Monday, August 23, 2010

Another dye day

I had intended to write this blog post yesterday, but life, otherwise those dear little snowshoes (at least, one of them) got in the way. Not totally accurate, of course - the day had turned out to be so gorgeous that we had been seduced into sitting outside in the sunshine spindle spinning. I came in eventually, just as the phone was ringing, spent a while chatting to my sister - for it was she - and was then thoroughly distracted by A Strange Noise.

Having failed to track down the source, I called for reinforcements in the shape of the DSM, who came to the conclusion that Something Was Behind The Washing Machine. Moving same is a nightmare in our kitchen, but he got it out, only in the process managed to tug on the cable, which meant that there was a violent green flash and we lost power in the kitchen - but I digress.

There in the gap, behind the water supply pipe in fact, was yet another ruddy mole, scrabbling furiously to get out. It did get out, but courtesy of the DSM's gloved hands. Did you know that if you catch a mole and put it in to a large plastic box to transport it to safety that it will scream? Very loudly? Most disconcerting!

Ruby, we presume.

Anyway, Saturday was Bradfors Guild's annual away day when we can dye. This year, it fell to me to lead a workshop using natural dye extracts, to fit in with our on-going theme of "innovation" in textiles and materials (I am doing a workshop on the new fibres early next year) Dye extracts are the simplest of things to use; I took along a reasonable range, and a great deal of fun was had, at least, that's how it looked to me.

I had prepared detailed instructions, gave a rapid introduction, and then let them at it - I stayed in attendance to field questions, problems, etc, but managed to get quite a bit of spindle spinning done as well!


A strong logwood dye pot caused much excitement.


indigo pot

I had also taken some instant indigo, which generally goes down well. I am perfectly capable of making an indigo vat (although I have yet to do it by the urine/fermentation method) but am very happy to just add water and stir most of the time. Unfortunately, I still don't know of a UK supplier for it, only pre-reduced which is not quite as simple to use.

indigo pot

Logwood, logwood exhaust, osage, quebraqcho red and indigo

Logwood, logwood exhaust, osage orange, quebracho red and indigo in this photo.

I hadn't used one or two of the colours before. "Teal" is a mixture of I know not what, but, hey - wow!


osage, teal, logwood, quebracho red, sorghum

In this group shot, we have quebracho and logwood again, but also chestnut which was supposed to and pretty much did give a teal-type blue when overdyed with indigo, the teal extract itself - note particularly the different colours because of the different wool fibres - and in the front another new one to me, sorghum. I really liked this rusty red shade, and will be using it myself very soon.

Dyeing workshops are always a bit of a lottery and not necessarily my favourite thing to do, but I did enjoy doing this one. I hope the Guild member enjoyed it too!

Given that I have been doing, not surprisingly, a fair old bit of spindle spinning, I'm hoping to get a post on what I have been up to recently done. Meanwhile, can anyone tell me a) why this house is such a black hole and b) where my plyed ball of spindle spun cormo is.......


1 comment:

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi Carol
a). Did you remember to open the curtains this morning ?
b) Perhaps your spindle spun corma is behind the washing machine.

Beautiful dye results !