Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Transparencies in weaving

The Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Artist guild meet Monday April 23 as our regular meeting was cancelled due to snow. Thank you John for rescheduling and presenting your Transparency Weaving program for us.

John has been working on finding a weaving techniques that is pictorial and he explored a number of different techniques before finding Transparency. He did some tapestry a few years ago but wanted something a bit lighter for this project.

His first attempt was Finnweave after visiting the exhibit at the Finnish American Heritage Center which had a number of woven pieces by Dona Jung. Which I believe was a version of Finnweave. Per Bonnie Inouye "finnweave" is a pickup method. It is a form of double weave with paired threads. Loom-controlled designs in this structure are called "deflected double weave" now and have had other names in the past.
John found working with Finnweave did not give him the results he was looking for and a bit difficult to weave from his sampling.

He proceeded to study Transparency weaving, Inlay, Theo Moorman and even Shaft Switching by Peter Collingswood.

The result of his search came up with some nice results with Transparency weaving on a linen background.

Transparency Sampler by John
Cartoon and Transparency 'Hiker' by John

He finished the 'Hiker' inspired by his pilgrimage on the Comino de Santiago last year. 

John set up a loom for us try our hand at Transparent weaving and combining colors with the fibers on the loom. He uses a cartoon under the weaving to follow his design.  

His other weaving will be his entry into the Buellwood Best show in our May meeting so you will have to wait to see the results.
He also discovered that transparency weaving may have been invented by Frida Hansen  
in the early 1900's. Read more about her in the link above.

Show and Tell

Once again we had a great show and tell from our talented members:

Kathie knit a scarf from handspun she got from Laura at our last retreat. It is a bit heavy but she is sure her grand daughter will love it.
Hand spun yarn scarf

She also brought in 2 coiled baskets she bought from the Hoopa Valley Indians in Northwestern CA.
Hoopa Valley Indian coiled baskets

John shared some luscious silk yarn that came with his new 8-shaft loom. he plans on weaving a gift with this yarn on his new loom.

Phyllis wearing Dawn's vest
Dawn our natural dye teacher came in with some beautiful felted pieces this time and of course another example of colors she gets with her natural dye matter.
Her felted vests were a hit. One went home with Phyllis.


With the 100 gr of dried indigo leaves Dawn cooked up a dye bath and  has been dyeing everything she has in this beautiful bath. Then she dyed the wool and silk she used to Nuno felt this scarf. Still some green in the silk in this felted piece. Did the silk not oxidize or is Silk different from the wool when dyed in Indigo?

Nuno felted scarf Indigo dye.

She also felted a scarf out of wool she dyed with black walnut hulls and embellished it with wool dyed with purple corn shucks.

Black walnut hulls scarf
Glossy buck thorn bark with ammonia
 Her dye sample was dyed in Glossy buck thorn bark soaked in straight ammonia. The resulting red was beautiful the grey was when she dried the sample in sunlight.
log cabin weave with Harrisville Shetland yarn
Mary wove her third Log Cabin Rauna out of Harrisville Shetland yarn. This one is green and blue with a Tundra color edge. She brought the sample of woven log cabin pattern woven with Harrisville yarn and finished. This one a gift is already gone.Very soft feel gives this garment a nice drape.
She has also been teaching herself to crochet with cotton Sugar and Cream yarn to make sun hats for the grand daughter. It took three tries to get one that might fit. Sugar and Cream is a little chunky for this pattern. 
crocheted hats out of cotton

The knit hat is fashioned after the USA Olympic 2018 team hat that was worn by the snow board ladies. One ball of chunky yarn to knit this hat all it needs is the USA logo on it and it is a match.

felted bowl workshop GLIKKA July 25-29 St Helena Light station
Because I had so much fun last summer I will be doing another felting workshop at St Helena Light station just west of Mackinaw City MI. Join me for 4 days at Great Lake Lighthouse keepers website for the July workshop.

Donna, brought in at drift wood sculpture she enjoyed making this Christmas tree or as she it a Sailboat. We can see it decorated with ornaments for the holidays.

Karen has been making baby booties. She shared a pair of crocheted dragon stitch booties... so cute for a new grand daughter?
Karen crocheted booties
Phyllis has been busy dyeing with onion skins. Who knew these beautiful colors could be had with all those saved onion skins? She used only Alum as a mordant to get these lovely results.

