Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Party

A couple of weeks ago it was the 25th Anniversary of my spinning group. We are the Walsall Handspinners and you can find out more about the group on the website here.

Anyway such a momentous occasion called for a party and that's what we had. We had a whole day of spinning and chatting and eating and a great time was had by all.

The Threshing Barn came with lots of goodies for sale, and there was a raffle and the competition (for which I had been making the hideous corn fibre object).

And yes before you ask - here is the thing I made -

It's a little beaded shawl, and while it looks all innocent and butter-wouldn't-melt lying there on the chair, trust me it was the work of the devil. I didn't like the corn fibre (I may have mentioned this once or twice) and it was hideous to knit with. I used a shawl pattern from Spin Off magazine because it happened to call for exactly the right yardage I had. It was only when I was almost complete that I realised I had been knitting the pattern wrong (the two sides of the shawl weren't symetrical. I ask you, who writes a pattern like that?). Then I tried to block it (I suspected this would be difficult - this fibre is not at all like wool). It doesn't block. So I tried to press it because the edges were curling up. And I melted a hole right at the point of the shawl. So I had to rip back about 10 rows and reknit as far as I could with the yarn I had left. There was some swearing.

Unsurprisingly I did not win the competition. There are some seriously talented people in my group, and they did far better things with the surprise packs of fibre than I did with mine. However it has taught me something so it wasn't a total waste of time.

Next up on the blog - some book reviews, a tale about stash re-organisation and a trip to Shrewsbury.

Back soon(ish).

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A Couple More Things You Might Want to Know About Corn Fibre

If you are considering spinning with corn fibre at all (and I can't say that I would recommend it) here are a couple of things I've discovered today that you might want to bear in mind.

A - It doesn't block well. I had a feeling this might be the case is it has none of the stretch or memory of wool. I was right. The mystery object (it's for a competition remember, to be judged anonymously) looked great on the blocking board but as soon as I took it off it reverted pretty much immediately to it's previous unblocked state. And the edges curled in.

B - You know when you have a really bright idea to fix a problem. I had one of those. I thought if I steam pressed the edges they would stop rolling in and look better. Here's where I learned the other thing you really need to know about corn fibre. IT MELTS!!!