One of my goals for this summer is to try and master skills I haven't been successful with before. I have quite a collection of spindles, for someone who can't use a drop spindle for anything besides dropping! So I tried my hand at it again today. It went pretty smoothly, in fact, I only dropped it once.
I used some of the leftover dyes from my guild's dye day and put bunches of fleece in canning jars. Then I hand carded it and pulled it through a diz for a thin roving.
This is for the Go Fish exchange on ST. I'll spin up some for the Fulled Fish found in Knitters Stash. This will give me a small project to show off my first spindle spun yarn. I'll use the rest to needlefelt. I need to dye a few more colors - a bright yellow and maybe a deep gold.
It's time to start the Sheep Shawl. I'm at that point in the Butterfly Garden shawl where it's getting repetitive, so it will go in the car for mindless knitting. But I don't think I ever got the charts in the pattern. I assumed it was on the inside of the insert, but that's just the row by row pattern. I emailed the vendor, but in the meantime I'm knitting from the row by row directions. Yuck! I love the way it's looking, but I really need the chart.
Tomorrow is the end of a very long and stressful school year. Due to a very snowy winter, narrow borough streets that were hard to plow, and a myriad of other reasons, we had the year that would not stop. Fighting, runaways, dropouts, drug abuse, pregnancies (students' not mine!) reinforced the idea that education is not a priority for many of my students.
What keeps me going? It is that silent majority, the ones that don't make any trouble, that really do want to learn. They come to school almost every day, do their work, and try to succeed despite everything that is going on around them. One of my favorite students graduated yesterday. Actually, I never had her in a class, but she was a member of the Asian American Club I sponsor. She followed in her sister's footsteps as vice-president and then president of the club. But she was the rebel in the family. She found herself pregnant at the beginning of her junior year. Her parents insisted that she marry so as not to shame the family. She missed only three weeks of school and not only kept up her grades, but graduated with honors. She is going to Temple next year. She'll commute and work part-time to help support her family.
I haven't finished something in so long, I almost forgot to mention it. I think I'll end up using this shawl more than some of the others that I've made. It's a great size for warming your shoulders and back, but not getting in the way. It had been raining for so long, and there's so much crap in this house, that I finally washed it and blocked it hanging over a a length of 2" PVC pipe. The top is about 75" across and the weight pulled a little against the pipe, so there's a slight bubble. I'll have to give it a shot of steam.
Now I'm working on the Butterfly Garden shawl in a sport weight wool. I took it to school for exam knitting and it'll come in handy while I have graduation duty tomorrow. I have to supervise the juniors handing out programs, but once graduation begins I get a chair off the balcony, where I can direct people to drinking fountains and bathrooms. (Somebody's got to do it!)
The weather cooperated (almost) and we had a great time dyeing both roving and silk. I put more pictures up as a slideshow. We used the Twisted Sisters book as inspiration, but of course most of us just took off on our own! I'm so glad I bought all that Brown Sheep roving at MDS&W. School's out Friday and I know what I'm doing all summer.
I really thought I'd see a significant difference between the bleached and the unbleached muslin. I was expecting to see the bleached white material dye to a clearer, brighter shade. That's not what I found.
The fabric on the left side of each picture was unbleached muslin, the right was bleached muslin. I tried to use the same amounts of dye and left them in the bags for the same amount of time (about 24 hours). I think the unbleached side is a deeper, richer color. Of course, none of this was truly scientific, so it could change the next time.
7 more school days - then I can post pictures of my garden. Right now I can't find it
I threw the last four yds of unbleached muslin in 4 ziplock bags yesterday. I gave it a full 24 hours just because I wanted to see the difference. I'm drying them now. I left the others for about 10-12 hours. My daughter picked up 10 yards of bleached muslin for me last night and I'm scouring that now too. Tonight, after the Father's Day festivities, I'm going to dye a few yards of the bleached and see how that looks. I'll post pics tomorrow night.
BTW does anyone know what the "Syndicate this site (XML)" at the bottom of the page do? Do I want to keep it there?
Only nine days left of school - but they are going to be jammed packed. I brought so much home from school tonight. So much for my plan to get everything done AT school and DURING the week. I do plan on putting my last 4 yards of muslin in zip lock bags tonight. I mixed up a quart each of three different colors last Sunday and once it's mixed with the urea water it can only keep for 5-7 days so in the bags they go. That may be all the dyeing I get to this weekend, especially since I need more cotton. This week's order from Pro Chem included Retayne, to help lock in the color, and some new Lanaset colors.
I've been uploading all of the mt files and now I have to work on my templates. Guess I know what I'll be doing this weekend. I've included a link to my old blog under "Links" - I'm not sure how to put the old html files on this site yet.
I found this picture as I was going through all of my image files. It was taken in Tokyo in 1953. I have to laugh everytime I see those crazy plastic glasses that were in every doctor's kit!