Monday, February 16, 2009

Curative Cashmere

And here are the results of yesterdays modified skein.....that would be the centre one and it definitely has three colors subtle but not as subtle as the photo...I am thrilled with the results. The skein above, was dyed in the exhaust of the semi sanquinea, and then put iron into it, which gave a beige, one of the many beiges I have learned to love, sort of, and the skein to the right is the Cashmere Cure...that would be cashmere that was premordanted in alum and COT and then put into a strained eucalyptus dye bath....and of course if you buy this, you won't get a cold, you can just wrap it around your neck and snort the eucalyptus vapors which are amazing....I figured if the sea silk is said to help your bones with the calcium ? ( that;s what they say) then here is the cure for the common cold...straight from the alchemists dye The colour is amazing, is has a greenish/khaki tone to it and it smells wonderful. Will definitely do this again, and try with some modifiers... so thanks to Jenny Dean and her modifying tricks, her books are also very informative and a great natural dye source...and she is now dyeing with fungus, so I can't wait for the next book.....its like having personal researchers, between Leena and Jenny, they are both very articulate and do great research and note taking, unlike myself, who tends to be way too spontaneous, and never strives to duplicate, so I can certainly appreciate the work these women do....and hope some rubs off on me...I do take notes, but am not really a researcher unfortunately, but there is room for all types in this kind of work...and I do love the gathering and the alchemy magic getting all these different results...but no book from me in the near future that's for

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Modified Mushroom Moments

Today was an experiment that hopefully will give good results. I had read in Jenny Dean's blog, this process of modifying with different mordants post here is what I did...with the appropriate picture...can't believe I actually took one of the process, usually I think of that when the process is finished and it is too late. The fibre, silk/merino 50/50 was alum and COT mordanted and then left overnight, actually two nights then rinsed and put in a bath of strained and cooked semi sanguinea mushrooms which I had dried last fall. about a quarter of a baggie (sandwich bag) which I then squished and cooked then soaked and cooked some more, then strained in fine cloth, and entered the mordanted fibre, then cooked for about half an hour, just below simmer...then removed the skein and poured out two bowls of the dye water,(hot) and into one added vinegar (on the left) and the other washing soda....and suspended the middle of the skein above the two bowls, as Jenny suggested, so it does not wick into the yarn...hopefully it will give me three shades of mushroom dyed far it definitely looks like two shades, as the washing soda made an instant difference....wonder what a dip in iron would do....oh, that will be for right now they sit as in the photo, and will leave them perhaps overnight...and take a photo of the skein tomorrow for show and tell..If I could get three distinct tones I would be thrilled as I like the multi colored skeins and usually with the natural dye I have to mix extracts to get multi colors, this should be subtley beautiful.....eternally optimistic...i remain... I actually mordanted about 6 more skeins of cashmere, and silk and cashmere and so far three hours later, have resisted the temptation to dye them all...usually as soon as I mordant I can't wait to dye so as a result the idea of having premordanted fibre waiting to be dyed is a joke around here...I am amazed I have actually waited two matter how many pounds I premordant it is never enough....what's with that? lol

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

spring colors

Well here are the latest acid dyes, and I am springing forth into lightness...I just had to do some quick microwave acid dyeing as I wanted an instant hit and had no mordanted yarns ready and this is the result..if you enlarge the pics by clicking on them the real colors will explode. Color is such an amazing fills the soul and the eyes, and as I mentionned at the guild meeting today, it is almost orgasmic...and I just hang it by the woodstove and love looking at the yarns and roving...and then walk into the other room and return to feast my eyes again...I guess I have a serious color addiction.
and talking to a friend of our obsessions today, and wondering about the balance of it all...seems I would rather be handling fiber and dyeing and spinning and collecting plants, than doing anything else, almost. and it isn't the money that it brings in, but certainly the sales allow me to buy more fibre and make more colors, and so the sales are important but not why I am doing it....I am definitely a fibre addict and there are many of us out there. I wonder where the drive comes from to be so obsessed with dyeing, spinning, and collecting plants. It is certainly embedded deeply in our souls and must be some kind of deep genetic impulse that is at work. I am always thinking of the fibres, what I will do next, how I will process, how important that is in the grand scheme of things...etc etc. and there are so many of us out there!
so the pondering go on, as I plan for another spin session, and have a pot dyeing on the stove as I write, and wonder how I will store the next bundle of fibre...and find balance in my life....

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Variations on Obsessions

Here are my lates obsessions the past few weeks...the knitted neck warmer which I got off of the net I is 50/50 silk/merino, so soft, and keeps my neck warm as well as hiding those double chins...what more could you ask?
The walnut dyed wool is a combo of brown merino, and blue face tops and they were plyed and are lovely and soft....I loved the walnut dyeing and will do more next year....and then as I was starving for brilliant colors some acid dyed superwash merino and I micro dyed them after I had skeined them off a cone in 50 gram skeins...I hadn't done any acid dye for quite awhile and the drab winter weather just had me reaching for it. and the colors were fun to play with so I am quite happy with the colors and have been spinning some roving from it also.... Never say"I'll never dye with acid dyes now I have rediscovered natural dyeing" but I didn't give all my acid dyes away so I must have known that I would be using them again....
I do love all the natural dyeing but a hit of brilliance is fun also...Not that you can't get brilliance with naturals but it was quick and fun to do...
I am learning how to spin fat yarns again...which is always a challenge as it entails slowing down the spinning wheel...and that mean paying attention as I am quite a quick person naturally, and so the meditative spinning is a challenge. My friend Judy does this type of spinning because if you are going to be selling, you don't want to spend hours doing a fine yarn and get the same price if you spent a half hour spinning thick yarn...also people love the thicker yarn and sales for that are good...especially using the tops as they are incredibly soft and I am doing 85 grams, and getting about 110 metres of fibre and it is a good practice after spinning for over thirty years to try something different.
Have more yarns mordanting and will be doing some dried carrot tops next week, as the well is high now, so have to take advantage of lots of water...