Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Weaver Knits

MAY 4, 2011
6:30pm Social Time, 7pm Meeting/Program
 At Suzie‘s Studio in Fennville (see directions below)

― Aging has probably inspired me more than anything else in the past year.  The knitting machine has opened up a door of possibilities for me; I have arthritis with bilateral hip replacements and getting under the loom was becoming increasingly difficult. Winding warps was taking a toll on my shoulders, and even the addition of an AVL warping wheel didn't help. The gift of a standard bed knitting machine which uses DK and lighter weight yarns opened an art form that is taking over my life.
     I started weaving in 1977 in east Michigan. My husband was transferred to Philadelphia in 1979, where I opened Mt. Airy Handweaving Studio. I did production weaving at that time, participating in Winter Market in Baltimore, a wholesale craft show put on by the American Craft Council. During our time in Philadelphia I had two solo shows of my weaving; one at the Walnut Street Theater Gallery, and the other at the Germantown Craft Store.
      At the Craft Store, I met print-maker John Graham. His work inspired me to take the next step; doing one of a kind pieces based on his work. For each of ten block prints he made, I did a warp painted kimono. That theme of the Asian garment has followed me through the years; I recently wove fabric based on Kente cloth and fashioned it into a kimono-type garment. That the guild has spent time this year on Kimono excites me!!
     I knit  blanks and then dye them which affords me the opportunity to get color right where I want it. The possibilities are endless, because the yardage I knit is treated like regular fabric. I cut and sew it rather than shape the pieces on my machine, following a pattern. However, I recently acquired a piece of equipment that will allow me to draw a pattern, feed it into the machine, and be prompted to decrease or increase where needed.
Directions to Suzie’s: I live about 13 miles from the Arts council. My address is 2750 60th Street, Fennville 49408. The easiest way to get to me is to take Washington east, go under the tunnel, and then take 58th street all the way to 126th. Turn right on 126th, and the next road is 60th. Turn right. I live in the second block between 127th and 128th. I'll tie some ribbon or something to our mail box. If using a GPS, put 2751 in....for some reason, it will take you to Pullman if you put my real address in.  Please call if you have trouble; 269-561-5140
My driveway is long and you pass my neighbor's studio first. Keep coming and my studio is in a pole barn beyond the covered RV!

More Guild News....
 From our Guild President, Jennifer Gould.
As I wrote this, there was 3 inches of snow on the ground this morning and two Sundays ago it was 82 degrees! This is Michigan! Let's hope for warm temps and blue skies when we meet at Suzie's studio on the 4th and on Sat., May 7, for indigo dyeing. Hope you're getting a lot of fun fiber things done because we have exciting things to look forward to. Hope to see you in May at our events coming up.
Jan Koster has a new grandson, her second grandbaby Clayton Koster, born the week of March 19. Congratulations Grandma Jan!
Indigo Dyeing Day, Sat., May 7
10:00 am to ???
Jennifer Gould’s home
-My address is 435 Woodburn, SW, Byron Center 49315; 616-878-1526 home phone if you get lost.
-A lunch! I‘ll have coffee, tea, etc., ready and, hopefully some coffee cake, too.
-Wear old clothes (full-body apron?) and shoes that you don‘t mind getting blue or dyed.
-Pre-washed fabric, clothing, yarn, roving, etc., that is natural fibers (cotton, linen, silk, wool, or blends of these); I‘ve also dyed cotton/lycra! The cloth DOES NOT have to be white, in fact, colored fabric (even black, just not blue) works beautifully because there‘s a color remover in the mix that takes the color out and then immediately puts the indigo/blue in! Test colored fabric (even printed) with some bleach to be sure.
-Dishwashing rubber gloves (yellow?) if you don‘t want to get your hands/nails blue.
-Supplies/tools: scissors, snips, seam ripper, strong white thread (for doing shibori)
-Cost per person: probably $2-$3 (depends on how many people show up). Haven‘t purchased the indigo and auxiliary stuff yet but probably will be under $22.
-A description of the day: Once everyone arrives, we‘ll measure out the ingredients and mix up the indigo bath so everyone gets to see how easy it is. While it develops in the bucket (20 mins. or so), I‘ll explain the process and the different ways to wrap, fold, scrunch, tie, etc., the fabric and the possible results (my fabrics from past years‘ or anyone else‘s). Then we soak the cloth in water, put in the dye bath, wait, put it out and say WoW!!!
-Washing fabric ahead is necessary to get the finishes off the fabric. This is best done with Synthrapol and soda ash. I‘ll bring these to the May 4 meeting so bring 2 small bottles (like those little bottles spices and herbs come) to the May 4 meeting so you can get some! Use ½ tsp. of each to wash 3-4 yds. of fabric. I always seem to use more (too much) and if there‘s still a smell left on the fabric, rinse it again until gone.
-If you have questions, please telephone me at 616-878-1526 as I‘m preparing for a show that goes up the next day after the guild meeting and I‘m not looking at my

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