Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Been busy...

I went on a little trip to South Carolina and Virginia last week during my Spring Break to visit Susan and my brother and sisters and other family there. It was a lot of fun and it felt like a lot longer than just a week with all the things we did. I took lots of pictures (312 to be exact) on my mom's new digital camera, which I borrowed for the occasion.

While in Virginia, I picked out the granite for the countertop in my bathroom in the new cabin. The guy told me that it's called "Green Juparana" but I can't seem to find a picture of that online... In any case, it's got some subtle splotches of sagey green, but is mostly yellow and gold tones, with flecks or red and black in a folded pattern across the surface of the stone... It's very pretty and mirrors the exposed bedrock stone outside where the hill was cut back a bit.

The cabin itself is progressing quickly. The plumbing and electrical things are all done and the interior walls are being finished. The roof is pretty much finished as well. The flooring and ceilings go in next week. We went out and took pictures.

The back:


The front:


The hillside:


The view from the porch:


We also went to the fabric store and got things to make a shirt and a dress for me for EyeCon and a shirt and new dresses for Susan, which I think she mostly needed anyway, but is also making especially for EyeCon. It's in 16 days! Wheeee!

We also went to Yarns, Etc. in Greensboro and I got roving... I think the gray stuff might need to be picked through some more before spinning, but overall it's good stuff from a small farm, so I shan't complain. The blue-gray 30% mohair/70% corriedale is very nice... I've spun some on my Hitchhiker (which is now fixed and working perfectly) and did a simple 2-ply. See here:



And I spun up the last of the black Merino that I had... about 6 1/2 ounces...



I also bought a pound of bleached 50% linen/50% silk roving for a shawl I want to make of my own design, which I typed of before here... I'm going to spin it going for a dk-worsted weight... And I want to try Navajo plying. But first, I think I need to dye this stuff... I want light colors... I want light blue-green and very light, almost-not-there pink and I want to leave some of it natural. I have no idea how to go about achieving these colors though because everytime I've ever tried to dye things before I've been going for deep, dark colors and the only way I know how to get lighter colors is by exhausting the dyebath. Also, I've never dyed roving before, let alone roving that is silk/linen. And I don't want to fuck it up. Although, maybe it might be better to spin it, knit it and dye it afterward when it's all finished so that I can get the color placement exactly as I want it... and maybe even do something like a tie-dyeing effect... I don't know. So. Any help, suggestions or advice you might be able to give me on any of this will be much appreciated.

In other news: This Saturday, I'm going to RenFaire with my friends. It will be awesome...

8 comments:

La Duchesse said...

Thanks for sharing pictures of the cabin! It looks like it's going to be a really comfortable, cozy place to spend time, and it looks like it's going to be QUIET. :)

The yarn looks lovely. I'm envious because I haven't quite mastered getting the plies even. Cookie for you! :)

Rachael said...

Oh, you're welcome! It was my pleasure. We can't wait til it's done!

And thank you! I don't know how it is that I ply the way I do. It just seems to come together that way... This stuff I plied with the HitchHiker from the lazy kate, which is untensioned. I guess I just always make sure that I hold the singles taut and don't let any overtwisted bits past my fingers.

Do you have any advice or suggestions about my dye issues? Today, I was thinking an acid dye (since I'd be able to easily control the concentration in the dyebath) with the roving maybe. Except, now I'm thinking that probably wouldn't work so well, would it? Since, don't acid dyes only work on things like hair and wool and not on cotton or other plant derived fibers, like linen? Hmmmm... I'm in quite a quandary...

La Duchesse said...

Um... Koolaid? Unless you're looking for a natural dye source.. You're right about acid dyes and protein fibers; they also work pretty well with silk (I think, but I'm not 100% sure). I've never done anything with plant fibers, but maybe something like Procion Dyes in miniscule amounts might work? I'll ask on the dye groups on Ravelry and see what they say. Good luck! Can't wait to see how things turn out. :)

Rachael said...

See, yeah, I was thinking something like Koolaid or food coloring because the colors are pretty predictable and easy, but then I thought, since Koolaid is essentially an acid dye, it wouldn't work on the linen... And the roving is 50% linen, 50% silk and it's totally blended, so the silk would dye and the linen wouldn't, which might be an interesting experiment, but in case it's not, I don't want to chance it, so I'm hoping to find something that will dye both. Please, do ask people on Ravelry if you would. I would appreciate any insight they might have.

The lucky thing I suppose is that I want to do very light colors in pinks and blues, which will eliminate any chances of colors separating, I would think...

La Duchesse said...

And our Illustrious Moderator says:
"I think your best bet with non-animal fibers is something meant for them, like RIT. I think there’s also a Procion dye for them, but I haven’t looked in the dye section of the bookstore for a while. And of course, pastel colors are easy to get if you just use less dye than usual."

I remember how exciting it was when our house was being built. At the time, there were no digital cameras.... gods, I feel old! LOL

Rachael said...

Yeah, I'm leaning toward the MX Procion dyes, at least as a back up. Several people on the DyeHappy Yahoo Group are experimenting with acid dyes and 50/50 silk/tencel blends right now and they are getting pretty nice results. They suggested that if I didn't mind a more heathered look, acid dyes would work to dye the silk portion of the blend and that it would give a lighter appearance because of all the natural colored fibers that would still be mixed in, so I think I'm going to test a small bit of it in food coloring, just to see what happens. My fingers are itchy to get into it, you know?

Someone else on the Dyehappy yahoo group said that I probably shouldn't attempt to dye the fibers as roving because flax doesn't react well to getting wet in that state and I'm likely to end up with something that looks like something a cat coughed up. So yeah, I think I'll spin it all up first and then dye sections of it.

Thanks for find out that info for me! *hugs*

La Duchesse said...

Oooooh.. I didn't know flax was so fussy!

>^.^< hee. You're welcome.

Rachael said...

:D

Apparently, only in it's unspun state. It likes to stick to itself, worse than hot wet wool does it seems... I also read somewhere else that it is recommended to cover one's lap with a dark or contrasting colored cloth when spinning flax so that any bits that would otherwise stick to clothing can be easily picked off and spun or discarded depending on their state.