Seeing as I'm done the craft show circuit for the year, I've decided to do an awesome give away!! You can win this awesome prize package that includes: 1 hand woven hand spun mug cozy, 1- 25g bag of Earl Grey de la Creme Tea, one mesh tea ball infuser, and a perfect cup measuring spoon.
This is another post that comes with a warning! But it's not for the same reason as the other post with a warning. Not even close! This warning is for vegans. You may find the following content offensive. And the last picture is gross. Now you know. And here I go.
Yesterday was the last craft sale I had lined up this year. This morning I woke up with a really intense drive to get at my level 3 homework. I'm so very close to being finished the silk module. I've got some stitching to finish, and a mini woven piece to take off my makeshift loom, and about 6 stitches to cast off on my silk knitting to cast off (geeeee, when I write it out like that... Honestly. I don't even want to think of how chaotic that seems/is) I've got my labels on the skeins, and they are ready for me to determine TPI, WPI, and counts and what not. But there's one more part of the module that I had to get done. I started it this morning. This morning, I made silk mawata, otherwise known as silk hankies. Here's the photo journal of that process, with the odd little comment. I did live tweet as I was going, but I'm posting here too. And it will be on Craftster.org too.
Let it begin!! Hubby had a handy dandy thermometer for me to borrow, so that i could make sure my pot never got above 65'c.
Into the pot! Silk cocoons float, so I grabbed a broken strainer, thinking it would keep them under the water. Apparently they are buoyant enough to lift it....
So I grabbed another small pot and laid it atop to strainer.
I kept having to tweak the temperature on the stove to keep it from getting to hot or to cold. What a fussy process!!
After 40 minutes of cooking these bad boys, I decided they were done. They say until they become transparent, but they were super soft, so I didn't wait any longer.
First 3 or 4 onto the frame my Dad made for me (Thanks again, Dad!!)
The full frame. So much silk! wooohooo!
And here's the last one, and the photo I feel like I need to share, as it tells the whole story. Truth of it is that silk comes from silk worms. More often then not these creatures need to have their lives taken in order to harvest the silk. It's an unfortunate part of the silk industry. This is what comes out of the cocoons, dead bugs and bug poop. Yes. Poop. they did just eat so many more times their weight in mulberry leaves, after all.
In hind sight, I half wonder if I could have sliced the cocoons open, removed the yucky stuffs and then boiled the cocoons. You can see I didn't open/use the ones that were super gross on the inside, poor little guys died for nothing.
But there you have it! it was about 2 hours of work, from gathering supplies to the final vinegar rinse. Worth it, as I'll be able to finish up that module by the end of this week!!
I found the end!! I picked up that darn bobbin for at least 5-10 minutes every day since I found it had be visited by scissors. I skipped a whole day for a craft show, but on Sunday I picked up the bobbin, and she looked like this:
Not even 30 seconds after picking a string to tug, I found it! I found the end!
And a few days later I had a bobbin full of plied yarn!
Now to set the twist tomorrow, and it will be ready for my next (and last before the big Esty shop update!) craft show on Saturday!
Fair warning. What you are about to read is far more then I've ever shared on my blog, and far more then I've ever shared with many people at all. But I share because I know I can't be alone. I share because I need to work through it, and know that others may see see it, and then to, realize it's okay to have these emotions, and that it is possible to come out on the other side brighter, happier and while still there can be moments of fog, the sun does break through.
On November 15th we got our very first module in the Journey of the Golden Fleece Fiber Creativity course. And I printed and read it. And I read it again. Choose a starting point. One that was a pivotal moment in your time line that affected your creativity. I have many pivotal moments in my life. One's I hardly remember through my own memories, but definitely had a definitive effect on me, like my sisters cancer when she was 5 and me just 2. Ones I remember all to well sometimes, Like the one time I finally broke it off with the worlds biggest looser, and no, not in the weight department. He was mean, and not a very nice person. That year at fashion design school, that was full of really screwed up events. The moment I walked into that bar and met Mr. Right, but did not even know it for at least 3 months. Or that time I was unexpectedly pregnant at 19 (with my now husbands baby) that I miscarried. Or when I found out I was pregnant and it stuck, which produced Mr. Duck. Or when I got Married. Or moving to our current community. Or discovering the joy of spinning, by accident while searching for homemade cloth diaper patterns for Zoo.
