Friday, June 29

Natural Dyeing

At last, a wee report on the joys of natural dyeing the easy way!

A small but dedicated band of coffee drinkers/cake testers met to explore the dyes sold by Alison at Pure Tinctoria.
I had followed her suggestions and pre-mordanted all our yarns with alum. We then dyed five different 'straight' shades before modifying them with various substances - like water with rusty iron in it, water with copper piping in it and citric acid.
Although some of the pure shades had seemed a bit over- bright (could have been my measuring of dye powder...) the modifiers soon softened them down and we ended up with some lovely colours. Everyone went home with twenty different shades to make a shade card and enough of a couple of their chosen shades to knit a small project with.
Meanwhile tomorrow we are off to Woolfest - I missed last year's and am really looking forward to a textile extravaganza - who cares if it is STILL raining...

Friday, June 15

Sad Stuff

As Ash has reported on her blog, no posts for a while till we are sorted out again.

xx L

Monday, June 4

Dyeing Day

I have been busily preparing for a natural dyeing workshop I am holding on Sunday. We will use five different dyes from Pure Tinctoria and then modify some of the dyed wool yarns to produce related shades. If all goes to plan we'll each have a record sheet with twenty different shades on it, and know how we got them! Each participant will also choose a hank of dyed yarn to take home that is big enough to make something with. We are mainly using Blue Faced Leicester yarn but there will be a few others in there for comparison too. Hopefully, then, I can show off after next Sunday and post the samples here.
So far I have printed out the record sheets (and managed to list a dye we are not even going to use) and to mordant all the yarns with alum (including one batch which I stupidly threw some old yellow wool into - the yellow ran all through the virginal white which rendered it useless for producing accurate samples from). I eventually got it all done and dried on the washing line...then counted it out only to find I was one set of yarns short for what we need. Bad Day at Black Rock.
Meanwhile I have been working on exhibition stuff. The image is one of a series of ten linked small canvases of leaf shapes combining acrylics with stitchery on silk.