Scrumbling with Prudence Mapstone

The Prudence Mapstone workshops held at the beginning of March were very well-attended. The venue was the Burwood RSL, which was great. It had the advantage of free parking and easy access to their bistros and coffee bar.

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Contextart 2015

2 and 4 day workshops:

  • Jackie Abrams (USA) – Basketry – woven and covered
  • Gemma Black (TAS) – Calligraphy – The Broken Black Letter
  • Peter Browne (QLD) – Playing and writing for guitar
  • Teresa Dair (VIC) – Modern knitted jewellery
  • Marjolein Dallinga (Canada) – Flowers and form in felt
  • Carole Douglas (NSW) – Colour your cloth with natures dye
  • Fiona Hammond (NSW) – Creative bead jewellery
  • Gabriella Hegyes (NSW) – Encaustic mixed media
  • Keith Houston (NSW) – A sharp tool in timber
  • Anne Leon (NSW) – Pattern and colour from dyeing
  • Liz Maidment (France) – The hand stitched landscape
  • Seraphina Martin (NSW) – Negative footprint printmaking
  • Rie Natalenko (NSW) – Marketing your workshop
  • Ken Smith (TAS) – Free hand machine embroidery
  • Yvonne Twining (SA) – The funky, bespoke leather shoe
  • Sandy Webster (USA) – Book making and the curiosity cabinet

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Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning

Have you thought of going further with your spinning? Most of us who learned to spin and have achieved a certain competence wonder if there is more to learn and earn something to show for it.
Well there is!
Part A of Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning course has been revised and the Guild would love some members to give it a try. Just imagine how that Certificate will make you feel  when you show it off to your friends when it is mounted in your craft corner or workshop.
Years ago, many achieved a similar accreditation in the art of spinning through textile courses run by TAFE. Since that avenue closed, there is no longer that sense of achievement in the craft, hence the Guild offers this excellent course of self guided study.
If you want to know more, contact Eleanor Igoe, who will send you more information about how to sign up.

Nanny and Ewe Camp

This camp aims to provide information and create inspiration.
A fully catered, accommodation included, fibre related get-away weekend, where you can retreat, relax, learn, share and re-charge.
The camp will offer informative and interesting workshops. You can attend one, all or none of them it’s up to you! Maybe you just want to relax, spin, knit or crochet, have a chat with a new friend and just get away for a while… sounds blissful.
Friday night
There will be a Fibre bazaar on Friday night starting 5 pm followed by dinner and the introduction by tutors. Workshops run on Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning:

  • Crochet scrumbling with Kaye Adolphson
  • Sock knitting with Bernadette Marriner
  • Spinning Worsted and Woolen with Carmel Hannah
  • Leaf Litter dyeing with Heather Dunn

Saturday night
What colour is you! will be a chat about the colours that suit you best and how to get more compliments – with Janet and Mandie. Bring your finished items and share the hows and whys of your creative work.
At Sunday Lunch we will thank the tutors, and give hugs and kisses goodbye. Tissues will be provided.
When: 27-29 September
Where: Mt Morton Camp and Conference Centre, Belgrave
Cost: $380, all inclusive

Twilight Textiles

Every month there is an exhibition in the Embroiderer Guild’s rooms. On the first Tuesday of each month from 6-8pm and repeated on the first Saturday of the month 4-6pm, the Embroiderers Guild will conduct a guided tour of their current exhibition and a private viewing of significant pieces from their collection and from private collections related to the theme of the exhibition. A guest speaker will share their passion for embroidery and design.
Cost: 20 places at $20 per person. Booking essential.
All proceeds to the Building Fund.

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Alpacas have been bred in South America for thousands of years. Vicuñas were first domesticated and bred into alpacas by the ancient tribes of the Andean highlands of Peru, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. Two thousand-year-old Paracas textiles are thought to include alpaca fibre.
Recently, interest in alpaca fibre clothing has surged, perhaps partly because alpaca farming has a reasonably low impact on the environment.
Alpacas are from the camelid family. They look similar to llamas but are smaller in size.

