The Writing

16 July, 2017

George Romero

Aww man. George Romero is dead. There are zombie jokes to be made (my spouse says: I am keeping my guard up until we're sure), yeah yeah, okay. But dammit. He made good horror.

Teaching my zombies class(es) this spring will be a little sadder now.

07 July, 2017

WAR BANDAGE: the coaster edition


So here they are. The WAR BANDAGE coasters. There are... eleven. I know. I still have some fiber left, but it's a 2-ply version, rather than a single-ply (which these are), and I am not sure yet that I want it to to become coasters, or something else.

Anyway, I acquired the Sidekick partway through this project. Note the bottom four coasters: they were produced on a kick-spindle, which produced a finer thread. I also spun them differently; instead of peeling a strip of fiber off the hank and spinning the whole length, I was doing color-specific chunks. All the red together, blue, etc. So you end up with the gradations of color at the end, when it's knit. They're all flatter, thinner, and lighter than their later siblings, too.
The Striped Seven were single-plied on the wheel, using the long strips of fiber from the entire hank, so you get the long repetitions of color. The yarn was thicker, too, and not as even as the kick-spindle (learning curve!), so there is more variation in texture, and a thicker coaster overall.

Felting was harder than it should've been. Hot water, agitation...I mean, when I am not trying to shrink something, it's easy. But when I set out to do it, somehow I end up having to do it twice. There is still more stitch definition than I expected, especially on the Striped Seven, but I think that is also a feature of using too-small needles in the coaster itself, and thus having a pretty dense fiber before attempting to felt. On the other hand--these suckers are heat-proof and they will soak up a small ocean.

I also understand why a coaster might be $20 now, if you did the work entirely by hand. I didn't prep the fiber, or dye it; all I did was spin and knit, and I am guessing each individual Striped Seven has about 45-60 minutes of work in it. The kick-spindle four have more than that, because kick-spindles are slower.

02 July, 2017

my borrowed sidekick*

So M. came over with a Schacht Sidekick spinning wheel on Friday, and I had a little religious experience. Or, like, I spun 2 oz. of wool in an afternoon instead of in 2 weeks on my trusty drop spindle. M. very patiently walked me through how to unpack and assemble the wheel and all that stuff that the instruction manual covers, but which I will learn better by observing, and then doing. Because as soon as she left, I had to change a bobbin and belts fell off wheels and there was physics** and I had to consult videos, but goddammit, I figured it out.

And! She brought me WAR BANDAGE 1.0, which is really...not war like? I mean, there's no blood. It's black/purpley blue instead. Blueberry Bandage? Bruise? YES. We shall call it BRUISE. Anyway, I have like 8 oz. of that, too, which will be something like 800 yds at the end, and who knows what will happen?

(Prediction: a conflict of duty vs. desire. I have a merit review file and four syllabi and the godsrotted WIP to finish this summer and all I want to do is spin yarn and binge watch Netflix.)

*There is not a good word in English for 'that which has been lent to me'. Loaned sounds like I was the agent of the loaning. Borrowed sounds like I asked. I need a word that means 'M. offered and I leapt gratefully upon the chance and clutched it to my cold little heart.'

**I took astrophysics in college, after I took astronomy; but I never took basic physics, like, ever. I took two years of chemistry in high school instead.