Monday, September 29, 2008

Hook In Happenings

It has been so busy at hook in I haven't had a chance to even take pictures. I'll try to do better this coming week.
Everyone is coming along wonderfully with their projects.

We have decided to have a class to use up stripettes of wool we have laying around. It is called the Scrappy Oriental.
Because the class is only few weeks long we decided to focus on the colour aspect of using our scraps and not drawing a pattern we decided to get either of two Kilim pillows from Rittermere Hurst Field.
Everyone is looking forward to this. If you want to join us drop me a line for the specs. Class starts the first Thursday after Thanksgiving. ( Canadian )

Some very beautiful wool

I could not believe my eyes when this came out of the pot !

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An answer to a letter

Yesterday I got a sweet letter inquiring about formula books and swatchettes for Majic Carpet Dyes.

Here was my reply

I'm happy to hear of someone who is newly excited about dyeing.
I have found through the experiences of others, the purchase of recipe books and swatchettes to be a grand exercise in frustration.
Things rarely turn out as you wish or expect.

I find an experiential method much more beneficial to actual learning. It is more interesting and freeing as well because you can make up what ever colour you wish, whenever you wish, even those not dreamed up by the formula makers but only by you.

First dye a sample of all your dye colours , 1/32 tsp over 1/32 yd of wool.
This way you know what colours you are dealing with.

Then over 1/16 yd try combining equal proportions of two colours, for example: 1/32 tsp reddish brown + 1/32 tsp. turquoise
Do this with all your colours.... or buy this already done by Dorothy Bray ( on the OHCG teaching list )

This visual aid along with learning how to create values by the amount of wool used with the amount of dye..... 1/32 tsp over 1/32 yd. creates and medium dark colour. 1/32 of dye over 1 yd creates a pastel...... will set upi on a path of wonderment.
What if I combine these three or those four ?

You will know all you need to to create wonderful unique colours all your own.
Also most dye books create formulas all in the same value range and the cannot be used together effectively as motifs won't have contrast.

If this doesn't help you I'm sure RHF can direct you to what you want

Thanks for writing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Great Burlington Magical Dye Tour

Heather is preparing something yummy in her aluminum pan. It is important to take the time to arrange theings for good results.

I have to apologize to Pat because I tried to turn her photo the right way at least 10 times to no avail, I thought it was more important to see how she well she did creating her wonderful rich darks. Well done Pat.

Here are the results of my demo of shibori except the one on the top left .... it a watercolour

Here is what Irene made during her week's dyeing , well done my friend.

Often when we dye it comes as great surprise as to what happened ! Barb looks as though she just pulled excalibur from the rock. Maybe she did.

Yes there is more to see

We tried our hand at frying pan spot dyes, here is Fran's delicious results.

During the week we washed and dried things as we went along twice a day. Sometimes they were not quite dry and we used a drying rack to finish the job.

Each day , twice a day it represented a great record of what had just happened.

When we were ready to use the rack for the next shift we threw the stuff on the ground to be collected by it's owner.

Rosemarie and her gorgeous wandering, well done, it is very difficult not to stir but look what happens if you don't and you are using a big enough pot for the wool to be swimming freely.

The Burlington Bonanza Continues

Here is Margaret's Use Three Dyes Challenge and I don't know exactly whether they were crockpot circus or chelseas method but I do know she used the light mixing colours red, blue, yellow as opposed to red violet ( aka magenta ) turquoise ( aka cyan) and the yellow we usually rely on. She arranged these in formulas from dye solutions of each colour. They are beautiful indeed.

Here is someones, either Heather or Cheryl's Great Big Stew Pot.

Here is Gerry's great big stew pot !

What to do with your strips that are leftover ? OVER DYE THEM !!

Look at what strips over dyed yellow produces.... WOW ! I think Barb did this.

More From Burlington

Here is Ruby and here wonderful crockpot circus,what a great job !
For a less riotous circus she could over dye with a touch of black, for you primitive girls, use a brown .... this is over 1/2 yd. so maybe 1/32 tsp brown, though why would you ?????

Here is a close up:

Here is Elva and her Burlington Bull's eye! What a beauty! It is a Wowee arranged another way !

Irene aka Acid Queen with her Wowee. What a difference rearranging wool in another configuration can make.

