Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: October 2006 Page 1 of 2

Ann Made Hankies

Ann Made Hankies
Silk Hankies made during Celia Quinn’s silk workshop.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Remember when I posted about how I wanted to drag out the cashmere silk scarf? Well, no more. I auctioned off 3 of these babies at the club’s auction for youth sailing. What was I thinking????

Cashmere Silk ScarfI gave the scarf away before I had a chance to take a picture of it for my files, but I snapped one last night. It’s Chasing Rainbow‘s Cashmere Tussah in Purple Haze colorway. The pattern is Madeira and Diamond. You can find the pattern in Heirloom Knitting or Lavish Lace (“A Season of Mellow and Fruitfulness”).

I asked the person that I gave the scarf to, to bring it back in as a sample. I put 5 of my Chasing Rainbow Cashmere Tussah packages out for the winning bid to pick from. Someone asked if I would consider making a second one, if there was a bidding war. Stupidly, I said yes, thinking that it would be 2 scarves, at most. I ended up with 3 winning bids. (There were 4 at one point. I think one of the ladies saw the panic in my eyes and retracted her bid.)
Not only do I have a lot of spinning and knitting to do, but I’m only down to 2 packages of Cashmere Tussah in my stash. Sob. But SOAR is coming in 2 weeks. Hopefully, I’ll get to replenish my stock before they run out.

I took the scarf to my guild and to Spinning at Retzlaff Winery back in June. There was a huge run on the Chasing Rainbow sales that day after the scarf was passed around.

Spinning from the fold

With some help from Celia last weekend, I finally got over my fear of spinning from the fold. I had never been able to do it without ending up with a mass of mangled fiber covered with sweat, half way to felt, in my hands. I had this fear of the whole mass flying out of my hand so I clenched it tightly in my sweaty paws.

Celia imparted several pearls of wisdom and it now flows like butter! I can spin silk as fine and smoothly as I normally do when spinning worsted from the end of the top. More importantly, I can spin silk thicker and faster than I had been in the past. No longer do I end up with the fine thread that I don’t know what to do with.

What were the tips that finally got me over my block? First, only pull off the fiber length. Whatever the fiber length is. And instead of spinning of the tip of your finger, wrap the fold over your knuckle. I don’t know why that mattered for me, but it felt more secure. And instead of having to scootch the fiber forward, you just roll your hand to get to the fiber toward the back of your hand.

I think the other thing that has helped is that I have finally learned in the past couple of years to have almost no take up on my scotch tension. That and replacing the spring with a rubber band for better tension control.

On a non-fiber note, I replaced my RedHat linux on my workstation at work yesterday with my company’s own variant of Ubuntu. (The graphics are so much better than gnome, if anyone is interested.) Anyway, I got to futzing with the themes on Firefox, and I came across this fun little theme. I now have it on my Mac at home too.

Red Cat ThemeThese are absolutely adorable. I especially like the folders on the bookmark bar (See the icon next to “Software”). When you select the folder (and it drops down), the kitty goes from the relaxed purring pose to ears folded back, go away, you are bothering me pose (just before the teeth and claws come out).

Instead of the Firefox animation at the upper right hand corner, you have a little kitty playing with a ball of yarn. And little goldfish mark the progress of the page load. Best fully integrated theme I’ve seen in a long time.

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