Thursday, 30 April 2009
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Trefriw Woolen Mills are having an Artisan's Market in December (first weekend) and I have been invited to have a stall there. Today was the photo shoot of products to make up posters and flyers for the event (Christmas will be coming very soon at this rate!) so Helen Melvin and I drove down with various items from our stock to make them famous! Anne Campbell works there on a Tuesday demonstrating spinning in the weavers cottage, so we took our wheels with us, just in case there was time for us to join in!
Many moons ago Anne taught me to spin so it was a delight to be able to sit down with her and spin away and natter, just like we used to when she ran Wern Mill and gave spinning lessons. In fact I think we totally lost track of time - Helen was told that she was an hour and a half late when she got home and John said to me " I know you said you'd be out all afternoon but I didn't think you meant you'd be this late!" Ah well - it was worth it. Thanks Anne and Helen, I had forgotten just how much I love spinning and how relaxing it is!
My wheel is a second hand Wee Peggy. I had one years ago and loved spinning on it, but then bought a Louet because I thought it would be better for production spinning (my business started because I produced hand spun naturally dyed embroidery silks for 17th century re enactors). In a fit of madness I sold my wheel to Montacute House for their in house spinning demonstrations and have regretted it ever since. When I had the chance to buy a replacement a couple of months ago I leapt at it, but this has been the first real opportunity I have had to play with it! Think there will be no stopping me again now though, it is just such a stress buster!
(I would at this point upload a photo, however this poxy computer is playing the "I don't want to do what you want to do" game at the moment and keeps telling me there is a fatal error everytime I go to the photos file - so I'll leave that bit til tomorrow! See how calm I am after spinning?!)
Sunday, 26 April 2009
Monday, 20 April 2009
Thursday, 16 April 2009
This was our tent - and my workstation, I was doing the cooking - not my normal role, I am usually a medieval dyer, but as no one else was able to cook I said I'd take it on!! Huh didn't realize quite how hard it is being responsible for a fire and keeping it at the correct temperature to boil water!!! Never again!!! Well til the next time I suppose!
The weather was it's usual self for a Bank Holiday weekend, glorious sunshine during the day, freezing cold at night (colder than I've camped in before, my nose was so cold in the middle of the night!!!!!) The two photos were taken at about 8am on the Sunday morning - you can just see the frost still on the ground, but vanishing in the beautiful sunlight! The ultimate was the rain when we were packing the tents away - and the sun came out when we got in the car to drive away!
John was being a pinner over the weekend, he always attracts an audience and the pins and needles that he makes are fantastic, handmade from brass he work hardens the ends and files them to a very fine point and then either puts a 2 turn pinhead on or carefully makes an eye so that there is no burring. Unbeatable!
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Sunday, 5 April 2009
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
The recipes were quite straightforward really, I enjoyed them - the sticklac was really good, although I weighed out the 50g I obviously have much less a pecentage of red dyestuff to the amount of shellac left behind. Gosta Sandberg in his book The Red Dyes says that there is approximately 6% red colouring in sticklac as opposed to the amount you have if you use the already extracted powder - but I don't think that is really telling me what percentage dye I am actually using!
The cochineal we already know gives a very high yield of colour, for this recipe I used 13% dyestuff to the weight of fibres, normally I only use about 10%.
Now what colours shall I do tomorrow?