Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Heat Wave!

It may not be hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement today, but I can assure you that it's hot enough to exhaust a dye pot.  This morning, I set out this pot of alpaca, hot water and vinegar, added some Greener Shades dyes and left the whole thing on the barbeque, sans any heat except the sun:

I had to use a pot holder to remove the lid; the dye liquid is clear and those bits of dyed fibre on the ground have been washed with soap and well rinsed, with no dye run off.  I might as well take advantage of the heat while I can.

While I was waiting on the pot, I finished my current Meditation Wrap.  This one is knitted from handspun alpaca which was plied with a commercial lace weight alpaca, then overdyed in the yarn.  The buttons were in my stash and I think they work well on this piece.  They resemble the movement of clock hands and remind me of changes and the passage of time:

Yes, I photographed the thing draped over the dye pot.  It's just too hot to even attempt a proper shoot.  (It's probably too hot to be knitting and finishing alpaca, but, oh well. . . .)

I seem to be stuck in a 123 meditation rhythm.  Every meditation wrap I've made lately has ended up being 48 inches long or 1.23 metres.  That seems to be the amount of yarn I can stand to spin and ply before I lose focus and move to something else.  Such short pieces call for some creative draping to make them wearable.

I didn't get any Tour de Fleece 2011 spinning done today, because I was also preparing for my workshops.  Then again, I tested every one of the 25 spindles I made, so I was spinning something.  This is the first box of spindles and fibre:

The rest of the spindles are waiting for the glue to dry before I pack them.  123 again: assemble, test, glue.  The spindles are crude, made from toy wheels and yoyo's, in which Mr. DD kindly drilled centre holes for me.  There is a shortage of quality wooden wheels around here and the spindles are rough and rather lighter in weight than I'd like.  Some sanding, oil or paint will personalize them, but I'll leave that up to my students.  If Peruvian spinners and other spinners around the globe can work with whittled sticks and wonky whorls, I'm sure my class will be able to coax yarn from these basic tools.

The day has been good, despite the heat.  I've accomplished much; perhaps I'll spend the evening with a cold drink, a good book and, ah yes, a spindle and a bit of fibre.


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