Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Salida Fiber Festival 09.10.2016

We went to Salida for the weekend, to visit the 5th Annual Salida Fiber Festival, and do a bit of walking in the hills.

From the festival's website:

The Salida Fiber Festival, started in 2012 and conducted entirely by volunteers, has become one of the premier events in Central Colorado and one of the most diverse and well-attended fiber festivals in the West.

Featuring vendors focused on all aspects of textiles, the festival has grown in five short years from 38 to 70 vendors, and also includes fiber-related classes and demonstrations, a make-and-take activity tent, a silent auction tent featuring a variety of goods donated by vendors and Salida businesses, and a tree-shaded beer garden offering local beer, wine, and distilled drinks.

The festival is held in beautiful Riverside Park, alongside the Arkansas River, framed by 100- year-old trees.  The Salida area offers something for everyone, including outdoor activities such as rafting, mountain biking and hiking, as well as an historic downtown featuring numerous art galleries and shops in the state's first Creative District.

Leece examines some fleece in one of the stalls

This vendor gave weaving demonstrations and tips. She is on a Schacht Baby Wolf loom

This is a demo on how to separate and prepare the layers peeled from a mawata, or 'silk hankie.' Each layer is formed from a single silkworm cocoon; a mawata may have 20-30 layers

We went up to Monarch Pass and that area. This shot is from later, taken along the Arkansas River between Salida and Cotopaxi

Monday, September 5, 2016


Field of sunflowers just west of the Arkansas bridge on CO 266. Taken about 0730, while the morning light was still relatively soft. We played with apertures varying from f5.6 to f22.

We collected some sunflower blooms from some clusters by the side of the road. Leece is experimenting with yarn dyes from these blooms. So far she has really liked the bright golden-orange, on wool, from marigold blossoms. Echinacea blooms from the garden, with an iron modifier, gave a rather nice battleship grey. We got the iron modifier by soaking old iron nails - no coatings on them - in a slightly acidic solution for several weeks. We used white vinegar for the acid.

Here are some articles Leece has written about dyeing with natural products:

Dyeing Yarn Naturally (this is the marigold article)

Madder Yields Shades of Red (Madder root was used extensively for reds, for centuries. Did you know that the red stripes in our early flags were dyed with madder root dyes? Also the red coats of British soldiers?)