Tuesday, March 14, 2006

An Interesting Project

I got a request yesterday to spin up some alpaca for a prop for a movie that’s being made locally. I’m talking a big Hollywood-type movie, not a local indie or anything. It’s got Ben Stiller, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams, and Dick Van Dyke in it. Cool, eh? My spindle of yarn will probably have all of a 2-second viewing and for all I know it might be cut entirely but that’s ok. At least I’m getting paid for it. Which is more than has happened in the past. I once lent out a bunch of skeins of yarn and some sweaters to a movie, “The Lotus Eaters” from 1993. It's kind of a cute feel-good movie but not really exceptional. Very Canadian. I didn’t get paid for that one but I did get everything back safely. I’ve learned since then to charge decently for my time and effort. BTW, I just noticed in next week's TVGuide that The Lotus Eaters is going to be replayed. Synchronicity. Yeah, that must be it. (Cue Twilight Zone theme...)

This time I’ve been asked to make two spindles and fill them with yarn for the character of a woman from South America. The reason why there’s two is so there’s a spare just in case. The yarn is already spun on my wheel and I’m just waiting for T-Man to come home from work so he can give me some advice on the spindles. My movie “liaison” (with the lovely name of Tiara) has supplied the parts to assemble them but they need some sanding. I supplied the almost-white alpaca from my stash though, get this — I had to talk her out of a turquoise-coloured yarn. Yikes! There’s no easy way to dye the fibre before spinning. Alpaca is so slippery it falls apart in the dyebath. Besides, the original photo they were going by of a real South American spinner had white fibre on her distaff and spindle. She’s too smart to try dyeing it first, if at all. And I just plain didn’t want to try it myself.

Another project that I’m supposed to be working on but haven’t even started yet is my kumihimo swap. I need to make a braid to embellish a greeting card. Right now I’m thinking “Spring”. My current idea is to make a cherry blossom braid, which is one I’ve never tried before. I have some heavy cotton yarn in the right colours that might work ok. It’s a 16-strand braid and 4 of the strands must be 3 times as thick as the others. These are the petals of the flowers so they have to stand out. I don’t have a huge amount of the peachy-orange though so I hope I have enough. Then there’s the area beside the flowers where I was going to use a variegated which has green, yellow, orange, and red twisted with white, and lastly the edges of the braid, which I thought I’d do in green. I’ll have to try it to see if it looks the way I had in mind. Then I have to make the cards (9) to mount the braids on (in a cutout?), plus 10 extra copies without samples. Inside the card is the braid information and diagrams. And it has to be in Seattle by March 31? Might be a bit late.

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