Location: Crescent City, California, United States

I love to make things with my hands. My current passions are knitting and spinning.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Black Sheep Gathering

I feel so blessed to be able to take classes again this year at Black Sheep Gathering. They have such great classes there, and the teachers I have had, have all been more than happy to share their wealth of knowledge.
The first class I took was Color Blending on a drum carder. I feel much more comfortable with my drum carder after taking that class. I couldn't believe how many times you have to run the fiber through before the colors blend enough to get what you want. I was wishing for the electric carder by the time I was done. I thought my colors came out pretty good when I was finished.

There were 3 different exercises she wanted us to do in class, but I was only able to complete 2. The third exercise was to pick up a bundle of 3 random colors that the instructor had put together,

assign them primary color names and then blend secondary and tertiary colors with them

Then blend them with a tint (white), tone (add grey), Shade (add black), and complement (from the color wheel). The colors on the right of the picture below are the tertiaries, the colors on the left are the tint, tone, etc.

This was a very interesting exercise, and one that had me stepping out of my comfort zone as far as the colors were concerned. When I was able to do some shopping at BSG, I picked out several of my own random color combos that weren't necessarily in my comfort zone, to play with at home.

What a bunch of busy ladies, don't you think?

On Saturday, I took a class on Mushroom Dyeing. Again, there was alot of info, and it seemed like this could easily have been more than a 1/2 day class. Below is the instructor's sample of all the different colors you can make with different mushrooms. The tricky thing about doing this type of dyeing is that you need to be able to go out and identify and pick your own mushrooms (and estimate how much you will need), it isn't like going to the store and picking up some powdered dye that you know will dye X amount of yarn. I really liked the earthy, muted colors that you can achieve with this method.
OK, time for gratuitous pictures of sheep......
and a Navajo Churro...............
and an Angora Goat....................
You have to love these guys, I mean they share all this wonderful fiber for us to make clothing and accessories with. I love the curly locks of the Angora goat. How fun!
The last class that I took was on spinning Primitive Breeds with Judith McKenzie. She is a wonderful teacher and if I ever have a chance to take a class from her again, I will. I don't have any great pics from the class, but there are a couple of things I wanted to share. First of all, Judith brought about 10 fleeces and laid them out of the floor so that we could see and touch them. She had Shetland, Icelandic, Navajo Churro, Clun Forrest and Jacob. She had some that were washed, and some that weren't washed. We had a short amount of time to spin, and she taught us a trick with our wheels, I should now be able to spin lace weight yarn with my wheel. She also showed us how to skirt a fleece and what parts to use for what purpose.
Below is a picture of all the different lengths of fiber you can get from an Icelandic sheep fleece (there were about 5 different lengths from this particular fleece).

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