Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spinning Cotton in Hot Weather

I have been practicing daily on my new Alden Amos driven spindle wheel, learning to spin cotton.

This picture is right after I opened the package and assembled the wheel, I am getting the hang of it with some wool roving.  Now, I am spinning cotton sliver I purchased from Yolo Wool Mill in the spring.  It spins like a dream, so easy to make wonderful cotton yarn.  My plan is to spin a few bobbins of it, ply it, then move on to colored cotton.  Here in San Diego, cotton in the summer seems like a 'must' do.

Today Rachel and I practiced the long draw in the back yard.  We are getting a little weather from a hurricane in Mexico and actually had a few raindrops.  I finished one mitten from some hand-dyed handspun I thought I did not like; but it turned out OK!  It's BFL, so how bad could it be?  I want to be able to show the mittens at Twainfest in Old Town San Diego in August.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Women and the West

Yesterday's event in Old Town was called Women and the West.  We had weaving, quilting, spinning, soap making, doing the laundry, lace making, and cooking.

There was plenty of public interest in the Fiber Arts activities.  And the Sleeping Beauty question came up more times than I have ever heard it.  Plus a bonus, someone knew the Rumplestiltskin story in detail - a treat.

Donna and Michelle demonstrated the inkle loom, Rachel and I spun, and Susan continued on her quilt repair project.  I forgot to mention that the blacksmiths were blowing up anvils again.  This time, with extra loud charges.  We had the hand spindles out, and provided instruction on using them to children and interested adults.  Next month, Twain Fest.  In the meantime, I will working on learning how to use my new driven spindle wheel to spin cotton.  Talk about Sleeping Beauty....that spindle is pointy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July Fourth 2011 in Old Town San Diego

By all estimates, there were five times as many people in Old Town yesterday for the Fourth of July event as there were in 2010.  We had two tents for spinning and weaving.  I spun the Romney roving that I had dyed on Saturday.

Unlike last Fourth of July, which was cool and cloudy, it was hot, humid, and sunny yesterday.  The weather did not stop everyone from having an active day. To start things off, there was a parade around the plaza, with public participation.  State Parks offered dancing, pie-eating, sack racing, a cake walk, and other games and diversions.  Children made hats and dolls.  The blacksmiths blew up anvils, sending them into the air with an explosive charge.

In terms of public inquiries, we had four Sleeping Beauty questions, one Rumpelstiltskin question (a first!), and one person who thought I was making fluff from string (there's always one).  The winner for the oddest question was a lady who watched us for several minutes, and then asked why we were not wearing lipstick.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Last Dye Day?

As the temperature nears 90 degrees, we wonder if it is the last dye day for the season.  To prepare for a full day of spinning in Old Town tomorrow, July Fourth, I dyed some reds and a bit of yellow.  This is Pin-drafted roving from Morro Fleece Works.  Eight ounces.  It came out great and I can't wait to spin it long draw.

I am hoping it is completely dry by tomorrow morning.  By the way, here is a photo of Frida for those who have been asking.

Yes, she was another stray.  Came to us half-starved and filthy.  A young cat full of energy and curiosity.  A unique individual, as are the others.  The Fiber Artist will be in Old Town tomorrow all day, new bonnet and all.  Have a safe and sane Fourth of July.