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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


Here's a link to a short film from the early 1900s that provides a fascinating window to life in NYC a hundred years ago. (I wish I'd saved another link I stumbled across of the same city, a decade prior, when horse-drawn transportation was completely dominated: the photo showed a street ankle deep (or more!) in horse manure, because there were so many horses that their waste totally overwhelmed the efforts of city planners to cope; the problem really only went away when the reliance on horses did.

Today's review of the YA fantasy novel Arabella of Mars, focuses on its culture, which has alas more serious problems than horse manure.


cropLast evening, i.e. 2 evenings ago when I wrote this, sigh, a storm system (and even a little rain) rolled in, & the sky turned these gorgeous shades of orange and pink, even lavender: sunset reflected high enough up amongst the clouds that we could actually see colours, which tend to be blocked by trees, houses and the like.

I love the closed in feeling the trees give, but there's no question that big-sky country is the place to see spectacular sunsets: today's link features art and science, specifically a new cloud formation—in very cool pink & gold colours—exactly the same as today's dead mouse.


cropContinuing on with bright, happy colour schemes with a nod to intense pink, I just loved this gorgeous photography of fluid paint; and I noticed that turquoise and fuchsia mixed particularly well (as they do with fabric dyes as well); with turquoise and yellow being a close second (also true).

Or you can check out this pink lentil pendant, made on the last day of spring.


cropGee, let's make a webpage about the latest beadcurtain strand. —I love travelling, but it does seem to take forever get back on track.

Evidently, June is Pride month, so here's a link about a LGBTIA+ “alphabet”, delightfully interpreted in modern dance; and the very first rainbow flag, which ties in nicely with today's page, given the colour scheme of the original beadcurtain.


cropvia a ftblogger's self care channel here's a gorgeous sitar vid by Anoushka Shankar.

If you're feeling a bit stronger on the activist side, Earth Day (& marches for science) are tomorrow. I've never really understood the divide between science and art, as the former is a huge enabler of the latter. But as an artist always wanting better & cooler art supplies & tools (never mind the whole clean water/cures for infectious diseases/communication tech...) I am all about funding science. For those not into crowds, the nice thing about resistbot is you don't even have to talk to people. I gather you have to give it both your full name & title (the latter is a bit problematic for me, as there isn't really one in English I'm happy with....)



cropSo I thought I'd take a break from all that old stuff, and talk a bit about some of my more recent researches: today's textile is not a braid (technically, braids are an oblique interlacing, i.e. a sort of weaving) but instead merely a 4 strand twisted fiber, like rope or multi-ply yarns. Though handspun yarn can be single ply, it's not as durable as multiple, which is also why rope is traditionally at least 3 plies.

Plying allows for some fun visual effects, such combining strands with long and short colour repeats, a technique handspinners call fractal spinning; knit up, it uses optical blending to make more softly transitioned stripes. I, of course, have been fascinated by ombre yarns for a long time—somewhat for embroidery, but especially for kumihimo. As it turns out, though one can purchase reproductions of circular sock knitting machines, no-one, unfortunately, has gotten around to reproducing the equivalent 19ca braid making machines, which to be sure, have a lot more gearing; even the sock machines were, according to the 4th generation machinist who makes these things, no picnic. So if I want to, say, prototype hand-dyed string to see how it might look in braids, I'll just have to settle for using my bradshaw winder:) —which actually would be a pretty decent mockup, at least for spiralling striped braids such as kongoh.


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