Sunday, 25 October 2009

Things fiber arts have taught me about haircare

Hair and wool are both protein fibers. Many remarkable similarities there!

-Moisture plus heat plus agitation equals fulling. Remarkable how similar that list of no-nos is to blowdrying hair, isn't it?

-Blocking (ie soaking and pinning into place, then allowing to dry) gives wool a specific shape until the next time it gets wet. My beautiful plait-induced waves will do the same, I just need to remember not to visit the waterpark.

-When wet-blocking a wool garment, many patterns recommend soaking it for at least half an hour before washing so that the fiber is fully saturated and gets properly clean. 5 minutes is really not long enough to have saturated hair when taking a shower.

-If one strips all the oil and lanolin out of a fleece while washing, it's a good idea to oil one's hands before carding so the fiber doesn't get all static-y and jumbled. Must remember to condition my hair regularly.

-Longwool breeds tend to have extremely oily cut ends and dry, brittle exposed tips. Spinning longwools is much easier if they have been trimmed first. Hey, just like styling waist-length hair!

-Wool always takes longer to dry than I think it's going to, but it drys faster if it's spread out flat rather than clumped together. I really shouldn't be surprised when the plait of wet hair I went to bed with is still wet in the morning.

Friday, 16 October 2009

And sew it goes...

There are two main schools of thought* when it comes to weaving in ends. The first says not to weave until the project is totally finished in case you have to pick something out. The second says weave as you go, just in case you look at the finish project and discover a sudden need for strong drink as you are confronted with a mess of loose ends all over your nice project.

I have no criticism to make of either school, but I have to wonder if those ends at the end people have ever made a granny square afghan of 225 squares and seen the hundreds of ends such a project generates. Just sayin'. ;)

I sew two strips together, sew in all the ends on that section. Add another strip, sew in more ends. And so on, and sew forth. Someday I'll finish, but I'm feeling pretty mellow about it. And I can actually see real progress, which is a good thing!

*There's actually a third school of thought that looks at the ends, says "Screw this!" and throws the whole thing in a dark closet, but I like to think I have more fortitude than that...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Huzzah - progress!

This has been a fabulous weekend! Despite working yesterday, I've managed to get tons of things done. The flat is clean and getting ready for cooler weather, everything's tidy, and I've been doing a bit of finishing! Another gift is totally done, and the one batch of Christmas handspun I had planned is soaking in the basin ready to drip-dry overnight. I'm at a bit of a loss to know what to work on next! Sewing more blanket squares, I suppose. Off to go assemble my project bag for the week. :D