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Cleaning out Cabinets


I spent much of last week cleaning out the studio.   We rearranged furniture, parts of the floor saw a vacuum for the first time in months and generally tried to get organized.  Let's face it.  Organization is a process and a goal not a state of grace.  But we made strides in that direction in the studio.  I love it.  I can just come in the door and sit down to work without having to clear a space to work in.  It's good.  This past week I've been working on a couple of cabinets in the house.  Not just any cabinets, however.  These are the cabinets that house all the odd spinning and weaving projects that for one reason or another I stopped working on.  These are the projects that didn't turn out well.

The first one I tackled was the linen face cloths.   I wove these on a Cricket loom in various colors of hand painted linen yarn.  I took them off the loom, surged the ends and tossed the weaving in the washing machine.  Both ends had started to fray by the time I took them out of the washing machine.  They would need to be more carefully hemmed but at the time I didn't want to deal with it.  I let them air dry and tossed them in the cabinet.

I pulled them out of the cabinet yesterday with delight.  I love the feel of the linen and I love the colors.  I cut them apart, hemmed the edges and washed them again.  They were ironed damp out of the washing machine and wrapped around some home made soap.  What a great hostess gift and they are ready for the fall gift buying and giving season.

Second problem out of the cabinet was some green and gold kitchen towels.  I wove these quite a while back.  I wanted to use green and gold cottolin along with some yummy hand painted linen yarn in greens and golds as an accent.  As usual I had 12 yards of warp on the loom and started weaving away.  I didn't worry at all about how often to change colors and/or yarns because I wanted the towels to all be different.  I got part way through the warp and realized I had made a horrible mistake.  The cottolin would shrink a bit upon washing but the linen wouldn't shrink at all.  Well, rats.  I finished up the run of towels using either the linen or the cottolin for weft for each towel.  I hemmed the towels and they sold well in that year's fall sale.  The first few towels, it turned out to be five, I washed but didn't hem.  I was disgusted with my complete lack of insight into the different yarns and tossed them in the cabinet.  At the time Peggy said she didn't think it was a problem.  She thought the mixed towels were less even than the others but not so bad that I shouldn't finish them and put them in the sale. 

Yet again, Peggy was right.  I pulled the towels out of the cabinet expecting to have to cut the selvages smooth and then hem them in addition to hemming the ends.   Wrong.  The selvages have a little undulation to them but they aren't bad at all.  I've serged the ends of each towel and washed and dried them again.  Now they just need to be hemmed and they will be ready to sell.

The last thing to come out of my cabinet was some fiber I had tossed in there because it didn't make me happy to spin it at the time.  The white wool does have a fair amount of vegetable matter in it.  I've long since forgotten where this fiber came from but it's still pretty nice wool.  I'll bag it and tag it at a pretty cheap price.  It will be great for spinning classes.

The brown wool is Shetland wool that came from a shepherd in Oregon.  It was one of the items I purchased several years ago to help raise money for a sheep creamery that had sustained devastating damage from flooding.  It's a softer wool than the white wool but still has some vegetable matter in it.  It will also make a great learning wool for new spinners.

So now my cabinets are empty again.  Hopefully, I won't have any projects turn out badly again for a while.