piranha: red origami crane (Default)
while the paramour was in vegas for a conference, i could commandeer the kitchen without interfering with the important task of food preparation. so i decided i'd do some dyeing of fibre and wool yarn.

i used jacquard acid dyes in 601 sun yellow, 620 hot fuschia, and 624 turquoise, which i had picked out a few years ago as the brightest primaries i could see from the colour swatches. i never dyed with them then because some other monomaniacal interest distracted me.

so this was a test run. i dyed 10g of handspun yarn (60% romney/40% merino) each, trying to get a regular gradation from pale pastel to fully saturated colour. i also had some bits of fleece which i found in a bag tossed away at value village; discarded probably because it had lots of vegetable matter. don't know what breed it is -- a longwool breed for sure, maybe border leicester. i'd love to have a whole fleece of this. the few staples i can pull out easily are beautiful; up to 19 cm (7.5") long, and lovely after washing. i tossed those into whatever dyebath was left when the yarn didn't exhaust it, mixing the colours.

washed wool staples
wool staples, washed

more pictures after the cut )
the gradation was kinda regular in some cases, not so much in others -- i used the same amounts for each sequence (1ml, 5ml, 10ml, 20ml) but that doesn't quite work; i need to do 0.5ml for a really pale, barely there colour, and 2.5 for an intermediate step. also, it seems to me that the yellow didn't stay well in solution (it might just be too old), and i didn't stir it enough in between). but this is a good start on getting a base line. i'm never going to actually dye quantities with these primaries, but only with mixed colours, and tone those down. i do think i picked the right hues as primaries -- the fuchsia is not what jacquard marks as a primary, but it is considerably brighter than their pick, and i want maximum brightness here.

next time i'll mix all the secondaries (re-doing the green as well, since it wasn't properly mixed this time).
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.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i don't know anybody for whom this would be the perfect gift.
click to burn your eye balls )
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
erosion in a sandstone rock protruding into the ocean looks like teeth marks

still mainlining tv shows.

finished all 5 seasons of six feet under. i quite liked the show, even though by the end i really didn't like any of the characters anymore. that is surprising -- i am glad it's over because i don't think i could have stood another season with those people. but yes, the show was good. i especially liked that the gay relationship was played as perfectly normal, and given equal time with the het relationships. david probably is my favourite character of the main ensemble; he seemed to me to have grown the most, and i am not as tired of him as i am of the others. it's just that his personality grates on my nerves as well.

still productive on the crafts front -- finished a DNA scarf for a friend, also the bag i was complaining about a few posts back, made my first moebius scarf, and am back working on the paramour's slippers V3.0. no pictures yet, will link when i do.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
oh wow, i just came across this while looking for something completely different, and it is amazingly useful:

also, lucy neatby rocks, and not just because she has the best hair.


Aug. 27th, 2010 22:36
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
hot pink rose
i've been uninspired for a while now, which is why there are few photos lately. partly that's because i am not going out much; it's been too damn hot. i get more sensitive to heat each year, it seems. i've been sitting behind my computer and watching tv shows: leverage, 30 seconds, NCIS los angeles,better off ted, regenesis, dexter, and now i am in the 3rd season of six feet under.

the only one of those that was fairly unmitigated crap is NCIS los angeles, which has nothing good in common with NCIS. dexter is fabulous, and i'm looking forward to the 5th season. i've grabbed the first book on which the show is based, darkly dreaming dexter by jeff lindsay.

six feet under is also quite good, though right now it depresses me just how very bad everyone is at relationships. it's kinda impressive how many shows there are right now about odd, quirky, and outright weird people and circumstances. weird is the new black, i guess. i am all in favour.

i'm also doing a lot of knitting/crochet -- watching tv is good for that. i'm not feeling particularly creative in the sense of creating original things, but more in the "just making stuff" realm. i've finished a tee with indigo rope-dyed yarn (just needs washing), and a do-rag in crochet lace (needs dyeing).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
orange-red mountain ash berries in front of a deep blue sky

very productive day -- the paramour went geocaching, and i worked in the garden. fastened the umbrella dryer again since the strapping tape had disintegrated, braided some rope and tied back the hedge cedar that had intruded too far into the walk way, finished filling the new hexagon and planted the japanese willow and suriviving lavender, set up my little wading pool and filled it.

am about 25% into the non-patriotic non-pizzazz top. really like the drape of this yarn , and the feel; slightly cool and ... textury. oh yeah, the words are really magical today, *snrk*.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
tiny lobelia flowers

one wouldn't normally expect exquisite sushi from a place called "the firehouse", but these guys outdid themselves. if you're ever in nanaimo, give them a try. very inventive.

started working on a new project with this cool denim yarn i have, which is supposed to slowly wear off by washing like jeans: http://ravel.me/pi/pp. i'm trying to ease myself back into knitting by doing something a bit more demanding than stockinette, but that doesn't require careful counting like lace.

