Life seems to have been too busy of late to do much in the way of web-posts, but I did want to put up a few images from some recent workshops and note progress being made in the urban cloth terroir project and other projects too.
Tracy Williams and I have held a few workshops for spinning and fibre processing around town- mostly with women in the downtown eastside where I live.
Linen is such a long fibre, and it is very hard to teach someone who has never spun before with linen- but I found that carding the tow (the short, waste fibres from processing the line linen) and using that allows new spinners to understand drafting techniques and we have made some nice, if chunky, linen yarn.
All of our fibres are dyed shades of yellow ( for bees) using plants that have come from the area that are pollinator friendly- end of season greenwaste or foraged things like tansy. Our dye plants include tansy greens and flowers, dahlias, marigolds, Oregon grape bark, and dandelions.
here are the results….the wax is from the hive at Hastings Urban Farm, and next step is to wax the line in preparation for crocheting our pollinator corridor markers. The honey, also from the hive, was a gift from Sarah Common, our partner at Hives for Humanity.. and I am happily taking that to share this afternoon at our spinning and waxing workshop.
In other fibre related projects, I am playing with dying line linen before spinning it- I think the act of scouring helps in the final processing, so my steps currently look something like this:
break, light scutch, dye ( scour, tannin, mordant, chalk, dye bath) then finish scutching, hackling and finally spin!
I have a lot less waste tow this way, and the colours are lovely variegate from being twisted in skiens in the dye bath process…
In my related circle other things continue too:
Martin Borden, a friend and colleague who does all of our documenting has been working a lot at carving with found wood these days, as well of course as knitting and making equipment for fibre processing for us- so lucky to have someone with Martin’s skill in our community! The Urban Weaver studio has just officially shut down after a 3.5 year residency in Maclean Park- but as it turns out, my partner David is moving the horn shop from its current location into Maclean Studio- So Martin’s wood carving will now happen at our old weaving/knitting/spinning haunt… I think some fibre activities shall still be in works… We are just getting our new projects for the spring launched at Trillium North Park and I can’t wait to have that as our new outdoor studio lab!
More soon, I promise.