It’s been a month of dye-soak-rinse-and-repeat here, with a bit of ironing for variety and one short break to teach an intro to natural dyes workshop.But being mostly home for a while has let me make some serious progress on preparing for our annual studio sale in November and sampling more bark dye extractions.
Yesterday I finally managed to dye yarn with my first indigo Sig vat. It was almost another failed experiment. And as usual, I probably learned more because of that.
Here are the results after one dip on white wool (right) and over sumac to make the green. Continue reading An Unconventional Indigo Sig Vat
After two days of teaching, I had a day off before my next seminars and I’ve made the most of it. Now I’m sipping iced tea, resting my feet, and reflecting on the wonderful things that have happened so far at Convergence 2016 in Milwaukee.
My week began with a 2-day workshop sampling seven looping variations from around the world. As usual when I’m teaching, I get too busy to take pictures. Then right at the end of the lunch break on Day 1, the convention center was evacuated because of a nearby fire. My class managed to meet up at the Starbuck’s across the street, and I managed to get a picture of this lovely group stitching and sipping until we could return to our class space.
Continue reading Looping At Convergence
This weekend has been our annual fishing camp, and my studio was temporarily converted into Fly Tying Central. But once the feathers and flash are picked up this afternoon, I’ll start spreading out natural dye materials to dry while I’m away teaching at Convergence.
Convergence is the Handweavers Guild of America biennial conference. Packing for an event like this is best done without any distractions — at least for me. At least if there’s anything that has to be counted. So I got all that done before our company arrived on Friday.
This video from the Norsk Folkemuseum came to my attention last week via a 2015 post at vakerrysta.blogspot.com. I’ve added it to the unorganized collection on my Looping Links page, but had to call it to your attention. Strainers for milk and beer-making have fascinated me since I was first able to borrow Odd Nordland’s book Primitive Scandinavian Textiles in Knotless Netting from interlibrary loan.
You’ll find spinning the hair fiber (I believe) at 6:00, stitching the strainer at 7:50, adding thread at 9:39, and then she pours milk through the strainer.
I’m so grateful for the filmmakers who captured these traditions, the folk museums who preserve them, and the generous souls share these findings!
Thanks to unseasonably mild weather, this morning I was able to harvest some dye materials that were buried under snow this time last year. So I chopped mullein leaves during the football game and got them soaking. Tomorrow my unnaturally tidy studio goes back into dye mode.
Today, I gave myself permission to ignore my to-do list (prep for Sievers workshop next week) until afternoon. By then, I should have a huge accumulation of laundry washed and hung to dry. In between trips to the clothesline, I need to download a huge accumulation of stuff from my head. Some are things I wish I had taken better pictures of, or better notes, or any pictures or notes, because I think you would find them inspirational. Others may be of no interest to anyone but me. But it’s hard to be tidy during a mental house-cleaning, so here’s goes.
My stash of accumulated class demos and natural dye experiments is getting a bit leaner, now that I’ve started working on a new piece.
It’s a functional silk purse I’m looping to go in the instructors’ exhibit at the Midwest Weavers Association Conference in June.
One of my goals for January was to make my web site work better for people reading them on mobile devices, and it’s finally done.
Some other things got updated, as well. When the Sievers site opens for 2015 class registrations on February 1 I’ll update the direct links to my Local Color To Wear class (July 27-31) and Natural Dye Retreat (October 13-17). Registration is now open for the Midwest Weavers Conference and the National Basketry Organization biennial conference. More workshop information, including links to eCourse registrations, is here.
There are probably other things I missed that should be updated. If you spot something, please let me know!
Sometimes you just have to let an idea evolve.
The exhibition piece I was working on in my last post was finished, but it was 20 below zero. About all we could do in those temperatures was drive around looking for suitable sites where it could be photographed.
Deep snow, extreme cold and wind meant my original idea of hanging the elements from a bridge near my home was going to be more difficult than doable. Ditto Hanging Elements Plans B and C.
So I played with the elements, and kept coming back to the idea that they looked like a shoal of fish. So we reassessed options and went with Plan D. But since that involved possibly standing in freezing water, it seemed prudent to wait until it got a bit warmer. Today, it was positively balmy with temperatures above 20 degrees. So Bill and I went to shoot the piece this afternoon after he got home.
With air temperatures 30 degrees warmer than when we scouted, there was more open water and much more current. The water is only about a foot deep, but Bill’s felt-soled wading boots offered more secure footing than my tall rubber boot. So I went up on the bridge and my wonderful, generous, supportive husband stood in the water positioning the piece while I took photos standing on a ladder on the bridge.
It was a little late when we got started so we didn’t have quite enough daylight to get all the shots I wanted — especially since my battery got cold and I had to warm it up a couple of times. So we’ll probably shoot again in a couple of days. By the time we return, the ice will have changed and our plans may have to evolve a bit to suit the conditions we find then. We’ll go with the flow and see what happens then.