Monday, 27 June 2016

Willington Dovecot and Stables

Yesterday (Sunday June 26) Maggie and Su represented the guild at an open day/crafts event at a National Trust owned property in the county.

The Dovecot and stables were built in Tudor times when the owner Sir John Gostwick, wanted to impress visiting Henry VIII.

They are magnificent buildings. The dovecot can house 1,500 pairs of doves.

Check it out on this link because it is surely a beautiful place to visit.

One of the Trust volunteers asked the guild to join other crafts people on this month's open day and very pleased when the invitation was accepted.

All crafts people were inside the stables, showing and hopefully selling their wares, the guild there to advertise it's existence and encourage the public interest in our crafts. The beekeeper that Su met previously at Bletsoe fete was also there, but thankfully outside, in what turned out to be a dry if not too sunny day.

A great deal of interest was paid to the solar dyeing as well as the different fibres in the sample skeins of yarn on the display, wool from various breeds, alpaca and silk.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Art yarn and Bring & Buy sale

Today we held a talk/ hands on squishing session about art yarn, in preparation for our art yarn skill share later this year.

Members brought sample art yarns , both hand made and commercial, that we examined to see how they were constructed,  colour balance, and texture.

Our bring and buy sale was well stocked with some of us disposing/acquiring goodies and the Guild getting a small proportion. This all helps the Guild in making purchases on behalf of members.

As well as our usual mix of spinning and weaving, one of our members was busy making lace. Beautiful work.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Solar dyeing

went a slightly different route and rather than the what grows from the garden approach, I went through my dyeing suppliers and opted to investigate using Brazilwood powder in a Solar Dye as opposed to a dye bath.


For 50g fleece, this is home grown fleece from my flock (see willing volunteer), I used 50 gms of brazil wood Powder and ¾ tsp of chalk. 


I wanted red, I think I have got red.  And through the jar I can see variations ranging from a rust orange to a pinky red, so will leave it be for the next month and then see what the fleece looks like.


Monday, 13 June 2016

A different perspective

I went to the last Guild meeting expecting to be mildly interested in the solar dyeing session that was on offer.  I don't do "natural"dyeing; if I must dye I prefer "chemicals" so there are no surprises, good or bad, and I'd sent apologies to our chair person for my lack of interest....

Having fought through pouring rain to get to the meeting there was a reward in the shape of weaving samples from Angela and Brenda who had done a weekend course in advanced techniques, much gnashing of teeth here, I was booked to do it but was dragged away for the weekend instead!

Meanwhile Maggie had set up two tables with enticing things on them:

As you can see from the basket, she has a range of samples dyed with plants from the garden, and the stand up card shows how some of them look when treated afterwards with modifiers such as citric acid.  The range of colours was a surprise to some of us!

She demonstrated how to set up a solar dyeing jar using pomegranate skin (it's very warm in her garden!!!) and to our amazement it began to work immediately.  I was so impressed that I immediately dashed off to the supermarket  to buy 2 pomegranates, and my solar dyeing jar is now set up  -  in the pouring rain.

I have since discovered however that I am missing a major ingredient for solar dyeing, at least in our climate, and that is patience.  I am itching to get my fingers on that wool to see how it looks, but I suspect I have at least 2 weeks more to wait - I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Solar dyeing - Guild skillshare

We held a session on solar dyeing this week.

Here is a list of readily available dye materials, some you may have in your store cupboard, especially if you're like us and throw little away and find out of date stuff on the shelves.

You need equal weights of plant material to weight of yarn or fibre.

Jenny Dean's book is a great reference.

  • Used Tea bags—golden brown
  • Old kitchen spices—saffron—yellow
  • Turmeric roots—yellow, green
  • Avocado Skin and Stone—tan
  • Pomegranate Skins—yellow/olive green
  • Daffodil flowers—yellow, green
  • Ivy—greens, slate/grey
  • Hawthorn Blossom, berries, leaves and twigs—yellow, green to dark navy/grey
  • Fruit tree bark when pruned
  • Willow leaves, bark and leafy stems
  • Dark Hollyhock Flowers
  • Birch bark—pink
  • Elderberry leaves—greens
  • Nettles—lemon to green, depending on time of year
  • Staghorn Sumac leaves—green
  • Rhubarb leaves and roots
  • Dahlia flowers and leaves—orange/yellow and greens
  • Eucalyptus leaves Tan/orange to maroon
  • Hibiscus flowers
  • Red cabbage – blue
  • Honesty flowers - greens
  • Buddleia flowers - greens
  • Primula and pansies – darker flowers
  • Onion skins – yellow to tan