piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i'm watching a lot of spinning videos -- hey, it's hibernation season, and i've dusted off my spindles and wheel. my absolute favourite is spin art by jacey boggs. i bought the book when it came out, but it was above my skill level and i just admired the shiny. then i saw a short video by jacey boggs on youtube, and really liked her style, and so i bought the bonus video for the book. because spinning is much more easily learned from a good video than from reading.

it's dirt cheap for what you get; U$9.95 for 90 minutes of focussed instruction on spinning textured yarns. jacey boggs is an amazing instructor; she's clear, direct, thorough, funny, and she knows her technical stuff. after watching an hour of rambling repetitiveness by sara lamb spinning various kinds of silk during which i didn't learn anything much new (when i KNOW i know hardly anything about it), this was a breath of fresh air.

there are several things here i like: jacey shows the finished yarn, a knit swatch, and then she uses the exact same fibre with the same colours to demonstrate, so there is a clear progression from raw material to finished product. she shows the technique at speed, and then slowed down, several times. she shows common errors and what those mean, and how to correct them. the camera focusses tightly on her hands when it's important, from different directions, keeping the important bits in the field of view.

i wish they'd get her to teach most of the other instructors how to teach. i've also just watched a video with maggie casey, and while she is a very pleasant lady, her explanations often leave a lot to be desired; it feels like even though she is clearly an accomplished spinner, she doesn't actually fully understand the physics of a spinning wheel. or maybe she thinks it's too complicated to explain, and nobody would want to know? or she thinks the touchy-feely stuff is better? except that doesn't work for me; physics is not a dirty word; it helps me understand WHY something works, which means if it doesn't work i can figure out easily why not. touchy-feely isn't good for distance education. the person she's teaching in the video, eunny jang, seems a bit more technically oriented; she asks the questions i'd ask, but she is also very deferential, so she doesn't press when she gets a so-so answer that doesn't fully explain. the whole video feels very awkward to me, and i haven't started the second part yet because it's no fun. i've learned more about adjusting a wheel from jacey boggs -- incidentally. also, i now want a lendrum wheel, *snicker* -- so easy to adjust!

something else i've noticed about which i feel weird: jacey boggs wears no nail polish and her nails are very short and clean. now, how somebody keeps her nails is absolutely her own business, but in a video on spinning, or really anything where something done with one's hands is in close-up focus, my eyes get distracted by shiny polish or long, curvy nails interacting with the fibre/yarn. now i wonder whether nobody else cares, and i am just easily distracted.


Nov. 22nd, 2009 09:10
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
my first yarn from the variegated grey shetland wool, now plied and in the process of being knit into a pocket scarf.

shows grey shetland plied yarn thickness

knit-up sample in stockinette stitch

plied it following alden amos’s advice to keep a lot of distance between the (improvised) lazy kate and myself and also between myself and the wheel, as well as tension on the plies and yarn. worked like a charm.

plied one full super bobbin, and left some of the single on the storage bobbin so i can try navajo plying.

washed the skein in very hot water with a little ivory soap, rinsed with fabric softener, and hung it to dry.

it became quite soft and lofty! and is knitting up very nicely; true to the fleece. i was gonna make pads for the cats from this, but it’s too nice for that.

it’s mostly worsted, with some thinner and thicker spots. i can see how much the quality changed between the start and the end, *heh*.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
bigleaf maple turning from green to yellow to gold in front of blue spruce
but our maples still put on a good show.

i went to the cowichan fleece and fibre fair today. it was lovely; more stuff than i had expected. there were remarkably many people with ravelry stickers (provided at the door), but i was shy. did talk with a happy, chatty woman whose handle i recognized from the van isle fibre lovers while waiting in line. had a long, fun conversation with a woman who raises shetland sheep (i am convinced this is where i might be headed, or maybe in an alternate universe). also talked with an older lady who just took a course from pluckyfluff (i wish i had known she was coming to quadra island) -- she was fun; making yarn from all sorts of clothing. also talked with alison irwin, a weaver, who let me try her inkle loom -- that shouldn't be hard to build. but what i really drooled over was her small "structo" tabletop 4-shaft loom. she was really interesting; very quickly realized she could talk tech to me, which was extra enjoyable -- i'd love to take a workshop from somebody like her. expressed my pissed-offness at VANOC and the bay towards the women with the cowichan knitwear, and bought a scarf in solidarity. might go to the protest on the 31st.

wow, that was a lot of talking. no wonder i am so worn out.

watched people spin. everyone does it differently. that's reassuring.

i also bought some fibre, *grin*. 1.5 lbs variegated grey shetland at a super price, a little lumpy, which, strangely enough, i am doing better spinning than i did with the lovely soft commercial top the woolery sent me with my wheel (it hates me). i can spin the grey shetland amazingly fine (for me), and the tiny lumps (i am not making these; they are in the wool) give it character. the rest of what i bought is all top drawer: bamboo, ramie, beige and dark brown alpaca, merino top, seacell. i didn't buy any of the lovely blends; i want to try all the raw, pure stuff first.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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