Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Anniversay and Waulking Day September 2008

This past week end was our annual anniversay sale weekend, the last week end in September. We celebrated our 9th year in business, and began our 4th year here in this lovely old building in downtown Bellingham. Every year we "waulk" about 15 yards of woven wool fabric, woven from local weavers and friends of ours. This year we made connection with the Seattle Gaelic Language and Cultural Society -- Slighe nan Gaidheal. They came up and showed us how to Scottish waulk the wool fabric while singing, laughing, telling stories of old times. You can see by the photos how this is done: people sit around the table (traditionally women) and pass the cloth sun wise (clockwise) around, beating as it goes. It takes a while, or a few songs to complete the process. It is measured by knuckles as shown in the middle photo. When fulling is complete, the length of the fabric is rolled up, and blessed by the oldest, or most experienced woman, again accompanied by song!

Every year we've done this, it has been such a wonderful experience. To carry on the tradition of weaving together, and then bring the community together to full the cloth and sing builds such warmth and friendship. I look forward to this every year!

If this is something you would like to be a part of next year, please let us know -- we start weaving in August to prepare the annual waulking at the end of September!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Earthues Dye Day at NW Handspun Yarns

Last Weekend, September 6 and 7, we had a dye class using Earthues Dyes. I've been studying with Earthues in Seattle and now feel confident enough to teach the classes! Yeah! And what fun we had. The weather was sunny and the colors were bright! As a group we chose the colors we wanted, brought the wool yarns, including spinning fibers, and proceeded to forge ahead. In my dye classes we start from the beginning, cleaning, and mordanting, and then actually weighing the fiber and dye to get exactly the color we want. We had great pleasing results! We dyed wool and silk. Colors were cochineal, madder, logwood grey, fustic, quebracho red, and of course indigo. Some of these were blends, which were extra mathematical equations -- fun fun!

I'm Back! And need your help!

Whew! A long, but fast year has past as far as this blog is concerned. I love to write, but finding the time is the hardest thing to do! What I do with my time is work, work, work! I'm on the board of two guilds and have a staff of six, and a family! I just work too much at a job I love, so it takes a toll on my health, as it did this last year, in terms of ongoing migraines. Now I think they are under control, I feel SOOOO much better. I constantly work on finding the balance between work and play. Although in my work, it is kind of like play....most of the time.

So, if I may, I'd like to ask for your help in this blog thing --- to help me keep going! Would you write back, tell me you read the blog, give me feedback? And I'll do my best to keep writing and posting photos of you, my best friends, customers, products, and projects. Deal? Deal!

thanks a bunch!
Love, Nan