Sunday, May 22, 2016

Third Annual Learning to Weave Class

Saturday saw the beginning of a new class of weavers that enrolled in the Learn to Weave program that the Reno Guild offers once a year. The class starts off the new weavers with tutorials in warping on a warping board.   Each student has a mentor from the guild with them during the process.  In a couple of weeks, this same group will be back for further instruction on the fine art of warping and weaving off their sampler.  The class uses Issue 13 of Weaver's Craft which includes instructions for a four shaft sampler (direct tie up) and lots of good information on designing your own towels.  
We wish our new weavers the very best of luck in their journey to become proficient at the warping and weaving process.  The skills learned in this class will serve them well in their weaving future.  We also want to thank our volunteers who put together the class structure and are there to give support to their students.
Suzanne and Jen have put many hours into setting up this yearly class. 

And now - something new for many of us.  At the class, Jen introduced what she called the H Knot.  A means of affixing your new warp yarn to the warping board.  Looks interesting and something to try out.  Thanks, Jen!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Annual Chocolate and Dye Day

The Reno Fiber guild has had a long tradition of a chocolate feast on their last meeting of the season.  This is our second year of combining the feast with an indigo vat.  We also had  a couple of acid dye pots, a cochineal pot, and some kakishibui (fermented persimmon dye).  This year it was gently raining most of the day in Reno which didn't seem to deter the group one little bit because we were under cover. Our hosts, (Gayle and her husband Jim) provided the garages for the dye fest. 
Jen had prepared the indigo vat in advance.  Last year she used the fructose vat recipe.   This year we read about using henna as the reducing agent and Jen purchased some and used it.  Wow - what deep blues were coming out of the pot; it seemed to go on and on before it was exhausted and had to be renewed before it was pulled back in to service.  We are thinking that the henna is the secret ingredient.  You can learn more about this from the Maiwa handout and can order henna from Botanical Colors who also gives instructions about using it with indigo.

Since we had been studying Japanese Textiles this year, people brought scarves and pieces of fabric to clamp and resist in various ways.  Some of these went into the acid dye pots (Sabraset Dye) and some got dipped in indigo.  People fooled around with the kakishibui and wished for a bit of sun to darken their work.  The sun peeked out briefly - enough for us to see that it really did darken the fabric dipped in the kakishibui.  We purchased enough for one liter of dye from the North American supplier and worried there might not be enough for everyone to try.  But it really went a long way.

Of course, we kept nibbling at all the delicious chocolate treats shown here on the table.  Nothing makes working in the rain more palatable than chocolate!

It was a lovely day and at the end, plenty of handspun yarns had been dyed, scarves were unbound and admired and we all wound up wondering how we were going to possibly get rid of the leftover chocolate.