productivity is un-productive, I will instead share pictures of my drying fabric: )

I see yard-goods as gifts for my SCA friends come Christmas Time... Hooray for string! (I need to make myself a string related icon, since that's all I seem to talk about lately...)
mightyjesse: (flutterby)
( Sep. 23rd, 2008 11:47 am)
Well, I used up all the yellow I had and it looks like I have maybe 5 yards of yellow. Maybe only 4.5. I started un-making a partial sweater I had begun making with wool donated to me by a colleague, and weaving just a straight pattern of reversing twill, with it in order to finish off the remaining warp. It looks kinda neat. I'll probably end up with two yards or so of this white and black twill. Maybe I'll have enough to make a carry-all bag out of it or some trim for another garment. I had a rough morning, so I didn't get a chance to take any pictures yet. Hopefully tonight before I go over to [profile] eithni's house, I'll finish all the weaving and de-loom the project... Then I'll have to decide whether or not I cut the project into a white section and a yellow section before washing it, or if I just wash it all together.

See, the yellow wool felt kinda sticky as I was spinning it, so I suspect that there's rather a lot of dye left in it. My intention was to wash it with Retayne after de-looming, but now that I've added the white bit, I'm trying to decide whether I should let the white bits possibly pick up some yellow from the yellow bits as they full, or whether I'm better of separating the two and keeping the white bits white and the yellow bits yellow.

The other factor here is that the white wool is totally natural. Like, I've got pictures of the donor sheep. (Rudy and Peaches. Rudy is stinkier than Peaches, in case anyone was wondering.) Whereas, the yellow is what we call "superwash." It's been treated in an acid bath to remove all the barbs from the wool, thus preventing felting/shrinking when washed. With that in mind, it's probable that I'll end up with totally different rates of shrinkage when I wash... So... I'll probaby have to cut the pieces apart anyway, but the question is, do I wash them together or not?

During work hours, when I've been bored, I've done a little puttering on Amazon.com and started updating my wish list. Mostly books on weaving and period textiles. It's been a while since I worked on anything other than my electronic library, but evidently craft books aren't popular in electronic format.

Tomorrow, since fighter practice is cancelled, I'm thinking about going over to Lakeside Fibers after work. They are open until 8:00 PM on Wednesdays. Anyone want to come with me?

Last but not least, my doctor just called about the blood tests I had done two weeks ago. Evidently, I've slipped into the "hyperthyroid" range of "overmedicated." (TSH is .12) So now I have to start splitting one of my pills in half every morning. Down to 75 mcg/day, and blood tests again in another two months. Someone remind me to get my blood tests redone on November 23? Maybe [livejournal.com profile] fencert and I can do lunch again. ..
mightyjesse: (Default)
( Sep. 22nd, 2008 03:12 pm)
... Now what?

I spent all weekend spinning the better part of 1.6 lbs of yellow wool and weaving... Since I only used .75 lbs of yarn to warp, I thought for sure I'd have enough weft, but with only half a spool of yarn left, (and no more wool) I still have the better part of a yard left to weave. I don't think my yellow is going to make it. So do I weave off what's left in a different color, or do I make a futile attempt to match the yellow? Or do I just finish up the yellow I've got and cut the project off the loom?

Now that I've finished like... 5.5 yards of weaving, I've discovered a sleying error (No... not a slaying error. The people I slay are NEVER a mistake... A SLEYING error.) that's caused a repeating mistake in the weave of the fabric. *tears out hair.* I know it's unreasonable for me to expect everything to be perfect with my first project, but seriously... How did I weave 5.5 YARDS before figuring out this problem???

I've made a tentative appointment with Keg and his shop for Eithni and I to come over and make specialized looms. In keeping with her persona, Eithni wants to make a warp weighted loom. (I feel that helping with this project is all I really need to do to get the general idea.) I am going to make a carpet/tapestry loom for all my carpet/tapestry making needs.... Wait a year? Pffft.

In other news, the UW offers Weaving I and Weaving II classes. Weaving I is only offered once a year, and it's in the fall... I just missed it. :P Next year, maybe.
mightyjesse: (Love)
( Sep. 19th, 2008 04:25 pm)
Yaaaar maties! Tonight be a good night for going out to the resort for a Friday Fish Fry. This afternoon, me old mate Alec will be making port after an extended tour of the Virginias, so he'll be along for the ride. Siegfried will also be in attendance as he doesn't have to work this eve.

If you hadn't noticed, it's talk like a pirate day. Sadly, my ability to maintain pirate speak is limited.

I keep thinking that my weaving *should* be getting done faster, for all that I seem to be using up string at an incredible rate. At Social Practice on Wednesday night, someone reminded me of the medieval statistic that reported that 7 spinners were required to supply one weaver. I'm finding from experience that the proportion is about right. If I get home from work at 5:00 and spin and ply until midnight, I have made one spool of yarn. I can then weave up all of that yarn in about an hour.

It's ridiculous. I have a feeling that I won't be spinning the yarn for *every* project. Just the "special" ones. I guess maybe I need to make a rule that the yarn for a project must be spun BEFORE the loom is warped. Then I won't be so frustrated when I run out of string after only an hour of weaving.

On an entirely different note, I NEED to stop looking up various weaving techniques on the intarwebs. I was just watching how persian rugs are hand-knotted on youtube, and now I want to attempt a persian rug. It's INSANELY time intensive... but... but... I've um... Already worked out a pattern for a small rug that I'd really like to try. I'd just need to get Gunther to build me a tapestry loom frame. I found plans for such a thing on the intarwebs too. But where would I put it? My studio is already ludicrously cramped.

I think I'm going to have to hold off on getting that loom put together for a minimum of a year. After that, if I still want it, I'll go ahead and buy the lumber for it. Zig is going to shoot me.


mightyjesse: (Default)


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