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1  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / spinning with odd spindles/charkas/wheels on: July 21, 2008 02:00:17 PM
My local spinning meet-up group met in the park recently (Madison Park in Madison Square which has a garden but is not Madison Square Garden.)

One spinner had previously shown the group that she was spinning with two sticks and a rock. Another spinner made a spindle with polymer clay and a third was able to make a lighter weight cd spindle by using "business card" cd's.

This inspired me and I tried out spinning on a paint roller, (video below.) It is more like a charka than a spindle. I think it needs to turn better and a few people suggested I weight it. I can use toilet paper rolls as bobbins (very convenient) and remove the bobbin after spinning or plying. If you haven't used the toilet paper tube as a bobbin for your spinning, try it. The cardboard seems to grab the yarn a tiny bit so that it holds very well. I don't end up with snarls like I do on a smaller diameter tube. I also am going to try to place a hook to guide the yarn on the endcap of the roller. The spinning I'm working with in the video is messy, since I was using the same bobbin for two or three small bits of whatever washed up.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8425339@N04/2675027516/

So my challenge to all of you, what is the oddest thing you can use to spin?

Has anyone actually used a pencil stuck through a potato?
2  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / warping day on: July 20, 2008 09:29:57 AM
Has anyone else managed to get blisters while warping? What on earth did I do that would give me a blister? The blisters are on the side of my pinky (only on the left hand - I am right handed.) I think they are from tensioning.
I also managed to pull through some of my warp strands. I would think "oh, they are not strong enough" but I've used this type of tencel for most of the projects I have made.
Maybe I saw "the Hulk" one-too-many-times? (That would be once.) I feel like Bullwinkle should say "sometimes she doesn't know her own strength"
Now here's something I hope you really enjoy -
OK I don't actually have anything.
Is anyone else weaving right now? What do you have on your loom?
I'm planning a quick and easy scarf or two before the oloompics. My last two projects were so fussy, I haven't touched the loom for a month. Plain weave here I come. (Except I just got the Betty Davenport book about surface texture on a rigid-heddle. It's a new edition with lots of pictures and diagrams. Maybe I should try floats and ....)
3  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Twill with a rigid heddle on: June 16, 2008 09:29:07 AM
I'm going to try to post my most recent finished weaving. The class assignment is "Two Related Pieces" - but we learned a twill method and we experimented with non-traditional materials.







Anyway-
I use a Kromski Harp Rigid-Heddle loom. This was done with the 8-dent heddle. I used linen as a warp, but I warped three threads/slot and one per hole (16 dent).
I inserted crayons and melted them to keep them from sliding out the side.  I also melted crayon into my plain-weave linen. This seems like something I will do again with a particular picture/pattern in mind. The linen was hard to manage - I have never used it before.
The twill is done by taking the three slotted threads and arranging them on extra pick-up sticks/strings attached to a dowel. It took weeks for me to thread correctly. I kept putting the loom away and working on something simpler. The linen all looked exactly the same, keeping track of the position of the threads was making me dizzy. Now I am super-proud. Ha, I don't need a four-harness loom, I can do this again if I want to. (Rigid Heddle are cheaper and mine folds up to keep it out of the way of the cats.)
I did not immediately like the idea of non-traditional materials for weaving - I was in class to learn the traditional methods not goofing off. However, once I started I loved mixing up what I wove. I have two tape measures woven with chenille to stabilize the cloth (which I already gave away) and colored pencils with homespun and chenille (post soon.)


I started weaving in January and have loved it.
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