Everything for the weaver, spinner, knitter, felter and dyer...

Everything for the weaver, spinner, knitter, felter and dyer...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fiber Kiln...

I have been dyeing ever increasing amounts of spinning fiber and yarns. Between stocking the shop, providing for the monthly fiber clubs, and selling to other shops around the country, wet yarns and fibers can be seen drying on any given day everywhere! This was behind the inspiration for the fiber kiln. In my experience, a lot of good ideas begin with a glass of wine. A lot of bad ideas begin with too much wine; but that's for another blog episode. This idea occurred over a meal and a glass at 3 Tides in Belfast with my husband Chris, brother-in-law Phil, and sister-in-law Karna.

What I needed was a way to decrease the amount of time it took for the dyed fiber to dry. If it was a warm, sunny, slightly breezy day here in Maine, great! If not, I could plan on 3 days from dyeing to packaging. How could I shorten that time frame? The Swedes use a drying cabinet in the Tvättstuga  (laundry room). Those Swedes are so smart.

First Karna found 9 doors at an auction for $5. Phil picked them up and delivered them to Purple Fleece. A few days later, tools in hand, assembly began. After measuring, cutting, and removing old hardware, one door became the floor, 2 for the back, 2 for the front, one for either side, and a piece of plywood for the top. An exhaust fan was mounted through the plywood top ($11 at Lowe's, thank you friend Richard), a socket for a 200 watt light bulb for heat with dimmer switch was mounted on the floor, some exterior painting to jazz up the doors, weather stripping pasted on the front 2 doors where they meet and voila! The Fiber Kiln was born.

Here are the first hand painted rovings hanging in the Fiber Kiln. The light bulb elevated the temperature in the enclosure by almost 10 degrees. The exhaust fan kept the air circulating and the moisture was expelled into the room air.

Less than 24 hours later, I'm packaging up "Purple Reign". It's a huge success. Thanks to everyone who helped to make this a reality.