Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Guild Fall retreat 2017

Dawn stirring the pot of dye material
The first yarn samples are washed
The Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Artist Guild meet again for our Fall Fiber Retreat at the  Keweenaw Land Trust Marsin Nature Retreat Center near Houghton MI.

It was a busy 2 days with a lot of activities planned. Thank you to Carol, John, Dawn and Karen for planning the workshops for our guild.
winding our alum mordant yarn skeins for dying
Classes started at 10 am both days and continued with a short break for a wonderful pot luck lunch until 5 pm. The lunch which this year did not include any desserts was great. Go figure that?

 Natural Dye Workshop
Dawn lead off the day with 5 pots of boiling natural dye materials in the yellow to red range. The
John is convinced to join in the dye adventure
pm pots were the blue, purple to green colors. What an exciting and wonderful array of colors Dawn was able to create for us using alum and Iron mordants and iron and washing soda after baths. I believe we had a little vinegar in some of the pots also. Dawn claims she is not a chemist but I do not believe it.

Saturday was a rainy day but with the shelter of the garage we were able to dye non stop all day. 

Melissa watches her skein become beautiful
Dawn the dye Queen at work
Clare was very organized and labeled each skein
pot of dye brewing

The Garage was full of beautiful colors

Laura tending her skeins
Laurie joined us from Seattle she was a happy dyer

my sample dye book grows
We worked hard all day dyeing our multiple skeins of yarn. It was another great day of dyeing with Dawn and the eager participants of her workshop. There were so many ways to combine and change the colors of the original dye bath.

Lots of smiles as the colors came out of the multiple pots of dye.

Birch Bark and Roots Basket workshop
Workshop 2 Karen's sample and directions.
Heating our bark to prepare it for the tray
Later in the afternoon Karen presented a Birch Bark and Roots basket class for us. It is a Native American birch bark tray design. Karen teaches all over the country and we are lucky to have such a talented basket weaver in our guild. In two hours we had completed our little basket trays.

Busy at work
ready to add the Spruce root border
Laurie working on shaping the tray
Maddie sewing the sweet grass edge to her tray
finished tray with blown glass bead

Slide show presentation by John of hiking the 'Camino' in Spain

the stamps john collected on his pilgrimage to prove he completed the trek.
John spent over a month in April or May 2017 hiking the 'Camino' in Spain, this is a 500 mile pilgrimage from France to the coast of Spain. John 's evening slide show took us from the beginning of his trek showing the terrain, churches, food and people he met along his along his journey.

What a peaceful and interesting pilgrimage this was. He carried a 20 lb back pack and stayed in hostels and hotels along the trail. A roll of paper that contained all the stamps of the locations along his route was required to prove he completed the trek.

The Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James, is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in north-western Spain. Legend has it that the remains of the apostle, Saint James the Great, are buried here. John started his trek in St Jean Pied de Port, in the French Basque Country, and made his way through the Pyrenees until arriving at Pamplona. Then on to Santiago, Spain . 

He does admit to having sore feet from walking on the rocky trail from town to town. But was well rewarded with a great meal among other Pilgrims and a restful night sleeping.   
An evening at the Marsin Retreat
Although we were all very tired after a long day we warped looms, wove on the looms and dried our yarn sample by the fire place. A few looms were set up for every one to try on day two of the retreat. 
wide rayon band on the Wave loom
Laura warping her Rigid heddle loom
Drying the skeins of dyed yarn
8- shaft loom set with Bronson lace letters
4 shaft loom
Day 2 started with a knitting class presented by Clare. 
A friend of Dawn's knit a scarf with dyed yarn from a summer dye workshop at the Porkies Folk school. It is knit with the linen stitch.
Melissa models a scarf knit with the linen stitch

Clare's workshop was a question and answer class for knitters. Clare gave tips and techniques for those who took the class.

Clare is a talented knitter and answered many questions about yarns and techniques for the group.

Tea and Rust dye class presented by Carol
This is a fun and easy way to create a design on silk or linen material using tea bags, rusty metal items you can find at rummage sales or your own garage. Carol let use design two Linen napkins by laying out our objects on half the cloth. Then she treated the item with a mixture of water and vinegar. The next day we saw the results of our design.
Napkin soaked in vinegar and water in a kitchen light bulb tray

Linen Napkin tea and rust dyed
The afternoon on day 2 was devoted to a felting workshop with Laura
Laura felts with raw fleece and uses gauze for the base. This was interesting and created some lovely pieces of felted wool for use as pillows or other items you want to create with the cleaned fleece.
Laura's sample pillow
Picking through the fleece and laying it out

The ladies worked hard to set up their square of fleece. They then wet the wool with soap and water. the felting process was started with patting the wool on top of and under a bubble wrap sheet.
the next step was to roll the wet fleece in the bubble wrap and towel around a swim tube. This required a little muscle to get the proper felt to happen.


Dawn and Laurie rubbing the sandwiched fleece

Rolling and more rolling to get the fleece to felt. Sarah was helping Kathie with her wool.

