Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stash aquisition and goodies!!

When your friends say they're working on cleaning up the clutter of craft supplies they have at home, and mention they have a few boxes packed up for you that you might be interested in, what do you say??  YES!!

Jocelyne, my quilting-roadtrip friend, emailed me during the week to say she thought she had some weaving supplies I might be able to use, and would it be okay if during her travels on Saturday could she stop by.  Hell YES! :)

Now, I didn't really know what to expect.  She had said that years ago she had acquired a loom but had never used it and had given it to a lady she knew who would.  Along that same line, she had purchased at an auction, what looked to be the stash and tools from someone who obviously had done tapestry weaving.

She mentioned that even the tapestry loom, if not an actual tapestry as well was at the auction - she didn't buy it, and wasn't sure if anyone did.

Anyways, yesterday she arrives, and lo and behold, there were 5 boxes and a huge rubbermaid tub!

Four of the boxes and the rubbermaid tub were FILLED, I mean FILLED with wool.  On first touch, it reminded me of Briggs & Little worsted weight wool.  Beautiful heavy duty wool, and most had been wound into cakes (center-pull balls).  There are a dozen or so that are still in skeins.  Some still have the tags on them.  They're from Condon's Yarns, a store/mill that operated out of Charlottetown, PEI from 1931 through 1989.  These have been around for a while.  And that's apparent by the somewhat musty odour of them.  But that's nothing that won't wash out once they're made into something.

This morning I had to pull them all out to see how much and what colours were buried in these boxes.  Drool over these!!

skeins

sorted by colour on my 6' by 3' table in my quilting room




and this rag-tag box of wound balls in a variety of colours


I haven't counted how many there are... yet. (edit: approximately 132 balls)  But the range of colours is wonderful, and for the most part they're all the same type of wool.  I could tell by the feel of a couple of the balls there was an acrylic or acrylic mix there, but only a couple.

The other box, was a treasure trove of weaving tools!

There are 2 beautiful boat shuttles, a manual bobbin winder, 3 warping paddles, some warping pegs that you can clamp to a table, and more than a dozen tapestry/wool bobbins, most of which all have the Leclerc name on them.  And in the paper bag, 6 packages of plastic tatting shuttles, 2 per package.

I'll have to lay them all out and take better pictures.  Plus there are a few pieces I don't know what they are.  

We sat, had coffee, chatted, and she didn't want a cent for any of it.  I'm so thrilled!  Plus I wasn't expecting that there would be boat shuttles, I only have one, so this will make things much easier for changing colours when I weave.

One of Jim's friends had asked a few weeks ago if I could weave him some wool fabric so he can make himself a new vest.  I'm sure I can do that now!!

I also see quite a few wool blankets in my near future.  I'm sure the homeless shelters could use them.

Also makes me wonder what other treasures she has at home *wink*.

What a great friend!!


Weaving project #2

It's really amazing how much time it takes to warp the loom for a project.

For this one, I used a cone of cotton and a cone of cottolin, warped together.

For the weft, I'm using some dk cotton I have in my stash.

It's a simple set of placemats called "Elegant Placemats" from the Weaving Today website.  It's a free e-book.





The pattern on the blue is called huck.  The pattern on the yellow is called huck lace.

Unfortunately, while I was just getting into the yellow one, I went to advance the warp, and the ratchet pawl snapped and broke off.  UGH!!

It goes on that pin there on the metal bar, below the cog

Just snapped.

And I just about snapped!!  I've emailed Camilla Valley Farms to see if there is a way I can replace it, or the entire part (with the metal rod). *crosses fingers*

If I can just replace the pawl, great!, otherwise, I'll probably have to cut my project off the loom and restart the yellow one.  One placemat done, 3 to go.


Weaving project #1

To get started and practice using the loom, I pulled out some Briggs & Little wool I had and got to it.

I've now woven a piece of fabric I can use to make a new purse!  The extra red section at the end was just to use up the rest of the warp on the loom, but I'm thinking I can use it for the saddle bags I want to make for my spinning wheel.






Not a bad start.

This is a rosepath pattern.
And yes I did make errors, I found one treadling error in the red section.  I'll need to figure out how I did it, because I actually like the effect.  Therefore, it's not an error, it's a "design element" :)


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dyeing with Black Walnuts - Part 2

I did a couple of "dip tests" while the dye was simmering.  ie. I keep a few locks of fleece in a container where I'm working and dip them into the dye to see what the depth of the colour is.  When I did that, I found there was a LOT of sediment collecting on the locks.  That is not something I want to have to comb out of the fleece afterwards.  Therefore, a straining process is needed.

The walnuts have sat in the pot for about 24 hrs and cooled to room temperature.

Straining is not a quick process, kind of like watching paint dry.  If you've ever made your own almond milk you'll understand what I mean.


See how there's a stream of dye flowing from the filter?  When that changes to just a slow dripping, you know the bottom of the filter is covered in sediment


You can use coffee filters, layers of cheesecloth or even paper towel.  Whatever works for you to get the results you desire.  I started with coffee filters, but I had to change them often - think, after every 2 cups poured.  The sediment was that dense.

Then I switched to paper towels.  They gave me a little more surface to utilize, as when one end was full of sediment, I could just pull (carefully so as not to rip the towel) towards me and expose the other end of the paper towel.  This way I was able to run about 4 cups through the process.

See the sediment collected?

An even better picture.

I didn't use cheesecloth because I knew that even with about 6 layers, I would still end up with some sediment getting through.  Found that out the hard way with almond milk.

In the end, I think I've ended up with about 7 litres of somewhat concentrated dye from 3 pounds of walnut husks.

I've put the dye into my cooking pot and added some more water.  I'm not worried that the dye has now been diluted a bit because it's still there, and I need 'swimming room' for the fleece.  That way the dye will penetrate through all of it.

I'm dyeing a pound of British Milk fleece first.  Bringing it slowly to just under a boil, then I'll let it simmer for about an hour, and sit for the rest of the day and night.

If the dye hasn't exhausted by the end, I may throw in about 1/2 a pound of cotswold that I have.  Even if it isn't a really dark rich brown, I think it'll still have a nice golden/tan/beige colour to it.  We'll see.

This is why I love experimenting!

Results to come....


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...