We have spent the past two days painting 54 Cove street. What a difference a coat (or two) of paint can make! The job is not quite done, but I'd say it's not far off. And I have the paint splattered hands to prove it. The wet area which will house the screen printing and dyeing facilities goes in next. We've built out a special nook for a washer/dryer, so that is being added to the list of resources. The library is being added to, Westminster Fibers has generously agreed to donate some books! There is a serger traveling cross country from Seattle, donated by an old friend! Such lovely support is being shown by the community both near and far. We are honored. The plans for the wet area are made and some of the equipment is being built, but we need to wait until the Indiegogo campaign finishes before we know our final budget for buying. So here I am asking you again to help us out by contributing or spreading the word. We have reached the 30% mark, which is supposed to be a dividing line that points towards success in getting to our number. Can you help us get there? There are only six days left to raise $14,000. That's a steep goal but not unreachable.... The link HERE will take you directly to the page. The whole process is pretty fast and simple. If you can contribute we would be forever grateful!
So, on to another teacher profile. This time we're talking to one of our dyeing teachers, Jody Meredith. Jody grew up in a household of wool samples, balls of yarn, piles of projects and dogs. She continues that lifestyle today. Her family ran a yarn and fabric store in Conway, New Hampshire where Jody learned and taught sewing, knitting, rug braiding, and quilting. The focus of her fiber work right now is Hard Boiled Designs - a business that makes boiled wool clothing and accessories for women. She has studied a variety of techniques through the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Pro Chemical Dye Company and the school of try it and see what happens. She has worked as a production weaver for several different designers, and is at her happiest when messing about with fiber and color.
AGOS: What made you first take up knitting & dyeing?
JM: I've just always made stuff. In my family, in girl scouts, with friends - the focus was always on gathering materials and making things. My parents owned a fabric and yarn store in Conway, NH where we all worked. My father was a wool broker - selling raw wool to the mills that used to be common in Northern New England. My mother made most of my clothes and sweaters. Having and appreciating hand made items was a part of things. One of our favorite summer trips was to the League of NH Craftsmen's Fair in Sunapee, NH. That's where the breadth and the beauty of what could be made by hand became clear . I think I have just always believed that hand made was better and meant more.
AGOS: Did you learn from someone dear or important to you?
JM: My mother taught me to sew, knit and embroider. She was my first and most influential teacher. Then there were a collection of wonderful women - Marion Pinnette and Kin Cullen taught me to weave, Eleanor Benson taught me to braid rugs. Victoria Rivers and Cynthia Schira taught me to dye, Beth Beede taught me to felt. Many, many generous and kind women.
AGOS: Do you have a favorite project/design/collection, something that you are particularly proud of?
JM: For the past ten years or so, I've been growing a body of work made out of boiled wool clothing. I use a knitting machine to knit yardage that I then felt. I cut and sew the fabric to make scarves, hats, vests and jackets. In addition, I dye some of the yarn I use or the finished knitted and shrunk fabric. email@example.com
AGOS: Why do you knit & dye?
JM: It's when I'm at my happiest.
AGOS: Who are your design influences?
JM: Painter Agnes Martin, geometry, Scandinavian pattern and color, Shoowa textiles, storm grates,
AGOS: Do you have a favorite material or fiber to work with?
AGOS: Coffee or Tea?
JM: Tea, Yorkshire Gold...
Please do think about donating to the A Gathering of Stitches cause, it will go towards building a really important resource for fiber and textile makers in New England! Thank you!