Jun 8, 2010

The uncooperative but still-creative day, and a peek at something new

Today was one of those days that just wasn't going to go as planned.

First the yarn shop was out of all but two ounces of undyed spinning fiber. I guess I'll be stash-diving — really, there's got to be something in my obscenely large stash that will work for beginners to learn on. While I was at the yarn shop, because it was just that kind of day, I couldn't even pull off a casual chat with the owner, to whom I apparently failed to convey how cool Ruth MacGregor's floating semi-rigid heddle and beaded-woven-edge project are.

Then Jo-Ann was out of stock on the little wooden wheels for making basic spindles — which were going to go with the spinning fiber from the yarn shop. DOH. If none of the craft stores I check tomorrow have them in stock, I'll just have to use some other balanced shape as a spindle whorl (two discs glued together with a hole drilled down the center? a wooden ball?).

While I was going to put together some basic spinning kits tonight, or at least make the spindles, I'd allotted enough time from the day to put them together the way I'd planned ... but not enough time to hunt through my stash for a fairly large amount of fiber that will work for beginners, or to glue together a bunch of discs and then mark and drill a bunch of holes in said discs.

So I skipped those items on my to-do list and moved on to the next one: carding some batts. Imagine light shining down from the heavens as I finally get out my long-abandoned drum carder and (literally) dust it off.

Return of the drum carder
My baby instrument of torture. Well, one of them. Has anyone else noticed that fiber-processing tools are often painful if you use them the wrong (or I guess you could call it "right") way?

I was carding away happily when, due to a, er, unforeseen miscalculation growing out of a change of plans a few weeks ago (yeah, I should have seen it coming, and I would have, a few years ago — I guess I'm still not as smart as I used to be, although I'm working on it ;)), I realized I needed to make a few more samples for the Phat Fiber sampler box, and I don't have a ton of time to do it in.

By that time, I was a little fed up with feeling stymied, so I defied the uncooperative day and made THIS, which should remind you of something else you've seen on my blog lately:

Something new!

Yes! It is, in fact, a very, very small shawl pin! Or really, a micro-pin, which I actually tested on a lightweight neck scarf (okay — I admit it was an unfinished triloom square) and that does work in that particular usage ... but I see them showing up as little decorative bitties on handwovens and handknits more than I see them being used as practical fasteners.

I really like making them — they're a fun way to play with shapes, they satisfy my obsession with teeny-tiny things, and they seem completely appropriate for the Phat Fiber box. AND they are my way out of the nonproductive corner the day was trying to back me into. So there, uncooperative day! You have pushed me into creating something new and cute and fun!

Which was maybe what it was trying to do all along. ;D

Edited to add: Oddly enough, I forgot that in between getting home and carding batts, I tried to test my computer's built-in camera and take some video, since I've been pondering doing some video-blogging, or maybe putting together some craft tutorials (even if they're a just a little bit ghetto until I have the money to buy a better video camera). You'd think I'd remember spending about an hour talking and ending up with about eight minutes' worth of video — not because I edited anything, but because Photo Booth is apparently completely horrible at taking actual video. It just ... pretends to take video when in fact it's saving about the first fifteen seconds of what I'm doing. Nice, huh? ;)
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