Cherry Bomb Baby

I live in a pile of bricks with a fire puter-outer, a Halloween enthusiast and a pretend lemur, who sometimes admits to being my second son. I have a kitchen for flowers. I know all the lyrics to the Spiderman theme song and (am forced to) sing it everyday. I cook with color. This was a blog mostly about yarn spinning and natural dyeing. Now, it is fair to say, it lacks direction entirely.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dyeing Success Smells Sweet

Really it does. Because this merino top smells vaguely of honey.


As does this roving. This is more of the Fletcher/Suri Alpaca blend I got from Homestead. And its SO beautiful even my partner thought it was neat. And that is rare because he is not a fiber afficionado. He is more of a motorcycle and broken retro dishwasher kind of guy.


The flower dyebath pales next to the osage extract. Its something I'd pick out for myself to wear and the osage is something I'd pick out if I were knitting for my kids. One of the my favorite things about natural dyeing is that the palette is managed for the dyer, just about everything comes out tasteful and wearable. Its so hard to go wrong!


Now for the green:

I like it. The effect of overdyeing with indigo is so complicated. It looks handpainted and there is a lot of variance in this 2 oz top, mossy to darker blue green at the bottoms (where the indigo drips from while hanging) and the overall effect is a "bottle green" as the earth hues dye manual suggests it will be. It also suggests dyeing with indigo, then mordanting and finally dyeing with osage. I imagine a more solid and even color could be achieved with this method. I might have to give it a try, although Claudia at Deep Color always taught us the method I used. And she always has her reasons as I'm learning.

I was careful this time with my dipping. Like I said, I had just added more stock and I kept the dip shorter and didn't over dip this time. Last time I got a little over zealous with the dipping and in my hope of locking the color in I squashed my beautiful yellow.

I left some of this original osage roving undipped to see the two together. Quite honestly I'm not sure if I find much harmony in this. Of course, I'm trying to see past it to the spun and then possibly knit phase. I could dip the other yellow part and I might after I look and think a while longer.

Tomorrow I am going to Walden Center School, in Berkeley to teach spinning to some of the kids there. They are 8 and 9 years old I think. They have been doing amazing weavings and have washed and carded some of their own wools already. They also made CD drop spindles and are ready to spin now I hear. We'll see what happens! I'm sure they will be great, I'm not so sure about me. There is such a huge leap from knowing how to do something to being able to teach it to people. This is something I'd love to get into though. I would LOVE to do this with my own kids someday, taking them to a farm or wool festival and having them wash small amounts of wool and then kool aid or natural dye it and do the whole process! So far Super M enjoys treadling my wheel as fast as he can-to the point where he seems ready to spin cotton. And Baby J likes disassembling the wheel when I'm not looking, rocking locks on his little baby sized rocking chair or hitting his big brother on the head with a drop spindle. You have to start somewhere.

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