Spinning for Feral Beginners

Monday, October 13, 2008

Miscellaneous Yankland Madness

Thought I'd post some fun photos from my outting with some like-minded dyer fanatics. Some old wine jugs with the lovely distilled brews -- goldenrod, grape, black walnut, and other fantastic dyes.
Then, a shot of cedar, which, um, kinda overboiled on the la stove. Smelled nice tho'.

We had so much fun getting filthy all day -- lots of pots on various burners and even a live flame camp stove ring (that was fun to light) WATCH OUT FOR YOUR EYEBROWS!
Managed to make a nice mess with some Starbucks espresso grounds. Not for the tidy types -- we didn't have a fine strainer so the fibre was nice and gritty. Didn't mind it myself, as the yarn was nice to smell if you are coffee addict like me.
Lots of discussion of the benefits and limitations of natural dyeing. Some seemed to argue that it wasn't a commercial venture -- consistency of colour/product, etc... I would argue, well, you don't get much colourfastness with most commercially-produced clothing, so why should it matter with hand-dyes.
While I'm a commercial hand-dyer who uses synthetic dyes -- my customers expect a colourfast, lightfast product, I think there is room for natural dyeing on a larger scale. I mean, why can't the yarn fade and colour change over time? I'm getting older, changing colour, etc... a natural process.... *laugh* So why not the things I make with my hands? I'd be interested in your comments regarding.
On a completely different note, here are some of my non-fibre-related items from my travels:
Run to: www.target.com and check out the Nick and Nora pajamas. Don't miss the curious kitten jimjams. I've stocked up people! This is the USA target, not the Aussie one. Alas, I don't think the Aussie one is stocking winter jammies at the moment. I love all of them and yes, have purchase a matching set, including the slippers.
What to do? Do I splurge and get the sock monkeys as well????? OMG.
I'm homesick for Australian food and my bestest girl, Lyta, the love of my life.
melissa, in Yankland

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back from NJ and PA

I first have to add the following photos: Vellan has spun some sliver from BWM that I left with her before I headed overseas. I want to grab that yarn through cyberspace!
Eh Voila!

It's so beautiful!!!! Now I'm dying to see what she does with the hand-painted Sherwood Forest I did with some of Wendy Dennis' top! WOWEEEE.

This was an experiment to see if I could dye a floral -- there are photos of this hand-paint, undyed, in a previous blog entry. Her spinning is amazing.

Speaking of amazing spinning -- I've spent the last 2 weekends in the company of the North Country Spinners, NJ -- an fab group of spinners, weavers, and knitters. Survived a very sleepless, but enjoyable retreat, then followed that up with a workshop the following Friday -- topic? Freeforming and the roll/bullion stitch. Of course, I couldn't help but insist that they purchase Prudence Mapstone's Bullions and Beyond -- a must if you want some inspiration on freeform crochet. Most, however, hadn't looked at the book. No worries, as it wasn't required, but I expected 10-12 people would be interested. Imagine my surprise when 30+ showed up, with hooks poised. It was a bit like herding cats, but we had a lot of fun negotiating the hook gymnastics as a group. Some very groovy patches started already!

So it's back to Maryland to prepare for the next SIOz outting!
Catching you later, m