Thursday, July 12, 2012

Spinning Away The Summer Day!

The studio and gallery was full of energy, as yarn and the Eugene summer breeze interwove to make for another great day at ETC!  Our favorite Leslie Leonard led this month's Beginning Spinning class, in the gallery.  The spinning wheels and creative wheels spun in unison as the full and eager group learned the basic techniques of handspinning their own yarn.  It was a wonderful time had by all, as well as fun skills learned.

Throughout the rest of ETC, the weaving and surface-design studios were bustling with multiple artists at work on their exciting projects.  Around every corner, the process and creation of art could be seen.  ETC was certainly the perfect place to be today, to get inspired, learn, or create some awesome stuff!  Can't wait to see what the weekend brings, here in the studio!    

ETC will have a booth at Convergence, next week!  Be sure to come by and see us if you are there!   


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Arty Yarns and Ways to Use Them

This Past weekend was wild here at ETC.  We had two wonderful 2 day classes going on at the same time.  The first one was Natural Dyeing with Marilyn Robert.  Marilyn has retired from ETC ownership but still continues to teach classes here.  Natural Dyeing is a favorite one for her to teach, as well as highly requested by students.  The other workshop was Camp Pluckystuff with Lexi Boeger.  Lexi is well known for her Art Yarns.  She is quite an innovator in making wild and crazy yarns.  She taught blending on the drum carder with many different kinds of fibers and lots of ways to ply in "fun stuff" 

New in the shop is a book titled Magical Materials To Weave by Lotte Dalgaard.  This book has so many great ideas in collapse weave it just boggles my mind.  The best part of this book for me is the practical uses, like fabric for blouses and other clothing.  Lotte provided a shrinkage chart in her book as well as a list of the suppliers from where she got her fiber for the projects.  I hope you check this book out as it is Superb!

Monday, April 16, 2012

ETC Bombed

Do not be alarmed. It was not destructive. It is actually quite decorative. We were yarn bombed. Some people call it yarn tagging. Our mailbox got hit as well as the stop sign. But the most decorative of all is the tall ugly pole to the left of the building. Come on by and see it. We do not know how long it will stay up as we are not sure who put it up there.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Color from Weeds

I am so excited to finally get some time out in the garden area. I love the feel of dirt between my fingers. Although I do not like scrubbing out the dirt underneath my nails after hours of digging in the soil. I have spent two years muching an area of my yard to get rid of the clay and make it ready for something nicer than weeds. I have discovered though that some of those plants I do not want, (weeds) will make nice dyes. One of those plants, is the Dandelion. It makes some wonderful yellows and greens. My neighbors who will not cut back their Blackberries gives me tans and browns from the leaves and blueish purples from the berries. Tansy which spreads throughout the fields also will dye some bright yellow and with mordanting can give greens. Comfrey which I stupidly tilled throughout my yard dyes my yarns browns and makes some nice herbal potions. This spring though i am determined to plant some flowers that I will enjoy sniffing, looking at and dyeing with later this summer and fall. So I am pouring over some of the dye books we have here in the store and resource library. If all turns out as I hope I will post photographs throughout the season. I hope some of you will also join me in the pursuit of growing our own dyestuff.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A little bit of new info.

Great news for all of you Surface Design artists out there. We just got in 10 copies of an awesome book on Thermofax printing, titled Thermofax Printing: Bringing personal imagery alive. If you are looking for a way to move past just the basics in thermofax printing this is an excellent resource. It goes into layering in color, and values, how to use line in texture and different types of resists. Recipes are given for making dye paints. This book even has a section on using discharge paste.
Please don't be alarmed though if this is an art that you have wanted to explore but not found a clear and thorough resource on the topic. This book can take you from novice to as far as your ideas can go. And for many of you that is pretty far. The photographs are clear and well labeled. I think this will become the "go to book" on thermofax printing.

We also got some beautiful new yarns in from Habu. The choice of colors in stainless steel/Silk has expanded. We also have some astounding Gima Cotton that is a flat yarn. Also not to be forgotten are the newest items of Pineapple Ramie and Kibiso Silk. Kibiso silk still has the seracin attatched and can be used as warp as well as a weft thread.

