Funny Farm

A fearsome foray into my fiber follies. I talk about weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. Some chatter about the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.

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Location: North-east PA, United States

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Blathering

New tablecloth from Adivasi. They have a web site, so try "dot com". This sweet piece is 90x108. The colors are deeper but the morning sun gives us this color perspective. The hand thrown been pot was made by Hunter Neil, a new friend of ours. The colors go so well together.

I opened the closet in the loom room yesterday and rediscovered two boxes and one bag of Pendelton wool selvages I bought about 10 years ago. I wove my first rug using the worms and though the animals like the rug I'm not that crazy about the shag rug look. Well, not being one to waste "product", I pulled out the selvages and wove this at the end of a run of rugs.
It's a shame only half the warp is black. The white will be hidden after some wear. I have more in this color, I think enough for another good size rug. The other box of worms is more to my color liking and will warp for that today or tomorrow.
This is the warp I painted and dyed using most of the left overs from the trichromatic dye samples Charleen and I mixed several weeks ago. When a run was completed we'd dump all the colors together then transfer the mix to small jars.
Again, not wanting to waste otherwise good dye, albeit small amounts, I wound a 10 yd warp, 25" worth (sett 20) and painted using the remnants of Mad Scientist Day. I read on someones blog (I didn't write down who) her use of Satin Weave for a better hand. I went to the Bible of M. Davison and found several examples. I liked the example on page 73, treadling II.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Great Adventure III to Countrywool

Charleen and I headed out in the wee hours of the morning (all things being relative, 7:45 is very early) to Hudson, NY to meet up with Claudia. The weather here in PA was miserable. We had cold, hard rain all the way to the State line. The rain stopped but the gray skies threatened to give us what we just got out of. Luckily it didn't rain during our adventure to Massachusetts. We first stopped at a quilting shop to add to Claudia's stash. However, her main objective was to (re)enable Charleen. She accomplished her objective. I refused to be lured into buying anything quilt related. I wandered around and tried to stay out of trouble. I did forget what State I was in when I got into a conversation with a woman about the previous night's Yankee baseball score. Oops! I'm a Yankee fan. Just sayin'. I repeat, "oops". We parted friends. Claudia and Charleen were pale when we left. We grabbed lunch then drove on to Webs. I had a notebook with stash enhancement notes and overall got everything on the list including a double bobbin shuttle. Note: Web's was having their annual sale. Need I say more? I refuse to take a picture of my haul. I'd be committed for that alone. If the Judge had any doubt, the baseball conversation would have tilted his decision to the side of Loony Bin. My knees were weak at check-out, but with their generous discount I actually spent less than I had planned. Good thing, because we went to the Yankee Candle Factory Outlet. It's too damned big. It's too damned fragrant. I spent too damned much. Claudia got what was on her list, I got what was on mine plus/plus/plus. I don't think Charleen got a thing. She did manage to hang in there and not get a migraine from all the scents. We motored back to Hudson and stopped at the liquor store. Charleen guided Claudia in the way's of Margarita-ville. I got some gin, just to be different. Hopped back in the horse 'n carriage and swept into Countrywool. We ate, abused Claudia's husband Jim and then went into the shop to shop. Charleen will have to tell you about her haul. I got a Countrywool pattern and 8 skeins of wool for a pullover. We climbed into bed exhausted. The next morning, after breakfast and coffee, Charleen and I came home. It was a grand trip, albeit a short one.

Charleen is delighted to be in the quilt shop in Massachusetts. She has a new grandson and is finding material for his quilt. Look at how her eyes are glazing over.

Claudia is responsible for Charleen's renewed interest in quilting and decrease in her checking account balance. Go, Claudia!

After enduring their manic behavior in the quilting shop we finally made it to Heaven.
Lets just say that I am single handedly responsible for the increase of domestic spending.
I almost hyperventilated at checkout.

Our final stop was at the Yankee Candle Outlet. We got a jump on Gift-mas.

I did NOT take as many pictures as Charleen did, but she is telling me what I can do with my camera if I don't put it away.
We're at Countrywool, home of Claudia's shop.

After being fed a meal of homemade bread and hamburger soup, Claudia hunts for buttons for Charleen's vest. Pattern by Claudia. See above photo of green vest in progress.

This is where we slept!

Empty(ier) shelves due to Charleen's yarn spree.

