Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tunisian Crochet

My friend Jasmine said, "Hey, have you ever seen this?" and proceeded to show me a little sample of Tunisian Crochet. She got out a hook and whipped up a little 3" square in no time. I was shaking my head "No". No, I have never seen it. No, I don't believe there's another thing that one can do with yarn. No, I don't have time for ANOTHER fiber craft even if it's super simple. No.

Excepting that fact that I was fascinated, I went out the next day a purchased one of the long knitting needle/crochet hook hybrid things that I would need to get started. After reading an article from Interweave Crochet and watching at a few videos on youtube I set out to make something. I went through 3 different yarns before I figured out that I'd need a thinner yarn or a bigger hook. I've never been too fond of crochet, but this is really fun.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My First Woven Piece

I really have no idea what I'm doing here. I got the loom warped and then I started weaving. The top side was the back of the fabric--I guess. At least I liked the back side better. At first the weft was compact and then it got loose and I have no idea why. The edges look awful. I think I need to take a class. I could spend a lot of time figuring this all out by reading books and looking at youtube videos, or just go straight to the experts.

I'm going to keep this---my first woven piece of fabric!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Isn't She Lovely?

After a long day of work on Tuesday, I got in the car and drove north for about 2 hours. Destination: Anacortes, Washington. Purpose: to acquirer my new loom! Isn't she lovely? I had seen an ad in the "Equipment for Sale" notebook at Weaving Works that seemed like a good deal. $200. for the loom, stand, shuttles, and bench. It's a Nilus Leclerc loom, but that doesn't mean too much to me. My knowledge of looms is very limited, but this 4 harness table loom looked like just the right place for me to start. I googled this type of loom but I still can't tell what year it was made and the lady who sold had no idea. I can't wait to get started weaving!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Happy Mama

We are having gorgeous weather in Seattle this weekend. I love spinning in natural light so I spun outside for a while yesterday. After I plied this skein, I photographed it on the cement in the sun. I'm so lucky to have all the tools I need to make yarn and I'm lucky to have enough money to buy any fleece I want to work with. This skein if from some BFL top that I dyed a few months back.
Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there. I hope you all have plenty to time to spin, knit, weave, dye, or do what you love to do.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hemp - Better as Food

After watching Food, Inc. my 13-year-old decided to be a Vegan. Our family is already Vegetarian, so it's not too much of a stretch to take out the dairy. My diet has been really bad since I came back to Seattle--diet coke, pizza, croissants, and late night potato chips---so I, too, decided to make a change. Seattle is a great place for Vegans. There's a PCC or co-op in basically every neighborhood. We also have Vegan restaurants. Healeo is by my house and they have a sandwich board out front that says: VEGAN HEMP SOFT SERVE. I had ignored this sign until I became a Vegan. Last weekend I went to check out this product and let me tell you, it was the best "ice cream" that I'd ever have. It also got me thinking about hemp. I'd purchased some hemp fiber at the last spin-in that I went to. After eating it, I decided to spin it.
It looks like fake blond hair and it feel like spinning string vs. spinning yarn. I had read that it doesn't get soft until you soak it. It did get a little soft after it got wet, but it still felt like string. The other interesting thing that happened while I spun this fiber was that my nose and eyes became very itchy and eventually my hands swelled! I was having an allergic reaction. The fiber seemed very dusty and I'm not sure if it was the fiber or the funny dust particles that were flying around that I was allergic to. I googled "hemp allergy" and all the hemp-positive sites said there is no such thing. Or they report no allergies to hemp seeds. Hmmmm....
This last photo is of the singles, 2-ply (little bow), and a pile of 3-ply hemp. It's string to me. I'll probably just use it to tie off skeins.

After that unenjoyable spinning experience I picked up some wonderfully soft Blue Face Leicester and began to spin my true love: WOOL.