Sunday, April 27, 2008

Majacraft Magic Weekend

The Majacraft spinning camp was held last weekend in the North Island of New Zealand and I received a message last Monday on Ravelry from kiwijoy with her account of it. Here goes:

Hi Therese,

I’m sure you want to know how the camp went!! Good weather and lots of fun. I was very good and didn’t buy anything. Tracy White with Inspire Fibres, Michelle Aplin with the Finn wool and Kim Priest with alpaca fibre and some books. Tracy’s beautiful colours were especially tempting.

Have you tried spinning with the Stylus yet? I really struggle with it and feel very dumb. I can see how fast it can be.

Glynnis and I thought our block printing was a disaster as the mixture wasn’t stamping well when Glynnis hit on the idea to put another piece of thin foam on top of the dye mixture and it worked well then. We had plastic meat trays with a piece of thin foam, then some dye which was thickened, etc. and another piece of foam on top. Because Glynnis and I were getting our mixture ready, we missed most of the flax class. I think the man was from the Netherlands and they made a grasshopper and a small basket. Not really my thing.

Pat Old held a very rushed class showing three novelty yarns. Both she and Glynnis have the new book, “Intertwined”, so getting inspired there. The first yarn was a single of a fine fibre like merino, half-breed, corriedale, etc. plyed with a yarn that has been made up of lengths of fancy commercial yarn tied together that have been run through the wheel to put more twist in. You might then choose to overdye the whole skein. She called this “Thrum yarn”.

The second yarn was called “Mainland Jazz" which is a tuft yarn but using eight-inch lengths of fancy commercial yarns as the tufts. The main fibre was shrink-treated merino top (used because the commercial yarns are mostly non-shrinking).

The third yarn was “Yarn Soup” which is fibre carded with lengths of different yarns approximately the same length as the staple length. Predraft and spin thick yarn wrapping it as you spin it softly with another yarn. Another step after that would be to felt it and overdye it.

Pat Old did a dyeing class which I didn’t do as I had seen her demonstrate at her home in January and didn’t feel like winding the huge skein - about 25 metres wound on a warping board or similar. I just wandered around taking photos and finding out what colours people were choosing.

You divided your skein in six equal parts and chose three dye colours. You measured out three colours into separate jars and mixed with water and vinegar and detergent. Each section of skein was put into a plastic bag. You then poured first colour into first bag, second colour into third bag and third colour into fifth bag (missing a bag each time). You gently pressed on each bag until no white is showing and squeeze out air and securely tie each bag. For the three remaining bags, you put in a mixture of the three colours in each bag pouring each colour carefully in a different part of the bag. (Am I clear as mud here ?) You then put your six bags in a big plastic bag, sealed it off and then steamed over boiling water. Some of the colour schemes were fantastic.

The other class was with Cilla Kuzamaner in needle felting. I was amazed at how quickly the wool stuck. We made beads by winding fibre around a kebab stick and then going for it with a very lethal felting needle, and then Cilla showed us how to make a little man. Cilla comes to our night spinning group and some of her creations are out of this world.

Glynnis gave out a challenge of spinning carded fibre mixed with shredded paper. Most people didn’t think much of this!! I never got round to trying mine.

Andrew Poad put on a presentation showing Creative web sites - Ravelry being one of them. There was this guy there called David and I recognised him straight away as David from Ravelry so that was a huge laugh. Pat Old is koruspinna and Andrew Poad is Andypandy. I haven’t persuaded anyone to join Ravelry yet. They all say they’re not that into computers. It is a time waster, I must say. David and Pat were commenting how nasty some people get on the forums and they didn’t like that.

There was a lady from NSW in Australia who had come especially for the weekend but I think the rest of us were North Islanders.

Well, must get back to cooking the dinner.


Friday, April 18, 2008

I have got to go to Loop of the Loom

Linda Hurt teaches Saori at Springwater in Alexandria, VA, but it just started without me. :(

Happily, I found out that Loop of the Loom, a Saori studio in Englewood, NJ, occasionally holds classes in Manhattan. They offer 2-hour classes, with the option to take two consecutive classes for a 4-hour session.

Here is the website of Loop of the Loom . Look at all the colors and textures in its photo album.

In June I'm taking John Marshall's class on Clothing Designs of the World - Creating Your Own Fashions Based on Ethnic Traditions at Springwater. It would be awesome to combine Saori weaving with making clothes! It sure would be nice to take a Saori class this summer.

Saori loom at work here by clicking on "Tips".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I want to discover Saori!

What is Saori?
Saori: its beginning

Here are new books that look interesting:

Saori: Self Discovery through Free Weaving by Misao Jo and Kenzo Jo

Handmade Style: Weave by Wendy Cartwright, an Australian

The Ashford Book of Projects, Vol. 1, a follow-up to The Ashford Book of Weaving for Knitters. This is for weavers who use the Ashford Knitter's Loom or the Rigid Heddle Loom.

And finally, an updated edition of The Ashford Book of Dyeing by Ann Milner.