Archive for September, 2008

mid September news

September 19, 2008

My most recent excitement comes from SUCCESS in a ‘sprang’ experiment. I have been intrigued by images in Peter Collingwood’s book The Techniques of Sprang. Diamond and zigzag patterns in sashes pictured there are pretty straight forward. I’ve developed a method for mapping out the patterns on graph paper, then translating the graphs to written patterns, such as 6 singles, 1 double, 4 singles, etc.

The challenge to myself was to work out the pattern for the two-headed eagle from the 1700 Dutch piece at the back of the book.

I am Thrilled to report that my experiment was a success!

double headed eagle pattern in silk sprang

double headed eagle pattern in silk sprang

The material is a medium silk cord from Treenway’s. I dyed it with a ‘plum’ Landscapes dye. I will bring this piece along with me to Mississinewa 1812 in Marion, Indiana, this October. Stop by and have a look.

Now I didn’t start out with this piece. I’ve been working on this mapping and pattern-writing technique for sprang, creating ‘neck scarfs’.

pattern trials, sprang scarfs

pattern trials, sprang scarfs

Folks might want to know, the sprang always wants to curl at first (the red and yellow one at the top of the picture). I find that if I wash it, and pat it flat, and leave it to dry, then it ‘forgets’ the need to curl.

Guess it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and there are a few other things to report.

I attended the Manitoba Living History Society’s Fall Gathering, September 5 to 7.

View of the camp, MLHS Fall Gathering

View of the camp, MLHS Fall Gathering

I had prepared some indigo dye and took advantage of the space and time to dye some two dozen skeins, mostly white, but some were yellow. As predicted, they came out a variety of blues and greens.

A magic transformation as they emerge from the pot, changing from yellow to green to bright blue, it was lovely to see.

wool emerges from the indigo dyepot a yellow-green

wool emerges from the indigo dyepot a yellow-green

and then it immediately starts turning blue

the indigo dye oxidizes and turns blue

the indigo dye oxidizes and turns blue

By the end of the weekend I had a lovely set of blues

variety of blue and green wool

variety of blue and green wool

On Sept 12, a new park was dedicated to the honor of a locally prominent Métis, Elzéar Goulet. What an honor to see my sashes all around. Of the 6 sashes visible in this photo, I had a hand in the creation of 4 of them.

Dedication of the Elzéar Goulet Park

Dedication of the Elzéar Goulet Park

As well, I’ve been busy on my loom. A desperate call from a friend, the need for a sash for another inductee into an esteemed position, requiring another sash:

special order special pattern sash

special order special pattern sash

Working on a woven silk ‘officer’s sash’.

I’ll be in Marion, Indiana, Oct 10 to 12 for Mississinewa 1812.

November 7 to 9, I’ll be in Thunder Bay, Ontario, for the NAVC Fall Gathering.

Meanwhile, there will be another ‘Beginning Fingerweaving’ class at the Musée de St Boniface Museum, starting Sunday afternoons. Contact the Musée for further information.

info@msbm.mb.ca

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Busy start to the month

September 4, 2008

Met with the folks from the BBC the morning of Sept 3. They are currently producing a six part series presented by Ray Mears about Canada, its history, indigenous cultures and people. Ray Mears is a Bushcraft specialist and Woodsman and the programmes will reflect this expertise as well as Ray learning new skills from other experts.

The six programmes are about the Boreal Forest, The Fur Trade, Samuel Hearne, David Thompson, Dr John Rae and the people who live West of the Rockies who have made Cedar wood a huge part of their culture and history.

The programmes will be an hour long and will have a mixture of Ray demonstrating traditional living skills, living from the land and meeting various First Nations people and exploring the history of Canada.

This morning Ray Mears interviewed me on site in the Atrium of the St Boniface General Hospital concerning my work, creating Assomption sashes, the technique called fingerweaving or ceinture fleche. The resulting program will be aired in the Fall of 2009.

Ben Southwell, Director, Carol James, Ray Mears, Presenter, Sally Dias, Assistant Producer, Tim Green, Sound recordist, and Barrie Foster, Cameraman, in the SBGH Atrium

Ben Southwell, Director, Carol James, Ray Mears, Presenter, Sally Dias, Assistant Producer, Tim Green, Sound recordist, and Barrie Foster, Cameraman, in the SBGH Atrium

That afternoon, I went with my daughter to visit the sheep farm, the Seine River Shepherds. A visit with the shepherdess, Solange, is always a treat.

solangecarol

Back to Winnipeg, for the concert Terre Ouverte, a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the community of St Boniface. As a member of the Maison des Artistes, I helped in the collection of donations for the new sculpture gardens.

Today, Sept 4, the 2nd edition of my book was delivered to my house.

Friesen's Printing truckdriver delivers the 2nd edition

Friesen's Printing truck driver delivers the 2nd edition

I’m down to fewer than 150 copies of the first edition (1260 copies printed). The second edition no longer has the ‘staple together’ or ‘saddle stitch’ binding. Rather it has the kind of edge that displays the title when the book is on the shelf, they call it ‘perfect binding’.

This weekend I’ll hang out with Manitoba Living History Society, as they hold their annual Fall Gathering in Whittier Park. We’ll be celebrating with the Scottish folk of Winnipeg, participating in the St Andrew’s Society Selkirk Settler Parade. As well, I’ve prepared some indigo, and hope to dye 2 lbs of yarn, from pale blue to dark navy.