Or that moment, when I discovered I was pregnant with Miss Jo. Nothing has ever stopped me in my tracks so abruptly and fully and forcibly. It was unexpected. I was tracking my cycles. We were abstaining when we should have. We had decided two was enough, and that I would begin the steps to make an addition to the family impossible. It was the day of my appointment that I realized that I was pregnant. I took the standard pre procedure test, and it confirmed it. "yes. You are pregnant. What are we going to do from here?" Well, while I'm prochoice for others, I'm so strongly pro life for me. That was a completely unthinkable thing. It wasn't going to happen. So began the internal battle that felt all to familiar. It was like I was 19 again, reliving the obviously conflicting feelings. One moment would be joy and elation and wonderment and that feeling you get when you look into the future ands see all your hopes and dreams. Then the next moment, regret, and denial, and utter fear, though this time not for the fear of the unknown, but the fear of the known. Knowing just how hard it is to have a baby, the pregnancy, sure, that's easy enough (for me anyway) but the after fact. The knowledge of the challenges that lie ahead, all struck fear in me. And I began to feel resentful. I felt like I was robbed of things. Robbed of the fun things you can't do while pregnant, like take your 5 year old skiing for the first time, teach figure skating, or of future events I'd planned that involved only the 4 of us, and that would be nearly impossible if not completely impossible with 5. And of course, when you feel resentment, there comes the guilt following shortly behind. Guilt because you should be so thankful for such a wonderful gift. Guilt, because you should love being pregnant. Guilt, because you get what others can't have.
So that's my starting point, and I'm sure you are wondering just exactly how that ties into the whole Creativity part of the journey. Well, that comes down the line a bit, after having birthed my baby girl via c-section. And struggled through trying to breastfeed a baby that refused to. And all that comes with having a baby. I'll get into all that in further posts. But this moment is the one that set so many things in motion, like my endless need to escape the stressors of my life, which sent me to Olds College for Fibre Week and the Master Spinners course, opening a whole new world of yarn and possibilities. It deepened my passion for this art, in an odd way, as it drove me to escape into my yarns. To have a 'very valid excuse' to be taking time for me and my need to make. This is where I begin. I will heal the hurts I still bear from this part of my life through creating yarn.
Step one is to finally journal, and I'll tell you now, there will be a lot more in that then I'll share with you, but I will keep posting, getting to where I am today on this journey.
At some point I will find my mentors in this. They must be there. I just couldn't say who they are/were off the top of my head, but I suppose that will also come with the journaling. This is my start of that process. Water colours, sharpie markers, and crayons. And tea. everything's better with tea ;)
Now if you've you've made it this far, thanks for reading it. And I leave you with my current mantra: "Embrace the Chaos"
Not like it wasn't already. Spinning is a HUGE part of my life, and as it stands, it will be a long and wonderful part my life. So, why not emblazon it upon my flesh forever? My lady, on my side. There's more to do, as this is the outline only. There will be yarn, and words and color. But that all takes time. I'll be sure to update when there's progress.
It appears as tho scissors went walking across my bobbin, and I can't find this guys twin. In a move that surprised me, I did not loose my mind. I did not hunt out the offending little hand who gave those scissors legs. I took a breath and walked away. It's not the end of the world. It's just a cut thread. It's disappointing, as I was set to have this yarn finished by the end of the night. Now it sits.
A little mangled from trying to find that cut end, but still in decent shape. It's fixable, I can splice. If I find the end.
This probably helped my emotions
My 8 year old, shortly before the incident, walked in and grabbed an empty spindle, a handful of fluff and started spinning. Completely on his own accord, absolutely no cajoling was required. It was nice.
Today, I'll try to find that end, if I can find the time. It's my husbands birthday, so there are a few important things to do like cake making, and house cleaning, and I have to pop into work with the two littles tagging along. It will make for a long day, but as Dori says 'just keep swimming' and that's what I intend to do!