Friday, April 24, 2015

Reeling Silk

 I just joined my guild's weaving study group and at a recent meeting, one member gave us a demo on silk reeling. She brought some silkworm cocoons and equipment showed us how the silk strands can be pulled off the cocoon and made into fiber. 

 First, the cocoons are warming in water in a crock pot and the micro strands are loosened with the help of a fork.
 You can't even see them !
 Then they are joined up in a bundle of about 10-12 strands and held in place with a metal loop, then looped around the reel. 
 The reel then goes round and round, taking up the bundle of silk strands. You just keep going until your little cocoons are completely unwound, leaving the poor naked, dead worm ! The fibers still have a coating on them so need to be cleaned or de-glazed if you want to spin them into a soft silk yarn, otherwise they will be rather stiff. This fiber is what it s used for silk organza fabric.
 You can also take the cocoon and pull in underwater into a silk "napkin" to be used into felting or other process. 
 For photos of a factory experience, look for my Flickr album of my visit to the silk factory in China or search my blog for "silk factory."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sprang Technique Conquered

At last I've conquered this elusive technique. It took a class with Linda Hurt at the Art League to figure it out. She presented it in a clear manner and waited patiently as we struggled to get the threads in the right order and then having to work backwards to start over and over. The trick to getting it is using two colors of yarn. Then you. Match the colors and it's much more obvious how it functions. Here are a couple pics of my bag from class, then another bag I made in Hufflepuff colors. My goal is to make more in Harry Potter house colors! And check me out at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter back in January! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Green Droplets Tatted Necklace

My Mom's birthday was this week so I decided to try a pattern that was in my head to make a necklace for her in her favorite colors. After some tweaking of the stitch count, I got it to shape around the neck nicely, and used exactly the number of fringe beads I had on hand. This pattern was so successful, I think I will make a video tutorial when I'm in the mood.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy the Lovebird crochet

Happy the Lovebird crochet, originally uploaded by ambrosianbeads.

I custom ordered a replica of my violet-masked lovebird, Happy from one of my students. I think she did an amazing job copying his feather colors and shape. She creates her own patterns.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Well, it's official...I'm 50

Birthday dinner 4/23/11, originally uploaded by ambrosianbeads.

Looking forward to crafting, beading, thrifting, drumming, dancing, singing and playing my way through the next 50 ;-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Orenburg Lace Knitting

This video came through my Facebook news feed and I wanted to share. I attempted lace knitting over a year ago, and failed matter how closely I followed the patterns I liked, I could never get past the first set of repeated rows...there was always something wrong on the next row, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. OK, I tried and succeeded at "feather and fan" pattern, but it just wasn't interesting enough...the ones I liked in my little "Field Guide to Knitting" just never worked :-(

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time to vote on "Fashion Through the Ages"

Etsy Beadweavers Blog

There is still time left to vote for your favorite beadwoven creation in the Etsy Beadweavers' monthly challenge. This month's challenge was selected by our previous winner, Patrizia of Triz Designs. Patrizia has challenged our members to "Choose a fashion style from any period of fashion and design a piece to fit that chosen style/period." We do this for fun and to show the world the extent of our creativity...the prize is just the honor of selecting the next month's challenge. Please take a minute or two to look at all the wonderful designs, created entirely by hand and with original designs (using patterns from other designers is not allowed), and vote for your favorite. This month I entered a piece (#32) entitled "Metropolis", which plays on some of the design elements popular during the Art Deco period.