Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's All My Fault

That will teach me to mention the S-Word yesterday. You know – that white stuff that falls from the sky? This morning I woke up to what I thought was S-Word but really it was liberally mixed with hail. Little fluffy white balls. That lovely nearly-spring-like photo from yesterday? Today, not so much. Back to winter. Most of it has melted already making me feel not quite so bad for causing it to happen. No more S-Word, right?

Speaking of my big mouth – no, the real one – I’ve been having the runaround lately trying to find out if a white area on my tongue is a bad thing or nothing to worry about. First noticed by my dentist, she took photos and then suggested strongly that I go see my doctor if it didn’t go away. The Holidays happened in the middle so I finally go to the doc (not my fave regular one but a sub since he was unavailable due to a family emergency) and she says the words “leucoplakia” and “could be pre-cancerous”. And then sends me to the specialist, which is where I went today. Dr. Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat is totally old-school, right down to the reflector on his head! Haven’t seen one of those since I was a girl and that was a looooonnnng time ago. (I tried not to laugh.) In about 3 minutes flat he told me that since I don’t smoke (never have), the white spot is not a problem but to keep an eye on it anyway. Slam-bam-thankyoumam. Good to know it’s nothing to worry about but jeepers, I feel a “what was that all about?” head-spinning now. Guess I was a bit more concerned than I thought but I’m still not really satisfied, if you know what I mean. At least it doesn’t hurt or anything. Just looks a little weird when I stick out my tongue. No, I’m not going to show you. Pfffftttthhh!

Meanwhile the hanji paper yarn came all the way from Korea and I knitted up a swatch:

If you remember, this is for the paper stole I’m making to submit for a Hanji Exhibit for which both my local weavers and fibre arts guilds are working with Korean paper artists. Deadline for entry is June 1st so I have time to play still. Since the yarn I received is not the original yarn that I used in my first swatch, I’ve had to rethink the project a bit. The stuff I ended up with is much finer and less like paper raffia. For this second swatch (which is not the actual design but just something I made up) I used 3 different sizes of Addi Lace cable needles: 3.25, 3 & 2.75mm. And then yesterday I dyed it:

I used Procion MX and first soaked the swatch in salt (2ml) and soda ash (.5ml) solution (1/2 cup of warm water) for 15 minutes, squeezed it out and laid it carefully on plastic wrap. The dyes (Maiwa’s proprietary mixes Rust and Moss and some of my precious ProChem Chino) were mixed without really measuring, maybe .5ml or so (dry measuring spoon) to 15ml warm water. Fairly strong concentrations of around 3-4%. I painted it on with sponge brushes and wrapped the piece in the plastic and put it in the sunny window to batch for a couple of hours. Because I presoaked the paper knitting, the dye didn’t wick very far or mix very much. It dried quite a few shades lighter which made me glad I used a strong solution because I wanted a fairly deep colour but not too dark. The paper held up just fine to all the soaking and rinsing, even in very hot water.

Next I’ve been revising my pattern I need to make yet another swatch, this time closer to the real pattern, before I start on the Real Thing. I love how the knitted paper fabric feels – crispy and light, airy and yet more durable than you’d think. This is turning into quite a fun and interesting project. I need to think up a suitable name for it, don’t I? Hanji, like the Japanese kozo, is made from paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera, syn. Morus papyrifera L.) and my design includes leaves and bark. Kind of beginning as a tree and turning it back into something tree-ish again.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Very cool. I am so intrigued by the idea of knitting paper yarn and looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I did try spinning yarn of paper once, which worked, but was less than satisfying on the fingers.