Saturday night hockey

Saturday night hockey
Saturday night hockey

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saskatchewan Stitches Conference

I am finally getting around to writing a little more about my trip to the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference.  The event took place at St. Peter's Abbey/college/press/farm.  This is an active place!  It is the oldest Benedictine monastery in Canada, established in 1903.  There are only 15 monks here and the average age is 72.  But they still manage to keep the place up and get lots done.  I only saw two of the monks during the time I was there.  Father Demetrius takes care of the guest wing and the Abbott came around occasionally.  Yes there is a college there in the winter months - we got to stay in the dorms/guest wing.  I had a tour of the main building and walked around a bit, but I would have liked to have learned more about the farming.  We did have delicious asparagus from their garden at several meals.  And take a gander at the root cellar in one of my photos below.  this was about 1/4 of it. The press puts out a newspaper called "The Prairie Messenger" but apparently they are going to discontinue it next year.

A very interesting place!  There are lots more pictures and info available on their website.

One of the classes I took was called Eco Dyeing.  We were dying silk scarves using vinegar and leaves.

First the leaves had to be soaked in vinegar water.  The scarves had been washed, dried and ironed and they had to be soaked as well.

Then the leaves get laid out on half of the scarf, in what ever way that is pleasing to you.  However, these scarves turn out the way they turn out, so one can take all the risks they want and may not achieve the results they think they will. :)

The scarf is folded in two so that the leaves are encased between layers of scarf.  Then the scarf is tightly rolled on a stick or a copper pipe and tied in place with string or cord.

Here are our scarves, ready to go in the pot, where they will boil for three hours in vinegar water.

Here are the scarves, all cooked up.  The pot has to be aluminium.

We each had a string with a certain number of knots in it so we would be able to tell the scarves apart.

And time for the big reveal!

Here are the results of my scarf.  Some of the leaves give more colour than others.  I experimented with some leaves that were "unknowns" as far as the amount of colour they would impart and I ended up with some areas with very little colour.  I might redo this scarf.  I need to look at it again with fresh eyes before I decide.

Here is another person's scarf.  She used a lot of oak leaves which give really dark colour.  Hers was on a stick.  Another person used oak leaves and a copper pipe and her oak leaves dyed light brown, rather than dark brown.

This class was a lot of fun and I will definitely be trying this technique at home.  I have already found a large aluminium pot and I am thinking about what leaves I can gather locally to try.  Apparently raspberry leaves give good colour.  Lots of raspberries here!

That's all for this post, but be forewarned, I may be back with more on my classes.  :)



  1. Wow. The place sure looks fabulous & a great place to have had the conference. What an interesting idea with the scarves. Love how yours turned out. That was interesting to know how a stick versus copper pipe affects the leaf colour. Hugs, xx

  2. What a fascinating place. I really enjoyed seeing the process of the scarf interesting!

  3. Such an interesting way to dye your scarves...

  4. What a wonderful place to stay. Love the eco dying, what fun and so exciting when you unwrap. Looking forward to seeing more of this. xx

  5. wow, those scarves are amazing! Love the pic of all the preserves :) xx

  6. I have never heard of that technique. Looks like a lot of fun to me!

  7. What an interesting place to visit. I love the eco dying - the sciencey side of my brain is enjoying the thought of lots of trials to get the mix of colours you want x

  8. Wow , I sure would love to take that class , looks like a lot of fun . I have been wanting to learn handyeing . Thanks for sharing.