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11  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Spinning help: cotton and angora on: November 18, 2009 10:11:38 AM
Unless you are trying to spin a very smooth yarn, you can just pull fibers off the cotton seeds and spin them. It's a little tricky to card the seeds out of cotton with pet slicker brushes, but they work fine for preparing the cotton after you get the seeds out.
12  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Big Acrylic Mess HELP! on: November 18, 2009 09:45:06 AM
Don't worry about setting twist. Just ply it into a balanced yarn and the twist will pretty much stay put.  As I understand it, unless you are fulling/felting a yarn, the twist is never really set.
13  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: am i crazy? adventures in alternate fiber on: November 18, 2009 09:26:39 AM
Tee hee glad I'm not the only one who wants to spin cottonwood fluff! I couldn't collect enough to spin this year due to flooding, but maybe next year...
14  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: The weirdest things we could spin? A game! on: November 18, 2009 09:23:19 AM
So far I've tried cat fur, easter egg grass, tree bark, pills from sweaters, spider webs, and tent caterpillar webs, but not human hair yet! I think the weirdest thing that I've *wanted* to spin is algae. It's such a pretty green color, and some of it forms lovely threadlike structures.
15  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / Re: About textile medium... on: August 18, 2009 01:42:07 PM
I've never noticed that on that bottle before. Since I use a mixture of textile paint, airbrush paint, and acrylic with textile medium, I always just let the paints dry to the touch and then heat set. I haven't paid attention to how long after painting it was before the pieces were washed, though. So far everything I've painted has held up great! HOWEVER - I paint on prewashed fabrics that are at least 50% natural fiber, which makes a difference. A fabric with more than 50% synthetic may need a longer curing time for the paint to really stick to the fiber. That's probably why the seven days.
16  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / Re: Stencil Difficulty on: August 18, 2009 01:32:39 PM
The other advantage to a screen, besides the lack of random small dangly parts, is that it is considerably more reusable if you keep it washed properly. I did an Army of Darkness http://www.studiosixguns.com/reneewhite/ArmyofDarknessPumpkin.jpg freezer paper stencil for some shirts, and with the chainsaw teeth and tattered cloth it was only usable once - it couldn't be peeled off of the shirt in one piece. In those situations you can always cut several stencils at the same time, but if you're doing more than four or five of the same design it's worth it to make a screen or use stencil plastic and stencil adhesive instead. You don't have to use screen printing ink with a screen, but if you are spray painting, it does have to be washed immediately.
17  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: STEEL wool? on: August 18, 2009 01:18:38 PM
(Grins evilly) Another bark peeler in the tribe! If you get hooked on it, there are some basketry and gardening knives that make it a little easier. Have fun Smiley
18  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Joann roving?? on: July 23, 2009 05:59:59 PM
The wool in those packages is probably mixed from so many sources they can't keep track. I have gotten packages that drafted more smoothly than the Romney I've been working with, and packages that drafted like they were already felted. I bought them with 40% off coupons (and one package on clearance marked down 60%!) so the price wasn't that outrageous to me, and it was worth it to see if I could work with the wool after discovering that I'm allergic to raw wool and certain commercial wool dyes and treatments. I even knitted a pair of socks from that wool, and while it is more scratchy than the Romney, it's still pretty comfy and I've even washed them in the machine with only mild fulling.

19  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: STEEL wool? on: July 23, 2009 05:36:52 PM
I prepare the mulberry bark by scraping it off the pruned branches, soaking overnight, and gently pounding with a rawhide mallet. It's basically the first three steps for making mulberry paper, but it leaves the inner bark as longer fibers. The result is really more twine than yarn but I plan to try blending it with reclaimed silk fiber from shredding thrift-store silk shirts for a softer result. I'm also saving thistle stalks from my yard to try retting for their fiber, just like flax but more prickly. Wink

Easter egg grass is an interesting spinning fiber, isn't it? I also found some thinner plastic/Mylar shreds with the gift basket wrap, and it blends with other fibers even better. Eventually it'll make its way into a nice sparkly carded batt, after I finish carding up this Suffolk fleece from the 4-H kids. Do you have 4-H where you are? They gave me this five-pound fleece for helping with their booth at a local festival. 

Of course, if you do shave your dog...it's summer, it's to keep the dog cool!
20  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Re: monsters, dolls, and bags - cylinder weaving - with tutorial - and lots of pics. on: June 17, 2009 08:03:35 PM
I made my water bottle cozy that way, using a potato chip can! I stuck straight pins into the top and reinforced it with duct tape so I could use the full length of the can, but otherwise pretty much the same. I used my tapestry beater fork to pack the weft and then fulled the fabric so it's a very firm fabric. Wish my edges looked as nice as yours though.
Thank you for sharing! 
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