As a side note I was reading an article in National Geographic magazine at the doctors office last week and saw an interesting statistic. In the country of New Zealand they have a population of 39.9 million sheep. The population of the country's people is only 4.9 million. That is a 9/1 ratio of sheep to people. Thats a lot of wool.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Ah the wonder of Indigo! I don't think there is anyone out there in cyberland that is not in love with the color. It is the dye of the ever wonderful jeans that we wear almost daily. I love the dipping a white piece of fabric into the Indigo pot and pulling it out. The green color that oxidizes to the beautiful blue that I love is absolute magic. Now for you that love to learn almost all there is to know about this natural dye there will be a talk courtesy Oregon State University on Indigo. Dr. Roald Hoffmann will speak April 19th at 8pm At the Embassy Suites Hotel. His talk is titled "INDIGO A Story of Craft, Religion, History, Science, and Culture. Dr. Hoffmann is the 1981 Nobel Laureate. This talk is free, and open to the public. It is recommended that you reserve a seat by calling 541-737-2075.
And don't forget that we have a wonderful Indigo Pot here at ETC. Come by and use it on our Indigo Drop in Days. You can check our scedule on the website or call the store to find out the dates.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spinning Group

As you may or may not know, we have a wonderful spinning group that meets here every Thursdays between 2 and 4. Yesterday as we were are making our fantastic yarns we decided we needed a name. After a short brainstorming session we came up with Etcetera's, or ETC'S. It is an acronym for Eugene Talented and Creative Spinners. Our motto is Where anarchy rains. Yes that is rains not reign, because we get alot of it here. We have no president, dues or rules. Just come and spin and have some fun. Also to let you know that the Spring Tea is in the planning stages. Keep an eye out for details soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Buy one, Buy all!

All is calmer now that Jason Collingwood has finished his three day rug weaving workshop here. The classroom/gallery was full of looms. The students claimed they learned a lot and their work on the looms showed it too. I came by one sunday to peek at the progress and all you could hear was the sound of beaters. Everyone was deep into concentration and the zen of the weaving.
Along with the Collingwood class, on Saturday Marilyn Robert taught a splendid NUNO felting class. And to top it all off we have this fantastic fiber sale going on. Many people have found wonderful deals and leave the store with inspiration from the texture and colors. But we still have a lot of fiber left if you are feeling the need to get something new to create with.
Don't forget this weekend is the Antique Spinning Wheel Show in Aurora.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spinning and Felting

Have you heard of Groupon? We have started using this great advertising tool to offer classes at a reduced price. There have been a lot of people who have never ventured into the fiberarts realm who are coming in and taking advantage of these classes. The first group of classes we offered was Introduction to Felting. The students got to make a piece of felt that was large enough to make a large wallet or small purse. The diversity in the pieces was so facinating to see. The best part for me was having them come back into the store and showing off the work they have done after their initial lesson. I guess they just needed a little instruction to get that fire of artistry going in their lives.
Many of you are now proud owners of one of Lynn's wheels of fleeces from her estate sale. We are so happy to hear how much you love your new wheels and are so thrilled to see the awesome yarn you are now spinning. One of Lynn's wheels, the pendulum great wheel was purchased by a young woman who will be demonstrating it at the Old Aurora Colony Museum. She is part of the 30th annual Antique Spinning Wheel Showcase March 10 & 11, 2012. This is quite an educational event with live animals and a spinning wheel raffle. The cost is only $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for students with ID. You may call 503-678-5754 for more informatuion.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow and Hearts

Winter has finally arrived and we are enjoying the brisk cold winds, some rain and this past weekend we enjoyed some light dusting of snow. The snow was only on the ground for a few hours and then melted away. This past weekend knowing of the forcast of snow I decided to put on a nice warp of some Harrisville Highland wool and weave a throw. I used some of my homespun for the weft. I sat at my loom and listened to a book on CD. I could look out my windows and see the snow falling off and on through the day. I felt like I was having a day out of a storybook.
I hope that many of you were able to participate in the Yarn Sale that happened here last week. There were so many great deals going out of the shop. I am looking forward to seeing the projects that arise from those yarns.
Now that it is already the middle of the month I planning what to weave for Valentine's Day. I only have a short amount of time so it will probably be something simple. What are your plans to weave next?