The End.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pillow done

Andy's blanket and pillow are ready to be wrapped and given.
What I would have done differently: made this warp faced as I do with cotton. I was afraid the fabric would have been too stiff and this was not the softest wool to begin with. I do think that I could have pushed the sett to 10 and still would have a good hand. I hear your collective mantras, "sample, sample, sample".
Charleen and I will be going on another GREAT ADVENTURE next week. We're off to Claudia's, the quilt shop and WEBS!!! My youngest son wants a blanket and I'm noodling dye ideas.
Sara, we miss you too! I hope you'll be at SOAR in PA next year. Be there or be square! We'll make your life interesting if you come. I'm hoping to light a fire under Claudia and get her to submit an application to teach. The four of us could certainly change the complexion of an otherwise typical retreat. I've been to one retreat, so what do I know? Consider this bait.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blanket is complete

Andy's color choices

What he got.
Blowin' in the wind
Hard pressed, as am I.
I had a little warp left and wove a simple 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 twill, then 7 shots of plain weave. It may become a pillow sham to go with the blanket.
Answers to the trichromatic dye system. Linda Knutson's book, Synthetic Dyes, Natural Fibers, is the best place to go for a comprehensive explanation. The system is based on 10. For example, you choose three colors, A-B-C. You begin by taking a very stiff drink. Break out the dyes you want to combine, and take another drink. You can use syringes successfully for measuring out small quantities of dye. There are 11 levels, beginning with 11 combinations and ending with 1 color. Now, have another drink. Level "0" begins with one color (B) and ends with color C. Color A is the top of the triangle, on level 10. Each color is assigned a per centage for each combination. The first number to the left represents color A, the center number represents color B, and the third number represents color C. "0100" can be read as no A, pure B (based on 10, which would be 100%), no C. The next number is 091, or: no A/9 parts B and 1 part C. The end of level 0 reads 0010, or: no A, no B, all C, or 100%. Level 0 reads: 0100, 091, 082, 073, 064, 055, 046, 037, 028, 019, 0010. Note that color A is not used at all. Level 1 begins after another slug for the bottle. Level 1 now introduces color A; 190, 181, 172, 163, 154, 145, 136, 127, 118,109. All across level 1, only one part of color A is used and a decreasing amount of color B is mixed with A and C is increased by one part for each gradation. At the end of level 1, color B is excluded. Level 2 begins with "280". Each level begins with the level number. Recall in level "0", no color A was used. Level 1 uses 1 part of color A all the way across. Level 2 uses 2 parts of A all the way across. Each level uses less and less of color C. I'm tempted to scan the chart so you can clearly see how this works but I don't want to violate copyright, though I don't think it would apply --- but I'm not taking any chances.
I've clumsily explained this. Buy the book or talk to Sara Lamb........I'd say talk to Charleen but you will risk being adorned in dye.

Friday, August 10, 2007



We actually completed 2 each yesterday

This is Charleen taking a picture.
You say, "Really?"
I reply, "Yesiree, Bob!"

Charleen felt the porch floor was too bland so added color.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

email to my DIL

I ordered two sarongs, one silk and one cotton gauze. I mixed up burgundy and dark green dyes and tested them for strength of color. All good. I tied lots of little resists to the cotton sarong and tossed it into the dye pot for three days. It just wasn't getting dark enough so I mixed up a stronger dye solution and put the sarong in the dye bath. Meanwhile I tried a new technique to me called shabori and wrapped the silk around a pvc pipe and tied the cloth with string, gathering each wrap. I then put dye on the piece and let it steam. The next day I untied the piece. The dye only penetrated about 1 foot of the 4. The design was beautiful, but the rest was blank. I put the silk in a discharge for removing the dye. Sigh. When the silk was dry I rewet it in vinegar and tied resists and painted sections burgundy and green. This is a tried and true technique, easy-peasy as it were. Didn't like it at all. Colors were good, but design lousy. I retied and added more dye here and there. Nope. Nice but not great. Retied, threw it into a discharge hoping for an interesting textural look. The color turned to navy and deep rose. Not bad, but would you wear those colors? You're firm about what you'll wear and not wear. I washed the green cotton, still not dark enough, and untied the resists. Excellent! But....some burgundy somehow migrated from one dye pot to the all green dye pot. About a dozen splatters, though small, glared at me. I tried a bit of discharge paste to get rid of the splatters. Didn't work. Do I leave it as is (as in no one will see it when you're wearing it, but you'll know it's there ; call it a design element?; put more splatters on (ie., use an artists brush and attempt to play Picasso). I think I'll try adding burgundy.
My lazy, crazy days of dyeing summer has fallen flat on it's face.

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