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OHS Level 2: Day 7

Today we prepared for nature dyeing tomorrow. First, we soaked our samples in a variety of mordants: alum/cream of tartar, copper, iron and a couple of others that I can’t exactly recall at 11pm. Yeah, it was a long day.

For those wondering what a mordant is… It’s like a colour booster. Each mordant reacts differently with each nature dye. It’s really quite interesting.

Then we prepared our dye stock. They all needed to soak overnight at the very least. Each plant varies. My group prepared marigold.

It was a fun day. Tomorrow will be even more fun to see the results from the dye pots! The down side is that it will be our last in-class day.

We ended the day with a trip to Marty’s. I picked up some more merino/stellina wool. I also got some nylon with the intention of making some socks someday (I will blend it with 75% wool). I picked up some more of Marty’s magical moth mix and some nettle tea to help fight allergies. And I thought I didn’t need anything there…

As I always do, I had Little Mickey and Pooh with me. I promised my Sweet Pea that I would take them with me everywhere because he left them with me to look after me. So it has become tradition that I take pictures of them doing different things on our adventures. My plan is to possibly put a scrapbook together for him someday.

Fleece for dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Fleece that was added to the yarn samples

Samples of plants for dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

A sample of some plants that can be used for dyeing

Dye plants - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Some plants we’ll be using for dyeing tomorrow

I also had a bit of a self-realization moment today. It came to me while discussing group leadership versus teaching. I’ve discovered why I’m not a leader in a group situation if the group has other ideas. If the group is respectful of my assigned position and has an open mind, I’m totally comfortable with that role. I’m totally comfortable in a teaching role. There are some situations where it may be expected or understood that I would be in a leadership role within a group. I have no problem with that unless I’m accosted by a bossy and/or domineering person or people. If my peers don’t respect my assigned position, I won’t argue with them. I have been through too much BS to even try to get somebody to listen to me who clearly thinks they know more than what I do (they may or may not – but I was assigned the role for a reason). I’m weary from fighting to be heard. I have little left. I have nothing left for those who don’t care to open their minds. I would much rather focus my energy on somebody who is open to what I have to share. I may not know all there is to know, but you’re missing out on what I do know if you choose not to listen. We all have different experiences and I enjoy sharing mine. You may even learn something.

The other part of it is that if you think you know better than I do and you screw up, I don’t want that reflecting on me. There has been more than one occasion where I’ve been in a group scenario and the group decided to not listen to directions. If I was taken seriously as leader, there’s a very high probability that that wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I’m very detail-oriented, which is probably one of the reasons I was assigned the role. I would have gone to the instructor to verify if there was any doubt. But hey, you know best, so just go right on ahead. I’ll be over in my corner waiting for instructions.

I think what it comes down to is the abuse that I endured. Everything was always my fault, even when I wasn’t involved. I got the blame for everything. My thoughts, opinions, experience and feedback meant nothing. So now as a result, I’m constantly in cover-your-ass mode. So if I’m in a group that doesn’t want to take my leadership role seriously, I’m not going to kiss there butts. Plus, my ass is covered for when they screw up. If I was in a leadership role and the group actually listened to me and the team screwed up, I would take responsibility for it because clearly I had passed on misinformation. But if the group chooses not to listen to me and there is a screw-up, it’s not my problem, is it?

Teaching/assisting on the other hand, is completely different. If I’m teaching/assisting, obviously I’m there specifically to pass on my knowledge and adhere to the set out curriculum. I’m there for a reason and that reason is because I’m a fit for the job. I was asked what I would do if I encountered a student who gave me a hard time or chose not to listen. Because let’s face it. I can come across as a bit of a pushover. Again, it comes down to choosing my battles. I have encountered a scenario where I had a student who challenged me. It was in dog training, but it was still a teaching job. He was on a mission to make me look like I knew nothing. I didn’t claim to know all there is about dog training. I’m not a behaviorist. That’s a whole other field. I was given a set of guidelines that I needed to follow for my classes and I did. I did it well. I got to the point where I had to tell the student that I was there to pass on what I know, which met the expectations of the company I worked for. I wanted to see him and his dog succeed. But if he had an issue with my methods, he was free to discuss the situation with management. If my classes weren’t meeting his expectations, then he may want to consider finding another dog trainer that can meet the needs I’m not.

After that, he had nothing more to say and my classes went smoothly.

Teaching and group scenarios are two different things. If you’re teaching, it’s because you have worked hard to acquire the skills and knowledge to pass on to others. People are there with the intention to learn from you. You can learn a lot in a group setting as well as long as you go in with an open mind. Many don’t. They judge before you even open your mouth. Who’s losing out though? Not I because I won’t expel the energy on somebody who has no interest in my experience, therefore, does not deserve it.

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OHS Level 2: Day 6

What an amazing day!!! Wendy was at the helm today with her first mate, Marty. We did colour blending. If you know me, you know that I’m going to love anything related to colour. I thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Our first assignment was to work around the outside of a colour triangle. My group was assigned the Broken Printers Palette – that means that the cyan was replaced with royal blue (from the painters palette). One thing that I did discover from this exercise is that I’m no longer as determined as I was on the quest for royal blue. While I do love the colour, I’m not so fond of the green/blues that come from it. I think it’s too strong.

Broken Printers Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Broken Printers Palette – all of the printers palette colours except that cyan has been swapped out with royal blue

Another group did the Broken Painters Palette:

Broken Painters Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Broken Painters Palette – cyan was used instead of blue

Painters Palette:

Painters Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Painters Palette

Printers Palette:

Printers Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Printers Palette

Our next assignment was to work on a shade gradation which involved adding various amounts of black to a base colour:

Shade Gradation - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Shade gradation exercise

There was a crossing of wires/jumping of the gun in the group I was in (I was just getting back from break) so we ended up doing an even bigger gradation. It turned out so amazing in spite of not being what we were initially supposed to do.

Ten-step gradation - keepmeinstitchez.worpdress.com

Ten-step shad gradation

I don’t think I would have had any trouble with this portion of the course, but I will say that taking the intermediate course certainly gave me a leg up. I’m very confident about this part. I haven’t entirely decided, but I think I’m going to needle felt the samples for my triangle. We’ll see.

After class there was a fibre-related sale. I picked up some wax conditioner for my wheel and some samples of fleece for my breed book. I also picked up a couple of shawl pins.

Tomorrow we’re getting into nature dyes. I’m pretty excited about this. I worked with nature dyes during the fibre arts program. It will be really interesting to see it geared specifically towards wool. Looking forward to what Louise is going to show us.

Move Over Crocs! I have a new love

Something you probably don’t know about me… I LOVE my Crocs. Hahaha! I can just imagine the Croc haters cringing. I’m not quite sure why I love them. In fact, I’m the first person to admit just how hideous they look. I had no desire to own a pair until I got a pair for Christmas one year. I think if I was to pinpoint it, it comes down to the convenience of just slipping them on and going. But this post isn’t about my beloved Crocs.

I FINALLY finished my Crochet X-Stitch Shrug by Deanna Young! (yes, that’s the link to where you can purchase the pattern). I’M IN LOVE!!!! The pattern was well written, very simple and easy to follow. In this listing she asks you not to sell the finished item. In her Etsy listing she says you may sell the finished item, she just requests that you give her credit (which is totally reasonable). I did email her and explain to her that I’m not wanting to make this item to sell, but if it doesn’t look good on me, I would like to list it. She was really nice, apologized for the confusion and said it didn’t matter if I sold it. So then I purchased the pattern. Totally worth the money.

When I saw this yarn in the store, I HAD to bring it home with me. I had started another project with it which didn’t look good on me (which is why I wanted to have my bases covered with this one). I was going to sell it, but then I decided that I loved this yarn too much to part with it. As much as it hurt to rip out a nearly completed project, I have no regrets now! I feel like I’m wrapped up in a stylish blanket. I’m almost sad that winter is on its way out because I don’t know if I’ll truly get to take this sweet piece for a test drive.

I’m a tight stitcher, so I ended up using a K hook. It worked out well.

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I don’t normally post pictures of me, but I’m kinda proud of myself. I’ve lost 25 lbs so far. I haven’t even been trying to lose weight. It’s not that I don’t need to or didn’t want to. I just gave up and stopped caring. My secret? Cutting back. If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat. It’s been that simple.

I promised my next post would be a happier one!

A Productive Spin on a Day

I decided that I needed to do some spinning today (well, it’s yesterday now because it’s the wee hours of Sunday morning). I wanted to get some yarn out to somebody I had promised awhile ago (until life got in the way). I also wanted to get another project spun up. The bright colours are for a personal project. I haven’t decided what yet.

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A comparison of “thick ‘n thin” to worsted weight (single). Both of these filled a bobbin. As you can see, you get more yardage with worsted weight

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I call this “The Colour of Happy”. There’s a huge difference between the roving and the end result. This is my favorite to spin (so far)

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I didn’t expect to fall in love with this yarn, but I have. The picture of the roving is what the colour is

I spun 6 (maybe 7) skeins today. I haven’t spun that much in one day in a long time. It felt good.

Note to Self…

Sometimes I’m amused with my train of thought.

I decided that I needed to do some spinning because I’ve got a couple of people wanting yarn (I’ve been dealing with a sick little one and fighting it off myself all week, so I really wanted to spin). I have a box that I was keeping roving in for my current project. I already had it ready to spin. I believe the term is attenuated. I didn’t really want to take it out of the box because there is no way that it would fit back into the original bag. I then remembered that I had a yarn order in the car that had arrived on Tuesday. I didn’t bother opening it because I didn’t need the yarn right away. I figured that box would be perfect to put the roving in for the spinning project I was going to work on.

As I opened the box, it occurred to me that I had ordered a grab bag of yarn in addition to the yarn I needed. It was only $7, so why not? I kinda kicked myself that I forgot that I had ordered it. When I opened the box, to my delight, there was some purple yarn! (purple is my favorite colour and has been for as long as I can remember) Not only that, it was yarn that was made out of polar fleece. Now I was REALLY kicking myself that I didn’t open the box sooner!

I decided that I’m going to make myself something out of this yarn. It’s like they knew I would love it! If I had have had a choice of yarn, I would have grabbed this in a heartbeat. I’m making a hat right now. I’m hoping there’s enough left over for some fingerless gloves and a cowl. Even just the hat would be wonderful.

I did do some spinning tonight, but I decided to spin up the wool that was in the original box. I went through all this when I didn’t need to since I was spinning the roving in the first box. Feel free to smile and nod or just shake your head.

Note to Self: ALWAYS open a box of yarn. You may have ordered something you forgot about.

You’re Lucky You’re Cute!

I’m not going to lie. It SUCKS when my son has to go for the weekend. It’s way too quiet.

I swear our kitty, Charlie (CharChar), has taken it upon himself to at least help to try to fill that emptiness. I can’t sneeze without him when my Sweet Pea is gone. He cries for him. He lays beside me. He lays around my shoulders or cuddles up against my leg. Then he usually makes his way up to bed where he either sleeps on my pillow or snuggles up very close to me. (Last night was an exception… I think he was a little too comfy on the couch and didn’t want to get up!) The little brat is also notorious for jumping up on MY spot on the couch when I get up to get a drink. Yes, he’s lucky he’s cute! He also like to cuddle with “The Guys” (Little Mickey and Pooh) when my Sweet Pea isn’t here…

The greeting, after a looooong weekend away (this happens every time)…

I won’t go into detail, but yesterday there were some pretty stressful events that went down. Rather than let those thoughts about not being able to do anything about the situation in the moment consume me, I decided to shift my energy elsewhere to something I CAN control. What’s my favorite method/tool for shifting gears? My spinning wheel. And after the two days that I spent up at the college this week, that just got me wound up even more (pardon the pun! hehehe)

So last night I pulled out a chair from the table. I got my wheel and set it up. And as I turned around, this is what I saw…

Okay buddy. That’s fine. I’m just going to pick out some roving to work with. It would seem that I need your approval now?

Don’t even THINK about it! Get away from that roving you brat cat!

“I’m not touching it! I’m not touching it! You can’t give me trouble because I’m not touching it!” It’s true. While he did stare it down, not once did he touch it. I think he knows better now. His little kitty butt would be going straight into kitty time out!

I swear CharChar KNEW that a bunch of us needed a laugh. Some of my friends had also had a rough day. I posted his antics and I think he brought quite a few smiles. I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful, crazy kitty!

Once he realized that I had to vacate my spot on the couch in order to spin, he curled up and had a nap. But not before he ran around every floor in the house! So when I was able to actually start spinning, this is what I got…

My sweetie made me post this to make my Facebook friends drool. I figured I’d better comply since he bought me the wheel and all LOL

And this is what it turned into…

I had no idea it was going to turn out THAT pretty! I may have to go get some more of that roving! The cool part is that the way this roving was structured gave me an idea on how to set my own up to get similar results with different colours. Now that I have that jar for sun dyeing, I may just have to play.

I’m off to spin some more.

Emotional Abuse – How I’m Lashing Back

I think I mentioned that this week we’re doing embellishments. Part of the course is “printing a yardage.” In other words, we have to make a screen and print about a yard and a half of patterned fabric.

There was an event last week involving somebody that mentally, emotionally and financially abused me and is allowed to continue to do so since those forms of abuse aren’t considered a criminal act. I do my best to ignore it, but sometimes it’s hard. So instead of lashing back at this insecure loser directly, I’m using my energy to try create awareness about emotional abuse. Hopefully one day this will be recognized in the courts and something be done about it. That is what my yardage is going to be.

Here is what I have in the works:


The first draft of my screen design


The other ribbon. The black one will be solid purple. The other one will be purple where the black is


The layout for my screen

This project is due on Friday. I just have to shoot my screen tomorrow and I’m ready to roll. Hopefully I can get it done tomorrow. If not, then I have all day Friday. I don’t think it will take that long at all 🙂