Day 8 – Zeroing in on My Target

Today we did some tests on different fibres. It was really interesting! There were also some rather disturbing discoveries as well. And lots of alternative ideas on how to get around these things. I love it! I came to learn about fibre, but I’m getting so much more than that out of this course! Wendy is just a fountain of knowledge with so many things that I would LOVE to know more about!

Speaking of Wendy, I would like to share a quote of hers that I love regarding making a living as a textile artist: “If I can’t make minimum wage, I might as well go for a canoe ride.” Wendy E. Bateman

One of the many valuable things we’re learning are ways to do our work environmentally friendly. This is going to be a goal for me. I’ve wanted to change my ways to start living a “greener” life, but I really didn’t know where to start. When you look that kind of thing up on the internet, you just get overwhelmed and bombarded. I also learn and retain information better from hearing actual people speak about their efforts. It really does help (for me anyway), to actually see the things they are talking about and discover places locally that carry them. For example, Wendy told us about this kind of dish soap that can also work as laundry detergent. It doesn’t harm the environment and you just need a little bit of it and… wait for it… A bottle of it is HALF of the price of laundry soap! It’s called Ecover Dishwashing Liquid. I’m going to be trying it for sure. In the Haliburton area, it is available at Marty’s.

There are a couple of other things we learned which I want to share with my blog friends (and hopefully they will pass it on to their friends). One of the most disturbing things I found out this week was about the dangers of fabric softener, liquid AND sheets. Liquid fabric softener is just plain horrible because it ultimately ends up clogging your plumbing. My parents had to have some pipes dug up and replaced because of this. The DISTURBING part about fabric softener is this: If you use fabric softener with clothing that has been labelled flame retardant, the fabric softener coats the fabric and takes those properties away. Fabric softener INCREASES the risk of clothing catching fire. When I found this out, I was absolutely mortified. I will be using a cup of vinegar, as suggested, to replace my Bounce sheets.

We did do various tests on various fabrics to find out different methods to remove stains such as ketchup, cooking oil, mustard, lipstick and pen. One example we did was to use a bar of Sunlight laundry detergent on a cleaning cloth made up of 85% viscose (aka rayon). It actually made the stain fluorescent yellow! I suppose you’re wondering what works best, right? Unfortunately, we were unable to get too deeply into the testing because of time constraints etc. I can tell you though, that you may want to add Ecover Stain Remover to your arsenal.

The other really important testing we did was burn tests. That was rather disturbing too. One thing that came out of it for me is that I will NEVER be buying any clothing, gloves etc. from the dollar store again. Some of the items that we tested from there were children’s items. Many of them caught fire immediately and then melted into plastic. Pretty sure I’m going to spend the extra money to keep my baby safe! (And I count my blessing that he has been thus far!) The other part to it is that Mom is getting a wool sweater for when she adds wood and works with the wood stove. That was also scary seeing how other fabrics, ones we wear every day, can catch fire so easily. Wendy shared a couple of stories with us and right then and there, I made the decision that there is going to be a “stove sweater” added to the list of my parents gear.

The other tests we did were viewing different fibres under the microscope. That was rather interesting too. I don’t mean to downplay it, but I can say that it certainly didn’t have the same impact on me that the other two tests did.

At the end of the day, I gave Wendy a ride home and and she let me see her studio. When I went into her basement, my little head exploded! A model for the Kycave, that’s for sure! She had two floor looms there. One was HUGE! There was another one that she had a rug on. She showed me her beautiful wedding kimono that she had weaved. She also showed me a book that was given to her by a class of grade 3 students (her most prized possession) when she spoke to them about weaving, the environment and showed them the sweat lodge she made out of 5,000 shopping bags. Oh my! There was also TONS of yarn. A beautiful doll house. And windows overlooking a beautiful lake. I would be in heaven if I had a studio like that.

I have to admit that I started welling up when I was down there (of course I tried to hide it from her, but I guess the cat is out the bag now!). With each passing day, I am gaining hope where I never had hope before. Talk about inspiration!

You know, there is NO REASON on this earth why I can’t have a beautiful Kycave one day. It is possible. I am just so inspired beyond words. I now have another new goal. Yay!


2 thoughts on “Day 8 – Zeroing in on My Target

  1. This is so wonderful I am “welling up.” You are learning so much. You are sharing so much good information. I wish there was something other than linking you to me that would help you with more readership. Your writing styles is so easy to read. And I’M LEARNING SO MUCH!!! Fiber contents and safety issues. Fiber cleaning and care. But most of all, it’s all this inspiration! I want a big room – a whole house – with huge windows and lots of light. I want a loom, and vats to dye my fibers. I want sheep in my back yard, and I want people to come over every single day and we all work and create together. I want a crafting commune for women.

    I’m getting carried away with ideas – none of which will ever happen because I’m too old. The art institute is too expensive – really, really expensive. There should be a place on this earth where people can learn for free. In fact, all education and healthcare should be free. There! ….. my political cat is now out of the bag.

    Thank you for this fabulous post.

    • Patsye, I’m so flattered 🙂

      I think I mentioned before that I started this blog because I wanted to document EVERYTHING about this portion of my journey. I am honored and thrilled that it is impacting you the way that it is! One thing though… Please don’t say or think that you’re too old! I have been told that there was a woman who was 72 and took this course! My dad is 63 and he’s still taking classes. One thing he has pounded into my and my brother’s heads is that you’re NEVER too old to go back to get an education. There are always ways to do things if that’s where your heart is. There has to be scholarships out there! I know of the Canadian sites, but I don’t know where to direct you. Do a search if that’s what you want to do. There’s a lot of money available out there. A lot of people just don’t know about it. The schools themselves have bursaries and scholarships too. If taking a course like this is something that you want, set that intention! The way it will happen is not up to us, but if we want something badly enough (and our intentions are pure, which yours are), it always finds a way. This is a lesson that I have been forced to learn the hard way.

      I LOVE your idea of the crafting commune! I also agree with free education and healthcare. Those are two vital things that keep the world going! I consider myself so fortunate that we have free healthcare here in Canada. A lot of people moan and groan about the healthcare system here. There is room for improvement, but geez people, be thankful for what we have!

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