Thursday, November 29, 2012

End of fall and dying (wool)

It looks like fall here in Madrid is ending. Where the air was crisp, now it is biting. 
The trees in my park are showing their last burst of yellow.

While on the walk to my old apartment the red leaves are fading.

Today we finally officially move out of our old apartment. We have been living in the new apartment since November 2nd but as the leases over lapped during November and our landlady lives in Murcia we are only getting around to handing over the keys today. We are getting out just in time, the other place has a mold problem you would not believe.

Yesterday I started experimenting with acid dyes and wool top. I have a lot more to learn then I expect when I started. I need to use smaller amounts of fiber and start a dye notebook. Also I really need to find citric acid crystals here in Madrid. White wine vinegar smells horrible and the white vinegar that you get in the States doesn't exist here (it is made of corn, corn is not really grown here). 

I used 8 oz of Falkland wool. My theory is that if I do not end up felting this one (as Falkland is easy to felt) then I am golden, and I will not have to worry so much about felting in the future. Here is a photo of my ~50g fiber bundles in the pot already steamed and now cooling.

 I used two different ways of applying the dye and different lengths of color. I will spin this next to see just how compacted the fiber is and how the different lengths of the color look spun up. If it is felted I can always use it as core wool for needle-felting, I just have to wait until it is dry to know.

I used only three colors to start, turquoise, violet and grey. I learned from a master dyer once that if you use colors in the same quadrant of the color wheel you will not be taking any risks of clashing. 
Pictures of it drying on the terraza this morning: 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Campaign for wool - Spain

From my other blog, this is to good to miss reading about. English is in italics and Spanish is below.

I am going to break the Trashumancia posts and put up this post, due to the fact that if you live in Madrid, and do not know about the campaign for wool events going on this week, you will still have a chance to go and see some events and the art after you have read this post. 

Voy a interrumpir los posts sobre la Trashumancia para poner este post, debido al hecho de que si vivís en Madrid, y no sabéis acerca de los eventos de la Campaña por la Lana que están ocurriendo esta semana, tendréis la oportunidad de ir a ver algún evento y el arte después de haber leído este post.

Why the campaign for wool on a Spanish historical spinning blog? To me wool is the basis for spinning, and the Campaign for Wool is history in the making. From the Campaigns website:

The Campaign for Wool is a truly collaborative initiative involving farmers, textile manufacturers, carpet makers, fashion & interior designers and artisans from around the world.  The Campaign for Wool is jointly funded by six of the biggest trade wool textile organisations...

¿Por qué la campaña para la lana en un blog sobre la historia del hilado en España? Para mí, la lana es la base para el hilado, y la Campaña por la lana es historia en movimiento. Del sitio web Campañas:

La Campaña por la Lana es una iniciativa llevada a cabo por Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Gales, quien ha observado que la industria lanera se enfrenta con retos enormes y sin precedentes. La Campaña por la Lana es multinacional, multisectorial, integradora y procura abarcar todos los profesionales de la lana, desde las grandes empresas hasta los artesanos.

The campaign is lead by the Prince of Wales and is an effort to bring awareness of the properties of wool and the decline of the use of wool in textiles. It is common in Spain, as well as UK, that farmers will bury or burn the wool, as it is an annoying extra product off the sheep that they want to use for meat or milk. I have heard the amount of money that they get from selling the wool is less then they have to pay the shearer to shear the sheep in the first place. All non primitive breeds have to be shorn every year or the fleece can get too heavy and cause the sheep health problems. What that means for us spinners is that the sheep are not valued for their wool and therefore they are not being breed for it, the quality goes down, and there is even the potential for the breeds that do not give good milk or meat to die out.

La campaña está dirigida por el Príncipe de Gales y es un esfuerzo para crear conciencia de las propiedades de la lana y la disminución del uso de la lana en el sector textil. Es común en España, al igual que en el Reino Unido, que los ganaderos entierren o quemen la lana, ya que es un molesto producto adicional de las ovejas que se desean utilizar para carne o leche. He oído que la cantidad de dinero que obtienen por la venta de la lana es menos que lo que tienen que pagar al esquilador para esquilar las ovejas. Todas las razas no primitivas necesitan ser esquiladas cada año o la lana puede ser demasiado pesada y causar problemas de salud a las ovejas. Lo que esto significa para nosotros los hilanderos es que las ovejas no son apreciadas por su lana y por lo tanto no están siendo criadas para ello, la calidad disminuye, e incluso existe la posibilidad de que las razas que no dan buena leche o carne desaparezcan.

To me this campaign is frightfully important to bring awareness to the consumer, spinner or not. The campaign makes an effort to link wool to the fashion world by having models pose with the sheep and encouraging stores to join the campaign and highlight their wool products. If the fashion world makes a greater demand for better wool, spinners will benefit. The fashion world has the main control of  the wool market, whereas us spinners are just a drop in the bucket. This campaign is going strong in at least 8 countries and counting and I hope that it continues to thrive.

