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An Ode to the S17

Dutch Wheel, Irish Tension When the S17 arrived at Skein Shop HQ, I could barely wait to get my hands on it.  I love spinning.  I love wheel spinning.  I love spinning wheels.  I love trying new things. What was particularly tantalizing to me was that this wheel is bobbin-led, aka Irish tension.  That means that the drive band goes around the bobbin and the brake band goes around the flyer.  This is different from Scotch tension (like I use on my Ashford Joy) where the drive band goes around the flyer and the brake band goes around the bobbin, and it is different from double drive (like I use on my Ashford Traveller) where the drive band loops twice...

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Sleying the Dragon

Hooks at the Ready! Of course the next step after winding the warp is actually dressing the loom.  I like to warp back to front, but that is purely a matter of personal preference.  The steps I use are:  1) beaming on, 2) threading heddles, 3) sleying the reed, and 4) tying onto the front apron rod. Even though only one of these steps is actually called sleying, Mr. Mouse and I tend to refer to the whole process as "sleying the dragon" because it can feel like a gargantuan task that only the most daring of fiber arts heroes dare attempt. In an attempt to be honest, I'm going to describe all of the mistakes I made.  Hopefully this...

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The Sloppy Math

A Little Estimation, A Little Rounding Yesterday I mentioned a lot of sloppy math.  I've decided to write it out for you here, since, while I am not afraid of math, I believe that there are too many fiber artists who are.  Really the overwhelming majority of math needed is not any more advanced than basic arithmetic and proportions.  I firmly believe that anyone can do it! Let's go through my warp math step by step.  First I think about how  long I want my scarf to be.  I decided 6 feet, or 72 inches, since I'm pretty sure I won't want it longer than that.  Shorter can be arranged with scissors after the fact ;) Then I cavalierly decide...

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An Idea is Born

Because Following a Pattern Would Be Too Easy A lot of people like to talk to artists about their "inspiration".  I do consider myself a fiber artist, but I hardly ever know how to answer the inspiration question.  I rarely find myself staring at a cool building and imagining the architecture as knitting, nor do I go to a plant nursery and come back with a beautiful new color palette in mind. What usually happens for me is that I go cruising Ravelry looking for something (or nothing...), and I come out the other side wishing everything I saw were just a little bit different. I thought it would be fun to detail a design from start to finish, from...

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Nana's Mystery Kaleidoscope

Unraveling the Past This story begins with a visit to Mr. Mouse's paternal grandmother, whom we all call Nana.  Nana has a nice collection of handmade blankets, tablecloths, and pillows, but none compare to the black and rainbow afghan on the back of the living room couch.  From my very first trip, I was utterly fascinated by it.  I guess my obsession was pretty obvious, because Nana recently gifted the blanket to me. Not only is it breathtakingly gorgeous, but its construction is also simple, yet mysterious.  According to Nana, this blanket was made by a houseguest years ago, and while it is a much-admired piece, no one since has been able to figure out how it was made.  I...

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