Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OK, so I had a spinning geek moment

Last month, I skipped band practice one week* and and went to my first ever Wednesday night meeting of the Downtown Knit Collctive. The speaker was Richard Ashford,of Ashford Handicrafts (i.e. the spinning wheel people) in New Zealand. There's a picture of him addressing the DKC on the Ashford homepage - click on "our people" and scroll down a little. Or go here.

The talk was fun, and I got to see enough of the Ashford (rigid heddle) Knitter's Loom to decide that while the ability to fold up a loom with the warp on it is nice, I like my Beka's ability to handle multiple heddles a little more right now. Also, when it comes time for a wheel in my life, the Ashford Joy is right up there on my shortlist.

Oh, and I had a geek moment:

He was a little surprised by the request, but also very gracious

I assured him that a blue Sharpie marker wouldn't hurt the spindle. Also, the bit of roving on there was spun by him - he borrowed my spindle briefly to demonstrate to someone. Very nice man.

Remember this scarf? I talked about its acquisition here, when I bought it over two years ago. Shortly after that picture was taken, I attempted to set the unknown blue dye, which the person I bought it from warned me was absolutely, positively not colourfast. Boy was she not kidding. By the time I was done Raycafixing and rinsing, it was a little lighter than this roving. Two years later, without any washing, one end was almost white again.

Missing the awesomeness that was the original, I introduced the scarf to Audrey the Indigo Vat in September. The result:

A lot of indigo came out in the rinse, and it's a little blotchy, probably because 1) Audrey had been used heavily the week before and was in need of some fermentation in order to re-reduce, and 2) when I tried to set the original dye job a couple years ago, I used Raycafix, so the fabric has already been chemically treated. The colour is lovely, though, and not exactly what I expected, probably because of the residue of the previous dye.

I wanted to give the scarf one more indigo dip before I officially pack up Audrey for the season, but then we had our first light snow flurries of the season today. I am not impressed, and neither is Audrey. She has been moved inside to her winter digs in the basement as of this evening. We're going to seal her up and try to overwinter her, as long as the smell doesn't start escaping into the rest of the house.

Goodnight, girl, sleep tight! Really, extremely tight. Thanks.

Next post, hopefully, the recounting of our mid-October dye madness day!**


**Oh, what the heck, here's a preview!

L to R: Indigo, Dyer's Broom, Madder

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