Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dyeing Adventure (Denise)

The date's been set for July 24th for our painted yarn and roving adventure.

We'll start around 10'ish and use this lovely, yet primitive, solar oven to set the dye.

The oven works pretty well. In a test run in the evening, the temperature rose from 80 to 136 in 20 minutes. It topped out at 136. I'll spray paint the top black to help. I'll make a test run this week.

People need to bring around 4 oz of their favorite protein yarn or roving for painting. We'll use Kool-Aid or similar drink-ade for dyeing. Brand will not matter. Pick up 4 to 6 packages of 2-4 harmonious colors.

I asked my scientist husband and kids to do so...I'll live with their choices. Let's just say it's interesting. It'll work. I know who chose what colors.

We'll have plastic wrap, sponge brushes, cups, and vinegar.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Toe-Up Socks...The Basics (Denise)

YouTube Helpful Hints
These are some of the same techniques use. My wrapping and turning is a bit different, but the sock turns out the same in the end. Your foot won't really care in the long run. If you like the feel of Cat’s methods, use them.

Cat Bordhi demonstrates Judy Becker's Magic Cast-On: 9:41
I think this is the best provisional cast-on on the planet. It was invented by the ingenious Judy Becker of Portland, Oregon, and first released to the world by Knitty.com.

Cat Bordhi - Part 1: Knitting on 2 circular needle: 6:00
Learn the tricks of casting on to 2 circular needles, joining, and knitting around. You'll learn about the "udder needle," napping and resting, that it doesn't matter whether the inside or outside.
Cat Bordhi - Part 2 of Knitting on Two Circular Needles: 8:22

Cat Bordhi - Part 1: wrapping & turning, concealing: 9:57
Learn the tricks of wrapping and turning while working a heel turn, and then concealing the wraps in a way that means they are truly and forever concealed!
Cat Bordhi - Part 2: wrapping & turning, concealing:2:39

Thursday, June 10, 2010

MAWS Conference at Billings (Denise)

The MAWS "Under the Rims" Conference was fantastic, intense, light-hearted, inspiring, need I go on. I met people that are a delight. I learned so much from talking with everyone. I also spent too much money at the vendors. Being my first MAWS or any kind of fiber conference...wow!

I'd been to teacher conferences before (being a former teacher). As I sat at our banquet dinner I looked around the packed room. Teachers (like many professions) have a "look." Fiber artists don't have that look. I mentioned it to one of my table mates. She smiled and merely said, "No, we don't." She was absolutely right. We come from every walk of life, every age, and sex.

I taught two classes: "Toe-Up Socks" and "Judging Your Own Handspun." I can honestly say my students were the best of the conference. They kept me on my toes.

When my sock class "got it" the cries of realization were pure joy. They had Magic Cast-On and a turned heel to learn in 4 hours. I gave them some websites to visit afterward. Who really remembers everything from a class?

My judging class We discussed how to identify and fix the problems in our own handspun. They were a bit harsh on my handspun, but honesty is the best policy. They identified the problems immediately. We discussed elements judges look for when evaluating pieces for ribbons. We even discussed biases. I reminded them that art evaluators are not necessarily master painters. I, while being a fiber art judge, am always seeking to better myself, I'm not perfect.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Approximations for Plain Yarns (Denise)

I've got a helpful tool to help spinner guesstimate several things.
We can guesstimate how much fiber to buy.
We can guesstimate what size our yarn is after it is spun.
We can guesstimate what needle size is best for a knitted or crocheted project.
We can guesstimate how much yardage we may have.