Tag Archives: Wgm

Partners in Dye: A Dyes & Fibers Sampler

Hand-dyeing your own fibers can be intimidating. How do you know which dye to use? Heat or no heat? Salt? Acid? This class will break it down into the chemistry you need to know. Get the specifics for which dye to use when, the process you need for each kind of fiber, how to get the colors and effects you want and most especially how to work with dyes in ways that are safe and earth-friendly.

 

Handpainted Roving

Learn the basics of dyeing wool fiber, including choosing and mixing dyes; processing for saturation and colorfastness; and tips and techniques for handling fiber without felting. We will make samples using a variety of hand painting techniques to achieve different effects like semi-solids, stripes, and gradients. You will leave class with a sampler of small balls of roving and the skills to tackle larger projects.

 

Try It: Kumihimo

Learn the basics of kumihimo, an 8-stranded patterned braid.  Make your own marudai (braiding loom) and explore color variations and textures with different yarn weights and added beads. Level: Multi.

Footpath and the Midwest Weavers Conference

footpath

Footpath.  The design for this moebius scarf was inspired by one of the patterns in the WGM’s 75th Anniversary “A Thread Through Time” book.  I used the basketweave tie up pattern on page 56 and translated it into a colorful geometric design, created with bits of colored and patterned paper pulled from junk mail and catalogs.  I assembled the geometric design, scanned it and created a seamlessly repeating pattern that was digitally printed on to fabric.

This last week was the Midwest Weavers Conference here in Minneapolis.  This is a regional conference hosted every other year in a different city.  Our local Weavers Guild were the hosts for the conference and I was asked to teach two technology classes as part of conference seminars, one about marketing yourself online and one about photo editing.  The piece above was my submission to the Instructors Exhibit.  Since I am only a little bit of a weaver, I didn’t want to have my little pieces on display with the masters, so I decided to go with what I am good at, but with a weaving twist.

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Our Weavers Guild is celebrating their 75th birthday this year.  As part of the celebration, they put together a book.  For years, as I understand it, the guild newsletter included a weaving draft and a tiny swatch of fabric made by volunteers, so in each newsletter, you not only got the pattern, but an example as well.  For their birthday, they pulled drafts from the archives and had guild members make contemporary pieces based on those designs and they put it altogether into a book.  So I decided to do the same, but with my twist.  So, I used the tie up pattern from a basketweave draft and translated it into color.  The design was made with paper punches and recycled paper from junk mail, receipts, newspaper and an Art-A-Whirl catalog glued to a piece of black card stock.  I call it Footpath because the tie up pattern is the part of the draft that tells you how to tie up the treadles, which are the pedals you control with your feet when you are weaving on a floor loom.  So I made this design into a piece of fabric and stitched a cowl scarf to be a part of the exhibition.  I love that it is fun and bright; I think I might keep this one for myself.  I didn’t get a photo of the finished piece, but that is the printed fabric in the top photo.

The conference was awesome!  I volunteered for several days at the Guild to help with their fiber shop and I taught two classes with really wonderful groups of students from all over the country.  I met a lot of cool people and the sense of fun and enthusiasm throughout the conference was infectious.  Everyone seemed to be really enjoying everything about it.  I am so glad that I was invited to be there.  Thanks to the organizers, advisors, attendees and volunteers who made it great!