29 May 2011

Cocoons and Bulky Singles

This has nothing to do with OHS master spinner course work at all.  I was playing around with cocoons and more bulky singles before i left for the course, and am finally getting a nice solid, good shaped cocoon! None of those floofy wishy washy cocoons that'll fall apart with any movement!  I'm going to a jacey boggs spinning workshop in june on quadra island and i can't wait!

Bulky Balanced Singles with cocoons

Bulky Balanced Singles with cocoons

Bulky Balanced Singles with cocoons

bulky balanced singles

I also spun up a nice bulky single from my moonrover batts I ordered a while ago.  SO amazing!  What i did was unroll each batt, stack 'em up, and then stripped the batt into small strips.  The result is that I get ONE very long colour gradation instead of many short ones.  It turned out nice!  Now I just have to make something with it, i'm thinking cowl of course.  I'm very proud of these singles because they are fairly "balanced" if i may use the term in a relative manner.  They were only one twist off the bobbin and after washing and drying *without* tension, there is no extra twist in the hank at all!

Bulky Balanced Singles

Bulky Balanced Singles

Below is just some mish mash 2ply from a low immersion fast striking dye pot i did.  That's a fun technique actually if you want blobs of colour.  Soak fibre in acid soak and and a bit of acid to your dyes.  Simmer in water that *just* covers the fibre and blob the dye on when it comes to just below boil.   The colours I chose were kind of ridiculous and the yarn turned out like something from the 80's.  I call it Flash Dance!

2ply, 250 yards

26 May 2011

Master Spinner Level 1 complete! Quilt,... getting there. :)

more wheels again again
above:  Half of the 2011 Level 1 Class (26 in total)

I recently embarked on 6 year program to get my OHS Master Spinner's credentials.  I just completed year/level 1 which was a week of amazing instruction by instructors who've helped create the certificate over 30 years ago, and some other instructors who also have completed the program and have been spinning for many many years.  The course takes place through the Haliburton School of arts and I have to say how amazing not only the program and teachers but the building is as well.  I love Haliburton, such a cute town full of arts and artists.

my new lendrum.  Can't say enough good things about this wheel.:
Lendrum

Year one of the program is based on "woolen" techniques for spinning.  I learned A LOT.  ALOT. ALOT.  I think most of us who've taught ourselves to spin do a semi worsted inch-wormy D.I.Y style of spinning.  Not really woolen, no really worsted, not too much care on how the fibre prep affects the style of spinning you do, or vice versa.  No thinking about the final product and then working backwards to decide what's the best fibre, fibre prep, spinning style and finishing.  It was very hard to learn how to let the twist run past my first hand which is imperative for a woollen spin.  When you've taught yourself, you tend to go with the easiest way to make a nice even yarn, and for most people that means keeping the twist out of the area when you draft.  But that is worsted spinning. So to be forced to try new things like this was amazing and I feel like i didn't know anything before this, even with 6 years of spinning "experience". Since year one is woolen, I think most of us were really learning alot of new things, even though we thought we knew everything because we've read about it in a book.   True woolen techniques, short and long were taught, and I cannot express how much I learned even in just these techniques.  I LOVE long draw.  love love love.  I LOVE spinning from the fold for woolen, using either short or long draw.  I love spinning from rolags now.  I love attenuating the rolag out for the long draw, stretching it like gum.  We have alot of homework, and i've finished one skein already, but there's a tonne more.

I've really had a spinning awakening.  The program's instructors were so knowledgeable, being spinners themselves, some for over 40 years.  I'm even thinking about embarking on the Master Weaver's courses as well.  I figure might as well, since I have a big loom and I love learning so much.

I met alot of people, a few of whom I really can see myself keeping contact with after the course ends in 6 years.  I saw really neat wheels, most notably the Pocket Wheel the Stella brought.  I also have new visions of my future where I have property and can take in rescues and unwanted farm animals like sheep and alpaca who can live out their lives with no fear of forced breeding, no confinement and no slaughter.  It's a struggle to reconcile my views with the course, but to achieve master spinner, there's really no choice.  But I will have a choice in my own pursuits, and if I can watch over my own animals and take care of them myself, where I know they're not going to slaughter or getting violently sheared, then I trust myself to shear them when they need to be, and to lovingly use their fibre.

So aside from the spinning, I've been diligently working on the king size quilt.  It's now mostly pieced except for two edge borders.  I have the material for the backing, and an appointment with Creative Sewing Centre in Kitchener to use their long arm quilter in june.  It's neat actually, the first time you go you pay for a lesson and the day's use, which'll be enough to quilt a king sized quilt, and then after that, it's only 50$ per day to use the quilter there.  No real wait, way less money than getting it done.

Quilt mostly pieced

Quilt mostly pieced