Odds and ends

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Fiber is high tech.  It’s higher tech than most of us think. Making cheaper cloth was the first phase of the industrial revolution.  The punch card started programming as a way to automate weaving (looms are, in their way, binary.  The warp thread are up, or down).

There are fabrics which have become eponyms for the things commonly made from the (duffle, crinoline, mackintosh).  The Fates. and Norns, measure out the span of a life in the spinning, winding, and cutting of a thread.

Place, and family, names come from the working of fiber, Fuller, Woolcombe, Dyer, Carder, Weaver.  We speak of spinning yarns, the warp and weft, spinsters (and “the distaff side”), “linens”.

I spin. This is a blog about spinning, and fiber, and how it comes about, and how playing with both affect me.  I’m an “intuitive” spinner, with a penchant for technique.  I am not one who can say, “I spun this up at 27:1 by using a 9:1 whorl, with X treadles per Y-length draft using a modified back-drafting long draw” but I can (and will) talk about how I work: and I will be as technical as 1: I can be, and 2: seems relevant to me when explaining (much as my writing about cookery tends to be).

I like spinning.  It’s a variable activity.  At times it’s all-encompassing.  The effort required to make Suri Alpaca with more than 20 percent mulberry silk behave is incredible.  Other times (long-drawing¹ California Red) one can drift along, the body occupied, and the mind free to wander, and muse.

More often than not I have music, or something moderately involving on the TV, and so keep the repetitive nature of it from becoming tedious, so I can get a bit more done in a sitting.

I don’t really knit (and I can’t crochet at all). So I have skeins to sell.  I’ll be putting them up.  And talking about dieing, and drop-spindles, and how the fibers I’m playing with behave (or not, sometimes one just doesn’t get the right feel for what will work, and the project needs to be reworked).

NB: the header is a three-ply of wool/silk (about 80/20; though if pressed I’d say 85/15), spun on a Schacht 3″ 2.2 oz drop spindle.  I got about 330 yards total yarn from 2 0z, for a finished skein of just over 100 yds, after plying.

¹Which I’m not very good at; which is a topic to address

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