First, has it really been over 6 months since my last post here? Yikes! I promise to get caught up and spend more time here real soon, but meanwhile I did want to just post my excitement over a few projects shaping up this spring in my little corner of the textile agriculture world.
Natural Dyers’ Garden Coop: a new concept to try this year at the Means of Production Garden where I have been working for a number of years, in part- getting artists involved to do annual residencies in the top planting area. This year, I decided to take on that spot as a coop for dye plants, and use many of the other plants we tend in the garden as a part of the coop. I decided to keep it small ( max 6) and affordable ($150), but asked folks to commit to a minimum of 10 of 15 possible 2 hour work sessions over the season… we sold out! I am so happy to so quickly get a little group of other natural dye keeners of various experience together starting this March. My hope is we can form a supportive community for both keeping the garden looking great, tending our plants and experimenting with dyes and pigments. Stay tuned…
The other class I am super excited to announce I am just posting for the first time is the Linen Growers Club that Rebecca Graham and I are going to co-lead as a 6 month grow along and instructional in everything from seeding, weeding, harvesting, processing and spinning.
This is a happy partnership with a local store around the corner from me that I support whenever I can called Homestead Junction, and we are also bringing in linen tow to teach new spinners ( before our crops have grown) from TapRoot in Nova Scotia- another organization and project I am happy to support. Again, we are keeping this project as affordable as we can: $195 pays for a drop spindle, seed, instructional time and additional processing time on our equipment. We can handle up to 15 people for the 2017 club, and see having folks share crop samples with each other so we can assemble a 2017 crop catalogue that will assist in understanding the differences in sites- sun, water, soil- as they affect the crops we produce.
In related matters, I was testing out the drop spindles we are going to get for the program, and was thrilled to find them the easiest yet for spinning my wild stinging nettle fibre!
This was spun in very short order on a recent netflix jag…In related spinning news, I bought myself a new wheel last summer- in fact I likely received it shortly after my last post I guess- more time spinning less online work so no complaints now!
After 30 years of spinning on my student grade Louet I decided I was worthy of an upgrade. I bought a Majacraft Suzie pro and not even the visa bill could have me looking back- what a change in my spinning! One of the challenges I set for myself was spinning the kite line for EartHand Gleaners 2016 project, From Soil to Sky- of making kites with our local materials. Karen Barnaby as my spinning guru taught the Navajo 3 ply method and it was love at first twist…Once I got the hang of it! Super strong kite line? no problem. Now I am tackling the idea of linen bowline… odd yes for a vegetarian to be spinning that but I like the challenge and have respect for the hunters I know practicing old skills for survival.
As a final note from 2016 I also want to share the short, incredible video documentary film maker Martin Borden made of the Soil to Sky project. I hope you enjoy!
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/195023584″>Soil to Sky</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user12206586″>Martin Borden</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>