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It’s time for another get-together for crafty stuff. Bring your project, come on over and for lunch we can head across the street to the neighborhood taqueria. Saturday 28 November, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 10am until dark-ish. Casa Feorlen is located near 22nd and Bryant in San Francisco (a couple blocks from SF General Hospital.) Email for directions.

This is a casual day of hanging out and working on that project you’ve been meaning to pull out. No drama, no agenda and barely a schedule. Show up, do something.

What to bring? Anything portable enough to get here that won’t destroy the place, snacks and suchlike, things to show off. Knitting and spinning in the living room, sewing in the kitchen, who knows what on the kitchen table. I have several spinning wheels, two sewing machines, a drum carder and a ton of other random fiber tools. Let me know in advance if you are interested in dying.

Just one picture before I head off to bed:

Maker Faire badge and Editor's Choice ribbon

My demo went really really well!

I carded batts of black Merino top and started spinning. Even from the fold with a broken-off section of fiber, it handled just like the original top. So I’m going to have to go with the damp technique. The small bit of batt I sprayed down and let dry is much improved, so I’ll be doing that to each one in turn.

A while back I started messing with some swap fiber I didn’t know what to do with. I still don’t, but I’m pressing on and now making yarn I don’t know what to do with. Some person will undoubtedly be getting a gift before this is over. But I need to stop with the acrylic baby knitting for a while and go back to a fiber that has some connection to an actual organic substance.

I took the carded multi-color single and plied it with two more of carded black Merino. I’d been looking for something not so fine, a better match for the original fiber, but then Paradise Fibers had a sale. I hand carded a little to do this sample:

black, purple and green yarn

I’m not totally thrilled with the black because I don’t like how mill-processed Merino top handles. Dampening it and letting it dry might improve it, but I’m too lazy to go that far. The fiber is also a little too long to draft well as a woolen. I’m always a little reluctant to make something that I’m not completely in love with from the beginning, but it will look and feel a lot different when it’s done. And I would never wear anything with chartreuse anyway, so I don’t have to get attached to it. It’s supposed to be an experiment.

Right now I’m in the middle of carding the 160g of black to go with the 80g of single already spun. Even if it weren’t too long to nicely hand card, I’d do it on the drum carder because there is so much to do and no concern for maintaining distinct colors. Carding commercial top is not as easy as one might imagine, it’s very dense. Just like Merino fleece, you have to open it up a lot to get good results. But it doesn’t handle like fleece, it acts more like fiber with almost no crimp.

I’ve been working on a coat for the upcoming trip, because I desperately need one. It’s Polartec Wind Pro Weathershield, a very dense fleece. It’s tedious to work with thick fabric and this stuff won’t hold a press for anything. But it’s warm, we’ll see how it holds up in the rain. It has almost no stretch, particularly lengthwise, so I can mostly ignore that it’s a knit. Handy, since my lining is woven.

I have the body and sleeves done, ready to put together:

black coat body and sleeves

The lining is some discount waterproof breathable nylon, I’m using it wrong side out because it’s impossible to match a printed plaid design. It’s a lining, so what if it’s brown.

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© 2004-2007 Andrea Longo
spinnyspinny at feorlen dot org