Monday, June 28, 2010

Drum Card Miracles

I received some mystery fleece last fall when no one bid on it at the GLASG (see sidebar) raffle. I think it was leftover from the Color Connects event in March of 2009.

I tried hand carding it but the work was slow going because the fleece was rather matted. At the end of May 2010 and again in June 2010 I took advantage of Open Studio Night at The Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica. On Open Studio Night non-members may attend and use the studio equipment and library for free.

I used the drum carder to turn this:

into this, which is a carded batt,

and then into this, which are 2 nests of sliver dizzed off of the drum carder and one small batt of fiber that didn't diz off.

I need to work on my dizzing skills but I'm very pleased with the result of my efforts. I even had some help when a 5 year old boy and his 3 year old brother turned the crank on the drum carder for me.

The colors aren't good in the last photo. The nests should look similar to the batt in the center photo. Watch this space for a photo of the singles I'm spinning on my spindle.

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Shetland Spinning & Lace Knitting

In May I traveled up the coast to Whidbey Island, near Seattle, Washington to attend a three day workshop on Shetland Spinning from fleece to lace. It was taught by Elizabeth Johnston who came halfway across the world from Shetland and Martha Owen who came across the US from North Carolina where she is a resident artist and instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown.

We washed and processed Shetland fleece, tried to spin it as finely as possible and began designing our own Shetland style lace shawls. Elizabeth and Martha were fantastic teachers and a thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the weekend. Now I want to visit Shetland. For years I have wanted to attend the John C. Campbell Folk School.

This is a photo of a shawl Elizabeth designed and knit out of Shetland fleece she spun and dyed with indigo:

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