20 November 2006


yarn, dye, pattern, and gift sources

YARNS: Henry's Attic undyed yarns are available from Discount Yarn Sale. I used Carrera (laceweight merino/silk), Kona and Kona Fingering (superwash yarns), Kid Mohair 2000, Texas (dk weight merino/mohair) for the yarn sale and Texas Bighorn (worsted weight merino/mohair) for the afghan.

NATURAL DYESTUFFS: Aurora Silk is a great resource for dyestuffs and information about dyeing processes. Aurora's Master Dyer Cheryl Kollander is very generous with information and service is fast and courteous. Aurora also carries undyed yarns. I also used Earthues natural dye extracts that I purchased from Jody MacKenzie's Botanical Shades booth at the 2006 Maryland Sheep and Wool Show. Earthues are available online, too. When I decided to make a color-run remover indigo vat rather than the fermented madder vat that I planned, I found the chemical Thiox at Dharma Trading Co.

BOOKS: There is a lot of free information about natural dyeing on the internet including at Echoes of a Dream (see sidebar), and I recommend getting a basic book so that you have a resource on hand for safety guidelines. I own Wild Color by Jenny Dean and Natural Dyes by Gwen Fereday. Wild Color guides and inspires me to investigate what colors come from the plants that are easily accessible to me. Gwen Fereday's book is valuable for the palettes of colors she produced from just five substances: weld, cochineal, madder, cutch, and indigo. The indigo procedure in Wild Color was the one I followed with the most success.

PATTERNS: I can't highly enough recommend Toymaking with Childrenby Freya Jaffke. It has all the animal patterns (except the elephant which is available in the sidebar under "recipes") and a lot more ideas for parents of young children. The horses pictured here are from the book. Floris also publishes other crafty titles including Crafts through the Year by Thomas and Petra Berger that has directions for making window stars, beeswax models and transparencies, sewn felt creatures and puppets and a lot more toys to make with and for children. The Knitted Farmyard by Hannelore Wernhard provides patterns for a complete farmyard of animals, buildings and a playmat. I'm thinking about putting one together over the course of 2007 for Elio's third Christmas.

CRAFTERS: At this year's fair, I bought items from two wonderful vendors whose very different looks represent the range of things our fair coordinator brought together in this show. I loved Gauchita's backstitch designs. Her little totes are finely crafted, too--this one with a leaf embroidered on it is lined with a pattern of gingko leaves. The robot is on a t-shirt for Bruno. Alicia Freile of Gauchita is part (Consigliere, maybe?) of the Philadelphia Craft Mafia. For Elio I bought a needle-felted pond and sewn felt turtle from Patti Michaels of Sage Dream Design.

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