Women’s Art Festival is coming soon!

The Women’s Art Festival has a new home

The 22nd Annual
Women’s Art Festival

Saturday, December 13th, 2014
9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Formerly held at the Midtown YWCA, we have a new home this year. Please come join us at: 

The Colin Powell Center
2924 4th Ave S, Minneapolis

Free guest parking in the Wells Fargo Ramp at 28th St and 4th Ave

Same great event! Over 130 women artists. Live music all day by local women performers. Food and drink by Sisters’ Sludge Coffee Cafe & Kabomellete food truck!

12 poundsblack flower bracelet

In addition to my usual wool ready for spinning, felting and petting, I will have a new line of embroidered lace bracelets this year.  Come early to see them all.  They are time consuming and the inventory will likely be low.

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Lace?

NeedleLaceI love lace.  I have always loved lace.

This little thing is my first piece of needle lace.  I know it is wobbly and lumpen, but it excites me!

You see, I had an idea!  Some years ago I go to spend one day with Maire Treanor.  She is an expert in Irish Clones crocheted lace.  From her I learned that Clones Irish lace was developed during the potato famine as an ingenious way to keep the families alive. Women developed motifs, loosely based on Venetian bobbin lace that could be made in a third of the time with a simple crochet hook and some thread. Lace motifs were particular to families, identifying the individual and their relations as clearly as insignia or monograms. The individual motifs were collected and assembled by the “Netter”, forming singular items from the contributions of a broader community…crowd sourced lace collars and borders.

In recent years I have been investigating women’s textiles and clothing and the cultural freedoms and constraints inherent in them. I continue to investigate male/female power dynamics in clothing, political content of women’s handiwork and the idea of clothing as self-publishing. These interests have led me into learning textile processes and studying new areas of women’s history.

 As I continue on in this obsession, I plan to create an installation, tentatively titled Holding it together: women’s lifesaving stories, whose text content will be largely determined by crowd sourcing. I will use the forms and ideas of discontinuous lace to create an installation that features oversized lace motifs connected by a netting of contemporary language, using the techniques of traditional Clones Irish crochet or needle lace, digital machine embroidery and sound.

Stay tuned!  Your stories will be a key part of this project.

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Home Brew (Lots of photos!)

Most years I teach a 2 Saturday dyeing class for the Weaver’s Guild of Minnesota called Home Brew.  In this class I teach an overview of dyeing protein and cellulose fibers safely at home.  We cover acid dyes: several ways to use koolaid, Wash Fast and Sabraset acid dyes in low immersion rainbow dyeing and hand painted rainbow dyeing, silk roving , silk caps, bamboo rayon, indigo on whatever we can get our hands on, basic shibori, bundling. It is an information overload kind of class.  I take naps after people go home;-)  But boy is it fun!

Koolaid dyeing, without heat, two ways

Koolaid dyeing, without heat, two ways

low immersion rainbow pot on mohair

low immersion rainbow pot on mohair

Painting rainbows on medium wool, steamed later in the day

Painting rainbows on medium wool, steamed later in the day

simple repeatable measuring

simple repeatable measuring

wetting out silk in an electric roaster. Later painted with dye and steamed.

wetting out silk in an electric roaster. Later painted with dye and steamed.

My favorite gloves!

My favorite gloves!

Gideon helps with the indigo

Gideon helps with the indigo

Ah!  the ammonia smell of indigo.

Ah! the ammonia smell of indigo.

Rolling up a silk bundle.

Rolling up a silk bundle.

unwrapping the bundle after simmering in an iron bath.

unwrapping the bundle after simmering in an iron bath.

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Avocado

I have been collecting avocado pits for sometime, keeping them in the freezer.  I finally put them in a pot with clear water and boiled them for an hour or so.  They fell apart, proving that you do not need to cut them up prior to cooking.  The article I was following said that this liquor will dye without mordant…especially cotton. It was a lovely orange dye liquor, but it did not do much to ,left-right, mohair, wool, cotton, until I added a splash of ammonia to  the pot.  That turned everything a pale peach color.  Then I dipped one end of each sample in a strong iron solution.  Holy moly!  The change was instantaneous and dramatic. A purplish grey.

avocado dyeing

avocado dyeing

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Alpaca, Merino/Silk, Gotland

Baby Alpaca

Creamy Baby Alpaca

New product arrived today.  The softest, creamiest Baby Alpaca! Salt & Pepper Merino/ Tussah Silk  and Gotland roving.  Merino/silk, alpaca…we know how soft they are!  The are, indeed, dreamy!  You just want to roll around in them.

