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

Month: July 2011 Page 1 of 4

Chart 7 Finished!

As I finished the last rounds of Chart 7, I moved on to the next color in the sequence…100% of the lightest brown, as opposed to the marled of the lightest brown with white.

Last round of Chart 7 means 178 of 234 rounds complete. A whole whopping 58% of the main body of the shawl is now finished. Sigh. I still have a long way to go.

I learned something else last night too. It’s not a good idea to knit when you are exhausted and falling asleep at the needle. I spent most of this morning trying to fix the errors I made last night without unknitting 4 rounds of lace, at 728 sts/round. I think I was mostly successful. It will take quite a bit of careful examination to find the errors (I hope).

Spinning with Intent

Remember my fabric samples from Sharon Alderman’s class in March? My vision was to have flashes of color running along the warp. For the sake of expediency, I samples with the colors I wanted running the full length of the warp instead of creating the yarn of my vision. The intention was to dye and spin my own yarn with just blips of color popping in and out of the length.

This past weekend, I got down to the business of dyeing the fiber. For the most part, I used Ashford Wool Dyes from Amazing Yarns. Andrea had just finished a dye day with the study group. I looked at some of her results and realized that they were exactly the colors, or at least in the right range, that I had selected in my samples. She sent me off with the leftover dyes and another small jar of hot pink, and off I went.

On the right shows the dyed merino/silk next to the original color cards I wrapped using Zephyr. Pretty close, wouldn’t you say? I am replacing the turquoise with the teal and the green.

For the red, I am using the red merino/silk from The Artful Ewe (far left in the picture)  that I’ve been spinning. Good thing I haven’t finished spinning it because it’s almost an exact match.

I had settled on using the ebony warp and indigo weft. So the base of my accent yarn needs to be black. I dug in my dye stash and found my Mother MacKenzie’s Miracle Dye kit that I purchased years ago (so old that she sold them in little zip lock bags instead of the pretty tins). I used the Prime Black for the base.

I started spinning last night. (Please excuse the fuzzy bobbin. I had to pick either the color card or the bobbin for my focal point.) I’m very pleased with the results. The color stretches are a bit longer than my vision, but that’s the way it is, since the staple length is 2-4″ for the merino/silk. I can’t get it much shorter and still spin worsted.

I chose to leave the violet out of my spun yarn. The violet disappeared into my fabric sample. In fact, it’s hard to pick it out of the sample card too. I also left out the hot pink. It wasn’t necessary.

In order to not dilute the blips of color even more (from the weft), I will leave the yarn as a single. I’m making extra sure that I have good joins that will hold up to warping. Of course, this is for the full length too, since I don’t plan on finishing the yarn before putting it on the loom. I want the yarn to bloom along with the rest of the fabric.

Nomadic Life

View from the roof top of my hotel. Blue Mosque in the background and Turkish Museum on left.

One of the boutique hotels I stayed at in Istanbul was across the street from the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. We walked by it often in the first few days. The banner showed an exhibit of 17th – 19th century kilims. But it was closed on Monday. (I arrived on Sunday evening.) Tuesday afternoon, I ditched my friends and indulged in a long visit to the museum.

The first exhibit I went to was the ethnography exhibit. The majority of the exhibit was about the nomadic life and rug making.

Left is what the interior of the typical yurt. According to the plaque, it is the women’s responsibility to put the yurt together as soon as they make camp. It takes them about an hour to put the yurt together before they get started on their chores.

Huh? Chores? I’d be ready for a nap if I put that together in an hour after a full day of traveling. And what were the men doing?

On the right is the frame for the top of the yurt. If I remember correctly, they put brush up against the outside of the lattice frame before covering it with carpets to shield them from the elements.

On to chores. The women would then settle down and get to the business of spinning wool and the weaving of rugs. (See gallery at the bottom of the page.)

There were a few things that struck me. First is that they really do use Turkish Spindles! Lots of them. There was a picture of a smallish spinning wheel that looks more like an upright charkha, but there were a lot of spindles. I assume that it was something they can do while they are on the move.

What was interesting is how they wound the spindles. It was up and over/under 2 arms, a la Amelia of The Bellwether, instead of the way I was originally taught (over 1, under 1), or a la Wanda (over 2, under 1). Of course, I don’t know if this is just the way the curators chose to wind and display the wool on the spindles or if this is really how the spinners really wind it on. However, as you can see in the gallery photos below, there were enough spindles in the display of various age to make me think that this might be authentic.

More on the actual Kilim exhibit later.

Click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge the photos. Click again on the new page for even larger photo.

24-Aug-2014: Sorry, I have removed the photo gallery because I have been getting a lot of comment spam through a loop hole in the WordPress Galleries created before a patch.

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