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.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November Buellwood meeting warping the Inkle loom

Inkle loom weaving
Our November meeting was a week early to avoid the Thanksgiving travel week.
We all agreed the retreat in October was a great success. Thank you to all who participated and our guild members who planned the schedule and prepared the many workshops we were able to experience.
Also a thank you to Eve for her donation of weaving magazines and books for our guild library. We sold a few of the duplicates to add to our guild funds.

Our Guild  also participated in the 'Art Affair' sale in Houghton in November. We did a booth with a demo of weaving on a table loom and an Mini wave loom. We also featured the inkle loom.  Karen arrived with her birch bark stars and baskets and was very popular with her demo. She sold some as fast as she made them.

Kathie and John demonstrated the  4 shaft table loom and Mary demonstrated the Mini Wave loom. We were allowed to sell some of our woven items and we donated 10% to our guild funds with the proceeds.

Clare had her own booth at the 'Art Affair'. She did a lovely job of presenting her woven knitting bags and her wool woven cuffs.  She will be at the 'Poor Artist sale' this weekend at the Calumet High School if you missed her in Houghton.

 Show and Tell is always a treat at these meetings. 

We have so many members who are busy with their fibers and love to share what they have been doing.

Dawn has been busy dying yarn, and knitting. She has added dying cloth to her many talents. She had some spectacular results with the dye matter she had left from our retreat. See the Purple corn stalks dyed yarn, variations were created by the order of dying the yarn.
Rhubarb leaves gave this yellow and orange color to the yarn. She mordants with Alum and used a washing soda after bath to get the orange color.

Purple corn stocks
Dawn with natural dyed yarns

I believe the tan and rose was produced by dying with buck horn . The tan with just Alum and the rose after the dye was diluted.
Buck horn dye matter

Rhubarb and Alum mordant
Dawn with dyed cloth samples using walnut hulls crushed and added to cloth before steaming. Last but not least this lovely hat knit with dawns natural woad and dyers root weed. Using Elizabeth Zimmerman's Beret pattern.
broken walnut hulls on cloth

Dawn's lovely knit hat with natural dyed yarns
Mary shared some crazy quilt squares she found at a fiber retreat and a sweater she knit for her grand daughter.
Boo sweater for Evie

Clare brought in a sample of her top down knitting in the round sweater pattern. She is wearing the vest knit in the round with a beautiful pattern on the yoke. the advantage of this top down pattern is you do not have to sew the side seams together when finished with the knitting.
Clare showed us her original design for a booth table cloth using many scraps of inkle loom woven bands to create the word Handwoven. Such a clever idea !

Close up of Clare's vest.

Clare with her booth cover art.
Phyllis brought in samples from her weaving class at Finlandia. This first one is a Horns-tooth pattern. The second is a pattern gamp from the stickler 8 shaft weaving book. A tapestry sample and the painted warps from her class. Looks like each student got a couple of feet of white warp to paint then it was put on the loom and woven.
horns tooth sampler
tapestry sample
8 shaft pattern gamp
painted warps
John brought in his woven Painted warp sampler. John is taking a second weaving class from Phyllis this semester.
painted warp woven by John
 Our presentation today was how to warp an Inkle loom. Clare brought in the guild floor inkle loom and showed us how to make heddles and put the warp on the loom.

 Our guild meeting included discussion of the MLH samples we will be weaving this year. As it is our Guilds turn to prepare woven samples for MLH to send out to all its many members.

A few good ideas were discussed and Clare is in charge of arranging for the warp and the weaving location.
We hope to see all of our members come and weave a few inches to a couple of feet of this woven cloth.

Our next meeting will be our Christmas Party TBA and we are planning a Naughty Santa gift exchange of a handmade fiber gift which is only for those who wish to participate. So please plan on coming to visit and enjoy a BYO lunch we are looking forward to a great turn out.  If anyone has an idea for a party game, fiber related, of course. Please contact John or Kathie with your plans.

Check out our website for updated meeting topics later this month.

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.