Friday, July 29, 2016

2 Extremes

 I took part in a Roving to Shawl competition a couple of weeks ago, and for the shawl that we made, I was required to spin much a thicker, lower twist single ply yarn than I had spun in a long, long time.  I was a little nervous about it, and I must say that even though we came in last place I was thrilled that I was able to make the yarn I set out to make, instead of putting up with making my usual yarn.  To celebrate this new found liberty, I have been spinning up the roving that we had left over from the competition, into nice thick low twist singles.



I plan to make more scarves along the lines of the competition shawl, well at least using the same colors.











This week I have also been putting my Grandmothers cotton carders to  good use and I have carded up almost all of the ginned cotton that I have on hand, and I have been spinning it on my small Indian book Charkha that I recently picked up on a Ravelry destash.

Cotton is spun much finer and at an incredibly high twist, the total opposite of the wool I have recently been spinning, it is fun to stretch my skills in opposite directions everyday.  Yesterday afternoon, I emptied the one bobbin on my Canadian Production Wheel, and I decided that was going to try to spin some commercially prepped cotton sliver on this, my fastest wheel.  Luckily, I have been practicing for the last 2 weeks or so on spindles and the charka, and gaining a lot of experience in how cotton likes to be spun.  I had to figure out how to do it on a wheel that has flyer and a bobbin, and that has a pull towards the bobbin, instead of a spindle that has no pull at all!  Once I got it, I didn't want to stop!  Zoom, Zoom as they say!

I found myself stopping to spin a few minutes through the evening, and early this morning I was again drawn to the wheel, like I haven't been in awhile.  I plan to use this handspun cotton as weft in some upcoming projects, so I need to get a lot of it spun while I am emptying the looms of current projects.

That is it for today's post, Until next time, Keep Crafting, Tina

Friday, July 22, 2016

Grandma's Cotton Cards

I have recently taken on the task of learning how to spin cotton, I posted about it last week on The Tuesday weavers blog, "Loomy Tunes".  After I posted I remembered that I had my Grandma's cotton carders in the Studio, and I went looking for them.






I found them easily, and I decided to use them to card some seed cotton that I had just finished ginning. (getting the seeds out!)





I charged one of the carders.





I carded the cotton lint until it was happy with it.






I unloaded the cards.




I used the knitting needle to compress the cotton lint into a puni, the cotton version of a rolag.








This orange thread 20/2 size is my spinning guide,  I would like to use this handspun cotton as weft on an upcoming weaving project.

I love using these cards for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost they have family history, my Mom can remember using them to make cotton batts to put in the many quilts my Grandmother made, and they work a lot better than the newer ones I had borrowed from the Weavers at Norris.

Until next time, Keep on Crafting, Tina

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Little Progress

I have made a very small amount of progress this week on the rug loom.  There are just too many other things screaming for my attention.

I have here all of the treadles, the front beam and the little treadle spacers, they have been sanded once.  My plan is to get everything thru the first sanding then move on from there.  I am cleaning the nuts and bolts as I go with Krud Kutters product.  (I like it!)





It is really hard for me to not just slap the loom together and get weaving, but I am going to stay strong, it is a bit like growing out bangs.   After months of managing the grow out phase, they irritate you for just a second and bam, you cut off 6 months growth in a nano second, then beat yourself up because you gave in.  (I am doing that too, the growing not the cutting!)

Today, I ran errands and one of those was to get some 1x6's to build a compost bin.  I have a lot of barn waste to deal with in the winter time.  In the past I have put it in piles and it was assimilated into the surrounding landscape.  This year I thought I would do things differently,  I went to the Lee Valley Hardware website, and I ordered, over the last month or two, 3 sets of compost brackets.  Once you have your brackets, you purchase 10, 8ft boards that are 1x6in, I had the friends in the big box store cut them all in half.


Once home, you construct the bins by placing the boards in the brackets and you end up with a really nice looking compost bin that is only lacking a cover, which I plan to get to sometime soon.  It looks really nice and it does a wonderful job of keeping it all contained.  I bought the 3rd and finally one today, and I went ahead and got the lumber.  Once the brackets arrive I am all set to put it together and turn some compost!

This time of year, I don't feed any hay, so that I only have goat berries to rake up in the morning, some mornings, like yesterday morning, there are 5 gallons worth!  I have started bagging it up in 2 gallon increments and I will take it along to the weaving center for some lucky gardeners to use.

That is about it for today, I hope all is well in your house, keep on crafting, Tina


Friday, July 8, 2016

Land of No Return

The last week has been full of visiting with out of town Children and Grandchildren, so not a whole lot of Studio work got done.  But, I did manage to wash that old loom down, and decide how much I was going to do to refurbish it.  I had a choice,  I could have just left it cleaned from dust and dirt, cleaned off the rust and set it up to weave. (That is my normal MO!)  But this time the finish on the  front half of the loom was totally ruined, so I made the decision to go down to bare wood.  EEEK!

I worked on it a little bit today, I started with the front treadle beam and treadles and the breast beam.  I had already gotten rid of the dust and dirt, but the wood was almost grey, and when I had put a little of the Danish oil on it to see what it looked like, it was not going to look good at all, so I went out and bought some sand new paper and some fresh Danish oil.



 I am in the process of taking off the treadle eye bolts so that I can get to that beautiful wood.  They will be freed from rust, and put back to good use.  This is going to take awhile, but I think it will be well worth it!

You may be able to see that the treadle on the far left has been sanded.   I used coarse paper, and it will get 2 more passes, one with medium paper and one with fine paper.  I can't wait to get the Danish oil on it, but I am trying to be patient.








I did just a bit on the breast beam, and then it was time to fix our lunch and take the rest of the day off.
Next week I hope to take down the little Cambridge loom that is in the weaving studio, I ran out of steam last week and just couldn't do it.  Once it has gone back to the Annex at the Center, I will have room to move the new Cambridge in, as each piece is finally refinished.

I will continue to post updates on this loom restoration project as it progresses.  I am in the middle of fleece washing too, this month 4 shetland, 1 Jacobs and some of this years 8 Nigora fleeces.

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina