Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bicycle Spinning Wheel

Someday, I would like to have a great or walking wheel.  In the mean time, my husband and I put together this bicycle wheel.  I hope to use it for the 4th Grade Pioneer Day demonstration in May.  

The wheel has a frame built from 2x4 lumber.  All pieces were screwed together using long (~3") deck screws.

The bicycle tire rim is attached to a short section of angle iron which had pre-drilled holes.  Our first version had short (1") screws holding the angle iron to the upright, but it was not stable.  The longer deck screws do a much better job of holding it securely. The axle from the bicycle tire rim is bolted through one of the holes on the vertical side of the angle iron.

The upright is an "L" shaped piece with a slot in it.  It is able to move back and forth and twist a little to tension the drive band.  It is held in place by the wing nut and washers on a bolt that comes up through the 2x4 of the frame.

The spindle is a knitting needle.  I originally used a us#10.5 needle, but recently swapped it for a us#9, because the 9 fit into a straw, which I am using as a bushing to make it easier for it to spin.  The drive band is waxed linen from my leather toolkit.  It does a good job of grabbing onto the slick needle and making it turn.

Many thanks to the following blog posters for their contributions:

 Rosemary Knits --proof of concept that this type of wheel could work!
 Ed Jenkins --beautiful walking wheels, and the idea for the L-shaped upright.
Alden Amos --I discovered Alden's t-frames after constructing the first version of this wheel.  This is cheaper, but I imagine that his require less fiddling! (And they look so pretty!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Color Blending for Fiber Artists

I was thrilled to have students sign up to take my color blending class at the Fiber Event this year.  My four students blended their own 12-hue color wheel, each color blended from combinations of red, blue, and yellow.  We spent some time identifying colors in photographs and discussing different ways to use those colors in a fiber project.  It was a fun class!  A big "thank you" to all my students!

Supplies ready to go for the Color Blending class at The Fiber Event.

Here are some photos from a color blending project I finished this week and took to show my class.  The little baggies in the center contain fibers.  The bag on top were the original colors.  The lower bag are the colors after I blended them.  I ordered the original colors into an approximate color wheel and then blended each color with some of the colors to each side of it.  50% of the blend is the "main color"; 25% of the blend is from the adjacent colors.  I love how blending the colors ties them together!

The scarf is a modification of the pattern "Wingspan" from Ravlery.  It was once a free pattern, but has been expanded and is no longer free.  I liked having the information on how to tweak the pattern that is included in the paid version.  The scarf is a series of shifted triangles which gives it a tendency to curve.  It didn't take much to make the scarf into a circle for this photo! -- The cast on color is the red; the cast off color is the red-purple.

Here's a closeup of the colors of the Merino fibers.  As dyed on top; as blended on the bottom.