Slat & Pepper Merino Silk

Salt & Pepper Merino Silk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GotlandBut GOTLAND?  This is not one of the soft ones but it has really great attributes!  It is a very open preparation, making it very easy to spin.  It loves to be spun worsted to show off  stitch definition when knit.  It makes unbelievably beautiful cables. It makes great rug yarn.  It is sturdy and long wearing.  But a secret about GOTLAND that you not know:  It felts really easily.  It is not a wool to spin with hot sweaty hands in the summer…It felted in my hands.  However, if you are a wet-felter,  think of the ease of it!  Perhaps there is a GOTLAND yurt in your future?

 

Come see it at:

 

Shepherd’s Harvest Festival

May 16th – 18th 2014

Friday, May 16th Classes only
Saturday, May 17th 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday, May 18th 10:00 – 4:00

Admission is $5.
Ages 8 and under are free.

Washington County Fairgrounds are located just east of Lake Elmo, MN at the intersection of Washington County Rd 15 & Highway 5.

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Still Raining, Still Drying

Still Drying 2

semi solids drying in the upstairs bathroom

Still Drying

It’s still raining and the wool is still drying.  On top of that, the basement flooded during the spring thaw and is still so moist that things are not drying as fast as usual.  I extract most of the water after dyeing. Usually the roving dries overnight.  So, I’ve had to move the moist wool upstairs into the heated bathroom.  The heated floor really helps drive the moisture out!

Boxes and Boxes

part of the load for Shepherd’s Harvest

semi solid blues

returning this year: semi solid colors. Here are some of the blues!

Under the Table color

Lurking under the table: jewel tones awaiting weighing and labeling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wool is lurking everywhere in the studio!  It’s under the tables, hanging in the bathroom, stuffed in trash bags awaiting labeling, and stacked in boxes awaiting the rental van.

Shepherd’s Harvest Festival

May 16th – 18th 2014

Friday, May 16th Classes only
Saturday, May 17th 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday, May 18th 10:00 – 4:00

Admission is $5.
Ages 8 and under are free.

Washington County Fairgrounds are located just east of Lake Elmo, MN at the intersection of Washington County Rd 15 & Highway 5.

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Feelling the felt flowers

Felt Flowers

 

I was in a real flower mood this winter when I was searching for new products!  Imagine that!  These are iron-ons…but who says that’s the only way to use them?  Being a handspinner of artyarns from time to time, I got these to string along. But, obviously they could be added to almost anything.  How about adding them to a collage? a handwoven scarf? an upcycled piece of clothing? your own couture? Felt them into a felted scarf?

 

SHEPHERD’S HARVEST FESTIVAL

 

May 16th – 18th 2014

Friday, May 16th Classes only
Saturday, May 17th 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday, May 18th 10:00 – 4:00

Admission is $5.
Ages 8 and under are free.

Washington County Fairgrounds are located just east of Lake Elmo, MN at the intersection of Washington County Rd 15 & Highway 5.

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Baubles and Beads

felt baubles

 

I have always really like “eyeballs” in artyarn.  So, I went looking.  These are actually much more tame and certainly pretty.  Polka Dot felt bauables for your yarn or jewlery making.

SHEPHERDS HARVEST FESTIVAL

May 16th – 18th 2014

Friday, May 16th Classes only
Saturday, May 17th 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday, May 18th 10:00 – 4:00

Admission is $5.
Ages 8 and under are free.

Washington County Fairgrounds are located just east of Lake Elmo, MN at the intersection of Washington County Rd 15 & Highway 5.

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Additions for felters, artyarn spinners and sewists!

Silk flower addition

 

 

I am always looking for new things to bring to the adventuresome fiber artist. This year I found a variety of silk and felt flowers, intended for sewers, for sure.  But it occurred to me that with the simple addition of a needle and thread or yarn, these flowers could be added to an aryarn project.  This pansie group is a full 3″ wide, 2 in a bag for $5.

Shepherds Harvest Festival

May 16th – 18th 2014

Friday, May 16th Classes only
Saturday, May 17th 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday, May 18th 10:00 – 4:00

Admission is $5.
Ages 8 and under are free.

Washington County Fairgrounds are located just east of Lake Elmo, MN at the intersection of Washington County Rd 15 & Highway 5.

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So Many Colors in the Pot

May in the pot2 May in the pot1 May lovely color 2 May lovely color1Today was a dyeing day.  Lots of yummy colors.  Of course there had to be the “required” turquoise, pink and lavender…but take a look at the pink I got in the other pot!  It is luminous!  And I am wild about the lime green, herb and deep purple roving as well.

 

These are all a medium wool, great for spinning, felting and for rugs woven from roving.  For that matter, you can split it down into pencil roving and knit with it!  Versitile for sure. Don’t miss them at Shepherd’s Harvest, May 17 and 18.  It’s approaching fast!

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