Today was a dyeing day for me, and my friend Nicolette came over. Before she had kids, she was really into fibers--dyeing with plant materials, weaving, working at a New England textile museum. But then her girls came along, and she didn't want to use all the toxic mordants around them, and the effort of trying to make a living on the craft show circuit got to her.
So it's been quite some time since she has dyed anything. And she hasn't lived in a place with enough floor space for her loom for several years. But she showed me her dyeing notebooks, and I showed her my monstrous tubs of undyed yarns and talked over the issues that I'm working through as I make the leap from small-batch dyeing to production work. It was pretty cool to talk over this stuff with someone who is a teacher, so her interest is in sharing information and knowledge as widely as possible. With other dyers that I've met in person, there's always some reservation there, and not wanting to tread on toes when talking about dyeing, lest the other person think that you're trying to ferret out trade secrets.
Kind of makes me wish I belonged to a guild. Well, actually, I did just join the local weavers' guild, but I suspect it won't be quite the same thing. It would be fun to share information more freely with others, but I also feel myself holding stuff back. I haven't quite decided where I'm at on all this.