Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mom, I have a confession to make

I've come to the conclusion that my spinning fiber and my yarn are taking over the house. The closet is booby trapped. Just try to open it and not have yarn fall all over you. It's like a bad cartoon. My dining room table has my spinning stuff on it, including my wheel. I have no clue where the wheel will finally call home, but the fiber and the yarn? I have a solution!

Years ago my Mom found an old cedar chest. She painted it white and it became my toy box. Years later, she got into painting. She did tole, reverse pen & ink, water color and others. She painted a stool for me. It was the cutest thing. It lives in my attic now until I can grow up and get my own craft room. She wanted the cedar chest to match the stool. She painted it baby blue and put a white oval on the very front where she planned to put another painting that would be similar to the one on the stool.

She had good intentions, she really did. But the chest stayed that way for another twenty something years. Until now.

No, I did not suddenly become a fabulous artist and paint me a picture on it to match the stool. I'm afraid that won't ever happen. I'm crafty, not artsy. I don't paint nearly as fabulous or as beautiful as my Mom. My talents lay in other directions.

I do have a confession to make here to you and my Mom though, before I go on with my story.

Mom, Dear Readers,

I've become a stripper

Yes, that's right, a stripper. And I'm not ashamed either. Dammit. I'm 38 years old
and I can strip if I want too!

Wanna peep show?

Fine, I'll start with my Upper Chest. The Lid, actually.



The End, sorta

I finished this a few days ago. I've only stripped the paint off the chest, I haven't begun the next steps. The actual chest I finished this afternoon. It's drying so I'll show you more tomorrow and give more of the history of the chest. Wait 'til you find out how old it is. (A girl is always proud that her chest looks younger than it actually is. wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

I can't wait to store my stuff in it. I suppose I could have just gone ahead and skipped the trouble of stripping it and restoring it and just put my yarn and fiber in it. But this is something that I've wanted to do for years.

Besides, the chest lives in the Eldest's room. Baby blue was fine when he was younger, but a 7 year old has his dignity to think about. Right?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Groin incident

There's been a groin incident at Chez Shea.

The two year old parrot has struck again. The other night the boys (dad, eldest, and youngest) were watching America's Funniest Videos. On that show there is a segment where someone in the audience guesses where a person in the video will get hurt, in the head, gut or groin. Truly barbaric I'll tell ya, but it must make for good television.

Well, the two year old parrot (the youngest for those just following along) was in fine fettle that night and latched onto the favorite of the three words, groin. For hours we heard "groin. groin. groin...." etc. Which, of course, he said with a grin. He also changed the tone of each "groin" as he said it. experimenting to see which would make the guys laugh more. Most of them worked.

Do you know how hard it is not to laugh when a young child finds a very inappropriate word to parrot about everywhere? And do you really think that he has limited saying it to just our house? Oh no. Think at Grandma's, the library and the grocery store. Particularly embarrassing at the library, let me tell ya. All those rule following folk being quiet in deference to others and then my offspring wanders in and says at the top of his lungs, " Groin!"

If you try to shush him, it gets louder, trust me on this one.

New project up for show and tell tomorrow, but it's not what ya think...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Black Rose

I promised you a new dye project didn't I? Well, here it is.

I wanted to experiment with some Kool-aid dyeing. I still had some of the black/white wool/mohair roving to play with so I grabbed that. I used it all, 11 oz. of it.

I knew wanted a dark red, but I also knew I didn't have enough of the red koolaid packets to go around, so I did some experimenting. The rule of thumb is one packet to 1 0z of roving or yarn. This is what I used:

2 grape, 2 black cherry, 1 strawberry, 1 tropical punch, 1 cherry, 1 watermelon cherry.

I wasn't at all sure what would come out, but hoped for the best. It didn't turn out red, but I got the most gorgeous rose ever!
Black Rose Colorway


Look how it softens up when it's predrafted. So pretty!

This was done on the stove top. I soaked the roving in water and vinegar before beginning. I then placed it in the pot, I had already mixed the packets with water and dumped those in as well. I added water to cover and then simmered it all for about 40 minutes. I didn't stir it once it went in the pot for two reasons: I was afraid of felting it and I didn't want it completely uniform. I like uneven colorways. It makes the magic of spinning it up so much more fun. Then I turned off the pot and left it to cool for several hours.

This is the first time that I've had wet sheep fur that didn't smell like wet sheep fur. The kool-aid made it smell so much better! I can't wait to get started spinning this!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Spinning FO

I got off my duff and got some stuff done this weekend once I got home.

First off, I got over feeling sorry for myself. That was a biggie folks.

Second, I finished spinning and plying the silky soft wool/mohair Mint Chocolate Chip colorway that I dyed last week:

On the bobbin - this color is correct

Skeined - color is off, see above

There's approximately 328 yards of yarn there. I apologize for the bad lighting in the second pic. I went outside for the first one and was attacked by a mob of mosquitoes. Not wanting to face any more of the critters, I high-tailed it inside.

It's amazing how much my spinning has bitten into my knitting time. I'm still knitting, just not as much.

I did make major progress last night on the secret birthday knitting though and I'll make a little more once the kids disappear for the evening. It's an acrylic project and it's killing my hands to work with it. I missed my deadline getting it done, but since I was with the gift-ee all last week, it wouldn't have been a secret if I worked on it in front of her now would it?

I've got a dye project to show you tomorrow. Stay tuned!