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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Sewing a ruched button down shirt? on: August 07, 2010 12:28:57 PM
I'm making a ruched button down shirt without a pattern, and I've come across something I can't figure out on my own. The shirt will actually be a faux button down as it will be sewn shut with a wide v-neck so I can just pull it on. The ruching will be just underneath the bust. What I can't figure out, is should I still add darts in the front and the back? My fitted button down shirts all have darts sewn it, but I'm thinking the ruching is what will make it fitted? What will happen if I leave the darts out? Any advice would be appreciated!
2  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Cold water dying for protein based fibers? on: August 21, 2009 02:54:51 PM
I have some cashmere roving that I would like to dye black. Normally when I dye protein based fibers, I mix up some Wilton's cake dyes and pop it in the microwave. This is cashmere though, and I'm really nervous about felting it or getting uneven color. I have some Jacquard Procion MX dyes for cellulose fibers, and I get great results using that, so I was wondering if it would work to dye cashmere using a cold water process?

If it absolutely has to be a hot water process, I don't want to risk felting it in the microwave, so I'll probably use a stove top method....but if I'm going to wrap the fiber in plastic wrap or use a ziplock bag, wont the plastic melt to the fiber?

Thanks so much for helping me figure this out!
3  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Angora? on: July 15, 2008 06:08:59 PM
My boyfriend visited a craft fair while out of town and brought me back 2oz of plucked angora. It is the softest, dreamiest, most lovely think I have ever touched. Needless to say, I'm scared to use it! I've never spun angora before, so I guess I'm looking for some tips and ideas. I should probably blend it with something else to make it last longer, but what? What should I make with the yarn? It seems like angora would be nice for a lacy shawl (and I do love spinning lace weight- though I hate knitting lace!) but is 2oz enough for that? Any ideas or inspiration would be awesome!!
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Drum Carder Question? on: January 26, 2008 02:46:29 PM
My dad bought me a drum carder for my birthday, and it arrived yesterday! It's a Louet Roving Carder Jr. I tried it out right away and managed to produce a batt...but it was difficult and it looks kinda funny. I'm sure I was doing something wrong since this is my first time using a drum carder.

My question is, how do I get the intake drum to pick up the fiber? On a standard drum carder, it looks like you just feed it in using a feed tray. On a Louet, you have to feed the fiber directly onto the intake drum. The fiber picked up perfectly when I cranked counterclockwise, but the diagram on the side of the machine shows cranking in a clockwise motion. I just couldn't get the fibers to feed cranking clockwise. Most of the fiber I used ended up on the intake drum and didn't transfer well (or evenly) onto the main drum.

My second question is, what sort of fibers can this drum carder card? It has fine teeth which I understand is good for most fibers? I will be carding mostly wool, bamboo, and silk. My test run yesterday seemed to handle the wool just fine, but the bamboo looks streaky...if that makes any sense. Is bamboo too fine a fiber for this carder? My hand carders which also have fine teeth handle bamboo fine...

Any help that anyone could offer will be very appreciated!
5  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Spinning bulky? on: December 15, 2007 11:11:20 AM
I want to try and spin a worsted weight single. When I first learned to spin, this was pretty much all I could spin. Now I spin mostly lace weight, and I am having a heck of a time spinning anything thicker. Huh I can do thick for a little while, but it ends up uneven and I revert to skinny spinning subconsciously or something.  Undecided Does anyone have any tips or tricks?

Thanks so much.  Cheesy
6  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / First yarns and a story! on: January 17, 2007 06:57:26 PM
Hello! My name's Heather and I'm new to spinning and craftster. Im a crocheter/knitter so I used to come here alot and just drool over the yarns everyone was making. Then I read the thread explaining how to dye your own yarn with kool-aid. I went through my stash looking for natural fibers to dye when I came across a large box of my grandma's handspun. My grandma used to spin and I'd help her card. When she had to move into a nursing home, she gave all her yarn to me. Well, inside the box of handspun, I found several drop spindles. My dad bought me some roving for Hanukah, and I started spinning on my own. Then my boyfriend noticed how fascinated I had become with spinning and decided to buy me a wheel! Here are my first attempts at spinning:

1. This was my first attempt, spun on a drop spindle. It's merino and dyed with wilton cake dyes. It looks all scraggly coz I was so excited after I plied it, that I knit it up into a swatch right away while it was still wet! Then I decided I didnt like the swatch, I just liked looking at it so I unraveled it.

2. Second attempt! Merino dyed with wilton cake dyes. I call this one "Vomited Wet Cheetoes" after the yarn that another craftster posted that her son named "Wet Cheetoes" (if her yarn, which I thought was gorgeous looked like wet cheetoes, then mine certainly looks like regurgitated Cheetoes!) I wasnt very happy with the colour, hence it's name.

3. Third attempt. Merino, cake dyes, half spun on a drop spindle, half on a wheel.

4. This one's called "Princess Unicorn" because it reminds me of 3rd graders and fairies and Lisa Frank. Just finished it a few days ago. I tried dying the roving instead of dying the finished yarn this time. I love the way it's turned out. Merino plied with thread.

5. Plying practice with scraps.

6. Some leftover singles from #1 crocheted into a swatch.

7. Spinning practice with different fibers (merino, mohair, and ramie).

Finally, here is a close up, without flash of "Princess Unicorn":

I look forward to getting to know you all!
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