I’m Maylin and I’m a yarn dyer – among other things. It started with knitting and spinning and now I have a dyeing workshop attached to a yurt where I live with my DH, 4 cats and a dog. Every month or so I dye, mostly gradient and self-striping yarns, inspired by some theme from fantasy. Anything from Game of Thrones to Battlestar Galactica. I sell yarn through the Tri’Coterie Group on Ravelry.
I get up to all sorts of crafty things and thought you might be interested in my foray into weaving.
I am part of a small local craft group that is very talented and very industrious. We love nothing more than making something from nothing or at least spending as little as possible. So when we decided to try our hand at weaving and didn’t have a loom between us my ingenuity was stretched. Most of the others tried pin weaving on cardboard but feeling adventurous I turned an old grocery box into a loom – of sorts.
I started with one of those boxes that many vegetables come in that are sturdy cardboard but with the ends higher than the sides. With a stanley blade I cut notches at each end 1 cm apart. I also cut the end from a similar box that was wider and shallower which I am going to refer to as a tensioner (this proved very useful as you will see later.)
I wanted to use all handspun yarn – most of it stuff I had spun decades ago! For the warp I used a tencel barberpole yarn I was gifted. I wound it round and round the entire box and tensioner (laid sideways to maximise length of warp) in one continuous length.
Metal rulers often have a hole at one end for hanging and make an ideal tool for weaving with. It took a lot of concentration to make sure I didn’t pull in the sides (which I was told was called waisting) but I didn’t do too badly. When there was no more room to weave I moved the weaving down exposing a new expanse of warp. This is why I needed the tensioner; by turning it sidewise things loosened enough for me to slip it out and allow me to move the warp around.
Rinse and repeat. When there were only a few inches of warp left I cut the work from the ‘loom’ and tied the ends off. Voila!
Okay so not an artistic masterpiece but I like it and I was inordinately pleased to have made it without buying anything to get started. So no excuses everyone – let’s get weaving!
I spend almost as much time reading as I do crafting. Each year I set myself a Goodreads Reading Challenge of 100 books which I generally exceed (and I am a very slow reader). It doesn’t say anything about the quality of my reading material however! This is being addressed at least partially by my local Book Club. We are a close knit group of avid readers and aim to read 1-4 books from our recommended list a month. At the beginning of each year we choose our reading material from the NPR best books of the year list which is a wonderful resource and the best site to browse.
I recently finished The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi which I found totally engrossing and chillingly prescient. In particular the treatment of refugees echoed unpleasantly the realities in Europe currently.
At the moment I am well into Vermilion by Mollie Tanzer, a Steampunk Western whose protagonist is a half Chinese psychopomp, who specialises in helping lingering spirits to move on. I am really enjoying it but got diverted by a new book by one of my favorite authors.
Kira A. Gold started her writing career in Twilight Fanfiction as inabluebathrobe, author of the enormously popular Tropic of Virgo. I bought her book, The Dirty Secret, on launch day and couldn’t resist a little peep… Now I am more than halfway through and must finish it before I can go back to Vermilion. It works on many levels not least as an inspiration for interior design! The language is lush and evocative proving she has an artist’s words as well as an artist’s eye. It is also sexy as hell without being graphic and clinical. If you fancy a bit of a change from your usual romance/erotica fare do yourself a favor and give this a try.