Saturday, October 31, 2009

Introducing Judy Kavanagh: hand spinning and knitting

One of the things that is good about belonging to a Guild such as the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild is that you meet such interesting people. Judy Kavanagh is one such person. Judy is shown here with the Handy Basket she purchased from me today at the Guild's Exhibition and Sale.
Judy's business card reads, "Judy Kavanagh: hand spinning and knitting." It really does not do her justice. When I looked at the display of her work, I saw hand spun wools made from a wide variety of sources. And her finished items included scarves made from these exotic sources. A very finely woven scarf, for example, was labelled as being made from the wool (?) of Husky dogs. Other products were from fibres provided from Persian cats. And no, she does not shave them! She collects the wool as she combs the dogs and cats (and has others collecting the fibres too.)
Judy also gave me a small tubful of wallnuts so I can use these in the future as a natural dye for my cane. She sent me to another Guild member, Elizabeth Watt, to learn how to process these nuts so as to produce the dye. There I was told to put these in a bucket of water and to store them in an outside shed over the winter. There the freeze-thaw process will do the preparation. The bucket must also have a lid to prevent the squirrels from stealing them.
I am to contact Elizabeth in the spring to learn step two. At least two other Guild members stressed that I MUST wear rubber gloves in the dyeing process, and also mentioned a stink. What a task to look forward to in the spring. Thanks, Judy!

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