I am spinning some Southdown right now that I hope to make 3 ply socks with. I have a black garbage bag full of chocolate brown fleece that I washed a while ago. I carded this up on my drumcarder into batts and here is my first storage bobbin full with a 3 ply test taken at the beginning of spinning and one at the very end. There is a little inconsistency but hopefully when plied with two other bobbins this will be less noticeable.
Monthly Archives: September 2011
I am running around make supper for Rosh Hashanah. Jewish holidays start the evening before and tonight is when you eat sweet foods for a sweet year. I am not what I would call religious but I like to have some traditions and this is one of them. I baked 2 challahs, which is egg bread, roasted a chicken and am cooking some winter squash. I have apples which you dip in honey. As usual with these things we have way too much food I think but once this squash is done we will try to eat what we can and the rest can go into the freezer. I am not a fan of eating leftovers for days after a meal. I had to do it growing up and never enjoyed it. I do like having pre-cooked frozen meals so I will freeze food and however long later I heat it up and have it so I don’t feel like I ate the same thing for days. This doesn’t work for things I have prepared and froze so I have to break this little rule of mine sometimes but in general that is what I do. There are not many Jews up in the Yukon so these holidays mainly consist of the meal.
L’shana tova everyone!
I got up this morning and did some spinning. The yarn I set yesterday is dry now but it is raining so the light isn’t great for pictures.
I am still visiting Pinterest and looking at pictures for studio inspiration. I have been listening to Sherlock Holmes and hope to actually make it through the audiobooks I have downloaded but haven’t finished listening to. I have read the Sherlock Holmes stories a long time ago but it is fun listening to them again.
I continued today with hauling one load of logs to be split in the wheelbarrow over to the wood splitter, one load to my stacked wood and stacking it and one load to the bottom of the steps for the house in addition to what is already in the house drying out. I know I won’t get it all done before we get a pile of snow but even if I get some done that will be good. Every year I get a little more stacked which means less digging through snow looking for wood that has been buried.
I seem to be getting fitter. My youngest is 3 so I thought I was going to stay at the size I have been for quite a while now. However, my clothes are starting to hang on me except for some which now fit fine but didn’t fit right before. I used to be rather fit before I had my first child, biking 14 km to get to work and back. I injured my back though and am only now able to do all this stuff and not be in a lot of pain. I also had 2 c-sections which didn’t help. It is a bit annoying actually having to buy new clothes when I don’t live near a clothing store but not being in pain is a good thing. I have been eating the same so I just must be more active. I have been quite happy with how I look for a while now so am not that bothered except I do need clothes. I have belts in the meantime.
I only got part of a puff done last night and I hope to finish it and start another one tonight. It would be great if I can make 2 blankets this winter. The other ones are getting a little worn so it is always good to have more in rotation.
Life is good.
Today is the first day of Autumn, my grandma’s 89th birthday, and there is light snow at the local airport. I have decided to do a stashdown between now and the winter solstice. I am going to try to spin every day and get through some of this stashed fibre I have. This will mean I need less storage space in my studio which means buying less storage stuff. I want to get more into weaving and everyone knows that means I need space. If I had the stash down to a reasonable amount (I think I am still around the 100 pound mark for fibre and there is all that commercial yarn too) I could get a floor loom into my studio. That is a few years down the road as that will take some saving up and I would need to buy it down south and haul it up here. This is sort of the 5 year plan for my crafting. My friend Kim, who is already a weaver (I am not much of a weaver yet), tells me I cannot get a floor loom before her. I hope she is saving.
So my CPW currently has some leftover singles I am plying together for yarn to make puffs and granny squares with. I am going to finish that and wind it off and maybe I will start carding some of this CVM fleece I have. I think alternating dyed stuff with these dark fleeces (the CVM is charcoal) will help keep me going. I have a number of dark fleeces. The Mazurka has some Jacob singles that I need to wind off (the other 2 sets of singles are on weaving bobbins already) and I need to ply that. It actually isn’t that much. I also plied the progression dyed top I was spinning and my special project yarn yesterday and set the twist this morning. I just need them to dry.
I have a lot of bobbins free at the moment. That is an excellent start to a stashdown.
Life is awesome right now.
I am done my singles for my special project. I have to ply them. They are all on cardboard weaving bobbins as I just have the one bobbin for my antique CPW (Canadian Production Wheel). I am hoping to get that done right away and then start working on my project.
I have a lot of bits and pieces as far as fibre goes. I am starting to lose track as to what some of it is too. I am going to work through a lot of these small amounts that I bought as samples for my course and spin it into yarn for puffs and granny squares.
