Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Foothills Spinners and Weavers End-of-Year Picnic

Wow!  What a fantastic time we had!  The end-of-year picnic was held at Sue's - a gorgeous place out in the country - far from the crowded DC suburbs!   The weather was absolutely perfect and the location was gorgeous! 

sue_yard_house_6  sue_yard_house_3



The view was breathtaking....countryside backed by the mountains in the background.   It really doesn't get any better than this!



Sue's hubby grilled burgers and hot dogs and we all brought a dish to share.   We had a fabulous feast.   We spent a bit of time under the gorgeous trees....the weather was absolutely perfect!   Gentle breezes...low humidity...and not too hot!   It was the perfect weather for spinning the day away.

sue_wheel_3Of course we did more than just eat!   We checked out the great wheel that was donated to the group by one of our members.   It's gorgeous!    It will take a little work, but is definitely worth it - it spins beautifully and just needs a bit of tweaking here...some shoring up there....and a general clean-up.  

The rest of the time, when not spinning, or knitting, we spent learning various dyeing techniques.    The first technique was with some light reactive dye – we did “resist dyeing”.   We painted a color onto a bookmark, but you couldn't really see the color...it just looked wet.  You had to "guess where you left off with one color and then start the second color.

Once the bookmark was painted,  we laid buttons, leaves, twigs, etc on top of the dye-wetted bookmarks to "block" the light from hitting those areas.   Finally, we put the bookmark on a screen in the sun and watched the colors develop.   It was amazing!    All the covered area remained white...while the exposed areas gradually produced their expected colors.   It was amazing!









Everyone's creation was different....I just love how they all turned out!   For mine (above right), I "blocked" the light with a frond of leaves on the first one and with individual leaves on the second one.   I just love how the heart-shaped leaves look!

Next, we all tried sun-dyeing.   We did one of two techniques:

  • We took some fleece, yarn or roving and stuffed it into a mason jar, added boiling water, sprinkled some Cushing's dye on the top, and then added vinegar.   We then "stabbed" down into the jar to move the dye down.


  • We took some fleece, laid it on the table, spritzed it with water, sprinkled some Cushing's dye on top, rolled it up and stuffed it down into a mason jar, added boiling water, and then some vinegar. 



Next, we put the lids on our "dye jars" and set them in the sun.    The goal was to keep them in the sun until the dye is exhausted...then rinse it well and dry it....but that will take a while and the results will be in another post.  I started with 8 oz. of white Montiedale (left) and stuffed it into two large mason jars with some purple dye.



Others stayed busy dyeing sock blanks or sock yarn.   Don't you just love all these colors?




 sue_sock_blank_dye_1 sue_sock_blank_dye_5



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