Sunday, July 27, 2008

anti depressant yarn

Yes, just wear this yarn knitted up and voila, cheerful...This is the St. John's Wort dyed yarn..and as we all know it St. John's Wort it used for depression, well maybe we all don't know this, but it is said to cure or help with just like that seaweed yarn upping your calcium, I thought this might up your mood, or as I like to say "up your chakras" here is what I did and thought it was so magic to get two totally different colors...the rusty orangy one, I picked the blossoms just as they were finished, boiled them for half an hour, let it sit over two nights, strained, added alum and cream of tartar, then added the soaked yarn, and the liquor was quite red when I entered the yarn, and I got this color, a little more orangey than it appears here, but a lovely color, reminded me of the mushroom dyes of semi sanquinea....and then the other color beside this is a yellow, which was the freshly picked blossoms which has just closed, I cooked them for minimal time like fifteen minutes, then added strained added alum and cream of tartar, and the soaked wool/silk, and it came out a lovely yellow, cooked for about 20 minutes, lifted and added a bit of iron, and cooked for about ten more minutes....the yellow is very clear and weld both the colors, and vowed to pick more of this amazing plant, the range of colors are stupendous according the the Wild Color book by Jenny Dean...which is a wonderful resource book.
I finished the Tour de fleece, project, today, although not as I supposed I would , I spun up all the cochineal exhaust dyed tussah silk, and plied it with a silk silver thread, but ran out of thread a little early but did get the goal of spinning all the silk completed today. I think I came in second to last ....not great but a finish.
Am waiting for some more dyes and some more plant gathering, of that mysterious type of knotweed that I love dyeing with....until the next dye batch, I remain ecstatic, due to the St. John's wort fibre which I rub as I go by and feel my depression

Monday, July 14, 2008

fussing with fustic

I have been dyeing and mordanting all day, and playing with some combinations...had some indigo dyed cashmere that wasn't very even so did a fustic bath, and did some overdyeing and got two different greens. Greens have become somewhat of an obsession as it is hard to achieve, I know yellows etc. overdyed in indigo will give me a lot of greens but I am trying to do it without indigo, although I will do a bath in the future I don't want to start one I have heard pomegranate with a swirl in iron after will produce olive greens so I will try that next. I also did some logwood grey, which is logwood and iron basically although earthhues sells it as a combined extract. I am still loveing the natural dyeing...and it is more to keep track of and so have become a note taker, nothing I ever aspired to do but alas, seems sort of necessary with all the process and combinations available with the natural dyeing.
Did some lac/madder extract combo and it came out more lac than I wanted, I am a bit tired of the raspberry redness of it all so will have to make a madder one and overdye more raspberry for me in the near future.
The market has been a huge success for the natural dyes, and I have put all the acid dyed wool on for half am slowing getting down to just the natural dyes, that is my goal of the year. Even for the knitting I would like to just work with the naturals... I love all the natural dyes and want to gather and dye more local fibres...
Am working on the tour de fleece, and spinning the coc hineal tussah then plying with a fine silver silk thread, and it is looking very sweet. So back to spinning and my goal of the month.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Silk Road Tour de

On the tour now, thanks to Frenchette's encouragement and enthusiasm, I took up the challenge, and here is the first round...I am spinning about ? of cochineal, tussah silk, which I dyed last week, and trying to spin thread...that would be the challenge, to do anything consistent...not something I usually strive for...and then I will ply it with white silk the challenge has begun....daily I will ride the spinner and hope I stay on track...while speaking the odd French work...and I do mean odd..

so off to the races and good luck everyone..may you win the race
and the winners have to buy more fibre...