Monday, May 7, 2007

Sleepless in Silicon Valley

Sunday night I couldn't sleep because I was so worried about my duties Monday as a mommy. OK, let's be honest, mostly I was just terrified that, among other things (like splitting my pants seam or not knowing the answer to a question I was asked), I would find myself wrestling with an uncooperative loom or wheel or spindle and swear in frustration right in front of a classroom full of kids. "Huh", you say?

Monday I talked (on an executive summary of an executive summary sort of level) to a 2nd grade class about how fibers were turned into clothes from pre-history through the industrial revolution and today. I demonstrated spinning with a hand spindle, a wheel, and weaving on a loom. I let the kids take turns trying weaving on the loom (luckily their teacher supervised that part) and taught nearly 3o kids how to use a hand spindle in two shifts. Sort of. I recommend that if you decide to try something similar you find a way to limit yourself to about 5 or less at a time. You'll have a better chance of staying sane.

Of course, I completely forgot to take any photos of the kids learning spindling or weaving on the loom or any of it so I have no proof of this lunacy on my part. I also forgot to take any photos of the making of all those CD spindles or the pre-weaving done to have something to show the kids to start with. Or of my living room filled to bursting with all manner of fiber and CDs and dowels and looms and thread cones. There is a small chance that someone else took photos at school and if true I'll see if I can get some to post here..

I didn't even think to take a picture of the devastation left behind in my bedroom when I dug the loom out of storage in order to warp it last weekend. My loom's been stored for so long that I'd forgotten just how difficult that little job was. Or possibly I've just forgotten how to do it properly. I shan't be repeating it for a bit I think because, in transporting the loom home again, every single harness leapt off its hooks and most of the cables went all higgledy-piggledy. I'm still so tuckered from the whole experience (and a bit of a cold and upholstery class yesterday) that I can't face putting it all back together yet.

But I probably will re-warp soon. I want to weave a stole from a warp chain I bought at CNCH more years ago than I care to admit which turned up during the aforementioned digging out of the loom. I'm trying to decide if it is better to figure out how (ie find the requisite pattern of dents to fill and leave empty) to warp at 6 epi with a 10 dent reed or just get a 12 dent reed and go every other. I'm not sure how much difference it will make. Many of the yarns are fluffy mohairy boucle things and I'm not sure if it will end up showing in the final project where some of the warp threads are closer together if I use the 10 dent reed with some sort of (1010111010) pattern.

I've gotten some knitting done. I even have finished items. I even have photos of some of them. I'll try to remember to get more soon. I also plan to remember to post to the blog more often from now on.

I've done some spinning for a project and hope to soon be warping up a tapestry loom and trying my hand at a very simple project on that. Although, doing a quick tot up of the number of irons in the fire at the moment, I might have to rethink that one.

The spinning fiber is a nice fluffy wool roving I picked up from a friend. I'm pretty pleased with how it's going considering how long it's been since I last did much spinning. I'm getting a pretty even thread and it's even the size I want or very close to it. How cool is that? Here's my lovely purple Columbine wheel showing the amount I've gotten done. Not that much.
But the color in this picture is much more accurate - well if you can see it anyway. It's a lovely brown. I can't wait to use it.

It's gonna be a two ply yarn when it grows up.

And for the big finish fiber-wise... I have a finished object to show off. I used Ysolda's chart for her skull illusion scarf to make a small pirate theme bag for my friend for her birthday. I added a few skull beads on the ends of the I-cord straps since I didn't want to graft them together because I wanted her to be able to adjust the strap length. I lined it with fabric so she can use it to tote a small knitting project or whatever. And I added a zipper top.

Straight on it looks fairly innocuous...
except maybe for all the skull beads. But at the right angle...
Avast me hearties! I love this chart from the skull illusion scarf and I'm regretting not making the scarf for me-me-me. I may still decide to indulge in a speed knitting attempt. Movie theaters can get chilly after all. Especially at midnight shows.

In somewhat non-fiber related news, I've fixed what I screwed up on the tree and gotten some leaves and the start of a bird's nest on it. I still have more leaves to do and then a branch or two onto the ceiling and then I'll be done with that at last. There's more leaves than show here but I don't have another picture yet.

I'm using a stencil for the leaves but they look a little too something (fake or flat or something) so I think I'll be doing a lot of touch up stuff before I call it finished.
And in chair news, I have finished doing the 8-way spring tying and yesterday I started to build the chair back up again. Of course, again I forgot to take my camera to class so I've got no photos of yesterday's work. Here are the springs before and after I did the classic 8-way tied spring that you hear about.

The springs all tied up.
Yesterday I covered all that hard work up with burlap and pounded more tacks into petrified wood. Seriously, some of the wood on this chair is so hard I have to pound for minutes at a time to drive a tack all the way in. Talk about a "hardwood frame".

1 comment:

Maia said...

Drat, I thought I had commented on this post. I have read it several times.

I love the way the tree is looking. What a great idea. I am also impressed by your work on recovering the chair. That is quite a task.

No wonder you don't get as much knitting done as you would like. You are multi-crafty.