Throwing Thick

Originally published at WormSpit. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been experimenting with making a THICK filament silk, appropriate for knitting.  This is a two-ply, using fifteen filaments (at about 40 – 45 denier per filament) per ply – so the finished yarn is something like 750 filaments thick.  The main thing that I learned from this experiment, is that I want more twist – the yarn looks decent now, but what I want is something with a distinct bead to it. This has appx 3.5 twists per inch, and I think I need more like six or seven.  It’s difficult to tell, looking at the raw yarns, how they will look degummed.


SOAR was a total blast. My brain is still staggering under the weight of information received. I met SO many cool people. More info here.


Originally published at WormSpit. You can comment here or there.

The Spin Off Annual Retreat was a blast. I had an amazing time, learned a LOT, met fantastic people… and took only a tiny number of photos. It was like going to the yarn store, and pulling a couple dozen of the best books and putting them into a basket… and they magically turn into the charming authors. Meeting all these fiber luminaries was overwhelming. Some of the people I got to meet that you might know: Judith MacKenzie McCuin, Abby Franquemont, Nancy Bush, Deb Menz, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Patsy Zawistoski, Sara Lamb, Robin Russo, Amy Clarke Moore, Linda Ligon, Phreadde, Jan Louet, and the other Jan from Louet, Mr. and Mrs. Strauch… and many more that are slipping my mind. I was in total overload mode.

Me and Patsy Z

Me and Patsy Z

I traveled on Thursday. The plane flights were uneventful if a bit crowded, and I got to the Allentown Airport in good time. I got to ride to the site with Elizabeth, who was excellent company and helped to soothe my newbie nerves. The country was hilly and beautiful. We got there just in time to run around and meet some people before dinner. I set up my kit in a lounge, and did some silk reeling on Thursday evening. If anybody has any photos of me, I’d love to get some… I was too busy reeling and talking, to make people use my camera.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wild Kingdom

We had feral cat kittens last year. We did all the Right Things – we handled the kittens, we took the mommas to KittiCo to get fixed, we placed ten of the eleven kittens, and we kept one. We started leaving food out on the back porch for the momma kitties – because it didn’t seem right to make them starve. We’ve had the occasional neighborhood tom show up and steal some, but mostly it’s worked out.

Or so we thought. We’ve seen this guy once before, but last night we got a good picture of him:

Didelphis virginiana, the Virginia Opossum. America’s only marsupial.

He sat there quite unconcerned, drinking his fill while we watched, and then waddled off into the night.

Then, this morning when Chis got up at 5:30, we saw this:

Proycon lotor, the American Raccoon.

You can’t see the water dish, because he’s leaning over it – he would go back and forth, washing each piece of cat food.

We don’t live in the country, y’all.

Finish Things

This is a bit of an in-joke… there are a few people who will understand it.  I made this as a gift for one of my online mentors.

I based the graph on a photo of a red salamander that I found on Dartfrog.

The ribbon is woven of 50-weight sewing thread; I bought it in black and white.  The black is as I got it, the blue I dyed with acid dyes. The red is all silk that I made from cocoons and dyed.

SOAR ribbons, and more spools

Originally published at WormSpit. You can comment here or there.

These are some ribbons that I’ve been working on.  They’re not pressed or hemmed yet, but I just had to share!

The gold and black is 50-weight sewing silk; I dyed the yellow, the black I bought that way.

The brocade is all silk that I made.  The huaman on the left is something I haven’t done before – it’s designed in negative, with the black of the bird’s wings and body being the background.  I think it pretty much worked.  I want to handle the fade-out of the background better, or make it a shape like an oval or an arch window

I wrapped some more of the little gimme spools.  I’m pleased with the way they look!

Taste the rainbow!  The bright yellow that is #4 from the right… that’s NATURALLY that color.  No dye. Sadly, the gold is all in the sericin, so it would come off with degumming.

Gotta share with y’all – I’m very proud of my new baby gimme spools!

see, it’s got all my info, like a silky business card!

The red and green are (appx.) 10 yards of embroidery floss… the creamy ones are LOTS (100 yards?) of raw silk filament.