Here a grey fleece was dyed with onion skins without the Alum as a mordant
Phyllis admiring her grey fleece dyed with onion skin
Marilyn is weaving dog lashes on the inkle loom.
These are beautiful and she has mastered the salvages on these samples. She plans on treating the lashes with lavender oil to protect her dogs from the dreaded ticks we will soon have to deal with her in the U.P.

Our next meeting will be May 21 at the Gloria Dei Church in Hancock MI at noon. 
this is the Buellwood Best show that can win you a years membership. Peoples choice will determine the winner of the scholarship for 2018-2019.

Our guild retreat is scheduled for the Friday and Saturday Oct 13, and 14 th this year. We have again reserved the beautiful Marsin Retreat Center near Houghton MI.
Please save the dates!
 if you want to present a short workshop let John or Katie know what you have in mind.  The public is welcome all we ask is that you join our guild with a $25 membership to attend.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spindles to Share - February Buellwood Guild meeting 2018

Drop Spindles and fiber to try our hand

Every month guild members bring a diverse collection of projects to show off and share with the group.  February’s meeting was no exception. 

Kathie brought the wall hanging that she made while auditing Phyllis’ weaving class at Finlandia.  Inspired by sequoias, the top of the piece is a painted warp while the bottom uses ryijya, a traditional Finnish technique.

Kathie's 'Sequoias' hand woven piece

Kathie also showed off some fine needle lace that she bought in Pag, an island on the Adriatic coast of Croatia.   

Croatian fine needle lace

John has been learning to work with supplemental weaves, and brought some recent samples.  He’s still trying to determine which technique will work best with the yarn he dyed during Dawn’s workshop last summer.

Finn Weave sample in light green

Maddie brought some of her winter projects along, including these sweet Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls that she made for her grandchildren.

Karen L. has been working on a sweater for he daughter. Featuring a chevron pattern and cowl neck, she’s using a very soft yarn in a lovely blue color.

Karen T. is taking Clare’s knitting class this month and is off to a fantastic start with her first pair of mittens. She’s working with the yarn dyed in Dawn’s class last summer, and letting the color placement emerge as she knits along.

Karen T Mittens Yarn from dye workshop

This month, Anita led the program on drop spindles and fiber types.  She brought along her impressive collection of spindles and discussed the types and uses for many of them.  She provided roving for us to give them a try.  She also brought along different types of fiber for us feel and discuss. 

Fiber to Feel

In March, Phyllis will be presenting a hands on program on 'Optical Color Blending'!  Monday March 19 th at Gloria Dei Church at 12:00 noon. Bring your lunch and show and tell and join us for this meeting.

We have also set the date for our annual Fall Fiber Retreat. This year it will be Saturday October 13 and 14 again at the Marsin Retreat Center. Start thinking about what we want for workshops this year. TBA who will organize this years retreat.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Breeds of Sheep Guild meeting January 2018

Our January topic was Breeds of Sheep, presented by Dawn. In her Sheepish report Dawn mentioned there are 200 Breeds of sheep worldwide. In the USA there were 56 million sheep in 1945 and in 2003 we only had approximately 7 million sheep in the USA. She talked about the fiber diameter and softness. The wool characteristics to be aware of and she had some lovely wool fleece samples from each major group of sheep, which we examined and compared.
If you want to know more about Sheep Breeds Dawn recommended the book 'Fleece and Fiber Scorcebook' by Robson and Ekarius.

Dawn's blue woad dyed and felted hat
Dawn had a number of knit and felted hats to share today. I was only able to get pictures of the blue one that Hanna is holding and the red one Dawn modeled for us. Although she was quick taking it off, this one was called the multi fisherman and is a Zimmerman pattern. The yarn was dyed with Madder root.
Rust hat

She also brought two visitors who came to Calumet to spend some time felting with her. They also did a little skiing. Jenna showed us her felted horse blanket made with churro wool.
Hanna's Churro horse blanket
While Sam came with a pair of boots she wanted to make liners for and
a lovely pair of liners she made to fit inside her beautiful leather boots. A ball of wool dyed with walnut hulls and a head band knit and felted.
Sam with liners for her boots
Hanna's walnut wool, felted boot liners and headband

 Phyllis brought in a weaving she called 'Looking out the Sauna Window'
it was woven on painted warp with various color wefts to reflect the view from the sauna.

