Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Spring 2017! Bunny, Baby Chicks, and Knitted Easter Eggs

Busy week here. Yesterday I was picking up baby chicks for my sister...I would have chickens myself but my neighborhood is wrong for that...on the way home I stopped at an antique store in Hardeeville SC and look what I found:


 It is a 1952 Singer Featherweight Model 221. I have been desiring one for a while so I treated myself for my birthday.  She runs like a top.


The original owner, the guy from "Damn Yankees" Antiques (a Yankee himself I belief) thought it came from either Beaufort or Hilton Head.   It was serviced in Princeton NJ in 1978:


And here is the first output from her:  working on a Kaffe Fassett Squares quilt




I purchased the machine quickly as there were chicks in the car, 6 in all here are photos of a couple. I am just chicksitting overnight






Here is this year's egg tree. it looks unfocused but it isn't



Two new eggs this year,  the Koigu egg was loosely based on this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elegant-easter-eggs. I love my koigu and will do more. I bought wooden eggs to insert inside


And this lace egg, here is a link to the pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/1-osterei. After making Russian Pysanki at a class some years ago, I realized that eggs will just dry. So, inside is one of my sister's chicken's eggs...a beautiful orange speckly thing...




I found wisteria in the yard last week, I had been trying to grow it from seed but this just popped up in another location, looks like it's been there for a while, always good to leave some wild space in the yard. This is a lovely spring find




And of course here are some Easter bunny photos of Blanca and Rosa




Saturday, April 8, 2017

Oatland Sheep Sheering 2017

Fun fun last weekend at Oatland Island Wildlife Center outside Savannah...for the annual sheep shearing and spring festival.  This year the Wildlife Center acquired two mohair goats so there were four animals to shear! Members of the guild "trained" to wield the shears.  Here are some photos:

"Storm" in front, and "Cloud"






A bad photo of a clever idea...this downed tree has been warped for kids to weave on



Shearing one of "our" goats



Bracelets












Shearings are sent to the mill and come back as roving, we then spin and weave and raffle or sell the results to benefit Oatland Island Wildlife Center



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Natural dyeing...

Well,  this natural dyeing is a favorite sport of mine in the last several years...here are some recent photos: osage orange, no premordant I believe...



Cochineal (which I unfortunately overdyed and it turned muddy, oh well...), the above photo'd osage orange, osage orange overdyed with indigo...and indigo....love them!



Results from a madder workshop I lead together with my guild:  premordanted with alum, no mordant, and premordanted with iron.  The latter is a lovely purple that you can't really see...results are very different from the workshop at SAFF I attended...  



these lovely muted shades were from the end of the almost exhausted dyepots...madder and iron...but the fibers hand't been premordanted, just dipped in the dedicated dyepots so obviously there was mordant materials in the water





 I just love this....





Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My Triloom

Long ago, I went to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival.  There, I spotted my first triloom at HillCreek Fiber Studios Booth. I have wanted one ever since.

I have a friend from college who is a fabulous woodworker.  He actually made me a tri-loom.



Here is my first effort, a 7' triangle.  Made of some  very inexpensive lightweight yarn purchased at a mill in Ireland, supplemented with some very expensive kidsilk haze!  Not pictured:  if I pin the three ends together, it makes a decent shrug...



Friday, February 17, 2017

My 19th Century Double Drive Spinning Wheel

I was very lucky to have a friend named Ruth  from Fiber Guild of the Savannahs help me to "rehab' my old wheel, while at the Oatland Island Harvest Festival outside Savannah last year.


Ruth taught me a whole lot and I thank her!

She believes that it is a "Pennsylvania" style wheel, and dated it to 1860 to 1890. The man I bought it from three years ago said that he and his wife bought it  at an antique store in New Hampshire in the 1960's, they were antique collectors.  I'm sure he told me that she was not a spinner. It has a treadle sewing machine band on it which broke easily so someone at some point tried to get her going.  (It was stapled together). We removed the band, which was old enough that it could be broken by hand.


We had to clean the spindle and get some gunk off.  There was also some old wool separating the bobbin from the flyer (what's pictured is actually the drive band, below is the wool which Ruth thought looked like Shetland) , and we got them moving freely.




She told me that often women would use chicken fat to oil their wheels and then little animals would chew on the wood or leather parts. Mine has some teeth marks (hard to see) around this old repair. The string from the repair would have absorbed the lubricating oil or fat and darkened the wood in this area





She thinks that the footman and the treadle are newer than the rest of the wheel especially as the footman has a more contemporary type of manufacture.  The tie up  between the footman and the treadle is loose and I will need to retie it




Ruth was very taken with the detail that the maker did to adorn this wheel which we think is mostly oak






If I get it running well enough, she will need some new bobbins







Monday, January 30, 2017

A Little Goddess

A member of our guild passed away last year; she was a student of goddess representations in textiles all over the world.  Her name was Mary B. Kelly.

We decided to make some goddesses for a little "shrine" as it were for her.  I copied a graph of one of the embroideries out of one of her books and executed it in knitting.  The blue yarn is indigo dyed. To get it to stand I added triangular gusetts at the bottom and weighted it with some small stones at the bottom. The top is stuffed with wool 


I love the fact that she is holding trees and looks a bit like she is giving birth!

Mary wrote a number of books on the subject, here are covers of a few, many are available on amazon.