Monday, August 10, 2009

Franco's Fiber Adventure goes on first demo

Sunday I went on my first demonstration as a fiber dude. The Sacramento Tracking & Wilderness Training group was in need of a speaker for their August meeting and I volunteered. I've done demos and talks on other subjects before, but this was the first time as a fiber dude.

Primitive skills training and practice is part of their mission as a group. Skills like spinning, knitting, crochet, and weaving to produce useful items is right down their alley. Primitive is right down my alley.

I decided to focus on spinning and weaving because that is what I know best. I'm not very good at crochet or knitting, although those skills are good to have.

Then I gathered a few things for show and tell.

Let's see, we have some drop spindles, CD spindle, my cardboard spinning wheel/charkha, a Harrisville Lap Loom, a couple of loom frames, an Erica rigid heddle, table, stool. Oh, yeah, there's cotton yarn, carded wool, some angora rabbit wool, some llama yarn, some mohair yarn. A folding table, a stool, some scissors, knife. That really oughta cover it all. And some weaving sticks.

I didn't get a lot of pictures myself because I was kind of busy. Someone else took pictures and as soon as I can get some of those I'll post them.

We started about 10:00 am and I talked for most of an hour, showing and demonstrating spindles, carding, chain plying. We talked about different fiber sources. Stuff like that.

Also showed some stick weaving, frame weaving, showed the rigid heddle loom.

I was hoping to get to some backstrap weaving, but we were running out of time and the day was heating up fast. So I had to keep it simple.

For the craft activity portion, we started some narrow bands on cardboard looms. I showed how to use a ruler for a shed stick. Notice the shuttle stick made from cardboard.

Here is a view of the string heddle we used for the band weaving. Something I should have mentioned at the beginning of the activity was to use a library card or a credit card as a beater.

And that's it for the pictures, hopefully we'll get some more shortly.

I learned a lot also. I need to tighten up presentation and I forgot to mention a couple of things, but overall I did okay. There is some other things I can bring to the next presentation.

The group was helpful to me as well. I learned that there is a plant called dogbane/indian hemp that has fiber that can be twisted/spun and plied for use as cordage.

They also showed me how to use the fire making bow drill kit that I have had in my garage for two years. I brought it along to the meeting. In under five minutes they had smoke and embers glowing with it. Now I can show my sons how to use it.

It was a good day!

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