Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tour De Fleece

Hi Friends, 

It seems like forever since I've posted, but I haven't been feeling well lately. I've gotten better just in time to participate in the Tour De Fleece! My spinning goal is to learn how to spin short staple fibers (cotton and camel down). I've got a talki spindle and a Jenkins mini on the way. Wish me luck and stay tuned... :-) 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's been a busy week...

Hi Folks, 
I've been busy weaving and spinning like a madwoman. :-) So much yarn and so little time... I'm ahead of schedule with almost all the merino/silk spun and ready to be woven. Only 3 colorways to go. :-) Here are pics of what I've been working on...  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hand hurt -- a couple of pics...

Hi Folks, 
My hands hurt a lot today, so I've posted a couple of pics. Top is silk from Outback Fibers spun into yarn on my Fricke. Bottom is the same silk in my fave bowl waiting to be spun. Discuss and enjoy. This colorway reminds me of India. I'm going to have to order more of it soon. :-) 

Monday, April 27, 2009


As ya'll know, I'm technically disabled. I have fibromyalgia, arthritis throughout my body, blown disks in my neck and my left hand is partially paralyzed. I'm also only 4'10" tall -- not a disability, but a challenge. My legs don't work very well these days and I'm allergic to most chemicals, grass, trees, lanolin, sunlight, chocolate.... the list goes on and on and on. 

Three years ago I was told my a local weaving shop owner (who shall remain nameless) that I could not weave because of my physical challenges. She also called me an alien because of my allergy to lanolin. Hey chicke, I weave and spin silk, so bite me. Rant over, now where was I? :-) 

Anywho, I thought I'd give ya'll a rundown of the equipment I use and perhaps a few tips for those of us who are handi-capable and/or have life-threatening allergies. My primary loom is the Ashford 12" Knitters Loom. It's small, very portable, lightweight and weaves like a dream. When I'm traveling or visiting friends and family I often prop it against the built in seat of my walker. It works great, I don't have to carry a tv table thingie with me and I can participate in conversation and weave at the same time. I also have a Kromski Harp loom that is wider but it stays in my downstairs studio. I love it, but haven't woven on it lately due to my arms hurting a lot. 

Stick shuttles require too much arm movement for me, so I use slim boat shuttles with cardboard quills. I order the 6" ones and have Thor cut them to length. I wind my quill bobbins with a swedish bobbin winder. It's much easier on my hands and arms. 

Fiber wise, I love silk and merino. I also love to spin and weave with bamboo -- the carbonized kind is a particular favorite. On my really good days I enjoy spinning hemp and flax. I wet spin them and boil them to set the twist. 

My primary spinning *wheel* is my Fricke Electric Spinner. It's expensive, but worth its weight in gold. Thor built a custom stand for it that collapses for travel. I'll post a pic or two of it later on this week. I also have an Ashford Kiwi wheel which I love to spin on when my legs are feeling up to it. Babe spinning wheels are fantastic as well. They are lightweight, inexpensive and a pleasure to spin on. :-) 

I'm not affiliated (yada, yada) but you can't beat SOAK for washing your handspun yarn and weaving projects. It's fantastic and has no irritating chemicals. You could even take a bath in it. Talk about super eco-friendly! :-) 

That's about all I use to get my fiber and weaving fix. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments. Where there's a will, there's a way to spin and weave. And it's cheaper than therapy. :-) 

Until next time.... 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pink Lady

Hi Folks! 
My new camera hasn't arrived yet (Thanks, Thor!) but I wanted to post a pic of my latest scarf. It's called Pink Lady and is 100% silk yarn from my stash. 
I plied 2 strands of coral/pink yarn twice to produce a cabled yarn (my 1st -- whoo hoo!) and warped it with a skein of Henry's Attic 2 ply silk in the houndstooth pattern. I wove it in the same pattern. It created a ribbed effect which I love. :-) I hope you enjoy it too. Oh, and the upside down tattoo on my arm is a frog with wings -- a tribute to my daughter, Pixie. :-) 
Until next time.... 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Warp Goes to 11

One of the things I've noticed lately is I like to REALLY crank up my warp. Seriously. If the front apron rod isn't bending a bit, it's not tight enough. :-) Loom manufactures take notice -- I'm available to test them out for you. I prefer really tight warps because I get a better shed and don't have to beat my weft as hard -- a plus when your arms and shoulders hurt all the time. :-) 

During the weaving there is a small gap between wefts, but remember the warp is under A LOT of tension. Once the piece comes off the loom and is washed, the weft threads relax and snuggle together very nicely. The pic here is my current project. Sorry about the quality. I had to take it with my laptop camera. Thor if you're reading this, we need to have a techie talk about my digital camera. The Queen of Bedsheetia wants a new one or at least learn how to use yours. :-) 

Coming up soon -- pics of projects both past and present -- and trying to weave with twine. Stay tuned... 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Carrots For Spring?

Hi Folks, 
I'm Denyse, a pierced, tattooed weaving and spinning addict. I've been a renegade since leaving home at the age of 17 and traveling the county working for various rock bands. After many years on the road, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, arthritis and chronic migraines. I'm also allergic to sunlight -- go figure.  

Now in my early 40's I've settled down and embraced weaving and spinning full time. I still travel and rock out -- progressive rock mostly -- but most often I take my walker with me. And my loom of course. I weave exclusively on rigid heddle looms and spin on my Fricke electric spinner. I have a host of other disabilities (including paralyzed fingers) but still manage to spin and weave like a madwoman. The reason I started this blog is to post about my adventures, but most of all to encourage other disabled folks to spin and weave too. I have this habit of falling off curbs, so if I can spin and weave, you can too. :-) 

The "Carrot Scarf" pictured is my latest weaving. It's woven in 3/2 perle cotton and my own handspun merino/silk in the center section. It was a gift for a friend and I've been asked to weave more scarves, so stay tuned...