I have decided for my studio that I am going to save up and go to Ikea next summer and get everything I need for studio storage. I am still going to build a spindle rack myself as soon as I get to town to get the stuff. I think now that I am on a spinning fibre diet I will also have less fibre to store and more yarn which takes less room. I often hang my skeins so I am also considering a peg board so I can have lots of room to hang things. I am thinking about different options anyways. I love the steampunk style and would love to incorporate it into my studio. Ideally, I want to have a lot less stash than I do now.
Anyways, I love autumn. It is a cozy time of year where you aren’t freezing but you stay inside and eat delicious food and work on woolly projects. I have a back yard full of wood right now which makes me happy too. Not to mention my kids are doing well in school. They love going to school every morning. My oldest loves to draw and is adding a lot of detail to his pictures which I think is great for 8 years old. For example, he was using different colours of yellow pencil crayons when he was drawing his hair on a picture of himself. I am just amazed what art has done for him. He acted out when I was going through the divorce but has really turned around and a lot of it I think was due to drawing. I think that is why child workers use art when counselling children. My daughter is doing so well and makes me laugh with her love of putting together outfits to wear to school. She has always really involved herself in her projects which I think will help her a lot in school. My youngest is so much fun. He hangs out with me while I spin and I think he will be a crafter when he gets a little older.
I hope everyone is enjoying this time of year. I know I am.
A studio for me has been my personal Holy Grail for a while now. I am doing fantastic with my fibre diet and haven’t bought any still. However, I have been spinning quite a bit with my CPW. As you know I just got my CPW in July. I had been planning a studio in the winter in my walk-in closet when I just had a small castle-style wheel. The CPW meant that space was too small but I love this wheel so that is okay. I tried the basement last winter but it was cold. However, I am thinking that maybe with an electric fireplace or maybe even just the oil-filled space heater I already have I can make it work. It has been at the back of my mind as I trip over my stuff several times a day in my bedroom and living room. Anyways, a new book by Interweave is coming out about studios and the last day of their special on Studios magazine was going so I bought 2 downloads for $5.98 USD each. One was their lighting issue and I already had a small spaces one from a while back. I have yet to read the third one as I was inspired to work on this space. I hauled a bunch of my stuff into the basement:
What I would really like is a steampunk themed studio/mom cave. It is very basic right now as the space isn’t finished and I don’t like the colour the cement floor is painted. The people in here previously wrote on the walls. However, I plan to slowly make into a fabulous space for me. I still have more stuff to go in here and I need decent lighting. It will be a slow process but I think it is going to be fun. I still plan on making a dye studio in my garage now that I have a range plug-in but I can’t really do any dyeing until the late spring anyways. This space can be my winter project.
I am so excited!
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
— Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I saw this quote today on Pinterest and loved it. I think it is so true. The last few days have been filled with different emotions. An old friends’ marriage is breaking down and just other things and this quote stood out to me.
Beauty. I remember once, as a not very practicing Jew, having to take a religion course when I went to Concordia University College (or whatever it is called now) in Edmonton so I took World Religions instead of the Christian courses. During one lecture beauty was listed as an argument for the existence of G-d. I have never forgotten this and 18 or so years later when I read that quote I still ponder what beauty really is and why it exists. Usually, it is short-lived and I accept that I will never really know and just enjoy the beauty I see without needing to know anymore about it. Beauty adds a richness to life. When I craft I can make a basic mitten or hat. However, when I learn colour theory and start to spin with that in mind I realize I can add depth to what I am making. There is a richness to the yarn that a flat solid colour doesn’t achieve. There can be beauty in stark contrasts too but usually that occurs as a contrast to seeing things that have a lot of richness to them. It is the contrast in that case that is beautiful. Sometimes it is just the simple usefulness of the item. It does exactly what it is supposed to do and no more. Beauty is in the simplicity especially in contrast to many things that multi-task today.
How I live my life is the same. I want a richness to it. On a day to day level this often means folding laundry quickly so I can finish a project. It means spinning in my truck as I wait for my kids to come out of their school. I see it when I dye with natural dyes and look at what I have made. I will get the dishwasher on so I can card some wool. I don’t just live to exist. I live to experience all that I can but strike a balance too. That means the good and the bad but going back to what I said earlier about contrasts being beautiful, seeing good and bad adds depth to life. I love spending time with my kids as I know they will eventually all leave home. I don’t want to cling to them or wish they could leave sooner. My kids have added so much depth and beauty to my life. I will put my projects aside and listen to what they have to say. They give me a different perspective. I see colours differently because of them. I see life differently.
Seeing colours differently has also led me to see emotions differently. Just because some emotions are “dark” doesn’t mean they are bad. Life needs all different emotions and experiences. That is what makes life great. That is what makes beautiful people beautiful. Beautiful people don’t just happen. Beautiful craft doesn’t just happen either.
Just some thoughts on a day that has a lot of meaning at least in North America.