Friday, May 6, 2005

The Nerve!

My hubby actually had the nerve to suggest to me that if I'm so interested in finding other Fiber Blogs, and if I'm going to have Fiber in my Blog subtitle, that perhaps I should occasionally blog about doing Fiber things. Can you imagine?

Hrumph. ;)

Okay, so here's the scoop. I have a warp-weighted loom gathering dust in the kitchen. That's a picture of me actually using it, as I finish up my previous project, in my profile. It's gathering dust lately because I can't stand the project that's on it now. It's a 2/2 twill, and the sheds don't open very easily.

In rare masochistic moments, I dust it off and weave for a few minute before I remember again why I find it so annoying. In the meantime, it's a good addition to Living History demonstrations. It's so much fun to not wear my glasses (because Vikings didn't have them ya know) and peer at the weaving from 3 inches away. It took me years to try wearing contacts during the demos and then I couldn't understand why I had resisted for so long.

I also crotchet, and naalbind. Naalbinding is loosely described as 'single-needle knitting' but I find it much more similar to crotcheting. Naalbinding is another one of those Viking Era historical textile things, like the weaving on a warp-weighted loom, except that it's much much easier to do. :)

I can crotchet in my sleep, I think. I've been doing it for almost 30 years at this point.

I also spin, on a drop spindle, reasonably well. It can be quite zen-like at times. I'm still learning how to spin on a spinning wheel. I haven't gotten the hang of it yet. I find that the wheel moves across the floor (maybe if I put a rug under it) and I can either draft or tread, but not both at the same time without all my body parts getting confused.

And just this past February, I went to visit a nice lady in Kingston and learned more about shearing Icelandic sheep. I also learned that the so-called "Ban on Canadian beef" by the US is actually a ban on all ruminants (ie. animals who graze for food), and this is also hurting the sheep industry. This news incensed me greatly, since the sheep industry already has a hard enough time of it, especially if their primary focus is the wool, and not the meat.

It almost makes me want to hate the American government. Oh, that's right. I already do. George Bush and his ilk are evil, pure and simple. And half(ish) the population voted them back into office in November.

Ah well, there's still the other half, whom I'm sure are good and decent folk. Or at least I keep hoping anyway.

But back to fiber. :)

I discovered a new blog yesterday - Yarn Obsession - and this lady has a meter on her blog that measures what percentage each of her projects is done. It was very amusing. But I'd have to do mine over a time scale as well to do the loom justice. I'm a little over a third of the way done, but in August, the current project will have been on the loom for over two years.

Why I've bought 5 new sheep's worth of raw fleece since then. :)

And finally, I also do natural dyeing. This can be a very addictive past-time! My hubby bought me some indigo and madder (and more fleece) at Christmas and I promptly set about stinking up the house with dye baths. Mental note: get pics of the dye results.

But it's not entirely over yet! There's more! This year, I've started seedlings of Woad, Madder, Weld, Dyer's Broom and Alkanet so I can learn how to make my own dyestuffs from the plant. I already have Golden Marguerite in the garden from last year, and I just recently learned that I can get interesting results from two of my garden nemesises - dandelion and creeping charlie.

Now, that's just the Fiber hobbies... I actually have other interests once in awhile as well. In short, too many hobbies, not enough time!


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