Friday, October 31, 2008


Arrrrr!!!! I want brains! No, I haven’t been zombie-fied. But I might feel better if I was undead. At the least, I would settle for a head without a migraine. (My own head, that is.) The meds aren’t working. Must be the weather. It’s raining which is not so nice for all the zombies and other scary things that will come out tonight.

The woven shibori warp has no end in sight. I keep plugging away at it but feel like I’m not getting anywhere. I only remember winding a 3-yard warp and I used some at the Catharine Ellis workshop so there couldn’t be that much left. There is an end to all that fine white wool somewhere. I would like to find it. Weaving mostly plain weave on a 12-shaft table loom is getting old.

I did have some fun today. I have a small sample ball of hanji (Korean paper, more info here, here, here and here) yarn to play with. A local Korean fibre artist is encouraging our fibre arts and weavers guilds to exhibit pieces made from hanji and she is taking orders for the materials to bring back with her from her next trip to Korea. I helped my friend Cathie to get an approximate yardage for the yarns using a McMorran yarn balance so we could give a better idea of how much to order for a project. There are several different yarns including thin paper strips of different widths, thicker strips (kind of like raffia) and fine twisted thread. Other options are lovely papers both thin and thick and cloth woven with silk, linen and cotton.

So what did I do with my little ball of white paper tape about 4 or 5 mm wide? I tried knitting it! First I did garter stitch with 3.75 mm needles but it was too loose so I tried 3 mm needles and then continued on with a leaf edging #80 from “150 Knitted Trims” by Leslie Stanfield. It was very interesting knitting with a paper ribbon and I found I had to be gentle but firm with it. Decreases were a bit tricky since of course there is no give in this paper whatsoever. I had to develop a tension loose enough to get the needle in but not too sloppy. The sample came out feeling slightly crunchy and with a very interesting surface texture. Next I got really brave and actually washed it gently in warm water and pinned it out to block it. Wet it had a much more yarn-like feel to the knitting and it didn’t show any harm from its bath at all. Right now it’s drying so I can’t show it yet. I would like to dye a sample in Procion MX dyes also but not today. I also have a small sample of the fine twisted paper yarn but I don’t have a warp to test it on. I think I will eventually try to dye it also just to see how it holds up to the process.

Having worked a bit with paper before as yarn, I wasn’t especially afraid of it disintegrating. I’ve used pattern tissue that I cut into strips and spun and plied for kumihimo braiding. In Japan, woven paper cloth is called “shifu”. The wonderful quality of the Korean hanji made for very durable items traditionally and I have an idea to explore for my piece that I hope to do for the exhibit.

But right now I need to go start making dinner before the growling of T-Man’s tummy frightens all the zombies away. I’ll bid everyone a Happy Halloween! Here’s my Toad Witch sitting on the basket on the front door with her Jack O’Lantern buddies. She’s waiting to work her magic on any trick-or-treaters!


Susan said...

I had a migraine head ache yesterday... the worse one ever! I'd appreciate if you could share the name of the meds that are helful. I lost a whole day to it....
Maybe its the weather??
Your bud on the Island


Louisa said...

My magic potion is plain old Advil's blue gel caps. One usually helps. Two if that's not enough. Repeat in 4 to 6 hours if necessary. I'm one of the lucky (if you could call it that) migraineurs who don't need the big guns type of meds.

I've PM'd you also!

Sharon in Surrey said...

Oh, when I get one of THOSE headaches, I have a Mocha! The chocolate & coffee combo usually stop it dead. If they don't kill it totally, they dull it to bearability at least. Something to do with caffeine stimulating the brain & dilating the blood vessels at the same time. I think it works so well for me because I normally drink only tea . . .