Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wooly Wednesday

Yesterday was "Wooly Wednesday". What is that, you ask? The beginning of a hopefully regular gathering of fiber folk here on the west side of Phoenix. We met in my friend Leticia's back yard for a time of creativity, show & tell, and general chatting. It was a marvelous time!

When I got there at lunch time, Leticia and Sorcha had been hard at work since 9ish that morning. Sorcha had some wool that had been dyed several years ago, that had gotten matted and felted in the dying process. The two of them were running the matted stuff through the drum carder, blending colors as they went. They came out with some absolutely lovely bats of very spinnable fiber.

I went out into the 70-some degree sunshine, and set up my spinning wheel. It was gorgeous out. I took off my sweatshirt and sat out in my short sleeves. My wheel was set up near Ceara and Isabelle, who were working on their knitting projects. In the picture here, Ceara had taken a break to talk on the phone, when one of the back yard chickens decided to hop up and see what she was working on. Yes, Leticia has a handful of very tame chickens that roam freely around the back yard, providing eggs and endless entertainment.

Here the girls are inspecting a freshly laid egg, while Clio (the pup) keeps a close eye on all happenings. The whole bunch of them are pretty shameless if there is food anywhere involved in the activities. Yes, I'm an urban girl. I didn't realize that chickens could beg with the best of them.

This? This is not food. Chickens, do not eat this. These are bars of soap that Leticia made recently, that are still curing. They did however smell good enough to eat. Lavender, lemon, honey...yum!

Leticia also has a lovely garden tucked into her yard. The plants in the picture on the left here include woad (left) and weld (in the pathway, right). The roots in the picture on the right are from a madder plant.

Woad, weld and madder? Those are dye plants. Woad gives blue, weld gives yellow, and madder gives red/orange. The black in the hood below came from commercially dyed yarn, but all of the other colors came from combinations of these three plants. I look forward to later Wooly Wednesdays, when we will hopefully get to help her harvest and dye with her crop of plants.

In and among the oohing and ahhing, I did manage to get most of a bobbin full of yarn spun up. I want to spin several skeins of plain white, with an eye to playing in the dye pots at a later date.

And to top the day off, after I got home I had time to finish sleying the reed for my Estrella weaving project. One step closer to throwing the shuttle back and forth! By the time I get around to the part that folks actually recognize as weaving, this project will be almost complete.


  1. Sounds like a great day!


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  2. Such wonderful colors you have in you work, SisterBatik!