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Our Projects

We have a group project every year and each of us creates a wide range of individual projects. View our updates below where we show off some of the things we are doing.

Note: Occasionally we have a program that is only open to members or guests who have pre-registered. We had a dyeing workshop in September this year. You can see some of the things we did in the post below.

February 19, 2017 Meeting

We had a lovely small meeting with Phyllis, Marcia, Sandy, Lotus and Sharolene. Sandy tried the new method of heating up our indigo bath with an aquarium heater and pump, however it didn’t heat up the water fast enough for our purposes. Therefore we are purchasing an electric hot plate to boil water to pour around the indigo bath instead.

The meeting consisted of us working on our kumihimo lanyards for CNCH. Sandy showed us a very nice pattern that is easy to weave which makes large braids that will be easy on the neck of whomever wears it.

Meeting items:

Sharolene’s pebble weave card weaving

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Sandy’s new marudai. 26″ tall, 10″ mirror

 

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Sandy’s Friendship Blanket. She just finished crocheting the connections.

 

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Back Row: Roberta Gaynor, Marge Pustorino, Linda Stinchfield, Pat Martin, Chris Wallace, Carol Lewis                     Front Row: Marcia Kehr, Barbie Paulsen, Margaret More, Mary Flynn (Marge’s twin) , Phyllis Karsten.

Marge Pustorino – Mary Ann Ostrander
Margaret More – Four O’ Clock
Mary Flynn -Small Blooming Leaf
Rhonda Nelson – Snail Trail & Cat Paws
Chris Wallace – Sun Moon and Stars
Dee Dumont – Large Blooming Leaf
Marcia Kehr – Johann Speck #33
Barbie Paulson – Kings Flowers
Linda Stinchfield – Chariot Wheels
Phyllis Karsten – Phyllis’s Fancy
Patricia Martin – Snowballs
Carol Lewis – Morning Star
Roberta Gaynor – was not able to do the weaving

January 2017 Meeting

We had our usual indigo dye pot and a cochineal dye pot as well. (Cochineal comes from a small beetle that lives on cactus pads!) We are also making kumihimo lanyards for the Conference of California Handweavers (CNCH) meeting in 2018. Here are some photos of some of our efforts. Of course, Phyllis’s dog Flicka had to take a look too.

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November Meeting

We learned kumihimo braiding. Kumihimo is a traditional Japanese technique of braiding to create intricately colored cords. The cords are strong but slender, and have a multitude of uses. Samurai once used kumihimo as laces for their armor.

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October 16th Meeting

We had a great, unexpectedly large number of members who showed at this meeting. We had an indigo pot and Sandy, Sharolene and Marcia did shibori folded indigo dyed shirts.

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Sharolene’s shibori indigo dyed shirt.

 

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Sandy’s Indigo Shibori Dyed Shirt

September 25, 2016 – Natural Dye Workshop with Anni Redding

We met, as usual, in Phyllis’s back yard on one of the hottest afternoons of the year. We came prepared with fibers and fabrics that had earlier been soaked in an alum solution (called a mordant in fabric talk). There are various elements that can mordant fiber. All help the dyes fix to the fabric and often affect the kind of color the dyes provide. Alum is a safe and easy-to-use mordant.

We are always interested in learning what we can about using natural dyes produced by plant and animal products as opposed to dyes created in a chemical lab. People have used these dyes for thousands of years to provide color in there fabric and sometimes even to paint their bodies. (We are sticking to just the fabrics.) Today we are using osage orange (Maclura pomifera) twigs and cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) produced by tiny bugs that live on cactus plants. We will also use some indigo (a plant dye that produces blue) on some of our fibers after they have been dyed yellow or red.

Anni introduced us to the wide range of colors that can be produced by natural dyes.

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We then set to work with our own fibers. Here are some of the results of our day of dyeing.

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July 17, 2016 – We Are Ready to Dye!

On a perfect summer day we met at Phyllis’s to prepare for our dye workshop next month. We needed to mordant our yarns and fabrics to prepare them to “take” the cochineal and osage orange dyes we will use next month. For dyers a mordant is “a substance used in dyeing to fix the coloring matter“. In our case we are using alum.

After weighing all our fibers, we soaked them thoroughly to ensure they were wet throughout:

fiber soaking in water

We measured alum by weight, using one-tenth the weight of the dry fiber, and put it into a small bit of water which we heated to dissolve the alum. After removing our thoroughly wet fiber from the pot and wringing it out, we added the alum and fiber to large pots of water, heated it and simmered it for an hour.

moving soaked fiber to simmer in alum water pots

And then we hung the fiber on the fence to dry.

fiber hung on the fence to dry

 

While all this was happening, we had plenty of time to talk and show each other our latest projects.

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