 Mary had a sample of a weaving on a Yak warp that was dyed with indigo and woven with various wefts of Habu paper yarn, Silk ribbon and other yarns. Unfortunately the warp was too weak to hold up for the weaving, so after many broken warp threads she removed it from the loom and kept the sample as a record of what not to do. The yak was just not strong enough for this weaving.
indigo Yak war
scarf with North Ronaldsay wool

This scarf was knit from a web site that gave video instructions for the knitting patterns. Knit Purl Hunter was the website and the pattern was 'Behind the Scenes' The yarn was from North Ronaldsay Island in Scotland and the sheep on the island roam near the Sea and eat Seaweed from the shores.  The wool is unbelievably soft. 

She also has been spinning some Shetland wool that was dyed by a friend from Kewaunee, WI.
Shetland wool hand spun
Kathie wove a beautiful piece of fabric for Prosphora bread bags for her son's church. It is unleavened bread used for communion for the Eastern Orthodox Church. The pattern is From the Davidson 4 shaft book. the pattern is by Oelsner.
Kathie's fabric
Kathie's close up

John found a couple of knit lace doilies from 1940 that
were made by his Great Grandmother. We all enjoyed seeing these finely knit Doilies..

 Clare is planning our MLH sample and she did not have show and tell but she is very happy with her Mason Bag she found at Harbour Freight. It is Plenty big enough for her knitting projects.

Our next meeting will be February 19th and Anita has offered to do some drop spindle spinning and will bring more wool samples for us to explore.
For our March meeting Phyllis is going to surprise us with a presentation.

Time to start working on your Buellwood Best project for the May meeting. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Buellwood Christmas Luncheon

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all from the Buellwood Weaver and Fiber Artist Guild. 
This year we had a special holiday luncheon at the Kangas Cafe for our December meeting. 

After a wonderful lunch at the Cafe, almost no business was discussed. We had another wonderful show and tell along with a Dirty Santa Exchange of handmade gifts for those who wished to participate. 
We also had a Weaving word find game for a gift. 

 Dawn had lots to show us this meeting, She has been felting wool and created these warm white mittens that she plans to embellish. I hope if she gives them as a gift remember she will take a picture to show us in January.
Her felted elf hat was a real popular item. John wore it with great pride.

 Dawn also made a wool hat with her dyed yarn which was from the fixation hat pattern with many color rows of wool yarn. Lovely colors for sure.

On the dye category she brought in a sample of a lovely Burgundy dyed yarn which she got with Pole Berries soaked in Vinegar with an alum mordant.
Pole Berry dye sample
Fixation Hat pattern and wool
Karen was wearing her show and tell, a cute reclaimed wool sweater jacket she bought in Trenary, MI from Sunny Day Giggles.
Really cute from the front but wait to you see the back.

She also created this ornament from Redwood and Cedar which was lovely and is working on this looping project around a shell.
Karen's ornament from Cedar
looping on a shell

Clare has been doing some sampling to aid our production of MLH samples for 2018. We are eager to get started weaving the samples at a location in Houghton and would love to have all our members involved in some part of this project. Contact John or Clare if you are interested in doing either warping, weaving, sewing or serging the edges of the 3 inch samples, Which will be sent out to all MLH members this next fall.

 John has taken the step to sew. He found a new shop in Hancock, MI that specializes in Hand cranked sewing machines and he made a little sampler. Sew Cranky on Quincy Ave.

John is now the owner of an original wooden shuttle that belonged to Dorthy Buell.
Mary's show and tell were some Christmas towels that she wove from Handwoven 2013 Huck and Plain weave towels. 20 ends per inch for those who were wondering what my sett was. I found using cottolin for this project 3.5 yard warp was not enough to get 3 full towels 15 inches by 23 inches. as the pattern repeat took 32 inches to weave rather than 28 inches. 
I ( Mary ) am obsessed with knitting these miniature sweaters and hats for the Christmas tree right now and I am using all of my left over sock yarn for these little gems. Some I have even added names to the front of the sweater.

Our Dirty Santa exchange started out fun I opened a beautiful hat. Kathie loved her woven dish towels. Sara got a beautiful scarf . Soon the tides turned and Susan stole the dish cloths from Kathie, Kathie stole the wrist warmers from Karen, Karen stole my blue hat, I took the red truck embroidered ornament, Dawn stole the wrist warmers form Kathie, Kathie stole the dish cloths from Susan and on and on.  

But Sarah ended up with her beautiful scarf.

Then Debra and her daughters showed up for a bit. A Nice Afternoon!

our next meeting will be January 15th and the topic will be Breeds of Sheep.
See you at Gloria Dei at noon.