Tag Archives: spinning

Tsethang serge Cloth Weaving Revival in Tibet

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Firstly, apologies for ‘dropping out’ of the habit of regular blogging in the last couple of months – I seem to have lost the momentum lately!  However, these two reports about a revival of weaving in Tibet caught my attention and I thought I’d share both of them with you.

What I find odd about both of them is that there is no clear picture of what Tsethang serge looks like, made up into a garment, and that altho this featured initiative seems to have begun in 2007, it is suddenly receiving a lot of attention for the money it could potentially make!

I came across the first article about this story of traditional weaving in Tibet on the China Daily Site this week and when I looked for more info, all the other articles seemed to be copies.  The only one with a little more to say is the second I have copied, from China Tibet Online.  Nevertheless, having never heard of this cloth before, I thought you might like to see what I found.  If anyone has any more information, please let me know.

I was going to copy the full articles, but have given up as the formatting didn’t work, so if you are interested in seeing more pictures etc, please click on the links – smile.

( Xinhua )Updated: 2015-11-28 14:27:03

Vanishing traditional weaving revived in Tibet

Tsethang serge, considered the finest of all Tibetan

traditional fabrics, has reemergeddecades

after disappearing from the market. [Photo/tibet.cn]

Intangible cultural heritage becomes poverty alleviation tool in Lhoka

2015-12-01 10:32:00
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 “Ze Tier, or Tsethang wool serge, is a handmade textile art based on Tibetan Pulu, in which the warp and woof are gradually changed from coarse to fine and the texture from thick to thin. It was very popular during the fifth Dalai Lama period and became a special tribute fabric Tibetan monks and prominent officials used to make clothes”, said Pasang. “Today, a tailor-made Tibetan costume made from ‘Ze Tier’ white cashmere sells for 13,000 yuan and a scarf for 1,300 yuan.” Through self-financing, in 2008 Pasang set up an ethnic serge hand-weaving cooperative in Nedong County, Lhoka Prefecture.

Through help from relevant government departments, he obsessively embarked on a path to rescue the development of “Ze Tier”. From the cycle of choosing, weaving and processing the fine wool, to passing on the weaving skills to younger students; from the 42 poor students initially enrolled to the 72 permanent staff farmer contractors across three counties, this thousand-year-old serge craft is once again bursting with life. Apart from inheriting and carrying forward an outstanding ethnic cultural heritage, this small grassroots cooperative is also taking on the burden of driving the local people out of poverty. Disabled, unemployed youth, housewives and poor households – there are many like Dawa Tashi at this cooperative. They have not only mastered a skill, but also have broken out of poverty. According to Pasang, since establishment of the cooperative, they have directly found employment for 136 people and indirectly found employment for 322 people in extended industries.

Some pictures of Silk Worms making Silk

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silkworm and cocoon

silkworm and cocoon

As you will know, if you follow my blog, I LOVE SILK!  Not just the finished silk fabric, but the raw silk yarns & fibres, and the cheaper bits like cocoon strippings and throwsters waste.  You can find some pictures of these in a previous post – and if you go to my etsy shop or julz craft supplies on ebay, you will find most of these, and other items on sale!

I came across this post about how silk worms make silk, with amazing pictures of the silk worms and their progress – it comes from Dona at Creative Country Life and you can find the original HERE.  Dona has kindly given me permission to copy this for you.

I am planning a series of ‘tutorials’ about using some of these, especially to make your own SILK PAPER but I thought you really must see this post first – it contains an explanation of how silk ‘hankies’ are made.


Raising Silk Worms!

They say that interesting people have interesting friends. I must be pretty interesting, if you go by that!

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Take a look at what one of my friends has been up to!

She’s been raising Silk Worms! I’m so jealous…

Now mind you this is not a large scale adventure. She just wants enough silk to make some Hankies for spinning. A Hankie is the form silk is generally accepted in for Hand Spinning into yarn.

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The problem is, even at a small scale, they go through a tremendous amount of Mulberry Leaves each day.

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Handfuls and handfuls of fresh Mulberry Leaves EVERY day. Naturally it is important to have easy access to a tree. And of course what goes in, must come out… So they need to be cleaned as well.

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The commitment is not a very long one. Only about 5-7 weeks. Before long they will begin to spin. Simple toilet paper tubes or egg cartons provide the perfect, cozy spot for the worms to spin their cocoons.

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One by one at first, then several at a time until everybody is neatly stowed away.

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But seriously. How cool is this??

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Soon there is nothing left but cocoons.

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But then comes D-Day…

The cocoons are… well, roasted in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. I know, sounds rather harsh after caring for them so carefully. But the thing to remember is that if the moth is allowed to emerge, they are doomed to die shortly after. They do not eat or fly. They simply mate, lay eggs and die. Now that’s harsh!

