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.


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.


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.



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


Robin giving advice


Kathy, Klamath Falls and Delanne, COSW discussing technique


An example of the sampler from the class



Retreat weavers


Eugene Weaver’s Guild – Susan Lily Workshop

The workshop was primarily about pattern-making and fitting garments made from handwoven fabric. Several participants had woven yardage to be used in the workshop, and others chose to use purchased mill woven fabric that shared characteristics of handwoven cloth. Susan began with an overview, and brought several garments for students to try on and examine. Many garments were suitable for a wide range of sizes and shapes, and all were inspirational. Each student chose a style, and began by taking measurements and drafting a pattern, either from Susan’s book, or from a commercial pattern source. Susan rotated through the room, helping each student with her garment plan, and students were able to help each other, too. We initially cut the pattern from gridded interfacing, and used that to make fitting adjustments. In the photo on the right, Susan is explaining the fine points of fitting, and pinning Cathy’s pattern.

Once the patterns were cut and fitted, they were unpinned and used to cut the cloth into pieces for the garment. Susan and one of the participants provided sergers, so all the edges were serged in turn. We had a mini-lesson in how to use a serger, since many of us hadn’t used one before.

After serging, garments were pinned, adjusted, sewn, adjusted, adjusted, tweaked, and adjusted! Due to time constraints, not everyone finished, but everyone did finish fitting their pattern and cutting out their garment pieces; most had only minor finishing tasks left (hems, buttons, etc.). There were several lovely garments completed, and there are several more in the works! Susan was a gracious and patient teacher, and the participants all had fun learning more about sewing garments from handwoven cloth.

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Gorge Handweavers – Color by JoAnn Bachelder

There were approximately 25 guild members and guest in attendance.  JoAnn talked about the color wheel systems and yarn color combinations that work when weaving.  Her points were illustrated with a number of samples. All agreed it was an excellent talk and the guild would like to thank the Grace Carter Weaving Studio for underwriting the lecture.  Following the talk, a wine reception for JoAnn was held at Mary Marker’s house.  It was enjoyed by all.   A special thanks to Mary for hosting the social and to those who provided snacks and beverages plus those who volunteered to help Mary for all the little odds and ends that go into having an enjoyable time for all.

JoAnn’s Lecture on Friday was followed by the guild’s first sponsored workshop, held on March 12th to March 14th. The title of the workshop was, Towels: A Gamp that Transcends Tradition. We had the maximum number of attendees, 18. It was very successful. A great mix of traditional and colorful warp gamps made for an interesting three days.  All agreed that JoAnn is an excellent weaving teacher who explained the subject matter clearly with many samples.  She also showed us some of her “tricks of the trade” that make weaving go smoothly. Thanks to the committee who worked on the planning and execution of all the details necessary to make this a good three days of learning and sharing.  Pictures from the class make for a beautiful visual of the class.


COSW – Crackle Workshop

Susan Wilson’s Weaving Workshop Crackled With Excitement

The room hummed with the sound of weaving, and of weavers having those “Ahh Hah!” moments as they discovered something new or had a new understanding of a weaving concept.  For three intensive days in February, 17 weavers of The Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers guild participated in a workshop taught by Susan Wilson of Arvada, Colorado.


Susan took the group through multiple options for weaving Crackle, a weave structure with roots in Sweden.  In 1990, Susan completed a Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) Masters level Certificate of Excellence (COE) study in Crackle, and recently published a book on the subject.  In our workshop, she shared her COE samples, as well as numerous Crackle projects.  Each weaver had selected one of several possible Crackle threading options so we were able to see different results on each loom.  We each worked on our own looms with a warp color of our choice so it was fun to see the variety of color interactions possible.









I think everyone was surprised to see how many different things can be done on one warp, like weaving a Crackle threading with a Summer and Winter treadling shown in the photo.  We left the workshop inspired and dreaming of new projects.

Submitted by Ginger Kaldenbach Bend, OR


COSW – Double Weave Workshop

Fall Retreat 2016 Double Weave Workshop, Sept. 17-18

Patty Huffer, Instructor  ~  Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild

We started the class with nervous excitement once all 16 looms were set up and we got acquainted. After learning cool facts about everyone we hit the ground running, wrapping our heads around the magic of double weave. Soon the room was a clatter of the rhythm of looms creating stripes, lace, and even playing around with stuffing.

The second day started out with feeling inspired after seeing all the different patterns one can create using the techniques of pick-up. After a detailed demonstration we all went back to our looms to test out patience as we tediously counted thread by thread. Patty soon became in high demand to help with trouble shooting. We quickly appreciated the amount of work it takes to create the beautiful patterns that we first saw in the morning. After lunch we learned the magic of double weave double width which got the room bustling again with looms weaving at full speed. The workshop wrapped up with leaving us wanting to expand our new found double weave techniques using an 8 shaft loom and adding more color into future projects.


Thanks to Lindsay Radar for recording and photographing our event.

Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild was able to provide this weaving workshop to our members at a low price in part due to the $200 WeGO grant.  Thanks go to WeGO for supporting Oregon guilds’ educational programs.




COSW Natural Dyes Workshop

Natural Dyes Workshop with Francisco Bautista

Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild ANWG Grant Sponsored Event

Sept. 20-21, 2016                        Powell Butte, Oregon


Two days of dying with natural ingredients was led by Portland Guild member Francisco Bautista, a native of a Zapotec village in Oaxaca, Mexico.  These techniques have been passed down through 4 generations of his family and he was happy to share them with us.  He dyes wool for weaving his beautiful rugs.  His wife and 2 children also weave.

The chilly mornings started with a discussion of the history, processes, and materials used in the natural dying of wool fiber.  He brought several rugs and wool skeins as examples of the colors he achieves using natural plant materials and cochineal.  The dye pots were heated and we started with a pot of English walnut leaves and nuts.  The wool came out of the pot after about an hour of simmering in a rich medium brown color.  Next up was the intriguing cochineal: blended dried bugs found on the prickly pear cactus plant in desert climates.  He uses minimal ingredients to achieve his beautiful colors, adding only lime juice and vinegar to the dye bath.  The rich reddish pink color of the cochineal was transferred to the wool in the hour it was left to simmer.

The group separated dried yellow onion skins for another dye pot, and he also brought yellow marigolds for the fourth dye pot.  The richly colored skeins were placed in plastic bags to take home and ‘ferment’ for 2-3 more days.  It will be very interesting to see the colors of the yarns once they fermented and have dried.  The skeins will be shown at the next Guild meeting in October so we can all see the amazing results.  We had 20 guild members participate in this wonderful workshop over two days.  The Guild thanks ANWG for the grant we received to help make this event possible at a very reasonable cost for our members. See more pictures below.


Linen & Lace Workshop – Clatsop Guild

The Linen and Lace Workshop was held on March 9th and 10th at the Astoria Fiber Arts Studio.

Suzie Liles of the Eugene Textile Center packed 3-days of workshop into two. Eight members of the Guild participated in producing 9 different samples of Huck, Bronson, Swedish, Window Pane, Bead Leno, Basket Weave, and Hand-Manipulated Lace structures. Suzie sent the linen warps pre-made before the start of the workshop and Studio looms and several members’ looms brought in for use for the round robin workshop were dressed before the 1st day of the workshop. Most students were able to weave 6-7 samples during the 2 days of the workshop. The looms were left dressed for the following 2 weeks so every participant could finish all their samples. With the generous scholarship from WeGo, the cost of the workshop was made more affordable to guild members. Specifically, the money was spent to pay for the rental of the Astoria Fiber Arts Studio and the use of its’ looms.