oh, and sio, you wanted to see the shawl i'm working on: http://ravel.me/pi/js -- i really like this pattern.

done with season 2 of leverage, will wait for season 3 to be done before i continue, i think. now watching season 2 of burn notice, which has really grown on me.
piranha: knitting mouse (xcraft)
finally got my latest yarn projects uploaded and annotated. i've been muchly into hats, since they're easy to give away. :) unfortunately i don't have a mannequin head to display them, so this balloon/pot arrangement has to do for now.

those of you who are ravelry members can look at the projects with notes directly:


i can't wait for ravelry to go public because then everyone can see them. in the meantime, just the pictures are up on flickr in my ravelry set:

slouchy triangles (my own design):

spiral treble (designer kim kotary, only minor mods by me):

meandering hat (my own design):

on the hook currently:
- the paramour's slippers v3.0 (radical redesign)
- my first thread crochet lace pattern (ghods, my eyes!)

and a very happy birthday to [personal profile] hobbitbabe!
piranha: red origami crane (Default)

below is a sample of the wool, above the 2 bobbins. i'm quite pleased with how the singles came out; it's not hideous for a first effort. i ended up using mostly a modified longdraw. the prep wasn't right for an actual one, i had to keep more control over the twist because the fibre release from the draft wasn't always even. but drawing long was generally much faster and also smoother, and it gave me lots of room in which to smooth out occasional blobby bits. it'll be thick-n-thin in places (beyond beginner's accidents), because i was purposefully trying to spin as thin as possible at times, and later also to spin specific thicknesses.

i really like the variegation of the wool; it goes from a very light grey to a very dark one. i bought about a pound and a half; wonder how much yarn that's gonna make.

and now i learn to ply.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
oh yeah, this spinning thing suits me. it's very zen. well, theoretically it's very zen; that is, i can feel how it will become so. most of the time i am still too tense, but i can feel it for moments. i am doing much better with the grey shetland i bought at the cowichan fleece and fibre fair than i did with the nice, commercial top that came with the wheel. i just couldn't draft that properly until i started doing it from the fold; then it was, wow, so much easier.

however, spinning from the fold seems sort of a waste when one has long staple, because one folds that in half. but otherwise i guess i have to separate the roving even more than i did, and predraft the heck out of it. i also think that i need to do a longdraw with that fibre.

the grey shetland is very fluffy and lofty, and while it has lots of little noils, i am actually managing to mostly control the thickness of the single otherwise. i seem to tend towards spinning very thin, and today i practiced to get a little thicker single instead. my twist is really good, too; it's not been as hideously overtwisted as before anymore.

i'm sitting further back as well. i didn't start out real close to the orifice anyway, because it makes sense to be back some so i have more length of yarn to control before it goes onto the bobbin. but i'm now about half a metre back, and that gives me a lot of opportunity to smooth bits out that were a bit too thin, and i am still close enough to be able to see.

i'm basically spinning in some unholy mixture of worsted and longdraw, *snicker*. inchworm didn't work well for me at all; the yarn was very uneven. i might've had too much roving in my hand. in any case worsted technique works for me, from the fold works for me, and i can feel longdraw happening as well. i'm happy with my progress.

if you have no idea what i am talking about, but want to: here's a great page with short videos introducing basic techniques.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
made from PVC pipe, a wheelchair wheel, and some wood
my babe's fiber garden spinning wheel. (with bonus cat, bang! who wandered into the shot.)

i'm so excited!!!

i have no time to post more about it, because i want to spin some yarn!
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
another productive night. works like a charm; a litte heavier (which means it's a little more stable as well -- just about as stable as it needs to be). now i can get every size hank i have on it. until i need the box, there might never be a "production" version, though i'd really like to build one that i can also take apart (though this one pulls up to under the ceiling, so it's out of the way). taking it apart for storage would be a good thing since i won't have that many hanks to wind after going through my back stash.

swift II
closeup of adjustable peg board

i found out that my drill does not want to screw a 3/8th bit through 2" plywood. always good to know. NEED MORE POWER.

if i make a version III, it might have one freely adjustable peg, which will give it perfect fitting. though it's probably not necessary, since the pegs are spaced so closely together i can just move one of them a little further in or out, and that won't throw the balance off.

i'm also thinking that i might want to think about a version that has a handle, so i can wind hanks from bobbins (if my spinning wheel ever gets here).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
if you were following my twitter yesterday, you already know all about this, because i couldn't shut up, i was too thrilled.

yes, i am easily thrilled. :)

i've lusted after a swift for a while because they're just enormously handy. the paramour refused to step in as the human version, i was getting tired of using the chair method, and the lovely umbrella swifts one sees in local yarn stores are way expensive.

