Monday, August 30, 2010

Sweetgrass the Movie

Sweetgrass is a documentary without narration. The sounds from the natural surroundings and the occasional voices of men and women make up the soundtrack for this film. Amazingly, I was hook-in to this story by just the visual footage. The pace is beautifully slow. If you are watching it with young kids, be aware that about 3/4 the way through the film you will hear a string of obscenities lasting several minutes that would be beyond a "R" rating. Personally I think using the tortured sounding cuss-fest of the herder is brilliant, patched into this quiet film. Furthermore, it's shot in Montana so there's a special sentimentality for me.

While watching this film, I kept thinking that people need to see where their wool comes from. For those who are appalled by the harsh treatment of these animals, just know that this kind of ranching is considered more humane than what's happening in Australia.

I found Sweetgrass on Netflix and it's a "watch instantly" movie.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Remember the '70s?

Someone recently said that orange is liked only by those young enough not to remember the '70s. I remember the '70s and that's why I'm thinking about over-dyeing this 3 ply yarn that I made.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shallot Skin Dye

The other day I was in the Asian Grocery and I saw a giant bin of shallots. The outer papery skins had all fallen off. I scooped up handfuls of the skins and put them in a bag and paid for them by the pound. I have no idea how much they cost--I wasn't paying attention because I was buying other produce. I told the lady at the check-out that I was going to try to make a dye out of the shallot skins. She told be that in China they made a dye out of onion skins to color eggs that were then given to women to eat when they were post partum. Interesting!

At home I poured hot water over the skins and let them soak for over a week (because I got busy). Then I added some Alum and a sample skein to the dye and left it in the sun for another week or so.
Here is the color I obtained. I'd never heard of anyone using shallot skins for dye. I'm pleased with the outcome of this experiment.
This is the second weaving project for my class. The yarn is silk/seacell and again I used mostly a plain weave.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First Project from Weaving Class

Here is my first actual completed piece from the weaving class that I'm taking this summer. It only took a few hours warp, weave, and finish. The yarn is from my stash---the thrift store score of Silk/Seacell. I did a simple plain weave to show the variegated yarn. After this one, I warped the loom today so I could start another scarf. The next one is similar, but longer. I'll put a photo up on the blog tomorrow.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Orange you glad I got rid of the Teal

News flash: teal does not go with orange. When I dyed this roving in the oven the teal dye seeped out of the plastic wrap and leaked into the orange---yuck. After it was dry I pulled the teal parts out.
I have decided to spin the orange Blue Face Leicester into a 3-ply yarn---and then knit it into a sweater of some sort. I have spent more time looking for a pattern on Ravelry than actually spinning this yarn. Speaking of Ravelry, one might think that I have an Orange/Teal fascination.
The knitting part of the Danish Shawl is done and now I have to weave in all of these ends!