Spinning for Color’s Sake – Judith MacKenzie – Workshop

Central Oregon Spinners & Weavers Guild & Klamath Falls Spinners & Weavers Guild – Combined Guild Workshop

September 5, 2018

To begin the workshop “Spinning for Color’s Sake”, Judith showed us many ancient dolls and bead whorls (for spindles) from her private collection. She explained how each doll was constructed and we marveled over the workmanship of both the dolls and spindle whorls.

Well inspired, we chose colored top from a large selection of colors and started to spin our first yarn- marled yarn. By holding two or more colors of yarn together, we could achieve dimensional color effects that were surprising and interesting.

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For our next yarn experiment, we chose several colors to blend using combs. I chose to spin the top that I blended on the combs in a worsted style. I then took the comb waste from blending, carded it and spun a woolen yarn. Each was unique!

Next, we talked about shades, tints and tones of colors. We used hand cards to blend a chosen color with black, white and gray. Then we spun the color by itself and shade, tint and tone of the color.

Finally, we explored tweed yarns. Judith provided odds and ends of fiber, thrums and bits of old yarn. We were able to use garneting boards to blend in these bits with top to create completely individual yarns.

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I have taken several classes with Judith MacKenzie and this was one of the most intimate and engaging ones in my experience. The setting was wonderful and the fact that lunch was provided and unhurried made for a great progression of the day. I would like to thank ANWG for the generous grant to the guilds so that this class was so affordable.

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Stephani Sexton

 

 

Color to Dye For with Judith Mackenzie -Workshop

By Carolee Kirkelie, Central Oregon Spinners & Weavers Guild

September 6, 2018

A day spent with Judith Mackenzie is a day to be treasured. The consummate fiber artist exudes warmth and knowledge while captivating her students at every word. Judith’s work can be found in her extensive books and DVDs; however the in-person, up front Judith is even more amazing! Our day was a focus on weak acid super milling dye, primarily for both color fastness and economic benefits.

We began by soaking our yarn and roving with a surfactant, Dawn dishwashing liquid, to ensure oils and dirt are removed and the dye will be taken up fully without resistance. Dawn Free and Clear was suggested, and a reminder to never dye in the grease.

Our palette begins with the classic three colors of yellow, magenta and cyan. There was also a black or neutral color to change tone; just as in watercolor painting, the principles are interdisciplinary for mixing an extended palette of secondary colors. Our process starts simply with a quart canning jar two thirds filled with cold water and a glug of white vinegar. We each will have a jar of our own color choice and mix efforts.  Judith emphasizes the high tech measuring of ingredients; a pre-moistened chopstick tapped into dye powder is her instrument of choice. Precision is everything! Mix ratio to target is ~4 grams/saturated 1 lb. of fiber. Her process, a wet chopstick in hand, could probably not be more accurate. Again the pragmatic and ever simple approach is not lost on her students.

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Once the water, vinegar and dye powder is mixed to that perfect color, we then place our yarn into the jar; the goal is to have a full jar of liquid with yarn fully immersed. Then put the lid and ring on, while placing the jar into a Ball electric water bath canner. With canner lid in place and temperature set to medium the jars of wool will come up to heat and maintain temperature for approximately 45 mins. One can of course use a more conventional canner approach on the burner; however the electric bath canner comes up to speed rapidly, is a very safe and efficient process to follow.

We experimented with both undyed and previously dyed yarn or fleece that was brown. It was fascinating to see the opportunities to over dye whether unplanned or by design, it increases possibilities for mono color or multi-color spun yarn to make changes.  So do you have some ugly yarn? Change it by overdyeing!

The remaining time together was spent exploring indigo, Instant Indigo otherwise known as freeze dried indigo, and learning all the ins and outs with a practical approach to mixing. We also explored a black walnut dye bath as well as the how-to for lichen and cochineal.

All along the way Judith imparts her worldly learnings, insight and humor. She’s quick witted and doesn’t miss a beat as questions run the gambit of all things wool, protein, amino acids, plant fiber, origins and end uses. You swiftly realize that Judith has gone there…like trying to grow nettle, which requires a picky soil and location preference that did not allow it to be transplanted keeping its use to that where it’s found. Nettle you see made the strongest woven nets for fishing.  Judith MacKenzie the teacher of old and new world ways for dyeing, antidotes for fiber and life, a rich and mind expanding experience should not be missed.

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Thrill of the Twill Workshop

– Advancing Twills, Networked Twills, Corkscrew Twills and Echo Weaves

Presented by Robyn Spady   –  September 7-9, 2018

Reviewed by Carrie Gordon, an experienced spinner, dyer, a NEW weaver and a member of COSW since the early 1990’s.

Our adventure began with the “homework” Robyn sent, prior to the workshop.  As a new weaver, I faithfully followed her directions for the 4-shaft single color warp.  This was a totally new adventure for me, my first weaving workshop.

Robyn brought a refreshing humorous approach to an advanced weaving technique.  She started with a brief explanation of what twill is, how twill structure is used and what straight, point, extended point and various other types look like.  She introduced the idea of weft moving up into spaces on the warp, eventually creating boundweave.

From there, we learned about advancing twills where the threading (or treadling) steps up and forward, developing long threading sequences to make a full repeat.  Magic!  This concept is applied to point twills.  After working through several exercises, we launched into Network Drafted Twills.  The idea of drawing a line, then converting it into a threading and/or treadling pattern is mind warping.

Robyn led us into Integrated twills (Echo Weaves and Corkscrew) using two colors.  WOW!!  This is where the concept of thread moving into “space” on the warp came into play.

Robyn took the time to explain and encourage participants (new and experienced).  She made the class accessible to all.

As a new weaver, I was astounded on how far “down the rabbit hole” I could go just on a 4-shaft loom.  The combination of threading, treadling, tie-up and color is endless.  This is just one small corner of the weaving universe.

Thank you for helping make the class affordable for new and experienced weavers!!  Joining with the Klamath Falls guild added to the experience by meeting new weavers from outside our area.  I totally enjoyed the adventure.  Thank you ANWG!!

A variety of photos from the 2-½ days

Robyn’s examples

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Robin giving advice

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Kathy, Klamath Falls and Delanne, COSW discussing technique

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An example of the sampler from the class

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Retreat weavers