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Felt Then and Now reprinted from Guild News No 2 1986

Felt — through the ages
The earliest evidence of felt is traced back to the decorated felt objects of Neolithic people of Catal Huyuh in Anatolia dating from 4,000 BC
Felt — a legend
Felt was first invented by a French monk named St Feutre in the days of Robert the Devil. One day, he left the Abbey Aux home on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Aubert on the island of Mont St Michel.
He wore new sandals. Because of this and despite his admirable determination, the feet of the St Feutre suffered the penance intended for his soul. From time to time on his tedious journey, as he passed flocks of sheep, St Feutre plucked handfuls of wool form their backs and placed it in his sandals.
God blessed this action and vouchsafed a miracle. On the fifteenth day, as St Feutre stood before the shrine of St Aubert, he pulled off his sandals and drew back in awe. For in the bottom of each was a new cloth, unknown before, firm of texture, soft to touch, and strong, made from sheep’s wool, trampled down by the daily steps of the pilgrim.
Today we recognise St Feutre’s miracle as felt.

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Mulberry Time for Dyers

This article was first published in the Guild News of November 1965:
Mrs Anderson has had a most successful time with her mulberries this year and has sent her note to encourage others to use this prolific fruit.
Mulberries have given me the following colours:

  • Dark purplish plum with iron sulphate
  • Pinky cinnamon with tannic acid
  • Geranium leaf green with bichromate of potash
  • Rust with cream of tartar
  • Varying shades of cinnamon pink with tannic acid and cream of tartar
  • Pink from boiling unmordanted wool for 2 hours
  • Blue lavender from mordanting with oxalic acid and stannous chloride.

General proportions are 1.5 cups berries to 1lb wool
By using wool which has been only lightly washed so that the dirt but not the yolk is removed from the wool, heather-fleck dyes are obtained because where the yolk remains the shade is darker
Border Leicester or other tippy wools give interesting colour variations when dyed because the weathered tips do not absorb the dye at the same rate as the undamaged wool and result in darker flecks.
The first experiment mordanting mulberries with cream of tartar happened to be with berries which had been picked after a warm dry period. This gave the rust colour. The next experiment with cream of tartar as mordant was with berries which had been picked after good rain. The result was an unusual and attractive shade of rust-pink.
The amount of water used in relation to the quantity of wool effects the shades obtained
To extract full value from plant dyes, it is important to bring the wool and mordant to the boil slowly. Likewise when introducing the dye material, the pot should be heated slowly.

Beetroot Dyes

During this 65th anniversary year, articles of interest from old Guild newsletters will be reprinted. This article was first published in May 1965.
Beetroot are plentiful just now so this is an ideal time to try them as dye material. The old stringy ones discarded for culinary use are quite suitable for the dye pot. First wash off the dirt then cut into pieces and tie up in a muslin bag. Boil until a good colour has been extracted. Wool should now be entered into the dye pot with one or other of the following mordants:

  • Alum – for old gold shads and with a particularly strong dye a bright bronze is obtained
  • Bichromate of potash – bronze
  • Copper sulphate – sage green
  • Cream of tartar and tin – apricot
  • Alum and aluminium and soda – yellow

Note: Be sure you have washed all the dirt and natural grease from your wool before attempting to dye. Move the wool gently about in the dye pot to be sure of equal dyeing. Odd ends of skeins of white wool can be used very successfully after dyeing to add life and interest to standard patterns.

Knitting with Forethought

At the January mini, Linda Chee taught us how to grow sleeves on our knitting.
You may have heard of afterthought heels/thumbs in knitted socks or mittens. In this technique you work a tube, in the round and later come back to where you want the heel or thumb to grow. You then snip the yarn and pull out a row of stitches as long as the hole that you need for the heel or thumb. You carefully pick up the released stitches on either side of the snipped yarn and knit the required shape – heel or thumb.
Linda’s method is to knit a piece of waste yarn into the web as you are knitting, in exactly in the place where you want the garment to sprout later on. You transfer those stitches back on the left hand needle, knit them and on to finish the row. Later, all you have to do is pick up the stitches on either side of this waste yarn. No cutting required.
She hopes to see lots of interesting articles with imaginative changes of direction.