Monday, March 12, 2012

Gorilla Glue, I love you!

So, my most recent triumph involves a spindle, some water, and my old friend Gorilla Glue.  I don't know who invented this stuff, but I really believe it should be the eighth wonder of the world.  I've fixed leaky rubber gloves, too many toys to count, door handles and now my spindle, all with the glue of the Gorilla. 

This past weekend I made a point to do all my schoolwork on Friday so I would have all of Saturday morning free for felting and spinning.  Well, after working on my latest little lime green feltie, I decided some spinning was in order.  I've been working away at spinning some Jacob and as I was going to be away from home on Saturday, I'd packed my spindle and tons of fiber.  Alas, when I pulled out the spindle I noticed the tip where the hook screws in was beginning to split.  I was a bit discouraged, but having a rubber band in my purse I managed to McGyver it into shape well enough to do some spinning.  I knew however, that a more permanent fix would have to be found.  Enter the Gorilla!  When I got home, I carefully wet the areas and applied the tiniest amount of glue you can imagine.  I've learned this stuff is seriously expandable and to be conservative.  I set the spindle aside for the requisite 2 hours and hoped for the best.  Wala! The miracle of modern science worked and my spindle is back in business.  Good as new and spins like a dream. 

This wasn't my only fiber adventure of the weekend. I also dyed some roving using Wilton's Icing dye, in pretty blues and teals.  The plan is to spin this fiber and ply it with some burgandy, green, and blue that is already spun.  Here it is:
I've also been busily washing small batches of lovely Merino cross wool I aquired in a trade.
Here it is drying on mesh clipped to a laundry basket.  I'm itching to comb and spin this and make something delicious.
Also, last but not least, this little creature is coming to life:
Who is he, you may ask?  Only time will tell!  Happy week!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Momma's got new toys!

Boys aren't the only ones who like toys!  Fiber addicts like me enjoy them as well.  I've been saving and saving my pennies and yesterday my wonderful new piece of equipment arrived on my doorstep in a giant box.  I purchased a Brother drumcarder!   Now, non-fiber addicts will be asking the all important question, "What is a drumcarder, and what on earth does it do?"  A drumcarder is a lovely contraption composed of two wheels, a drive band, hand crank, and wire brush that is similar to a  doggy bush.  This fabulous invention takes clean wooly fleece and brushes it so that it is all lined up in the same direction in a fluffy batt that can be used for spinning, felting, or quilting.  I'm going to spin my test batt, but my ultimate plan is to use the batts for wet felting things like table runners.  Take a look at my baby:

This is my first pass of Jacob wool from a fleece I purchased raw and washed myself.  This fleece had a big variation in length and fiber type and this collection of fleece is the mixed colors I was left with after seperating the fleece by color and type.  It contains long and short fibers, as well as some kemp (stiff hairy fibers) and second cuts.  This is all okay with me because I am spinning this into a rough bulky to use for a crocheted basket.  :)

Here is the finished batt after three passes.  I have been combing and spinning this fiber, so I'll be interested in seeing the difference in spinning from a batt.

This carding adventure was by no means my only fiber play this weekend!  I finished a pair of fingerless gloves using overdyed merino sock yarn (on the left).

I also tea dyed my first substantially sized handspun skein of yarn.  This is commercially prepared domestic roving from R.H. Lindsay Co. in Boston.  Spun on a spindle and two-plied on a spindle:
I brewed some very dark tea,
added vinegar and couple of nails containing iron and left the wool in for hours and hours and hours. 
This is the finished yarn.  I'm fairly happy with the golden brown color and am planning to make a pair of fingerless gloves.  I'm really loving those.

So, all in all, a very productive fibery weekend was had by me!  And, before all this I finished my latest needle felted creation, which is looking for a happy home:
Have a great week and may you find time for your passions!