Monday, June 14, 2010

Festivals for June and July...

And if that one isn't enough for you, Sandy from The Wool Room at Longmeadow Farm had this one for July as well.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Color Me Happy!

Many thanks to Donna and the other guild members who worked so hard to make our first guild dye day a success. While Phyllis gave us a lecture on the basics of natural dying, Donna was hard at work in the HFHF basement kitchen. After a soak in an alum and cream of tartar bath, the skeins hit a variety of onion skin baths: exhausted, average strength, and concentrated.

After removing the skeins from the onion bath, we then saw how different post-dye dips affected the color. Iron 'saddens' the color, ammonia intensifies and brightens, copper deepens the shades.

Hope to see all of you in July for Favorite Fiber Tools and spinning!

And if you have any interest in signing up for Carol and Debbie's workshop, please let Phyllis V. or Donna know ASAP! All money is due by June 25th.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's Time for a Dye Job!

June 13, 1010 Program

Introduction to Natural Dyes:
Phyllis Vasbinder

Demonstration: Onion Skins with Various Modifiers plus
Lily of the Valley leaves on your donated skeins
Common Threads members:
Mary Fisher
Phyllis MacCameron
Pat Maciejewsk
Yvonne Maute
Bonnie Morrisey
Becky Swanson

Natural Dyes are one of the most interesting dye methods, especially for protein fabrics (wool and silk). Complicated? No...but, important things to know: a little horticulture, a little chemistry, a little creativity=virtually endless fun. Today's lecture will provide background and a beginning framework so you can continue basic natural dyeing on your own.

For those who want more, help out with the dyeing at Sheep to Shawl, or sign up for the Natural Dye Workshop (limit 10 members).

Interesting Links:
Natural Dyeing Information
Jenny Dean's Wild Colour
Wild Colours
Aurora Silk

A Dyer's Garden-Rita Buchanan
The Craft of Natural Dyeing-Jenny Dean

Monday, June 7, 2010

June Meeting and Beyond

Dear Group,

There was much interest expressed in doing some dyeing this summer. The ability to be outside, and the availability of plant dyes at this time of year, make this a lot more desirable and fun than at other times. As we are a spinning AND dyeing group the Program committee, along with great volunteers, is trying to make a workshop happen for both acid dyes and natural dyes. Because of space limitations and the amount of work required, each will be offered only one time this summer.

Diana Stewart, Doreen Kelly, Pat Hoffert and Bonnie Morrisey are working on an acid dye day August 29 (max around 10 participants) at Kelkenburg Farms. Fee t cover expenses yet to be determined.

This is an overwhelming amount of work, and for lots of personal reasons, no one in the guild is able to undertake teaching at this time. In order to offer an opportunity, however, I contacted the two dyers who did an OUTSTANDING workshop at the Weavers' Guild two years ago. They are preparing to teach at Rhinebeck in October but have agreed to tailor a workshop for what I thought would be a good introduction and fun. These dyes will make a huge variety of reds, yellows and blues, and therefore, all the colors you can conceive. Cutch gives sophisticated browns and tans (NOT like black walnut). These are also expensive dyes that will challenge us all from beginner to expert.

For additional savings and because it would be more interesting, I proposed that we carpool to their dyeing studio in Alfred (an hour and 45 minutes). If they come here, in addition to their time and expenses that we would have to pay, we would need to rent a space. Since they are offering to teach July 25, we need to seriously discuss this at the June meeting. So, below, the details.

The 1-day workshop would encompass processing and handling techniques on wool yarn and fleece, using cochineal, weld, madder, indigo and cutch, with variations in pre- and post-mordants, some top-dyeing and a full set of sample cards to accompany the handout with directions and other information. We will focus the day on a full spectrum of color and a black as well as any other combinations.

Each participant may bring up to 1/2 pound of pre-washed (pre-skeined if yarn) wool/alpaca/silk fiber for mordanting with alum, preferably pre-soaked.

Class size minimum - 6, maximum -10, dates July 25. The fee would be $100 per person plus a materials fee (covering handout, all samples, dyes, mordants, coffee/tea and am/pm snacks) to be decided, and a per-ounce charge for the additional mordanting. We can cater a lunch as well if you like.

We can start as early as 8:30 in the morning but I think it would be safe to schedule the session from 9 - 5. If neither of those July dates work, we'll have to look at another month - those are the only 2 days that both Debbie and I are free!

I REALLY REALLY need feedback soon, so please be prepared to seriously discuss this at the June meeting.

Donna Ball

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Speaking of Felt

If you missed our Mother's Day Spin In, you missed more than a day of fun! Check this out! This is a fully felted penguin done by one of our guild members. Amazing!
I hope you are getting excited for our June meeting on natural dyes...more to follow very soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Felt Retreat

Summer Felt Retreat
June 27 - July 3 2010
Finger Lakes Region
New openings for beginner felt makers June 30 - July 3
  • Felt Retreat at the "Odd Felters Hall" in Kellogsville, NY with instructors Polly Stirling, Sachiko Kotaka, Robin Blakney-Carlson and Cher Benda.
  • Bring your interest in fiber work and spend three days learning how to make this ancient non-woven cloth with a creative team of felt maker/tutors from many areas of expertise and talents.
  • While experienced participants will be working on their own projects in an "on call" mentored situation over 5 days and residing at the "Woodlot" locally, those new to the art of felt making will be guided into the process over a period of 3 days, exploring basic techniques of making both traditional felt - all wool fibers, and "nuno felt" which is felting into fabrics for added texture, drape and conglomerate transformations. Depending where your interest lies, you may progress to make a scarf, shoulder wrap, one piece shoulder bag, lap top pouch or whatever your imagination allows. Meet other felt makers and see the transformation of their creative projects.
  • Basic equipment will be provided and wool will be available for purchase at a nominal price. The cost of 3 days tuition with daily lunches is $300.
  • Opportunities will be plentiful for working with guidance on a personal level. As mentors, we hope to provide a table of artistic courage, technical advice, business experience, and nurturing support.
  • This opportunity to expand perspective and navigate new directions in your felt making with time to relax, eat and rest in our family's lakeside cabin set in the woods.
  • This is a very rare opportunity to work with a wide range of talented instructors, including two of my sisters. Please share with anyone creative you think may be interested. Although the Woodlot, our nearby family camp on Skaneateles Lake, will be full with 5 day participants, tent sites are available with dinner are available for $10.
Susan Blakney, Chief Conservator
AIC Fellow, IIC Fellow
West Lake Conservators Ltd.