Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Documenting dyeing

I've been rather resistant to documenting my dyeing escapades beyond posting in my blog. Then I KonMarie'd my kitchen, which created an empty cupboard that immediately filled up with hand spun yarn and the results of my dyeing experiments. However, the cupboard didn't seem like an improvement over keeping all that fiber in big plastic bags in a bedroom closet. I decided to bite the bullet and create a notebook of dye samples.

The first step (after purchasing some file folders from Office Depot) was to figure out just how much hand dyed yarn I had. I hauled it all out to the dining room, then searched the blog for digital documentation. Wow. That's a lot of dyeing.

I have the necessary hole-punching tools, plus a paper cutter, so I cut up the file folders to be about half the size of a piece of notebook paper and punched away. Most of the skeins had to be unwound at least partway, to get an 8" sample to attach; in the future, I will leave a bit hanging loose to eliminate this step.

I didn't want to duplicate all the details of each dye session, so I kept jottings to a minimum while including the blog post date for future reference. I chose not to list the yarn's location because that tends to change from time to time. Also, I didn't worry about making it look pretty.

For yarns dyed in workshops, I inserted handouts. If I had notes from my own dyeing episodes, I taped them to notebook paper and included them. Then I made a corny cover for the three-ring binder.

In order to avoid having to squint at the little tags attached to the skeins, I made a big tag for each set. While I may have to empty a shelf or two to find the yarn I am looking for, this system should save me time and effort.

The little tags on each skein indicate the weight and yardage. It might be useful to have that recorded somewhere (Ravelry?) to reference during project planning, but that seems like a lot of extra work. I've already used some of my hand dyed, for a tapestry sampler. Maybe after another project or two, I'll change my mind.

Once I am done with the hand dyed, I plan to do something similar with the hand spun.

Do you document your fiber projects?

Friday, April 19, 2019

Under the wire

I was working on a pair of socks for my son's girl friend when they announced they were coming to visit... in a week! The socks were about half done, but I calculated how much to knit per day and decided I could get them done by then. A couple of days my hands protested, and the socks were still a bit damp from blocking, but they were delivered on time.

Pattern: Short-row Toe and Heel Basic Socks, by Wendy D. Johnson
Yarn: Brenda and Heather Yarns Fluffy Feet, in 'Napoleon' and Simply Socks Yarn Company Simply Sock, in 'Natural'
Needles: US1
Modifications: None

This is the first time I have used the BaH yarn. The "natural" stripes are a bit yellow, didn't quite match the SSYC "natural". If I had realized this fact at the start, I would have planned the socks so that the two "natural" colors were not next to each other. Oh, well. Wabi sabi. The recipient appreciated them regardless.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Serendipity, baby!

I'm sorry I've been so lax in the blogging department. My SO and I enrolled in a pottery class, plus there have been plays to see and a granddaughter to take on a field trip and other assorted activities that just piled up.

One activity was a trip to Wisconsin to visit my SO's son and family. Initially, we were invited to my nephew's birthday party near Chicago, but hey, it's only another 90 minutes to Milwaukee, where hey, it's only another 90 minutes to Two Rivers. In other words, we spent at least three hours in the car every day we were gone. That's a lot of sitting!

What's in Two Rivers? Not much besides the Hamilton Wood Type Museum. My interest in letterpress started when I found an antique print tray at the Natural Fiber and Yarn Company in Grand Rapids, OHIO. The handle said Hamilton Mfg. Hamilton is a family name of mine, so I had to buy it. One thing led to another (including viewing the movie Pressing On), and I decided if we were ever in the area, we should visit the museum.

I'm always seeing things to weave, and I think wood type would make a great tapestry.

We also stopped in at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg. The current exhibit was (and still is, until the end of the month) Native Fiber. I didn't take many pix (and I apologize for the quality of the following), but had to record this piece, since some of the cones are made from clay and, as I said, I am taking a pottery class.

And if visiting these two places was not enough, when we reached the fiber arts museum, a fiber arts tour was in progress! We didn't have time to visit all the stops, but did make it to The Arts Mill in Grafton, where I chatted up a woman teaching eco dyeing.

Meanwhile, I have been knitting and spinning. The knitting is for a pair of socks for my son's girl friend. They announced an impending visit this coming Tuesday, so I am frantically trying to finish them up before then. The spinning is experimental, so nothing to show for that yet. OH! And I bought a fleece from a local farm, a Jacob. There's always something, right?