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Liza Stallsmith

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since Jan 24, 2018
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Recent posts by Liza Stallsmith

Raven's book arrived. Thank you. I am excited. I actually have flax seed on hand and own a hackle that was used on my husband's family farm years ago when they raised flax.  Seeing we still live on part of that farm I would love to raise some flax and put the hackle back in use.

The book is very well written. Instructions, illustrations, and pictures are clear, informative, and to the point. I see her book as kind of a Peterson Field guild to growing and processing Flax. It is not so over detailed and long that I will never get through it. Also, the introduction is welcoming to learning plus individuality. " I suggest that there are thousands of right ways to do things. Not one. Thousands. The only real wrong way is the way that doesn't work for you."  Raven Ranson

I really appreciate that she has tried and tested different ways and is sharing her knowledge. Many a time I have been put off by an instructor whose way to do something is the only acceptable way.

Again many Thanks!
1 year ago
Larisa, I am super excited I was able to get "Eco Colour" through our inter library loan system. I am just waiting for it to arrive. Also Our Library was having a book sale and I scored big. I was able to purchase Hands On Dyeing by Betsy Blumenthal and Kathryn Kreider and Yarns to  Dye for by Kathleen Taylor in like new condition for 50 cents each. I picked up The Yarn Lovers Guide to Hand Dyeing by Linda La Belle for a dollar.

Did the walnut hulls mold? Did you have to do any special to them. I like the idea of having a barrel of them around.

Judith, Thanks for sharing those groups I will check them out.
1 year ago
Larisa, Yes, I totally agree outdoors is good. I use two quart glass jars. Where do you find gallon ones? I am going to have to look up India Flint's stuff. Do you have a tittle or link?

Judith, I do use sperate pots and pans too. Second hand store finds are great. I need to study a lot more about plants and stuff to know which ones are toxic. Fermenting isn't something I've tried yet. Hmm, going to have to check that out.

To All:

Has anyone done any mushroom dying? The colors you can get are amazing, but I don't know much about it.

New Question: Years ago instead of adding mordants like we do today, the paper I found talked about using different pots for different colors. Examples would be cast iron, copper, enamel, metal, stainless, porcelain, tin and so on. Have any of you used this approach and do you think it would be safer because it is a finished product or isn't it going to matter one way or the other because of the dyes reactions to the material?
1 year ago
Thanks for the links. I have never tried woad, but have done indigo.

Here is a picture of braintan elk scraps. They are samples of before and after a Walnut dye
1 year ago
Ok, this might seem a dumb question, but I know of people who have gotten really, really sick after many years of using both commercial and natural dying for a living so my question is what safety measures do you take. I have a deep interest in dying ever since an old typed out page of dye notes fell out of a book I bought years ago, but I have been very slow in following that interest. I also met a individual up at the Fort Niagara Reenactment years ago who was from Canada. I probably wore out my welcome at his both. It was amazing dyed stuff. He was so kind and answered many of my question while my children spun his spinning tops of the board he provided for them. But even he strongly cautioned me about the natural dyes. He did programs with school children all the time and uses all food safe dyes for them.

So those of you who do dying, how safe do you feel it is? What precautions or safety measures do you use? I know first hand that one needs caution when doing things. I was ripping up lots of fabric for rugs inside and was amazed at how in changed the air quality in my home. lol There was a reason they ripped and pre-prepared the materials for winter weaving during the warm outdoor months. My father was a tinsmith and I have been around history all my life. Many health issues came from things they did daily without the knowledge of how it affected them.
1 year ago
I love your colors. I am intrigued by the woad and the redying of second hand fabric. Not that your other dyes aren't amazing too. I shop second hand stores all the time, but I don't think I have ever redyed something from there. I must admit that I came into the dyeing magic through kool aid and food dyes. But I  am very interested in learning  how to use natural dyes safely. Do you have your own dyer's garden. I would have a hard time getting dye material from my husband as he uses most stuff for his barktanning. lol
1 year ago
This picture is some of the dyed linen above on my loom. Sorry I should of had these in the same post, but am trying to learn how to conquer the posting picture thing. I would love to see pictures of what others have dyed and their projects!
1 year ago
This is a picture of some linen that I dyed a few yrs ago. It was a a fun summer project that my son and I worked on.
1 year ago
I had a friend who gathered and processed dog hair all the way through to the finished knitted hat. It was beautiful, but was so warm that no one here could actually wear it. It was quite a conversation piece though.
1 year ago
I totally agree that young kids can do spinning and weaving. Though I will admit it doesn't interest all children. My children all learned it at an early age, but not all of them do it now. I still have a teenage son that every once in awhile will walk up and grab my drop spindle as it is close to spinning out and spin it for me as he grins at me.

I believe children feed off our vibes of what we think they can do. You get the right teacher or person near them and they are willing to try anything. They are social individuals who often feed off circumstances and small nonverbal signs that as verbal adults we forget to watch for.

I often use my drop spindle in public. I cannot remember or count all the times I have had total stranger's young children sitting at my feet willingly spinning my drop spindle for me because they have shown an interest. Sometimes I even get them drafting the roving also. I always try to tell them were the local spinners meet and encourage them to bring their child there if interested. If I stay in one place long enough I will have someone more often then not a young child 6 and down helping me spin. The magic of the drop spindle and my belief that they can do it makes them willing to try. I am hooked on the joy it brings to them so I am willing to let them try and break or cut the yarn that is to different from mine off later at home, but often I give it to them as we have to part. I have memories of taking my mother to the doctor and sitting in the waiting room with other patient's children helping me spin. She would come out and say. "I am sorry you can't play with my daughter anymore I need her to take me home." lol

I use to teach crafts to over 100 kids for a week out of every summer. It took some of them awhile to adjust to me and my crazy hard crafts, but after doing it for several years they came in excited to see what we were making and just glowed in my helpers and my belief that they could do it and praise of their finished project.

It works best if the teacher has mastered the skill that they are trying to teach the child.
1 year ago