Sharing stories and dreams

Sharing stories and dreams

It’s been a long time since I last wrote…

Since I left Guatemala….Oooh those wonderful days!!!

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I came back to my home in Mexico City and I continued with my different natural dye projects, always inspired by my Mayan friends.

But magic always appears in my life in such wonderful ways. I’ve always thought that everything happens for a reason, and that the people we meet, and the things we do are no coincidence. Life works in mysterious ways.

All the wonderful women I met in the “Tintes Naturales Project” (the Guatemalan and the American) have made a difference in my life, and I will always carry them in my heart.

Helped by my American friends, I will be travelling to the U.S. in a few days.

I will be talking at this years WARP (Weave a Real peace) meeting in San Francisco. I will have the opportunity to share my experience during my days in Guatemala and to talk about the Importance of textiles in this country.

I will be giving cochineal workshops as well. Irene Schmoller and Robin Lynde organized a cochineal workshop at the Meridian Jacobs Farm in Vacaville, California.  Donna Brown organized another in the Denver area at Recycled Lamb, Golden, Colorado.

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I’ll be teaching a Cochineal Workshop in California and Colorado 

Plus a slide show presentation of my experiences with the women of San Rafael, Guatemala.

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In the Bay Area?  Come hear my presentation on

“The Importance of Textiles to Grassroot Economies in Guatemala”

I trust this will help the women from Guatemala sell more kits!

This Project has helped them to earn a fair wage for the first time.  At the end of 2014 they have earned twice the money (in just 3 months) that they normally do just by weaving the whole year.

They are now selling 3 different types of Friendship Towel kits for both rigid heddle and 4-shaft looms! Now you can even weave vests, jackets and baby blankets!! Cotton Clouds will have these kits at the WARP Annual Meeting May 29-31, 2015.  Also available online at Cotton Clouds.

vest

Friendship Vest by Lois Weaver

jacket

Friendship jacket by Lois Weaver

baby blanket

Friendship Baby Blanket by Robin Lynde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I hope to see some of you there!

May our paths cross one day, so we can share stories and be part of the same dream for a moment… a fragment of time in this awkward and wonderful world.

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Dying & Dyeing

If you want to read the whole story,  from the beginning! Click here.

July 23th, 2014

versión en español

Dying & Dyeing

Last week started with a funeral, a woman from San Rafael had died.

When somebody dies here, all town attends to the funeral and the different ceremonies.

The first night we went to the “velorio”, which takes place in the house. We prayed the rosary and we made company to the family while eating bread and drinking coffee.

It was kind of an adventure to get there, because we had to walk though the mountains in the middle of the night to get to the house, just with a flashlight to see our way.

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The funeral, people carrying the body

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The funeral.. on our way to Rabinal

The next day we attended to the funeral. It started at noon, when the family members gave “pinol” (traditional food) to hundreds of people in their home.

Then we walked from their house in San Rafael down to the cementery in Rabinal (2 hours walk). The volunteers (all of them men) were carrying the body in the front, and we all walked behind them while a band was playing.

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The funeral.. on our way to Rabinal

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The cementery , and “the ancianitos” praying!

It was a very interesting experience! The “ancianitos” (old wise men) were in the front, saying a lot of prayers in “achi”, and making reverences to the four cardinal points. They did that like 4 or 5 times on our way.

 Dyeing

The next day after the funeral, we started dyeing yarn!   We started by scouring and mordanting the yarn, but also by  making a lot of tests!

A few days before I did something crazy, I decided to buy 400 avocado pits from a guy in the market.  Actually we are trying to replace the tannic acid with avocado pits for the mordant part. The tannic acid is the most expensive product, so that would be perfect.  I think women can get this pits for free on the avocado season and let them dry.

We started by slicing them, and then they had the idea to grind them on a cheese grinder and it worked perfectly.

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Slicing avocado pits

 

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Avocado pits

We also made some tests on rayon and organic cotton.

Indigo crisis

We dyed with cochineal, osage orange, madder and indigo.   All the other colors were a success! But we were really having troble with indigo. This time we made an organic vat made with banana juice (last time we tried with mangos and it worked well).

 

 

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Abelina peeling the bananas for the indigo vat

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Banana juice

We made two indigo vats, but we were having trouble to achieve the same shades of blue. With the first pound we got beautiful dark blues but then it was difficult to get even colors.

We let the vat rest, we added more sugar (hot banana juice) and more lime. And when we got back like 4 hours later, the vat was even worst!

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Women using leaves to carry hot pots from one place to another

The indigo wasn’t reduced!

At first I was desperate! But after trying a lot of different things, I just decided we should try a new one.

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Indigo reflections!

At the end we were even making jokes about how the indigo was sick and had died!

So, I don’t know what happened to that vat, it just made me realize that dying with Indigo, specially with an organic vat, is really a challenge.

The women are a little bit worried about Indigo, they don’t really understand it. But I will try to change that! It’s just a matter of practice!

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Indigo vat

 

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dyed yarn

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dyed yarn


Good bye Abelina

I’moving to Elvira’s today. So I’ll say goodbye to this wonderful family, Abelina’s family is wonderful. She has three daughters (Leily,Mishel and Karen) and one son (Edwin).

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Abelina’s family and me (wearing corte)

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Abelina and her daughter Leily

Mishel is 8, and we got along really well! She’s very nice and cute!

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Mishel (Abelina’s 8 year daughter)

I won’t be on this side of the mountains anymore. I’ll miss that!

It’s very far away from town, but full with nature and amazing landscapes.

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View on our way to Abelina’s home

 

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View on our way to Abelina’s house

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Abelina’s house

To go anywhere we need to walk like 30-35 minutes through the mountains.

Don’t miss my new adventures at Elvira’s… and more dyeing is coming!

Wilaa wiib’ (good bye in achí)

Rocío