Student materials are prepared. I’m packing and ready to be off for the Midwest Weavers Conference. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker kept me company while I netted starts for 15 students to practice on. One disc left to go, and I don’t think I’ll have time to listen to it. My car still has a cassette player in it. I think it will be Harry Potter making the trip with me. Again.
Last night, a student in the free Intro To Looping online class commented on the gummy feel of some old waxed linen thread she had found in her thread stash. That reminded me: About a year ago, I finally got around to de-waxing a whole batch of too-sticky waxed linen.
While I was doing that, I shot some video and photos. But finishing the video never got on my to-do list. So I did it this morning.
Unwaxing Thread from Donna Kallner on Vimeo.
Normally, I would put thread into loose skeins before putting them into a water bath. But I had that whole batch of thread wound into center-pull balls for some long-ago class where no one wanted to use this thread because it was so sticky. It didn’t seem necessary to rewind it, then wind it into balls again. And it didn’t tangle too badly in the bath. At least, not compared to some of the snarling messes I’ve made taking that shortcut.
For me, the water methods are less frustrating than drawing each length of thread through through a cloth to wipe off excess wax, or ironing each length between sheets of paper. One note of caution: If you do this in extreme humid conditions, be sure you dry the thread on a rack or hanging so it doesn’t mildew.
P.S. I haven’t forgotten about that other video I promised — the one on overdyeing garage-sale yarns. It’s on the to-do list.
With this week’s launch of my new eCourse site and the free Intro To Looping class, I’ve been busy at the computer instead of the dyepot. But yesterday afternoon, I spotted a bunch of fungi in the lawn.
That’s what’s drying today. We’re getting another shower this afternoon, so maybe I’ll be able to harvest more soon.
It’s finally here! After teaching online on a cobbled-together platform for a couple of years, my new site is now up and running. Not “done”, mind you: I’m still transferring the New Age Looping Basics and Cross-Knit Looping eCourses. But the doors are open and students are making themselves at home in the classroom for Intro To Looping.
This free class is a great way to sample online learning. It’s a self-paced class, so there’s no need to “show up” at a particular time and no deadline for completing the material. The class includes videos for both right-handed and left-handed stitchers, with a focus on thread control (what else would you expect from me?).
If you’d like to give looping a try, you can register for the class here.
Sign up for free online Intro To Looping class.
Just click the box shown circled in red here. Once I receive your registration, I’ll send you a password for the course site via email.
So far, the class has students from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, and Brazil. There may be more countries I didn’t catch. There are looping traditions on six of the seven continents. Maybe someday, that will be true of online looping students, as well!
Our local farmer’s market makes a few tables each week available to artisans who sell something other than produce. I’m packing up today, and will be there bright and early tomorrow with naturally dyed wool yarns and more.
I’ll have some indigo-dyed T-shirts, and indigo- and walnut-dyed cotton jersey infinity scarves, plus eco-dyed silk scarves.
And a few other fibery goodies.
I’m also taking small leaf-shaped willow trays.
They’re the right size for serving a wedge of the awesome cheese made locally.
And if there’s room, I’ll take a living willow planter or two.
Every time I’m at a farmer’s market, I think back to visits to my grandparents’ truck farm near South Bend, Indiana. Folks would drive out from town for U-pick strawberries and the best cherries in the world. My first “job” was to count or weigh tomatoes and sweet corn and make change.
This is a picture from when my dad was a boy, along with his grandparents, mom, aunt and cousin. Those are bushels of peaches.
It’s way too early to be thinking about peaches here (we had a fire going this morning to take the chill off, and this is June?). But the rhubarb and asparagus have sure been tasty. And I can’t wait to bring home some of my neighbors’ produce tomorrow.
Have a great weekend!
Once a month or so, I visit the local, volunteer-run thrift shop during my weekly trip to town for groceries and library. I’m always on the lookout for cotton percale sheets and other fabric to dye and repurpose. I often find linen dish towels that have never been used, hand-embroidered huck towels, and beautiful napkins that someone saved “for good”. Last time, I found this.
This small pillowcase is appliqued with motifs cut from printed fabric. There’s a row of simple running stitch embroidery.
Like most of my thrift store finds, this went in the wash right away. I hung it on the line to dry in the sunshine. It smells wonderful.
The case is just the right size for my small travel pillow. Do you think this means I’ll sleep like a baby now when I’m on the road?
It’s official! For details on how to register, please go to http://eepurl.com/AioYn
You’ll have to imagine what these once-white wool socks looked like after I went into a bog deeper than my boots were tall. Not white, that’s for sure.
I had an exhaust pot of bracken fern dye brewing after dyeing some wool yarn. So I gave these socks a short soak in 50/50 vinegar/water solution then added them to the dyepot.
They may not strike anyone else as beautiful, but at least they look intentional now. Instead of just dirty.
Do you ever feel like a blacksmith with too many irons in the fire?
Donna at the anvil in 2010 blacksmithing class.
My best work is done when I stay focused on one thing with a clear deadline. But once again, I’m slipping into an old, bad habit of taking on too much. You know how it is: You need to generate some income now, so you add this and that to the plan. “Strike while the iron’s hot.” Meanwhile, that other thing? Yep, it’s cooling off.
Yesterday I took stock of the distraction I’ve so enjoyed lately. I’m in good shape for selling at the farmer’s market: Plant-dyed yarns and silk scarves, indigo-dyed T-shirts and infinity scarves, jewelry and sachets from odd bits of naturally-dyed fabrics, willow trellises and rustic furniture. It’s enough.
In the studio, there’s tangible evidence of what I got done at the end of the day. Now it’s time to shift my focus back to eCourse development, where progress is measured in smaller, less tangible increments.
I balked at a hurdle a couple of weeks ago. Ignoring it didn’t make that hurdle disappear (I just checked — still there). But I won’t get over it unless I get back on course.
What do you do to get back on track when you’ve had too many irons in the fire?
The local farmer’s market accepts only a few tables each week for non-produce items. Bill took the rustic furniture and trellises we build to the market a couple of years ago. This year, I’m scheduled to go three times. I’ve been dying yarn to take, as well as silk scarves, and some indigo-dyed T-shirts and scarves.
It’s raining this afternoon, so I may not get these thrift shop tablecloths dipped again in the indigo vat. I’m hoping to get a tunic out of this fabric. And I can’t complain about the rain, which we really need.
Two skeins of yarn are ready for a final rinse. Two more bags of frozen dyestuff are ready to be brewed. Two more hours of ironing this afternoon. The last may be a bit optimistic