Bouncing Back

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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.

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Our demonstrator was Jeanne. She gave directions for how to get the best results from your indigo dyeing spree.

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Okay. I know you remember this part. Abracadabra.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The possibilities are endless.

Away from the indigo pot, other ladies were milling about using Deb’s casserole dyeing method…

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…and a new-to-me dye stuff that is to dye for!!

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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.

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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).

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Pour on your favorite colors.

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Cover it with some aluminum foil and heat it (this may vary, but 150 degrees is what I’ve seen) for 15 minutes.

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Then you add some hot water and leave it in the oven for another thirty minutes.

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Now, you have to occupy your time while you wait…So, you can have a snack while chatting with your friends. ;)

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Or, you can show off pics of your new baby…

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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.

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I spun on that handspun that Laurel gave me at the last Monday night spin-in I attended.

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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.

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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…

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Wouldn’t you?

I also tried to catch this stately bird on camera for Deb…

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He really doesn’t like cameras. Deb says whenever she goes down there with her camera, he flies off.

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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.

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Then, you can rinse your newly dyed fiber and hang it to dry.

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Put that on repeat for a few rounds and you will have some lovely fluff on your hands…and maybe some dye too.

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But, honestly, it’s well worth it!

Look at all the lovely casseroles and pots here. Can you tell which ones are mine? ;)

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This lovely blue was dyed with a Jacquard dyes. Blue and a dash of Jet black.

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Well, in case you didn’t guess, I went home with these…

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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.

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The third one, I just wanted to make different than my usual taste of palette. I was going for a woodsy, forest-like theme.

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Sigh.

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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). 

Comments

  1. Wow, your post makes me really want to try dying yarn. Beautiful photos!

    • I’m so glad that I went to that demo! I always feel like dyeing is difficult if it goes beyond Kool-Aid. But that was almost too easy. The only difficult thing is deciding which color was next! Really? Mixing some powder into a jar with some water, pour and bake? I can do that!

  2. That looks like so much fun and the results are stunning!

    • Aren’t they?! Cushing dyes are the first thing on my list of things to get for my next dye job. I was so surprised at how easy they were to use and the colors they were able to produce. They’re also much more lightfast than dyeing with Kool-Aid, I’m told. So, it’s a no-brainer to at least try it for me.

  3. You did a great job with the pictures. I have already sent the link to one the guild members who was not able to attend the dye day. I used “Jacquard” brand dye (Sapphire blue with a dash of Jet Black) and the stove top method to dye the blue skein. I also add vinegar to the water before dyeing to help get the shading.

    • Hey!! Thanks for stopping by! You mean the one that was already on the drying rack…That one is the only one I did not get to see being dyed, I believe…I’ll be sure to add a note there.

  4. So many pretties on on post!

  5. W.O.W.

    This is SO beautiful! Do you have to buy a casserole just for dying? Or are the colours safe to be used in the same casserole you cook something in? (sorry, it might be a silly question ;) ).

    I love the three colourways you made, all of them. The first and the last are my favourites, so great …

    Lots of love to you!
    All the best,
    Julia :D

    • Aren’t these colors great?! Yes, I do think you should use different equipment than what you would use for food prep. I do that even with kool-aid though. I don’t want to have hair in my food, lol.

      I think I will be pleasantly surprised by the last one…or at least I hope so. :)

  6. Laurel1215 says:

    Lovely post, both to look at and to read … as usual. :)

    • Thank you, Laurel! Did you get to go to the Fiberguild dyeing day? I had an interview but I saw some of the photos. Looked like so much fun! Nice way to start closing out the summer.

  7. I’m drooling! Looks like you had a great time anyway! Glad you’re feeling better x

  8. wonderful report on an amazing day. see you soon!

  9. Ok. I had to wipe the saliva off my android!

    • ROFL! That’s how I felt all that day. It was like walking into that Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook that came out years ago. Just loads of color everywhere! Lots of experimentation with dyeing. I had a great time!

  10. grayseasaylor says:

    Someone in the last few weeks mentioned dying…using a microwave…to me, which I did not remember having read about before, so this post is of special interest to me too, Stacey. It will be fun to see how your yarn spins up from each of your uniquely beautiful color combinations! xx

    • Hey there, Gracie! Yes, I have dyed in the microwave using Kool-aid before. Years ago, before I learned to spin. It’s very quick and easy.

      I’m in the middle of a move now so I am tackling one of those on my spindle just to see how it goes. So far, I like the colors a lot. And, so far, I have had even less of a problem with drafting the fiber than I have had when I dye with steaming methods. Nice!

  11. Ooh, now you’ve got me wondering if indigo grows well around here. Dyeing is so much fun; I should do it more often!

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