Everyone deals with pain in different ways.
Even though I know that my most recent revelation on this blog was sad, yet very much for the best, there are still good days and bad days. It’s normal. It’s life. And thank you so much to all of you who have expressed well wishes and so many kind sentiments. I really appreciate it.
Today, however, was a very good day. :)
I really wanted to call this post, “You Gotta Try This!” That’s how good this day was. Lemme tell you about it.
You all remember Deb Mitchell? She’s the shearer that I saw the first time I went to Greenbank Mill. I actually had a chance to meet her at the last sheep shearing that I went to at the mill. At that time, I was busy trying to remove my drool from her handspun skeins. They were so beautiful! She told me about the way she dyes and took my number in case I could make it out to a demo. Today, she and the ladies of Elk Creek Spinners and Weavers hosted. But there were some familiar faces from Greenbank Mill there too.
No fiber dyeing demo is truly complete without a beautifully scummy indigo dyepot.
Our demonstrator was Jeanne. She gave directions for how to get the best results from your indigo dyeing spree.
Okay. I know you remember this part. Abracadabra.
I swear. That stuff really doesn’t ever get old!
Apparently, neither does an indigo dyepot. I’ve noticed that once one is started, it normally gets used all day. These women make it look so easy.
There are lots of variations that can be made in indigo dyeing, of course. If you bind the material in certain areas, the dye will not reach it…in which case you can create white areas to contrast with the blue.
And don’t forget being able to use other processes to dye a background color over the white or even using other kinds of fiber besides wool.
The possibilities are endless.
Away from the indigo pot, other ladies were milling about using Deb’s casserole dyeing method…
…and a new-to-me dye stuff that is to dye for!!
Cushing Perfection Dyes. These packets are powdered goodness! According to Deb, they’re $3 each and you can just mix one packet with a large jar of hot water and dye yourself silly. The dye will even keep until the lid rusts off! And look at this range of colors.
Isn’t that wonderful?!
I have dyed with Kool-Aid in the kitchen, and let me tell you, it does not keep. Not even in the fridge. So, for me, this was the best thing since sliced bread.
In the casserole dyeing method, you put your mordanted fiber/handspun/yarn (mordanted with vinegar in this case) in a casserole dish (or oven-safe pot).
Pour on your favorite colors.
Cover it with some aluminum foil and heat it (this may vary, but 150 degrees is what I’ve seen) for 15 minutes.
Then you add some hot water and leave it in the oven for another thirty minutes.
Now, you have to occupy your time while you wait…So, you can have a snack while chatting with your friends. ;)
Or, you can show off pics of your new baby…
A CPW (Canadian Production Wheel).
While I waited, I ate “motor oil” and lemon and mango sorbet from Deb’s family’s business, Woodside Creamery.
I spun on that handspun that Laurel gave me at the last Monday night spin-in I attended.
I listened as Linda told me that after de-looming some of her loom stash for her most recent move, she found another that she simply had to have, lol.
I basically told Linda and anyone else that would listen that the last time I saw Natalie at the Monday spin-in, I wanted to discreetly slip her spindle, her fiber, and her handspun into my purse…
I also tried to catch this stately bird on camera for Deb…
He really doesn’t like cameras. Deb says whenever she goes down there with her camera, he flies off.
But today, after I tried to get a photo of him from across the lake, he finally came over to the side where I was for a cameo, then promptly left. Such a tease!
Well, once that 30 minutes is up, you can take your casseroles out and allow your fiber to cool.
Then, you can rinse your newly dyed fiber and hang it to dry.
Put that on repeat for a few rounds and you will have some lovely fluff on your hands…and maybe some dye too.
But, honestly, it’s well worth it!
Look at all the lovely casseroles and pots here. Can you tell which ones are mine? ;)
This lovely blue was dyed with a Jacquard dyes. Blue and a dash of Jet black.
Well, in case you didn’t guess, I went home with these…
My first was a bright and warm color combo made of mostly of purple and yellowy-oranges (near opposites on the color wheel) and some robin’s egg blue thrown in to play with the orange and yellow a little more.
My second experiment was a cooler one with mostly an analogous color scheme. Purples and blues.
The third one, I just wanted to make different than my usual taste of palette. I was going for a woodsy, forest-like theme.
What a lovely day.
This post contains an affiliate link for Cushing Perfection Dyes, a wonderful range of chemical dyes that produced most of the phenomenal colors you see in this post (with the exception of the indigo and Jacquard dyed skeins).