Para mí esta campaña es terriblemente importante para hacer tomar conciencia a los consumidores, hilanderos o no. La campaña hace un esfuerzo por vincular la lana con el mundo de la moda al hacer posar a modelos con las ovejas y alentar a las tiendas para unirse a la campaña y destacar sus productos de lana. Si el mundo de la moda hace que haya una mayor demanda de mejor lana, los hilanderos se beneficiarán. El mundo de la moda tiene el control principal del mercado de la lana, nosotros los hilandores somos sólo un pequeño porciento. Esta campaña va fuerte en al menos 8 países por ahora y espero que siga prosperando.

Now back to Madrid, Lana Connection, an urban knitting/yarn bombing group here in Madrid has done a wonderful job of coordinating the wool art installations here in Madrid. From the Lana Connection website:

Ahora, de vuelta a Madrid, Lana Connection, un grupo de urban knitting/yarn bombing aquí en Madrid ha hecho un trabajo maravilloso coordinando las instalaciones de arte de lana aquí en Madrid. Desde el sitio web de conexión Lana:

This exhibition was the collaboration of the following groups here in Spain:

En esta intervención han colaborado los siguientes grupos de España:

  • LanaConnection (Madrid) Diseño y coordinación
  • Comunidad de tejedoras de Amo el Amigurumi (Alicante)
  • La Guerrilla del ganchillo (Barcelona)
  • La Ganxetes del Portia (Reus)
  • La guerrilla de Gilda (Lleida)
  • Loving club de (Mallorca)
  • Urban Knittng Bilbao
  • Urban Knitting Valencia
  • “Lacraftytienda” The Home Made (Vigo)
  • Urban Knitting Zaragoza
  • Yarn Bombing ACoruña
  • Madrid Knit

The theme for this year was the four seasons and they have done it well with two knitted or crocheted scenes from every season and themed knitted bunting running up and away from each season. I loved winter the best, but all of it was breath taking. A lot of work went into these and I am proud of the representation of my craft. As always click to enlarge. I have found a video that documents that yarn bombing by Lana Connection. 

El tema para este año fueron las cuatro estaciones del año y lo han hecho bien con dos escenas de punto o ganchillo por cada temporada, y ristras temáticas de punto conectando cada temporada. Me encantó el invierno sobre todo, pero todo fue impresionante. Se puso una gran cantidad de trabajo en cada uno y me siento orgullosa de la representación de mi medio. Como siempre clic para ampliar. He encontrado un video que documenta que yarn bombing por Lana Connection.

Winter / invierno

Winter / invierno

Winter / invierno

Winter / invierno

I love the Spanish touches, for example in the photo below the chocolate and churros....

Me encantan los detalles españoles, por ejemplo en la foto de abajo el chocolate y churros ....

Winter / invierno

and a three kings cake.

Y un roscón de reyes.

Winter / invierno

Summer / verano

Summer / verano

Summer / verano

Summer / verano

Summer / verano

Summer / verano

Spring / primavera

Spring / primavera

Autumn / otoño
Autumn / otoño
Autumn / otoño
On Serrano across from the Jardines del Descubrimiento were some educational stations about wool. Including un-processed and processed wool, a weaving demonstration, of course a spinning demonstration, and, naturally, sheep! There were at least four different breeds that I made out, and they certainly were attracting attention.

En Serrano frente a los Jardines del Descubrimiento había algunas estaciones educativas sobre la lana, incluyendo una sobre lana sin procesar y procesada, una demostración de tejido, por supuesto una demostración de hilado, y, naturalmente, las ovejas! Habían por lo menos cuatro razas diferentes por lo que yo sé, y ciertamente llamaban la atención de la gente.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall in Parque de Calero

Another picture post. I am working hard on catching up on the other blog. I hope to have a post there soon, but life keeps getting in the way.

Anyway who knows me, knows that I love fall. Now that I am lucky enough to have a park on my doorstep I can not stop trying to capture what fall is like in Madrid.

And when you pair fall with that lovely pink light Madrid gets at sunset it is breathtaking.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Hello everyone sorry for the radio silence, I finally have DSL again after moving apartments in Madrid. Which means that I finally have the ability to update my blog. So many things have happened that I want to write about. However I am going to first work on a post for my other blog for the Fiesta de Trashmancia that took place on Oct. 28th here in Madrid. Until then I have some photos of new new Barrio, Quintana:
I live directly across from a park now!

The view from my Terraza (balcony)

There are three markets within walking distance.
But Las Ventas is the biggest and closest.

Yes, this is the bull fighting arena, and I do not agree with bull fighting,
but the building is pretty.