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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Saturday, March 18, 2006


I started out using what is becoming one of my favorite brand of needles, Bryspun, on the Orenburg Shawl pattern. It called for 2mm or smaller. Since I had nothing that small I had to order them, needles that small are usually metal because wood and/or plastic will break easily at that gauge. I had pulled away from using metal needles some years ago and it is becoming evident why with every stitch. Beside being cold, hard and unfriendly, which makes them very uncomfortable to work with, the stitches slip off the tips so readily. Still I am determined to keep working with them in hopes to become more proficient and eventually,.....perhaps....dare I hope to adapt. Somehow I suspect, however, frustration will rear it's ugly head before that happens and convince me to end up modifying patterns to allow a little larger Bryspun.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vegetables, they really are good for you...

Lent, a time for repentance, reflection, discipline and setting priorities, to list a few treasures of this season, so if the posting drops off a bit you will understand that I am trying to put these into practice. Still I have said it before, fibre art is very spiritual and I can manage to contemplate what this time of year means for me and my relationship with our Creator while spinning, weaving, knitting. In point of fact these activities help me realize how blessed I am.

Right now I have several projects going on, if you have been following my posts you probably have already noticed, and may even be thinking...."Pick a project and follow it through". There is a method to the madness though. I am trying to work out what to bring to the project. What tools work best with which fibre for the desired end results. This is a little more difficult than it sounds, or at least for me it is.

So lets address spinning. I am in the process of spinning lace weight and currently have a bobbin of mohair, merino and corn. Yes believe it or not you can spin corn. I am still not entirely clear on the process but here is a picture of some commercially processes and dyed corn. I am told it is not the silky fibres you see covering the cob itself, that was my guess.
I was pleasantly surprised to find it so easy to spin. And interestingly enough it is turning out to look and even feel very similar to some silk I spun recently. The test, of course, will be how well it knits or weaves.
The reason for spinning a variety of fibres is, of course, to see how each responds to spinning lace weight. Which holds up better, spinning tight enough without pigtails and stays soft, since a little tighter twist is indicated the yarn can end up with something on the rough side. I also want to take note of each fibre's charictaristic. Which fibre is more elastic, which will still display it's luster at that weight and which is lighter, the weight determining which will drape better.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Ok so looking at this picture, comparing it to the previous post, it really does not look like I got much done but production is not always visible by the naked eye. There have been quite a few realizations in these 6 or so inches, which can be very productive.

My first realization was that working with lace weight and small needles it is a little difficult keeping the tension constant, especially when you knit continental as I do. I had to tear out a bit to try to get a more even tension and a more uniformed piece of trimwork. Good lighting is a must and I suggest buying a pair of reading glasses that are just a little stronger than what you use for reading. Finally, and this is the biggest or should I say the most valuable realization, so far, is this, as the night progresses and you begin to feel fatigued, don't try for that elusive, "just one more row and then I am putting it away" because it isn't going to happen. What does happen is that it will cost you about 5 rows of tinking. I am not sure what happens but suddenly you note something is not quite right....well it can't be that bad, everything was ok until this row....and indeed it is easy enough to find, so just go back a couple of stitches....and then it happens... mix one missed stitch, and take my word for it, it will show up, with fatigue and it begins to grow and grow, then finally manifesting itself into some hiddeous monster that zapps all your energy and you end up going to bed frustrated and drained.

But then you pick the needles back up the next day, refreshed, and that monstrosity doesn't seem so hiddeous after all.