The next step is to simmer the cocoons in soapy water. This removes all the gummy stuff that holds them together. The carcass must be removed and then the silk is spread out on a frame about the size of a handkerchief (hence the name Hankies).

Then they are ready for spinning or dyeing. I hope to have some photos of that process to share with you soon.

As for me – I need to find a Mulberry Tree!

Winding Yarn into balls by hand – with or without a Nostepinne

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This is a very useful tutorial I found via Sheila Dixon’s Hand Spinning News, which has a video that takes the mystique out of how to use a Nostepinne, or any useful stick, to allow you to wind hand spun yarn, or just oddments of wool into tidy balls, manually.

It is copied directly from Roving Crafters – she calls them “cakes” – and she says on her blog that it can be freely copied – so I have!  I will be adding this to the i/sheet page so that you can always find it easily.


 

How to Hand Wind Yarn Into a Cake

Winding warn cakes

Confession #1: I like to wind yarn.

Its fun. Its an excuse to play with my yarn and when I wind up other knitters’ and crocheters’ yarn (I’ve been known to do that) I get to play with their yarn too. But its more than just play time. A nicely wound yarn cake will save you headache and frustration and make for a more pleasant knitting and crocheting experience.

A yarn cake sits flat on the table. It has a nice easy end to draw out of the center. If its done right, the yarn won’t tangle up and the cake won’t flop or bounce around. A yarn cake as a great and wonderful thing and nearly every yarn shop in the world will wind up your yarn into a cake with their ball winder.

But you don’t need a ball winder to make a yarn cake. You just need a stick. A dowel will work. So will a broom handle, a fat knitting needle, or the empty tube from your next roll of toilet paper. If you want to be fancy-pants about hand winding yarn, you can get a nostepinne. But only really hopeless yarn-geeks bother with those.

Confession #2: I own three nostepinnes.

small cake
I also own a ball winder but sometimes I make yarn cakes by hand and not just for fun. If I only have a small amount of yarn, say 50 yards or less, I wind it into a little cake using a small nostepinne thin stick. That works out much better.

 

 

 

 

Winding Yarn Into a Cake By Hand

 


 

Give it a try because it super easy. You’ll be making yarn cakes in no time at all and believe me, they are worth it. And grab yourself a copy of that yarn cake cozy pattern. Its a freebie and you’ll need something to carry your cakes in right? Right.

Also, if you like free stuff check out:

Enjoy!


A STEAL! – How to knit vertical buttonholes ….

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I don’t suppose knitting daily  will object to me stealing the latest offering I found in my email box just now – smile.  They are part of the Interweave Group, which covers spinning & weaving as well as knitting and other crafts.  You may find their books, e-books and tutorials useful, altho’ you will have to pay for them.  This is one of their rare freebies!

 

Learn It: The Vertical Buttonhole
Kathleen Cubley
Editor, Knitting Daily
KnittingDaily.com
16ButtonCardi2
Sixteen Button Cardigan
by Cecily Glowik Macdonald

We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Knitscene, and I’ve had the pleasure of looking through my collection of back issues in preparation for writing this newsletter. I discovered a well-loved copy of the spring 2009 issue, featuring a wonderful tutorial on buttonholes, by technical editor Karen Frisa. It also contains a pattern called the Sixteen Button Cardigan. Yeah. That’s a lot of buttonholes. But it’s so cute!

I have a love-hate relationship with buttonholes, leaning a little more toward the hate than the love. Mine tend to be too loose, which is a bummer when the buttons slip out of the holes. For one cardigan, I had to resort to sewing up parts of each of the buttonholes to make them tighter, and they ended up too tight, so the cardigan is now a pullover. Not the best solution.

In her article, Karen talks about vertical buttonholes, which intrigue me, especially for buttonbands with vertical ribbing. Here’s an excerpt of that article for you.

Working a Vertical Buttonhole

What did you think of your last buttonholes? Were they a little loose? Too tight? Didn’t work well with the stitch pattern on your band? Maybe you haven’t even made a buttonhole before.

Knitters can take two approaches when it comes to pairing buttons and buttonholes: choose the button first, then create a buttonhole that works with it; or choose the buttonhole first, then choose a button that works with it.

1Vertical-buttonhole
Vertical Buttonhole

In either case, aim for a hole that is a little snug for your button, so that the button won’t slip back through the hole unexpectedly. Here’s how to make one of the lesser used but very nice buttonholes, a vertical buttonhole.

The vertical buttonhole can be sized to fit your button, but the opening is vertical rather than horizontal. This variation can be nice when working in ribbing or another stitch pattern with a strong vertical line, but it is a little fiddly to work. The vertical split for this buttonhole is made by working up one side of the buttonhole, then breaking the yarn, rejoining it at the bottom of the buttonhole, and working up the other side.

