But before I get to the sublime, just to keep myself honest, I will report on the "Great Personal Destash Challenge."
1) Gifted 4.5 pounds of yarn. And drew my sister even further toward into the rabbit hole of fiberdom. Double win!
2) Finished the shawl made of Lion Brand Homespun. Still hate that yarn. After spending a couple of hours looking at border designs in various books, I ended up crocheting a very simple border - think it was HDCs and chain stitches but it's been so long since I crocheted I don't remember my terminology. I'm pretty happy with the final result, but I have no more Homespun and that makes me very happy.
3) Finished weaving the purple and green triangle shawl and have 3/4 of the fringe twisted. In the process I have remembered why I hate knotting fringe. As much as I love just about everything to do with fiber, this is just so tedious! The only redeeming feature is that I get to use a battery-powered gadget. If I was twisting this any other way I might abandon it completely.
There are several different fringe twisters available - mine is the Lacis power 4-ply. It's very easy to use - you just clip up the ends of your yarn in up to four of the ends on the twister. Pushing the power button one direction makes the ends spin individually. Then pushing the button the other way makes the whole head of the twister spin the opposite direction, twisting your yarns into one fringe.
Here's the fringe twister in action.
Just to prove that I'm actually making progress with the fringe twisting:
In other fiber news, Alpaca Fest West was last weekend in Norco. It was much smaller than the first time I went. There were only a handful of vendors, but A Simpler Time, where I bought the Calypso Cloud Alpaca/Silk roving that I loved so much was there and I managed to do some damage to my budget. Of course, I went having no intention of buying more fiber (hahahahahaha) but one does have to support the vendors at events, doesn't one?
How could anyone resist this face?
And the fiber I bought... All alpaca or alpaca/silk except the center one, which is a Polwarth/Merino blend. The colors on that one really do glow but are much richer than I was able to capture in a photo.
And now to the sublime:
A few weeks ago, one of the members of my guild brought the most amazing rugs and bags woven from torn saris to a meeting. They really captured my imagination and naturally I have been obsessing about weaving with sari silk ever since.
I'm blessed to have some amazing women in my life. My friend Uwi is one of the most creative people I know. I met her at class several years ago and I loved her on the spot for her fearlessness joy in creating wonderful things. And now we have become each other's enablers.
Uwi was equally if not more obsessed with the sari idea and we goaded each other into ordering a bale of used saris from India. We ended up ordering 22 pounds of saris to share among four people.
It took just two weeks for the box to arrive all the way from India.
Perfect timing, because we had class Wednesday night, so I loaded the box in my car and took it along.
I'm afraid I behaved like a 3-year old when we opened the box -- it was so exciting to see all the beautiful colors emerging. I would love to have had something like this for dress-up when I was a kid, wouldn't you?
We had a great time dividing the saris into four piles - I think we managed to get a good variety of colors for each of us. So I'm now the proud owner of 10 beautiful saris and loads of ideas. Wish I could get a photo that shows the truly brilliant colors.
Yesterday I had a chance to examine them all... Most of the fabric is in remarkably good condition. There are some worn spots or tears that make them unusable as saris, but there is still a lot of good yardage so I may actually do more than just rag rugs. I didn't find any stains and the saris seemed clean, but I gave each a cold bath with gentle soap.
I was really surprised that the red fabrics bled very little, and even more surprised that all of the greens bled a lot. See the amount of green in the water below? This was the third rinse and this is a very bad photo. Think "Emerald City" and you'll get a better idea of the amount of color coming out of these fabrics.
I didn't notice any odor to the saris before washing, but one of them gave off a heavy mothball scent after it had been soaking for a few minutes. So all of the newly washed saris will be spending the next few days getting some fresh air on my shaded back porch while I surf the web for more sari ideas. And resist the temptation to order a few more bundles of silk.
In the meantime, here are some closer looks at my sari collection. Please forgive the poor quality of the photos - they just don't show how gorgeous the colors actually are.