i was feeling inventive last night, and didn't want to google (just for the challenge). the paramour was perfectly happy contributing superior kludge-meistery. a cardboard box, 4 toilet paper tubes, a former dogleash swivel clip, a cup hook, some polypropylene rope, and some practical math -- and a while later we had our first prototype:

it hangs from the ceiling, because there is no free horizontal space where i could place a tabletop model. the bridle keeps it surprisingly stable; i had expected to put a counterweight underneath the box, but its not needed. a slight resist in the swivel also (serendipitously) keeps just the right tension for the ballwinder.

i've since googled, and it looks like nothing else out there, *snicker* (though i don't think it is any worse than the "lazy susan with coat hangers and duct tape" model). we've also had some other ideas on how to make cheap swifts, but i think this is the most stable model of the lot.

today i am building prototype II with movable pegs so it can accommodate different size hanks.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i forgot, can ravelry non-members see ravelry information? i don't think so, right?

i've finally started to revive my account, by posting my newest experiments. yes, i can follow a pattern, but i really do like making things up as i go along; i always learn a lot from that.

if you have a ravelry account, you can see them here, with notes:

paramour's slippers: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/pi/paramour-slippers-v20
fingerless glove: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/pi/fingerless-gloves

if you're as yet unravelled :), here are the pictures:

the glove fits like... a glove. :) now onto making the second one.


Oct. 13th, 2007 12:53
piranha: red origami crane (Default)

via [livejournal.com profile] anavoog who got it from somebody else who found it on the net somewhere.

awesome. he designs his own clothes and crochets even on the subway. i wanna hang out!
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
yesterday was a total loss. i did nothing -- didn't get to sleep until 6:30 am, didn't sleep well, and ended up going back to bed at 22:30 after doing nothing more all day than a little research. i felt exhausted the entire time while i was actually awake. so, no items off the list. darn. and i was doing so well. slept in, too, this morning, so got a total of 13 hours sleep. some of that must have been REM sleep because i remember my dreams (have not been remembering dreams since i came back from the montréal trip).

did some more garden work today before it started raining too hard. experimented with making a brioche-type bread in the breadmachine, which came out tasting very nice, having a decent, lacy texture, but sinking in a bit too much at the sides.

sent email to G about getting together for dinner. got return email saying that G is in ontario. woops.

realized that i had already seen both movies that zip.ca sent me. watched the rick mercer report and this hour has 22 minutes instead. laughed my ass off -- this is clearly once again the right way to get my news.

invented a leaf pattern as one of the pieces for a felted garden-theme bag. felted it by hand. have very clean fingernails now and am covetting a small washing machine. picture is taken before felting.

oak leaf stylized oak leaf

freehand, without pattern. doing all that freeform noodling on my vest project and experimenting with hyperbolic planes is helping me create recognizable shapes without needing somebody else's patterns.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the paramour just left, after the first flight was cancelled. the fog was sitting pretty low here, but it must have been vancouver that had the real problem, since the later flight just took off in worse fog. anyway, that one has landed in vancouver, and i am hoping that 1 hour and 10 min is enough time to get through immigration and customs, so that zie'll catch the connecting flight to LAX.

and of course, to be properly ironic, i had for once made plans for today. ha! i keep telling people that not making plans is much better because one is rarely disappointed. :) it wasn't anything big, just that i had charted out a series of experiments in my mind.

see, when i got into polymer clay i really enjoyed most of it, except for the baking. the baking is annoying as all get-out because our oven not only doesn't heat to the temperatures indicated on the dial, no, it also produces weird spikes. and polymer clay does have a narrow range within which it will bake solidly, yet not discolour or worse, burn. so, i bought a toaster oven at the salvation army store. but that didn't work out because the heating element is too close to the pieces that need to be baked, unless they're fairly small. *grump*. early on i saw the warnings on the packages about NOT EVER microwaving it, so naturally, i had to try that -- and those warnings seemed quite correct. a mere couple of minutes in the microwave produce a crisply burned polymer clay piece and very noxious fumes.

that put a serious dent in my experiments with polymer clay, and i put it mostly away and did other things. but yesterday when thinking about artsy things to make for people who commented on the meme a few days ago, i thought "hey! so it burns when put directly into the microwave. but what if i were to immerse it in water? in a container that does not conduct lots of heat?"

so that's what's in the microwave right now, some scrap clay (which is an amalgam of super sculpey and leftover bits of premo). i watched the first cooking (15 min) very closely, and nothing terrible happened. some slight fumes are emitted (the window behind the microwave vent is open), but no worse than what emanates from the oven when baking the clay. and it did bake, all the way through the beads, though not quite as hard as i would want it to be (fingernails leave an impression). so i'm cooking the batch again, for 20 min this time.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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