Make this buttonhole as follows: Work to the buttonhole location. *Turn, work to end of row, turn, work to buttonhole location; repeat from * until buttonhole is the correct height. Break yarn. Rejoin yarn to bottom of buttonhole. Work to end of row. *Work to buttonhole location, turn, work to end of row; repeat from * until buttonhole is the correct height. On next row, work across all stitches. This last step closes the top of the buttonhole.

The yarn ends can be used to reinforce the top and bottom of the buttonhole.

—Karen Frisa, Knitscene Spring 2009

The topic of buttonholes brings up buttonbands. Here are some tips for knitting great buttonbands.

Buttonband Tips

• Use a knitting needle one or even two sizes smaller than the one used for the body of the garment. This smaller size will make a firmer band that is less likely to droop.

• When picking up stitches for a band, consider the stitch gauge of the band pattern versus the row gauge of the garment. For example, if your band stitch pattern has five stitches per inch, and if your garment has seven rows per inch, then pick up five stitches for every seven rows on the garment. You could do this as follows: *pick up 1 stitch in each of next 3 rows, skip 1 row, pick up 1 stitch in each of next 2 rows, skip 1 row; rep from * for length of band. This sequence makes a band that lies flat.

• Buttons don’t need to be evenly spaced. Clustering buttons in groups of two or three along a band can be pretty and unexpected.

• Choose buttons that complement your garment in terms of size and weight as well as style. Too many heavy buttons on a lightweight garment can pull it out of shape; tiny buttons on a heavier garment can be lost. Shank buttons create some room for the knitted fabric behind the button. If you have a delicate fabric, place a backing button (a small, thin button) or a piece of felt on the wrong side of the band (inside the garment) behind the visible button.

• Traditionally, buttonholes for a woman’s or girl’s garment are on the right band (as it’s worn); for a man’s or boy’s, they’re on the left.

These are the types of articles you’ve come to expect in Knitscene , along with fashion-forward designs and styling. We’re offering a terrific collection to celebrate Knitscene‘s 10th birthday: a collection of every issue of Knitscene since it’s debut, plus all of the Accessories issues. Get yours today, in print or digital.

Here’s to better buttonholes, and to 10 years of Knitscene.

Cheers,
1KCsig

It’s taken a while but I’ve finally got some niddy noddys – smile!

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small niddy niddySome lovely people in Wales who specialise in spinning & weaving equipment and mainly make them using hand turning – a skill I am slowly acquiring – very slowly – as the ‘class’ is only once a week – have agreed to supply me with some of the tools I can no longer get from Kromski.

(That is a long story, but, suffice to say, I am not buying  their products any more – a shame in many ways – but I could not rely on deliveries etc.)

I have been looking around for alternative suppliers for some time, for the full range of spinning & weaving equipment, and have even asked various people to make things for me, only to find someone took my ideas and sold the products themselves!

However, the joke is on them, because I purposely didn’t give them the full information, and they haven’t yet realised that there are some faults in the design. Nasty of me – no – just being cautious!

I picked up the first order the other day, and the full range is up on my julzweaving site on ebay.

I have not yet put any of these in my etsy shop,  as I have not got a great deal of everything yet, and want to see how well they go on ebay first.

So – a quick look at what I have ordered this time – see the gallery below – and if you want to buy any of them, please use the julzweaving link above – thanks.

As ever, to see the captions, hover over the picture, or click on any picture to get a slide show.

OH – and I purposely wrote the title so that it would get people wondering what I was talking about – smile!

W is for Wonderwool

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W I went to Wonderwool yesterday and thought I’d share my day out with you.

Wonderwool?  Its a ‘trade show’ (or as they call it ‘A Festival of Welsh Wool & Natural Fibres) for spinners & weavers and other crafters, and was held at the Royal Welsh Show grounds in Builth Wells.

The forecast was for rain, and it looked like it was right on the drive there, but by the afternoon it was a brilliantly sunny day!

I found some new suppliers, and bought some lovely silk fibres, which I will be putting up on etsy & ebay in the coming weeks, but this post is just about some of the people, and animals (!), who I came across during my day out.

Apologies to the others who haven’t got featured, it was a big show and I didn’t get around it all, and I kept getting distracted by all the nice stuff there, and forgot to get my camera out!

So here is a gallery of the photos I DID take – hover over the pictures to see the caption, or click on them to get a slide show – you may need to do this to read the full descriptions – I have given the contact details for all those featured.

And look out for the May/June issue of Yarn Maker whose editor I met several times in my meanders, and who was also taking pictures for a feature. (www.yarnmaker.co.uk)