At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Monday, August 26, 2002


Here's some hand-carded fiber. (Click on photo for a larger image.) It's a rough blend of dark-brown Coopworth hoggett fleece from Hatchtown Farm and some naturally-dyed mohair locks. The fuschia came out of a dark cochineal dyebath and the golden-orange from an annatto dyebath. There's not much science to my method--I lash on Coopworth locks until the card is about 3/4 full, then spread out smaller bunches of the mohair here and there. I'm not shooting for a perfectly blended rolag, just enough carding so that the preparation is easy to draft and the colors remain somewhat distinct. I spun a sample skein on one of my Tabachek spindles--just for the joy of the process.

I'm a novice carder for sure--it takes me ages just to produce a couple of rolags, which I then draw out into roving. I'm going to play around with the dyed and natural fibers, and perhaps introduce some naturally-dyed silk noil into the mix as I go along. Ultimately I'd like to hand-card enough fiber to make a really big project, if only to prove to myself that I can. The fact that I'm always broke and can't seem to stop buying spindles (thereby postponing again and again the purchase of a drumcarder) is, I admit, a contributing factor in this decision.


It's official: I've given up on the indigo yeast vat. I know Stasia had some success with this method, but I think I overheated the pot once too often, and offended the Yeast Gods, who thereby withheld their reducing powers from my efforts. I do think it would work if I could devote more attention to the dyebath, keep it gently warmed to 100F in some location other than my kitchen stove and stop fiddling with it during its early phases.

At least I tried!