Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trip to the big city, and I was a cowgirl pole dancer

It's been awhile since I posted - not because nothing was going on, however.

I did an order for new dyes from Dharma in preparation for the Portland Handweaver's Guild Fall Sale, which was this weekend. I got some additional fiber porn from Mim, and ordered some yarn from Henry's attic to round out what was left after Oregon Flock and Fiber.

Because I had a dye space out of the weather in the shed, when I mixed up dyes last Saturday, I just left them in there. When I went out Sunday, the brilliant blue had congealed into a granular sludge with dark navy blue water. I called Dharma on Monday, and they said to warm it up. Since I had already tried to reclaim it by running it through a sieve, I decided not to try that. I did use that method on the only other one that seemed to be going that way by putting it in my canner on the rack and boiling water around it (it worked).

I proceeded to dye as normal and found the the colors in the Dharma dyes are enough different from the Jaquard that I was not completely satisfied with the dyes that I was mixing. They were nice colors, don't get me wrong, just not what I was used to getting when I put x amount of dye A with y amount of dye B. I needed the bright blue, so I used my old dye powder, which worked just fine, thank you... Hmmmm

Dyeing done, tagging done (the roving took me 5 hours at Linda's on Thursday morning), we set up our spaces Thursday night and Friday morning before the sale. I did not have a "booth" - I had 4 gridwall sections set up around a support column - the "pole." At first it seemed that it would be extremely challenging, and it didn't help that I set up the grids backwards so that the hangers wouldn't work... Sometimes I amaze even myself with my ineptitude! When I took them apart, I was able to substitute my short ones for taller ones that I rented from the guild, which worked out very nicely:

 So my wares were placed around the pole (I used black plastic table cloth material that comes in a 100' roll for the backing). I adjusted some of the overhead lights, and that was it. The sale has a central checkout, so there was no need to have a table for the administrative stuff. I had brought some knitting, but I quickly became bored with that.  I was talking with one of the other members (they are all very nice and were very welcoming) about it being difficult for me to sit still, and she offered to bring in her spinning wheel. I got permission to use it (normally it isn't done), after explaining that most people thought the roving "snails" were a) hats, or b) hot pads/trivets.  I spent a lot of time spinning yesterday, and then when that paled, started a hat for myself!

So, why was I the cowgirl pole dancer? Last week I was at the local consignment clothing store, and as I checked out, saw some snazzy boots on the bookcase next to the register. Now, it is difficult for me to wear pull-on boots, as I have high insteps and "womanly" calves. So, thinking that it was safe to try to get them on, I tried. And they fit... So, I got them - my middle name should be Imelda! It wasn't until I got them home that I discovered that they are Tony Lama boots - and they've hardly been worn. I wore them Saturday:

I'm an introvert - not in terms of dealing with people, but in terms of how I replenish my energy. By this morning, I was completely dead. That, coupled with the prospect of a snow storm blowing down the Cascades from the north, lead me to leave the sale today early. I put my stuff in order, and Linda graciously offered to take my "pole" down in addition to her booth.

I plied the yarn that I had spun yesterday, and when washing it, discovered another downside to the Dharma dyes. I was spinning a mostly blues roving, and it had taken quite a bit of rinsing when I was done dyeing it.  There was no crocking off on my fingers while spinning - however, there was much more dye that ran out of it when I washed it after plying. I'm not sure that I've gotten all of it out even now.

I'm going to call them tomorrow to see if I can return them. I'm going to stick with my "old" dyes - I think they'll work fine, especially now that the dye solutions are stored in the house, along with the powders. I can make adjustments as I need to with them, since I'm so familiar with how they work. I guess it just proves the old saw - If it's not broke, don't fix it...

I'm now looking forward to more dyeing (with a little less pressure), for some weaving projects I have in mind. I also have 2 sheets of felt that I'm going to make into a jacket, which should be really fun to embellish.

For now, I'm going to make a very quick dinner and go crash!

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