Saturday, May 20, 2017

EVEN A LABOR OF LOVE DESERVES SOME COMPENSATION-Another Towel Project

I would like to take you on a little adventure with me. People often wonder why hand crafted items cost so much. Over the next few weeks, I will share with you what it takes to weave hand towels. Yes, I know that you can go to a store and buy half a dozen of then for what one hand woven towel costs. However you will be back in a year buying another half dozen, while the hand woven ones keep working for nine more years,

This summer, I have chosen to dye 15 yards of warp for a run of towels. They will be woven in the shop. Generally there are 15 or 16 towels when the work is completed. The yarn used is a high quality unmercerized cotton. By the way, the warp threads weighed 2 1/2 pounds when dry.

I dyed the warp in the back room of the shop. That is a standard 6 foot table. The plan is for each towel to have at least 2 colors in the warp so that there are no two exactly alike when all is said and done. The painting took about and hour and a half.

The dyed warp then had to rest for a couple of days for the yarn to  to take on the color. There is a bunch of chemistry involved. I just trust the process and know that the color will not be as intense after rinsing.

 Rinsing:Do you have any idea how heaving a soaking wet, 15 yard warp chain can be? It really helps to have a large sink.


 Drying: Hoping that the wind doesn't start up.

And finally,winding on to the warp beam!



This is going to take more than one shift.

To be continued...

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Back Room Dyers were busy this week. These skeins will be labeled and on the shelves Saturday. 

The Back Room Dyers are Barbara, Susan and whomever shows up to help on dye day. This month it was Alisa, we appreciate her help!. Barbara is the careful planner and dye mixer. Susan comes in and and uses all the remaining dye mixed for the day in unconventional ways. 
Guess which one has more repeatable results? 



Friday, April 28, 2017

THE BIG PINK CHAIR HAS A NEW HOME!

The artist that created The Big Pink Chair sculpture, which has served as a beacon for our shop for over a decade, has sold it. We have heard the the purchaser of the beloved icon is donating it to the IDEA Museum. We will be following up on this.




For now The Flowering Stiletto, which was on the corner of Main and Robson, is in front of the shop,



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Summer is creeping up and for those destined to stay in the Valley of the Sun, we hope that you can find some relief here with us. To those of you headed to cooler climates we wish you safe travels and a speedy return.

The Summer Class Schedule is posted on our web page and registration is open. Some classes, especially weaving, fill up fast so don't wait too long!

There are two new Knit-a-Longs and a Crochet-a-Long scheduled this summer: Artesian, The Rain Outside, and the Dragonfly shawl.


  We also have one planned for the Fall that you need to dye your own skein of yarn for. That particular dye day is in August and the project is Optical Delusion: Conflagration. Check it out on Ravelry, we think you’ll want to get in on this one. Just imagine the color themes that can be used for this: flames, fall leaves, peacock feathers. Look at the shape with your eyes half closed, head tilted to one side and let your imagination run wild.

Some fun for the kids is scheduled in June. We have spinning, dyeing, weaving and felting, as well as knitting. If the days on the schedule don’t work out for you and your kids, please call and we can usually arrange a date/time that will. We honestly believe that children need an opportunity to experience the fiber arts. The part of their brain that gets to play and be creative needs nurtured just as much as the rest of it.

We have added shortened versions of the beginning knitting and crochet classes. If you have some friends who have been thinking about dabbling but couldn't make the four week commitment, let them know about this. We have all the patience in the world to help them grasp the concepts. Better to learn from us than risk your friendship, right!

Barbara has chosen a desert cactus garden theme for the summer window. Knit, crochet, or felt, a cactus 8 to 10 inches tall. Then watch our garden grow. A little bird whispered there is a $25 gift certificate to be awarded to the most creative cactus as decided by popular vote. It would be grand to have the submissions by June 15. Voting will be June 15-30 with the winner announced July 5th.


Molly has 3 bookbinding classes this summer. If you are interested in this craft, this may be your last chance. She will be applying for internships and might not be in Arizona next year.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Been a while since there have been any postings here. Karen has moved on to other adventures in life, so I'm going to make an effort to put something fun, interesting or informative here on a somewhat regular basis.

For starters, there is this:

DREAM IN COLOR TRUNK SHOW FEBRUARY 21-25. 
COME SEE AND TOUCH THEIR BEAUTIFUL YARNS!


Hope to see you in the shop!

Susan