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.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Embers in a haystack

This is the first skein of Fletcher's rescue roving I dyed, it was dyed with quebracho red, pomegranate, wattle, logwood purple (I think I browned that out by placing it by yellows and they bled together-WHAT was I thinking?!) and fustic. The yellowest parts were fustic and the little bits of quebracho you can turning up as reddish pinks, or pinkish reds, whatever you please. There's a bit more red and yellow than this picture reveals. The wattle is the tan, straw color. I am undecided if I should ply this against itself or leave it as a single. Its pretty as a single. Although I know most natural dyers have a goal of clear, bright colors, I am still in love with subtly and the typical and easy-to-achieve colors tinged with tans and greys. Well, I also highly value clear, brilliant color with natural dyes-that always feels like triumph, but I still appreciate accidents. Like I said, plain jane toned down colors are what I would be most likely to actually wear. And they are never flat, even a "dull" color has depth and complexity.

I know I said I was going to dye the brown/white and grey/white rescue rovings and then dye some white to match but once I got in there I just started randomly fiddling around. This is only some of the brown/white roving with quebracho red and pomegranate. I'm really into the pomegranate.

I like how its greenish. I was expecting more yellow and it is yellow when you get in there to look at the fibers that were white, but when you step back and look at the whole it looks olive. Love it.

These are both grey alpaca blended with white corriedale. On the left is wattle, on the right is logwood purple with a little quebracho red. I was so excited about the idea of red and this new red that I just started pouring it everywhere. It was a pain to mix though, the extract totally gummed up into these impossibly sticky clumps when mixed with hot water. Maybe it will do better to mix it with cooler water next time.

Two more small bundles of New Zealand romney. In the back is wattle and in the foreground is fustic. I've got to try some indigo overdyeing with fustic. I'm running out of white fiber now!

A bigger 4 ounce bundle of merino dyed with quebracho red. It looks like bubble gum to me. Its really unexpected. I have never used que red before and I don't know what I was expecting-but not this. I was thinking something more orange I suppose, the dye manual (Found it! It was on the bookshelf of all stupid places.) said "coral." I used the leftover dyebath to dye up some of the grey/white rescue roving today.
This is a sad little picture of my logwood purple dyed New Zealand romney. I've got a little left of this in the pot cooling right now and then I think I will have dyed the full 2 kilos that my lovely cousin-in-law gifted me! (And that her lovely sister carried half way across the earth for me.) This picture doesn't describe the fiber very well. I may have to try again. I am always in a rush with this picture taking game, it has to be sunny out-but not muddy, baby J has to be asleep, super M has to be occupied, the cat has to be out of the way, Jupiter must be in retrograde, etc. So, one picture had a fluffy, happy looking bundle all positioned to show off its personality-but it came out fuzzier than the previous picture. And here we have a sad, twisted, skinny looking bit of hair but its semi clear and well, semi purple. So there you have it.

These have all been air curing for about a week or more now. Its time to wash them out-yes, they have not been washed. If the color crocs and I lose a lot I'll post pictures of the changes. I'm hoping for little change since many are dyed with light dyebaths to begin with. In the pot now I've got logwood purple in a higher concentration dyebath, logwood grey, more pomegranate, que red in light concentration, wattle in higher concentration and I think I'm forgetting something. But its been a hell of a day so that is not surprising. I did label everything faithfully this time. I wanted more COLOR this time around. The first time with these dyes I was more restrained, I don't like wasting dye and I wanted to see what I could come up with with just minimal dye but the next go round I'd like to see what these plants can do! I've got two more pounds of fiber ready to mordant and if the stars and planets align I might be back shortly with another pot full of wool for you.

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