Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spinning Wheel Deals and Silk Painting

"Pssst.....Hey lady! Wanna buy a wheel??"

I had to laugh yesterday. See, my daughter has her own place up at college these days, and wants to set up her own studio. (Go Michelle!) She's been borrowing my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel and loves it, but I won't let her steal it entirely. (I need that here for when I model for art classes in period costume. My Kromski Sonata is a marvelous wheel, but it doesn't look like what most people think of as a spinning wheel.)

However, she is convinced that I have a Secret Super Power. I can find things. She confidently gave me her budget for a working used wheel (no more than $200), and I hunted around for awhile. I eventually made a contact on Ravelry with a lady who lived not too far away, and who had an Ashford Scholar for sale that was in my daughter's price range. So we set up a parking lot exchange, since the lovely lady with the wheel had a knitting group meeting nearby later that afternoon.

Michelle and I were giggling at the cliche of a shady parking lot deal. (Michelle says that of course it was shady! Have you ever been to Phoenix in the summer? 105F in the sunshine is waaaay too hot.) And then we met up, and Michelle was test driving the wheel before buying, and lo and behold security came driving up to see what these three suspicious looking ladies were doing with a strange contraption in his territory. I tried to explain, but he really was rather bemused. Finally I just said, "It is one of those weird parking lot deals." He shook his head, and asked if I remembered the show "Hogan's Heros". I nodded. He said, "Sgt. Schultz". I laughed and quoted, "I know nothing!" He nodded, shook his head once more, and drove off. I don't know if he ever did figure us out.

But cash exchanged hands, and Michelle is absolutely thrilled with her new spinning equipment.

In other news, I'm experimenting with the silk painting again, in two different ways. First, I have a class coming up this weekend that I'm taking on how to make Medieval style silk heraldic banners. I'm quite looking forward to that one!

Second, I decided to branch out from just making scarves, to making other types of wearable art clothing. I had an idea... If I took two large panels of silk and painted them in the same color scheme, wouldn't it be possible to sew them half way up one side and make a light weight silk ruana? I ordered a couple of larger scarves from Dharma Trading Company, and I'm giving it a try.

I painted the two panels today. The second one is currently drying on the stretcher frame. I'll let them sit for a day or so and then steam them to set the dye. Then they sit another day or so before I can wash them, iron them dry, and sew them up.

I look forward to the sewing part! I really want to try this out, and see if the pattern idea works. In my head, this will be a spectacular piece of wearable art--all colorful and fluttery and soft on the skin. But I'll need to wear it out a time or three to see how well it actually wears. I want it to stay firmly on the shoulders.

So, look for another post on this next week. I can't wait to see if this works or not!


  1. That's too funny about the "shady parking lot deal"! Lovely silk too! Good luck with the sewing!

  2. LOL re: spinning wheel purchase in the parking lot! That is a priceless story!

    Your silk scarf will be just gorgeous! I love all the colors and how they flow! Good job!!

    Have a great weekend!