Friday, August 31, 2012

Felted Soap

Tomorrow at the Griffin Dyeworks Fall Fiber Frolic (say that 3 time quickly - OK old joke) I will be teaching a "How to Make Felted Soap" class - Also teaching "You Gotta be Warped to Weave".  But I wanted to show off some of the soap I've made this week - just brushing up on my skills.

The soap on the top is a bar of Ivory and other is a bar of Zest.  I don't think Zest works that well - Not sure if it was the shape or not enough "soap" ingredients.  I had two bars of the Zest and the second bar just would not felt.  I may have wrapped the roving around the bar to loosely, but in the felting process the wool moved around to much and left to many large holes where the soap peaked through. I used what wool I have hanging around, I've recently found more roving that I think were gifts and this last few months when I did some dyeing, I would throw in a few yards of roving in the exhaust.

Either way - go check out the Griffin Dyeworks Fall Fiber Frolic - lots of great classes at affordable prices.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Two new wheels

Gotta love estate sales.  In the last 6 months notices of 2 estates sales have come my way.  Both of them were in Long Beach, not far from my sister's house and she LOVES estate / garage sales.   Notices came my way because both of these sales had spinning wheels pictured.  The last one (in June) was at the home of a weaver who had moved and didn't take any weaving or spinning stuff with her.  Now I have two new wheels in the house.  

The first one looks like a traditional wheel - it's not an Ashford - there's no name on it.

I'm assuming that it was made in Helen Ga.  It's cute, the parts move, but it not very functional.

Mt second wheel came from the home of a weaver / spinner who has no passion for it any more.  It seems that she and her husband travelled quite a bit as they had collect things from all over.  Some of the weavings in their home were from the same weaving class I took so many years ago, so I must have had the class with them.  But her husband became ill and the last 10 years were spent caring for him.  Not only did I get one of her wheels, but I also acquired cones of linen and silk and quite a few balls of wool.  I've got plans for the linen - got it in two shades - beige and a golden beige.

This one has no identifying marks on it.  I like that it came with its own stool.  Here they are - in the place on the hearth

OK - so it's the mantle.  But aren't they cute!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

When to Weave During the Summer

As many of you know, my studio is the garage. As many garages are, especially here in Southern Calif, it is neither finished, nor is it insulated. So in the summer it is hot, in the winter, it is chilly.

I've had this project of weaving garters to match a belt I woven since this last June. When I started to gather my yarns, I didn't have enough of the proper shade of blue. I attempted to dye the shade of blue, but it was either to dark, to grey or to purple. I now have many shades of blue to work with. So I broke down and ordered the Cobalt blue from Harrisville. Got the other yarns I ordered rather quickly, but the blue was on back order. <sigh> Isn't that the way it goes.

So finally, last week I got the blue cone. And it was 100+ degrees outside. Now most of my straps I am weaving on one of the floor looms now. This way I can weave 3 - 4 straps (each being 2 1/2 yards long) at a time. Most of these are sold as belts or are used as straps for the bags I've been weaving. Anyway - I thought I'd bring my table loom in, warp it up with the 4 yards I needed and weave in the comfort of the living room. Except for whatever reason, I could not get the tension correct or tight enough to weave a good strap. Not out of wool anyway. That left the floor loom in the oven - I mean the garage.  Saturday morning I went out and warped the loom. It was only 65 ends, so I was able to get it all ready to weave on by 11AM - when it got to hot - even with the fan going (you know when you start to "glow" and the flies start buzzing around and you don't have any Yard Guard around). So I went into the house until evening.

About 8PM I went out - hoping it was cool enough but it was still in the 80s, but I was there until 10PM - got one garter woven (60 inches).

Yesterday I was out again at 8AM, put in the spacers and started weaving. Made it until 10:30AM. It was cooler then Saturday, but 97 degrees is still warm.

I grabbed an hour this morning and finished the last garter. Tomorrow I'll cut them off and finish them. Then off to the new owner.

I am hem stitching both ends of the garter.

So here you are - "inkle" straps on a 4 harness floor loom.  Next up are the remaining straps for the 6 bags I have waiting.

P.S.  I have an electric heater that I aim at my feet for the winter time and I have the garage door closed.  So far, so good even if the hours are kept short.