Lots of smiles on those faces. We had a nice sunny day 2 and we were able to work outside for the felting workshop.

rolling the wrapped fleece to felt

Laura testing the fleece to see if felt is complete

Melissa's finished felt
After a day of felting - Carol also presented a class for those interested in 'Passing your Skills On'. Attendees learn some quick and easy fiber techniques geared at children.
Choosing the right projects to interest the next generation of Fiber Artists was presented.
Sun comes out on day 2 to help dry our wool
The give away table full of donated goodies 
Books, magazines, whole fleeces, yarn spools and many other items to buy or take home. 
From one stash to another, items quickly disappeared. Some of our attendees sold finished woven or felted items. A long and successful fiber retreat ended with a clean up and packing the cars for the trip home.
lots of free items to take home
Even some items for sale!
Packed and ready for the long drive home.
Our next guild meeting will be November 20 th at Gloria Dei Church in Hancock at noon. The topic will be inkle loom weaving.  Bring your lunch and show and tell items. Join us for another full year of fiber exploration.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 2017 Buellwood Weaver and Fiber Artist Guild -Wire woven bracelet demonstration

Jean Woven Metal basket
The Buellwood Weavers and Fiber Artist Guild meet in September. Again we had a great turn out of members and visitors all interested in working with Fibers. We had another great show and tell! An election of officers and planning for our Fall Retreat. Added to this was a Wire Woven Bracelet Demonstration by Jean.

Karla and Terry drove up from Iron Mountain and Green Bay to share their love of weaving.
Karla and Terry visit from the south, Iron Mountain and Green Bay

Karla had taken Dawn's natural Dye Class at the Porkies Folk School in July and was eager to share her beautiful hand woven scarf using all the colors from our dye day samples.
She also shared a pouch she wove for her phone and a couple of Tablet woven bands.

Terry also shared a handwoven bag she made out of cotton with I believe a rep weave pattern.

Karla's woven scarf from Natural Dye day at the Porkies Folk School
Karla's woven phone pouch

Karla's tablet woven bands

Terry wove this handbag out of cotton

This wall hanging was a created in memory of Karla's mother with all scarps from her favorite clothes.
A memorial woven wall hanging of all mothers favorite clothes
Dawn is always coming up with new natural plants to create more color for her yarns. This blue was the result of using her home grown Woad to dye the yarn. She also shared a new source to purchase silk and wool fiber at a very reasonable cost. RH Lindsay wool
Dawn also promises new colors for our retreat with double red colored sweet corn using the husks and tops and an interesting jar of Bracken in alkaline solution.
Dawn had success with her home grown woad
Silk and wool from RH Lindsay waiting to be dyed with plants
kathie shared her cordage and inkle weaving
Kathie is auditing the Finlandia Fiber Class with Phyllis. She is enjoying the class and weaving many new techniques. Although she is not too sure what she has gotten herself into with competing with the young talented students in her class. She shared her inkle loom projects and a cordage piece.

  It is good to see Karen L able to attend our meetings once in a while. She brought in an Interlock hand knit scarf made with variegated yarn and short rows.
Karen's interlock hand knit scarf
another view of Jean's woven metal basket
Wire and bead loom

 Jean took a class on how to weave with copper wire last summer at Convergence in Milwaukee she has a lovely basket she is working on here and a simple wire bead loom that she just had to have.
I must say it is small and portable! something we fiber people love to tote along with us. She did a demo program for us at this meeting.

Clare has been busy making woven bracelets and small woven pieces using the same warp. She had some for sale last weekend at the Algomah Acres Honey House Meadery fall sale. Check out their facebook page for more information about events. The pattern she used for this sample and her cuffs was a jewel pattern from the Margaret Davidson book.
Clare is also an accomplished knitter and brought
in a Lace Shawl that she completed. Beautiful
work on this shawl.
lace shawl

Yards and yards of fabric
John has joined the ranks of yardage weaving. He was kind enough to weave 5 2/3 yards of brown
16/2 cotton tabby for a friend who is being ordained soon. it took him 6 weeks to thread the loom 30 ends per inch for 36 inch width. and a week to weave. He said he lost a yard fulling the cloth but there was just enough for the robe.

Maddie loves to weave but until she gets the loom set up she is doing a cross stitch quilt square for her daughter.

Willow basket
Karen is a basket maker and she had a few sample of willow basket work she created at a workshop in Decorah, Iowa with a teacher from Spain. She does see potential for this will mat technique taken after an African thatched roof .
willow mat

Mary's  Taquete towels are warp faced 8/2 un mercerized cotton and the weft was 20/2 pearl cotton. I used 20/2 unmercerized cotton for the first two towels and found that my length was over 40 inches to finish the pattern on the 8-shaft loom. It should have been 28 inches per towel so I used a green 20/2 pearl cotton for the last two towels and ended up with weaving 36 inches.  But they did turn out nice and I am happy that I had enough extra warp to finish 4 towels.

Wire woven bracelet kits for all 

Jean brought us each a kit of copper wire and colored wire and jewelry findings. She showed us how to make a Wire Bracelet or bookmark from this kit. 
Although we were short on time for the demo as we had our meeting and elections before this program. I think we all got a good start on our wire weaving and it will be interesting to see if we can finish them before our Retreat October 7-8 . Maybe Jean can help us finish these at the retreat. So bring yours along to work on if you have some spare time during the weekend. Jean sent pictures to help finish your bracelet. I hope these help - See below.

Our election of officers went quickly. We have new co chair as Kathie was elected to fill Carol co chair with John. Karen Tembruell is our new Secretary with Jean backing her up. 
Clare was volunteered to be head of the MLH Guild sample weaving our Guild needs to produce for 2018.
I think all of these new people will be an asset to our growing guild.

See all of you October 7-8 at the retreat for more information contact Carol or John or any guild member if you are interested in taking a class or just coming to observe. It is open to all interested for the Membership fee of $25.