And what a difference dye choices make in a wowee. Not sure whose this is, Maybe Pat's or Rosemarie's ?
Pipe up if it is yours......

Monday, September 22, 2008


I have some serious catching up to do.
Mostly in cleaning various parts of the house, the way stations for accumulated detritus, and posting to the Welcome Mat and this blog.

When we last met I was posting stuff about Burlington Rug School and I still have some pictures to post I took on the last few days.
I asked students which was the favorite thing they did and I also took some random photos.
The most edifying and invigorating thing was visitor day when I would overhear my fellow dyeing divas proudly showing off the wonderful things they dyed and telling just how they did them.

Barb And Cheryl Discuss Marbleising and Cheryl has a Steamer on Her Knee

Fran's Wandering In Progress

The Notes , THe NOTES

Heather Matches Her Spot Dye ( we all did this over and over )

Eleanor wonders if the water will ever clear...
FYI for using crock pot effectively to dye , we must leave lid on, also if we dye over already dyed wool from factories there will be dirty water especially if we are dyeing over plaids and textures or bleeders.
Throw in a piece of natural to clear water and get great light colours maybe for flesh..

A morning's work

More Later my friends...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Correction for John Cage Attribution

This was sent in to Robert's site ..... be sure to attribute it accurately if you are using it in any way.

As far as I know these "Rules" were the work of Corita Kent , (1918-1986), serigrapher and teacher extraordinare, in which she included a quote from John Cage. The calligrapher David Mekelburg produced them in hand-carved stamped lettering and they were published in Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit , a book begun by Corita with her former student Jan Steward and finished by Steward after Corita's death. (Bantam 1992).

(RG note) Thanks, Trish. We stand corrected and I definitely want to give the correct attribution. It seems Rule 10 is Cage's.

Home Again But oh so tired and booked with appointments

As I threw in a cord of wood this morning I was thinking it must be my mandate to make something every day.
It makes all the difference to me and the things I make for work don't really count.
It is hard to make the demarcation, so much of what I love doing turns to work sooner or later.
Here's to a rededication to my Make Something Everyday philosophy. It need only be gratifying, even if it is ugly.
PS Trouble doesn't count.

I have many things to share with you from class last week and from happenings here at home.

Only missing the factor of time.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Start wet finish wet

There is an old saying .... raining at 7 (AM) over by 11.
I hope it holds true as it is a rainy old morning.
I had to unload my things for class in the rain and hope one baptism is enough.
Last night Denise, yes of the Brown town article fame, took me on a whirlwind tour of some lovely places. She is an exceptionally, thoughtful, wonderful person. She really made my work week here into a delightful holiday.
We went to Spun, a yarn store and a sewing shop , Sewing Machine Etcetera ,( whose thrust is education ) located side by side.
Then we were off to Indigo which I enjoyed as a refreshing change from the Chapters mode though I know they are owned by the same umbrella.
I now have great fodder for my long winter to keep ecited and stimulated as that's half my problem, not enough to think about.

Getting out of bed now to get going !
Sad to be going home BUT can't wait ! I especially miss the hairy ones.

Today's Class Wind Up Thoughts via John Cage via Robert

John Cage's "Rules for Students and Teachers."

1 Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.
2 General duties of a student--pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
3 General duties of a teacher--pull everything out of your students.
4 Consider everything an experiment.
5 Be self-disciplined--this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
6 Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there's only make.
7 The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
8 Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.
9 Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.
10 Break rules. Even your own rules. Leave plenty of room for X quantities.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dye Class Catch Up

We are having a great time.
I noticed and commented to my class today how proud I was of them because when I assign them their tasks there are no longer questions of , what dye did you use, how much, where and how long.... they were acting like full grown creative wonder, they are ready to be kicked from the nest !

Here are the promised pictures from yesterday and today.

Heather's preparing

Bracing themselves for the day

The Shibori

Wonderful wool

Barb and Cheryl ohhhh and ahhhh

Piles of dyed lovelys just lying in heaps.

Fran's Wandering

I'll post more later , got to get some rest ...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday's Report

Along about 2 this afternoon we were all desperate for red bull.
But I had everybody park it and I did demos with them directing my actions.
We did Wandering today and the BIG Giant Stewpot.
I showed them how to watercolour dye , how to make a tint and they are excited to try saftey pin shibori tomorrow.

