Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tempting Fibers

Knitters and quilters love fibers. Art Quilters are exploring the world of fibers by incorporating yarns, felted wool, and hand-dyed fabric in their new creations.

Today, Robert (he was a prodigious spinner in his day) and I were invited to attend a meeting of the Spindles and Flyers Guild in El Cerrito, CA. Three dear friends from Sonoma County were there. Our host was Kay Elsbree. Lydia Van Gelder, my first spinning teacher from 1972, is a member of the guild. Kay and I met in Lydia’s class at Santa Rosa Junior College. Dorothy Beebee was the featured speaker. Dorothy is an expert on dyeing yarns and fabric with mushrooms.

Dorothy presented beautiful skeins of yarn, knitted hats, and silk fabric – all dyed with mushrooms. The colors were rich and startling, not just the earthy hues you might expect. Dorothy gives comprehensive talks at guilds and holds mushroom dyeing workshops all over the world. Miriam C. Rice of Mendocino accidentally discovered that mushrooms give incredible colors in the early 1970s. Dorothy illustrated Miriam’s first book and has worked with her ever since.

Lydia is an amazing woman, still going strong and wearing wild socks at 96.

Our five lives have been woven together over many years and every so often serendipity brings us together again. Today was one of those special days.

Where is Kay’s picture? Darned if I know.

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Anonymous Gerrie said...

Beautiful! When I was a weaver and a hippy back in the dark ages, I did natural dyes, but I have never heard of muchrooms as a dye!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Tanya Brown said...

May we all be wearing wild socks at the age of 96!

You're right; some of the colors achieved with the mushrooms are quite unexpected.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Dame Judith said...

Life *is* a circle that keeps us coming around to each other.
Here am I, a girlhood neighbor of Christine's, some 60 years later, noting the curious fact that I too took up handspinning in the early 70s. Only in Oregon, out at the Damascus Pioneer School. My wheels sit idle now, but I always think that I'll take up the wool again--any day now!;)

8:14 AM  

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