Tuesday, April 21, 2020

It's a whole new world out there! Time to hunker down at the farm and give the world a chance to get healthy. I have been weaving up lots of ponchos, hats and scarves and used up all the snow dyeing silk in anticipation of a busy craft show schedule. And then... so far, everything through July has cancelled. Who knows what the future might bring? I'm working to get it all listed in my etsy shop and hope to have a more robust online presence in these staying-at-home-times. I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, here's some of what I've been working on:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Holiday Show Season Is Upon Us

The Holiday Shows have started! I'm all set up at USM Gorham, here are some pics:
Felted soap

Woven alpaca cowls

Ice-dyed silk scarves

Alpaca puppet & dryer balls

Woven fringe hat

Woven alpaca scarves 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Here are some of my favorite creations. I've been dyeing a lot of blues, greens and turquoises lately as well as spinning madly to make new yarn to dye and weave. It's that time of year!
handspun suri alpaca & wool woven shawl

felted alpaca puppets

handwoven suri alpaca & silk shawl

handwoven blue & turquoise scarf

handspun & handwoven alpaca/silk wrap

alpaca woven fringe hats

Saturday, January 7, 2017

What I've been working on

Uploading and editing pics for show applications, thought I'd share a few here. Then I'm off to measure and warp for 2017's first project: spring green and natural Gizmo poncho. Contemplating a honeycomb structure like the first pic below, stay tuned!

Happy January!

We've had our first big snowfall here at the farm. 2+ feet is a bit daunting to shovel out but luckily family was still visiting, and they got put straight to work!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Coming out of hibernation...

Well, it's March- time to start coming out of hibernation! I'm applying to craft shows and finishing projects. I managed to get a number of scarves snow-dyed before the snow ran out. There was a tiny shady patch in the pasture that I made use of, as well as scraping up the paltry inch we got a few weeks ago. 
I finished this shawl a few days ago and had a photo shoot yesterday:

It was a little breezy, but it gave the shawl some nice movement. 
The pacas have been outside a lot lately, I think the grass might be starting to grow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Catching up, again

Once again, I'm catching up. Website has all my shows listed, Maine Made profile is updated. Meanwhile, yarn is pre-soaking for the dyepot or drying outside. Here are some just-finished things:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Soon, I hope!

So gloomy today, I thought we needed to see some green. Shearing is in about a month, here are some pics of the boys last year, just before their haircut:

They would love to be doing that right now! Sadly, what it looks like right now:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Coming out of hibernation

Is it possible? Is Spring coming?? Officially on Friday, but it was snowing this morning, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions. 
I'll admit, I've been hibernating. I have been getting some 2015 show applications together, here are some pics from a photo shoot I did:
Just some of the things I've been working on!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When life gives you lemons?

So, summer is back it seems! Perfect day for ice dyeing even if the day is almost over. I'd hoped the cold front would be thru by now, but not until tonight. I'm going for autumn leaf colors and am soaking 3 silk scarves: white chiffon, white habotai, and previously dyed coreopsis yellow. 
Soaked in warm water and citric acid, piled on a screen and covered in ice and snow:

Randomly ( my favorite part!) sprinkle dye powder, in this case red, orange, terra cotta and yellow:

Now, let the sun do the work! As the ice and snow melt, the dye strikes the silk, and sometimes the crystals cause the dye to split in unexpected ways. 

The results!

Left to right: coreopsis base, habotai, and chiffon!


Summer is filled with growing things and is a great time for natural dyeing! I needed to deadhead the coreopsis anyway, so today was perfect. First, I had spun up some yarn at First Fiber Artwalk on Friday in Portland by Paca Naturals and on Saturday at the farmers market in Gorham. Weighing the dry yarn to determine the amount of plant material:

While the yarn is soaking in warm water to open the microscopic scales on the fibers, it's time to pick some flowers! Luckily, I only have to walk out the back door:

Now the yarn must simmer in the mordant of alum and cream of tartar:

I make a tea bag of sorts with the plant material in some mesh so petals don't need to be picked out of the yarn later (learned that the hard way!):

Add the bag to your mordanted yarn and simmer for an hour or so:

The happy result!

Shibori dyeing

I had some leftover dye from snow-dyeing last week, so I thought I'd do some shibori dyeing. First, I used cotton string to wrap around pinched sections of my silk scarf. 

There are sooo many ways to do shibori, but I opted for simple circles. Next, soak in warm water and citric acid:
Now, into the dyepot! The dye is a mix of jade, silver, & magenta, but looks mostly dark purple:

The interesting thing about purple is that it tends to split. The reds take up into the fabric or fiber first and the blues take longer, especially the turquoise from the jade leftovers:

Purple can be tricky if you want an even tone but I really wanted the splitting. I usually keep it at 180 degrees until the water is clear. After it is cool comes the tricky untying of the string, rinse and hang it out to dry in the breeze!

Here's a close-up. I love the sheen of the silk!

You can see where the red took up first and the blues filled in later. I may be inspired to do some with more intricate wrapping. Maybe layers of dye?? Could be fun! Last step? Post it to my etsy shop!