27 June 2011

OHS Master Spinner homework post (Blended orthogeneous and homogeneous)

2 ply graduated blended skein for OHS Master Spinner Homework

In our class with Wendy, she did some basic blending with us on handcarders, and for our homework, we have to do 2 skeins, one done orthogeneous (barber poled) and another done homogeneous, which would be any blend, but the 2 singles are the same.  For year one, we are spinning woolen only, so must spin a short or long draw in the woolen style.  Because of this, the blending I did was on handcards, in the form of rolags.

sequence of blended rolags in a graduated colour transition.  (2 rolags pre blend for 2 singles)
Blended Rolags for Master Spinner Homework

Blended Rolags for Master Spinner Homework

I have a slight hatred toward barberpoled yarn (yarn with plys of different colours, reminiscent of a barber pole), maybe it's because you see it all the time online because of spinners not really thinking about what they do with handpainted roving/tops, or maybe just because it's ugly.  I choose to think the latter.  I really do hate barber poled yarn.  So I didn't even take a picture of the orthogeneous skein I did.  I got really ugly colours too for the homework.  *(we are given fibre to use for the homework assignments, so don't get to choose colours)*.

hand blended gradation on hand carders. 9wpi plied.
2 ply graduated blended skein for OHS Master Spinner Homework

For the homogeneous skein, we just had to do some kind of a blend in which both the singles in the 2 ply would be the same.   So instead of just doing a 70/30 blend or some other ratio remaining consistent, I decided to work out all the ratio and maths for a graduated colour blend in 6 parts.  My final skein going from midnight blue (barf) to sea green (barf) and the 4 blends between being gradual ratios.  The 2 singles had to be as identical as possible, so I split the colours in two first off, and then just weighed the fibres out for the 6 different blends.  I then blended each grouping into two rolags on my handcards so it'd be nice and easy to just spin one of each rolag on one bobbin and then repeat!  It worked out very well, and I only had a few extra inches of one bobbin which I andean plied so there was no waste.  The blend was less segmented than I expected too.  If I was to do a bigger skein like this, which I am thinking about doing for my final woolen article, I'll do it on my drum carder.  But the handcards work very well and are quick too, so I'll have to decide at a later point.  Even if I want to spin from rolags, I can take the drum carded batt, split it lengthwise and roll lengthwise into mini rolags.  

2 ply graduated blended skein for OHS Master Spinner Homework

Another big challenge I took on for these skeins was the yarn weight.  It's so easy to spin even thin/lace yarns, and it's very easy to spin a varying weight bulkier yarn, but it's very hard to be consistent and spin a nice even bulky yarn, about wpi plied.   You see alot of this weight of yarn, but it's not very even.  So anyway, I did fairly well and am happy with this assignment overall.  except for the barf colour combination.  ;)

And here's my fatty bo batty resting on noodle's knee.  She's a reverse gremlin, and after you feed her she gets really cuddly.
Fatty Unicorn

22 June 2011

Quilting at the long arm quilter

Quilting on the Long Arm Quilt machine

King size quilt almost done

King size quilt almost done

King size quilt almost done

I've been working on a denyse schmidt quilt which I turned into a king size for a while now.   Each row of squares added, and each border sewed on added to the bulk of the quilt and exasperated the difficulty of working with such a large (102" x 93") size on my tiny little sewing table with my small machine.   I made an appointment a while back at a long arm quilter in kitchener where you pay 150$ to rent the machine for a day which includes a lesson.  The lady told me the day would be enough time to get a whole king size quilt done, and she was right!  I started at 10:30 am and was done by 3:30pm.  And from now on, the machine is only 50$ a day to rent, now that i've had my lesson.

King size quilt almost done

For machine quilting I had to sew on an extra border (a leader) of 8 inches which made the quilt even BIGGER!  I'm not completely certain my quilt was totally square after i put the leaders on, i think they were a little off.  The first thing you do on a machine quilter after you load all the layers onto their respective bars and pin everything is to lock in a horizontal, and since you pin your leaders on, they must be square as well.    I wanted to do just plain diagonal quilt lines, but not being completely sure if my leaders were square, i was afraid the lines would go super wonky, so i picked a more organic pattern and decided to do some freeform machine quilting in the spaces.

the long arm quilter doing it's thing:
Quilting on the Long Arm Quilt machine

The whole process was pretty fun, and encouraging as at the end of piecing the top i was getting pretty discouraged and frustrated with the size.  I love that you can machine quilt it in one day!  Now I have to do the binding, and the lady at the quilt shop suggested cutting, ironing and mitering the extra backing into binding which is a great idea!  First though I have to rip off all of the leader stitch by stich.  blah.

Spinning, spinning, spinning`

I though I knew how to handcard rolags pretty well before embarking in the Master Spinner's OHS certification.  I now know that I was not doing it correctly and that it's a skill, like spinning, that takes time to learn properly.  I'm getting much better in that my rolags now contain no neps and way less folded fibres.

rolags for blending assignment

So much homework to do for the OHS Master Spinner's cert.  I'm doing a bit every night, and soon my new awesome bud whom I met in the course will be getting together with me to have a homework day. :)  FUN!  Documenting these skeins so far is taking the longest,  longer than the spinning does!

I bought a nice new to me Schacht Matchless wheel which I should be receiving on the weekend.  I can't wait to spin on it.  I really want to have a double drive wheel to compliment my scotch tension lendrum.  The aura I think I might sell, which is why when I saw the matchless for sale I jumped on it.

here's Noodle eating some noodles. :)  Green curry goodness.
Noodle eating noodles