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.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Process and Well Loved Things

I just took these out of the pot. After the first batch of garden dyed wool the pot still seemed rich with color so I put some more Romney top in. I also used the rest of my flowers. I usually don't dye this way in a big pot, I was taught to dye with the clever method of steaming canning jars. But this time, I stuck the plant matter into an old panty hose (thanks mom!) and let it steep like tea bags.

Our upstairs continued to smell delicious and not "stinty." Here is the method I was taught: Dyeing in canning jars. Its wonderful for dyeing LOTS of colors in one dye bath. With various finicky dyes needing different temperatures and simmer times this doesn't work. However, we used mostly Earth Hues natural dye extracts and for the most part, you can mix the extracts and dye a lot of little bundles of fiber at once and get a rainbow from just one pot. The other really cool part about this method is that if you neglect your pot and your temp gets too hot your wool is pretty well protected from felting. This is Claudia of Deep Color's method. Now is she super smart or what?

This is what is going to be mordanted and dyed next. Thanks Sandy! Its from Homestead again and its more rescue roving, the grey is half corriedale, half suri alpaca and the brown is half border leister, half suri. The brown is much darker than I expected and its dreamy! It wants to be dyed with something earthy obviously, madder or something deep and yellow or maybe green. I think the grey roving I might dye with logwood purple. And then some white roving to match and then ply them against eachother. Dyeing different fibers in the same dyebath is so magical, the slight variance in the end result is always exciting.

Oh, the white is more of Fletcher's rescue roving (merino cross/suri alpaca). Its a little over 4 oz and all I could cram on my bobbin. I'm working slowly on a second bobbin now. I may have a little pause on dyeing for a while. I have hit a bump in the road and misplaced my Earth Hues Natural Dye Manual. Its a catastrophe-I couldn't get anything done all day. I spent every spare moment distracted and kept looking in the exact same places expecting it to appear. I may have to resort to my 3 year stash of onion skins. Yes, I am serious. I will take a picture of this. The loss of my manual is ill timed since I just got a bunch of new dyes from Kristine at A Verb for Keeping Warm. I picked it up from her house since she is local and I got a sneak peek at what she will have a Stitches-Oh God. Its beyond loverly. But I doubt I can go. I am usually the only one home on the weekend and I don't think I fancy a drive to Santa Clara with both boys.

On to well loved things. I just had to replace the heel of one of these handdyed (not by me), handspun and handknit socks. I gave them to my housemate last Christmas and this year she needed a new heel a year later. I did the same heel repair for my mother-in-law's socks but didn't get a picture of them. I bought pollwarth locks from Deep Color that had been handdyed with synthetic dyes there, I carded rolags and spun them on a drop spindle then knit these densely. These are the kind of winter socks you want in your northern California home that has no heat. The colors are a little funny in places as I used some scraps up from class samples-the dark blue on the left sock, ahem. The heel on the right has been replaced with romney wool, spun on the drop spindle and andean plied.

These have received lots of wear and love as I had hoped. Here they are looking fuzzy:

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Blogger Kristine said...

oh no, you lost your Earthues book? Did you ever find it? If I can help you, let me know. 12% alum, 6% cream of tartar for mordant. 5% madder for med color. 2% logwood. etc.

Your garden tea is pretty.

3:25 PM  
Blogger bratmobile said...

thanks kristine! i was about to email you to see if you sell the manuals and i found it. on the _bookshelf_ of all places. utterly bizarre, not under the couch or behind the washing machine or any of the more likely places in my house. haha!

7:46 PM  

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