I did take pictures but left the camera back in the classroom.
So double pictures tomorrow !

I do have some pictures of last week's hook-in though.

Erin's Progress.... so beautiful.... I hope it is my Christmas present.

Marg's Sanibel Island Lighthouse, love that sky !

Lorraine and the exquisite house rug portrait she is making.

Glamourous Barbie and her beautiful colours

Shirley's Scrappy Oriental Progress

Marilyn's Exotically coloured ( LOVE THE COMBO ) nylon piece.

Linda redoing a few tiny parts of her Magnolia piece .... lovely

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Teacher's Dilemma Solved

Well glory be, Huck said it and I believed it and there it was !
When I got to class I had thought of a couple of things we could do.... could not buy different equipment, no room to take it home ... added expense.. phooey !

So I thought maybe we could process wool in the dry zone, no water just the carefully covered crock pot being plugged in and removed after water clears up.

I sent my good woman room monitor Pat to ask if it could be so, meanwhile the delightful scottish maintenance main said I could run two extension cords from the studio to the dyeing section.

Pat reported no go on the crockpot issue... but meanwhile they decided to open up a wall and enlarge our space by a third, and into a "declared dirty zone " Where we had a great length of counter space and plugs. We did NOT blow one fuse.

All went well and everyone is happy. It is making my job tons easier.Here are some pictures of the fun.

Our assignments today included:
Marbelising with inclusions
Creating formulas

Looking good !

Studying The Notes

Stirring it up

Everyone is darned happy

Fran is gilded with Marbelising.

The Teacher's Dilemma

Well, I've arrived.
I am a bit boggled though.
I have 16 students to teach dyeing.
Can you imagine ? I want them to do their own dyeing. How much boiling water we'll need, how many individual areas needed for set up of their equipment , HOW MUCH ELBOW ROOM ?

Here's what I was presented with ...... a room that is a designated "dry studio " for 3/4 of it.
Dyeing must take place in only 1/4 of the room, it is the size of an average hotel room if that.
It also has limitations on over 1/2 of it's power outlets.

Why am I in this room you might ask.....
That is a question I'm pondering right now.

I had planned to split the class into morning dyers and afternoon dyers but I realized it is better to have partners. Who can keep out of something so exciting when that's what you signed up to do, and you are keenly interested to see what happens next ?

Even with the previous plan 8 people would not be able to dye as I wish ( with a crock pot cooking away and a frying pan working along side it , getting two things done at once ) because of the outlet limitations.

And most peculiarly I was not consulted on where and what I thought would work best. Why wasn't I told about the dry studio months ago ?

In these circumstances the brunt of responsibility falls on me for a successful class. If you ain't having fun I'm on the front line to catch it .... I hope the students are very, very understanding and can join in with a great sense of camaraderie. After all we are all in it together. It is called the Magical Dye Tour, I thought we might be on the Queen Mary but it looks like a Vietnamese fishing scow on her last legs from here.

Now you'll all really want to come by to see how this all pans out.

Some of you will be tsking and shaking your heads because I'm telling tales out of school....
guess what ? It's time somebody did !

Talk about the sandwich generation, the rug school teacher is frequently stuck right between pleasing and enriching students and being presented with difficulties on the admin side.

What were they thinking ?
What was I thinking ?
You live, you learn and as Huckleberry Finn says:
I went right along, not fixing up any particular plan, but just trusting to Providence

I guess I'll do the same.
I keep you posted on how it goes.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Off to Burlington

I've been busy the last week or so planning and getting ready to go teach dyeing in Burlington, ON for a week.
This is going to be a great week, we have a full class, and lots to explore.
I hope to do some recording of parts of the class and post them each day.

If you are nearby you might want to come for a visit on Thursday.
Burlington Arts Center

Monday, September 1, 2008

September Starts - An online dye class

What is it about September? I crave the new start, the quest for something new, I guess all the conditioning with school, new grade, new teacher, impressionable mind made a deep imprint...
Are you ready for some mental stimulation after the summer slumber ?

I'm ready to start an online dye class with 4 lessons, for $60..... I send you a method class each 10 days, you do the work and report back to your fellow students with photos and a brief write up before the next lesson.

The starting date for this is Friday Sept.5, 2008.
There is no size limit for this class.

My objective is to expand our horizons, mine and your own.
If you are in declare your intentions by writing to