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Archive for August, 2008

Catching Up

Here’s another look at the fiber I dyed last week~

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I am very pleased with how it looks as yarn! Often the oddest looking roving makes the prettiest yarn.

And here’s what’s on the bobbin now~

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which is coming out of this roving~

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Here’s the latest out of the dye shop~

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Should be dry this morning – can’t wait to spin up some samples and see what I’ve done!

And finally, an update on our deck/driveway project~

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That’s almost 3,000 pounds of block just along the edge of the deck – poor DH! But it looks much better than the ever-peeling wood edging that it is replacing!

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Flute and Fiber

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Tah Dah!!!!! My first dyed rovings!

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Here’s the green/purple/yellow one on the left. I like it as a single on the bobbin – will be interesting to see what happens when I ply!

On to the musical portion of our show……………..

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These are Native American style flutes. The smaller one is in the key of A, made of Western cedar, and the larger one is F#, made of Spanish cedar. Both are by High Spirits in Arizona. The little guy entered my world first, via an online shop in the Adirondacks, owned by a guy who grew up in Neptune, NJ of all places. The larger flute found me yesterday at an arts and crafts show up the island in Coupeville. The son of the man who owns High Spirits had a booth with his flutes for sale. I only intended to buy a music book, but with just a little prodding from DH, I started playing the different flutes, and this one spoke to me. I had been warned that flutes are addictive and tend to multiply, kind of like spindles and spinning wheels. The different keys are pitched higher or lower, and the kind of wood used changes the playing characteristics, which creates almost endless possibilities. So let’s see – three weeks into this and I already have two flutes??!! Hmmmmmm……well, at least they don’t take up a lot of space!

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I have been working my way up to dyeing fiber for a long time. I mean a really, really long time. Not sure why this has been such a difficult thing for me, but every little aspect turned into a stumbling block. Over the years I have slowly gathered equipment – different size pots, measuring cups and spoons, pyrex beakers, a dye set, mason jars. My biggest problem has always been a heat source. I considered a little camp stove, but they blow through those teensy fuel bottles pretty quick. Regular electric hot plates don’t get all that hot, temperature regulation can be a pain, and the heating element is usually pretty small. I even got a propane turkey fryer base on Free Cycle. I thought that was going to be what I would use – until I added up the cost of the hoses, propane tank and fuel. Yikes!

After a marathon Googling session, I stumbled upon a halogen hot plate that fits the bill perfectly. It has six temperature settings – all the way up to 800+ degrees, so it will heat a large canning pot to boiling, and the heating element is HUGE! And in one of those cool moments that lets you know that you are on the right path – I bought mine from Smart Bargains.com for half of the Amazon price – but when I went to make the link, I discovered that they have sold out! I guess it had been sitting there waiting for me to find it!

DH helped me set up a dye studio in the garage. Our garage is heated and has a bathroom, so I’ll be set for year round coloring fun! The only modification needed is to change out the sink for a laundry tub, as right now we have one of those incredibly-cute-but-totally-useless bathroom sinks. Bring on the ugly tub!

So here’s my space:
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I’ve been having fun decorating it with some things that are special for me, yet I had no place to put them in the house. The blackboard is an antique – real slate (it weighs a ton) and hung in the basement of the house I grew up in. Gosh, I spent many happy hours writing and drawing on that board!

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This sign hung in my dad’s office, and when he retired he hung it in his basement workshop. I think it has once again found an appropriate home!

There are a couple of other things left to hang up, and, a huge score from the thrift shop – a sheepie wallpaper border! How could I resist? Now all I have to do is find the time to climb a ladder and try to hang it up straight!

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