Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Work experience and the Woolfest

For the next two weeks I have Tara here for Work Experience. The idea is (I think) that Tara gets an introduction to working life as a school girl and I get the use of an extra pair of hands. Tara came to me because her mother (clever woman) brought two of my pictures and emailed asking if I might be interested in having Tara . I asked members of the Online Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers what they thought and they on on the whole thought it was a good idea provided I met Tara and liked her (which I did). Most butnot all of them had had a good experience of having someone for work experience.
Here is what we did.
I am getting ready for two days of workshop next weekend, the dye garden open to visits ( two next week) and in three weeks time I shall be having a stand at the Woolfest. There are three areas I really need to work on. Inks-I was getting down to just a few bottles. A good range of colours on the 23icron Merino. And my hand spun "Beyond the Twist Yarns". I had 24 different hanks at Wonderwool now I have ten which barely fill my yarn stand. All the knot yarns, , all the multicoloured single yarns, and all the very textured slub yarns have gone and all the Lesley Prior's Devon kid mohair and silk. This leaves me with some teeswater and silk and one of the welsh kid mohair . I am trying to spin for the Woolfest and none of the things I will get Tara to do is to drum card batts for me.
Yesterday Tara wound off 2kilos of Merino into 20hanks. and labelled them, and did the same for about a half a kilo of cashmere and silk and then we made up 5 different dye baths of complex dye mixtures to give red purples,blue purples, violet, terracotta, and reds. After lunch I started a stock check on my stock but did not get beyond the inks which were low. I sold quite a lot at the Natural Dye Day on Saturday and found I had only one green, and no purple . So I made inks and Tara stuck the labels on.
Today we will start to mordant and to get the dye baths ready. This will take up all my electric rings. In the afternoon Enys will be coming round and provided we can get into the garden we will be planting out the Japanese Indigo and the Chinese Woad But as I write this it is raining so I am hoping we will manage it.


  1. I am also hoping for drier weather so I can plant out my Japanese Indigo! We dug the bed over ready for it at the weekend. I hope you & Tara get along well, I'm sure if she has any interest in colour and textiles she's going to have an interesting time with you!

    I was sorry not to be able to get to Trefriw this weekend, I had to fix computer problems that were holding up all my work last week.

  2. I love your blog Helen. I can see you work into the early hours as I do :)