Sunday, July 10, 2011


Did I really say that the humidity would keep the bunny fluff from flying away?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tour de Ugh

The weather is no longer delightful. The heat topped out (I hope) around 103 and this seems to be the week of the 90+ degrees. Thankfully, the evenings are still cool. Next week is supposed to "cool down" to the 80's. But it's the 40% + of humidity that's kickin' my keester. Ugh.

Dizzy Hubby and I watch the Tour de France bike race every day, so I've started an informal Tour de Fleece project, which is actually a Tour de Fluff because I've got 8 oz. of German Angora bunny to spin and knit. It is from the fiber exchange at the Studio 66 Retreat

8 oz. of bunny is a lot of bunny!

I've added some Amethyst Merino for a bit of color (okay... and to make it easier for me to spin).

Humidity does keep the bunny fluff from flying everywhere, so there is a silver lining to the Ugh, after all.

I want to knit a lace shawl. I haven't really knit much lace before, much less designed it, so I need all the time I can get. Hence the Tour de Fluff to get the bunny all spun within this month.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bedroom Redo

The weather outside's delightful...

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my room inside is frightful...

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'cause there's mold,
'cause there's mold,
'cause there's mold.

So Chloe and I sleep here now,
and this is my new dressing room. Come to find out that when it's 47 degrees out, finding your bra is a pain in the ____. Chloe, of course isn't bothered by this.

Meanwhile, Hubby stays nice and cozy while watching golf in warmer climates like Arizona and Bahrain.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Footstool in Parts

The frame has been dissected and hubby got out the sander. It required electricity and everything, so it's safe to say that I used a power tool (and safely, too). I don't know what kind of wood this is yet because I haven't done a Show and Tell with Uncle Dave, the wood artist of the family.

But as I sanded, I couldn't get into all those little nicks that I had managed to inflict on the poor little stool over time. I've decided to keep them, however, because: they add character to the stool, I'm a lazy sander, I'd end up changing the shape of the legs, and to make it look old (I remember when some people took small chain link to furniture on purpose to make it look this way). The stool still needs a bit more sanding and then I can finish it - once I decide what finish to use.

Here is the original yarn, (hand-dyed by someone other than I). which is a wool & alpaca blend. Very soft. I tried to crochet with it, but came to the conclusion that I really, really don't like the colors (dizzy inducing). So I over-dyed it because that is the answer to all dye issues, of course. Some of the it I over-dyed with yellow and some with green. The original colors give some interest to the yellow and green. A little bit of tweediness. That little wood thingy is the punch I'll use to make the top portion of the footstool. I added a bit of natural brown alpaca yarn for some contrast.

No, I'm not going to show you the design yet.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Footstool ala Familia

Footstools are wonderfully useful little things - especially if you are short (ahem). So, when this gem was passed down from my mom's side of the family, I grabbed it. I have to be honest, though. It was in better shape when I got it than it is now (but what do you expect when it is useful and I am of a lower stature).

Not that the family has pack-rat tendencies, mind you, but...

...this little thing is about 80-100 years old. It belonged to my great-grandmother, who was married in 1898. She did the same type of stitching and design on 3 chairs and a settee, which my brother has in his home. Aunt Godie (an aunt/cousin-ish sort of relative) did the stitching on this footstool.

Now, the problem with old things is that they wear out, but (depending on when they were made) they still have 'good bones.' This beauty was not designed for disposability.

And from a fiberish perspective, its other advantage is that it can be a Little Project (umm - short-term). It can be a fiber artist's canvas, just waiting to be stepped upon. Thus bringing form and function together.

Don't worry - I am well aware of the importance of history and all things related, especially home textiles. History of Textiles was one of my favorite classes in Home Ec. during the college years. So I have taken many pictures and I'm keeping whatever documentation came with the stool...

...which is this tag. It has just about everything except the date it was made. It is 60% cotton felt and 40% Excelsior (such a New Material that I don't really know what it is, but probably the black backing fabric). It was made by the Heagle Co. in Wisconsin, has a New York registry number, and the tag was attached as required by the State of Washington. This footstool has been around, is old, and used.

So face it, the poor little thing needs a face-lift...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dyeing in Paradise

I just came back from Paradise (fabulous folks there!), where I got to teach some spinning and dyeing classes (dying... Paradise..., yeah).

On Saturday, we played with color, using two methods of painting fiber. We each had two 2 oz. bundles of Blue-Face Leicester wool. Without realizing it, I picked the same colors for both methods.

One of the
2 oz. bundles was a bit lighter than the other, so I decided to spin it from light to dark. I haven't been all that picky about the quality of the spinning - just having fun with the colors. Next, I'll ply it from a center-pull ball so the light end and dark end are plied together.

As you can see, the light to dark color idea didn't quite happen. No matter. It is still fabulous, if I do say so, myself.

Warm, soapy soak to set the twist so it wouldn't do the messy, untwisted thing when I started knitting with it. Hmm, green water so there must have been too much dye. Back to the rinse tub.

The results?

I like it!

It is more variegated and interesting than the theoretical version. I think I'll knit the neck warmer in the most recent Spin-Off magazine (yes, I know... believe it when you see it done).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Twisted Ruth's Service

Ruth Schooley's memorial service was yesterday.

Her gravesite is near some undeveloped land and is full of our typical southern California brush. To me they are dry, scrubby bushes, but I'm sure Ruth would see many a natural dye opportunity. I didn't see any dodder in the field, but it wouldn't surprise me if some appeared in the near future.

Mike brought Ruth's SpinTech to the reception, along with some cotton punis that Ruth had grown, harvested, and processed. Some of us were priviledged to spin some of her cotton on her 'wheel.' I'm sure Ruth would have liked every one of you to spin there, had it been possible. Mike also brought a bobbin of cotton that Ruth spun the day she died. Wow.

Two things from the service spoke so well of Ruth and her too-short life. First, the minister read a poem called the Dash. Here is the site:

Second, Mike picked the following passage from Proverbs (31: 10-29) in the the Christian Bible. Some of the passages that follow could be describing Ruth specifically:

A capable wife who can find?
She is far more precius than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all her household are clothed in crimson.
She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
She makes linen garments and sells them;
she supplies the merchant with sashes.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
"Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all."

About Me

I am a spinner and knitter in Southern California. I live with a very patient husband and two cats in a house full of wool and cat toys (with the occasional musical instrument to keep the hubby happy).