Sunday, September 26, 2010

Summer Went by in A Blur

It' been a while since my last post and I can't tell you how that happens. The fogs of August were dense around the island and then or now its the end of September and Fall has been ushered in with changing colors, ideas, clothes and the house is being buttoned up for winter. This summer i had a great time dyeing with any and all plant material from the garden or walks along the woods road. I have collected acorns to use as mordants to help the cloth accept the dyes. I finally received my Eco Dyeing by India Flint . Actually it came  a day after I had emptied all my jars due to high wind warnings and I could envison them all crashing to the brick. Sooo  the next day I read that I could have saved all that dye bath and used it with another combination. Who knew. The same with pickle juice and that old batch of beet greens I never got to in the frige. All fuel for eco dyeing. It's quite a mind expander. I have a pile of dyed fabric that includes, avocado skins, hollyhock floweres with and without vinegar, marigolds, dyers cosmos, joe pye weed, crabapple mash after the jam was made same with elderberries. I am letting the Pileated woodpecker have the black chokecherries he gets so excited and jabbers non stop in the tree.


This past Friday some friends and I went to Common Ground Fair in Unity. A long drive but was well worth it once we arrived and took the haywagon pulled by a tractor down to the Pine entrance to the fair. we headed for the food as breakfast seemed ages ago. Found the wood cooked pizza and ordered a pesto pizza which was very tasty, next stop the felting demo and then a walk through Folk Art tent 1 and 2. Saw  a rug hooker and a rug braider as well as a man using cattail to weave a rush seat. Since i have a seat that needs a new one I stopped to speak to him. It's too late this year but next year if I have not gotten the seat woven will cut cattail in july and august to dry and try my hand. Then we went to the fleece tent and spent a long while making up our minds which fleece a. we could afford and B. which would spin up beautifully and or overdye since we were looking at a silver gray/charcoal  fleece that had absolutely no vegetation in the whole bag of fleece. This was a fleece from the Millers of Rivercroft Farm in Starks. We pooled our funds to purchase this gorgeous fleece. I have already washed one pound to see how it would come out and its as beautiful as I thought it would be.

 Off to the tent with the Wednesday Spinners from down east. I saw a wonderful patterned hat with different colored traingles knit by Geri Valentine. Well I knew a Geri she was the first woman shearer I had even seen many mnay years ago and went to find her. As friendly as I had remembered and she said Donna Kausen is here too and off we went to see Donna. It was like old home week. I used to buy the wool  clip from Nash and Flat Island years ago and Donna and Brad would either drive to my house and unload 100's of pounds of wool or I'd meet them in a parking lot in Augusta. Those were the days in some ways, wonderful fleeces, all sold by the time i'd pick them up from the kausens, they were premium spinning fleece when not all farmers thought to raise spinning fleece. We were lucky spinners then. The prices were good and the wool clean as island fleece often is. I have been revisiting my fiber roots and liking what I see and especially the way of life that brings spinning, wool, mohair and other exotic fiber and people together.  The ability to share ideas, indigo seeds, how to's and friendship all seem to be a natural component in fiber people. Donna showed us how whe wove a liitle pouch on a cardboard loom. I had been experimenting with  tapestry on tiny cardboard looms and had enticed some of the students in rug hooking to try it to sample colors and ideas. And here was a different idea using that same old piece of cardboard. From there we went to the MOFGA store for Fran and Diane to purchase t shits and a sweatshirt. I sat on a bench and did some sketching. We also visited the exhibition hall to see the silk display, the worms were huge and doing a wand like dance. I could not figure out what they ate though. I did not see any leaves. They were in all stages of growth. Facinating. Then the different silks from cultivated or wild grown. Degummed and not, and finished products too was a good introduction to the whole sericulture of silk.

We saw a woman with shiny roving and had to ask where she purchased it. Found out it was Friends Folly Farm and they were near the animals. Again off on a search.

Here's Fran checking out fiber as we look for the roving

 Here is the color I chose Northern Lights and it is spinning up wonderfully!!

 more sights, a wagon ride

Stopping for the parade
and last stilts
Quite amazing!  

Now its time to gte back to spinning I have a lot of wool socks to knit.

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