Friday, October 5, 2007

Weaving workshop

Our weaving workshop (a week long) was at Sarah Natani's compound in Shiprock, New Mexico. She is a master Navajo weaver. She has traveled all over the world teaching. These are her Churro sheep where she gets her wool for her weaving.
I think this is a angora sheep, he's the only one who would look at the camera. He was so cute.
Learning to warp the loom (there are a lot of steps to it).

Wild carrot (canyaigre). We used the dried root of this plant to get a rich gold.
Navajo tea. A nice rich straw yellow dye.
Harvesting Navajo tea by Sarah's hogan.
Sarah cutting up the tea for the dye. We later picked sage bush. When you normally dye with sage you get a pale yellow, but Sarah added (her collected from the desert) desert alum in one pot and "cave" alum to another pot and we got the most beautiful sage greens. Then she added cave alum to the osage orange and we got olive green. At home I've never been able to get a green without dying the wool yellow first then overdying it with indigo. I wished I had some of my wool fabric with me. I'll take a picture of my yarns and show them next week.

John (my husband) learning to weave. He did a great job.
Sarah spinning.
The dying shedd. I spent a lot of time here.

Sarah with her sisters and her sister's rug.
Sarah's daughter weaving a sash for a pagent. She's also a master weaver.
Mary weaving, She is a very accomplished weaver, just comes for the inspiration.

Laura weaving, shes another accomplished weaver who brings her daughters here so Sarah can teach them.
The back of her weaving, the gold was dyed with rhubarb root and blue indigo.
Laura's 13 yr. old daughter (I forgot to rotate the picture), with her second weaving, her 3rd. time here.
Lauta's 11 yr. old daughter with her first weaving, her first time here and she worked steadly and very neatly.

The Navajo believe Spider Women taught the Navajo to weave. Notice the bracelet with the spider on it. Sarah makes beautiful spider pins, silver with a turquoise body.
Sarah's class weaving.
Jamie's first weaving.
Andrew's first weaving.
Next week I'll show some of the Navajo's weavings we saw on our field trips, they're wonderful. Also, some of my dyed wool fabrics and yarn with the "Navajo" plants. And my partially finished weaving, I first have to get the loom back together. Since I've been home I've been dying in my "spare" time with the plants we brought home.


Melodie said...

The experience of a lifetime!! I see long sleeves......isn't it hot there?

Deb H said...

Oh this looks like such an interesting experience. Even if you just go for the dye pots & plants! It looks like fun!

Mel's right, I noticed your long sleeves too. Was it cooler than the sunny pictures look?

Granny Fran said...

Oh, what wonderful photos. I envy you this great time of learning and growing. The natural plant dyes are so much more beautiful! I'm thrilled to learn about rhubarb root gold.

Kath said...

Hi Kathy,

While I had a minute here at work I goggled Sarah Natani to see what might be new on the web. And lo and behold I came across your website - great! I really enjoyed viewing the photos and reliving our Fall workshop. It was such a great one, especially the Friday night bonfire. Hope to see you out there again, you AND John.


Lora from Oregon said...

Hey! My girls and I were so suprised to see that we are famous weavers and have our pics on the web!!! Thank you so so so much for the black walnut. That was a delightful suprise too. We will send you some rhubarb root as soon as we can dry out a bit. Caroline is doing a 4H presentation this year on "Natural Dyeing" and we can't wait to use your walnut. Thank you again Kathy :-)

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