I have been home for a little over a week, in which I’ve spent a few days with my younger son (attending the all-John Adams concert at Alice Tully Hall, seeing the Julia movie and basically relaxing!), a little time catching up with friends, and perhaps even less time attempting to finish some projects before we head back up to Maine for another couple of weeks of sailing.
BRAZILWOOD DYE EXPERIMENT
Today I’m finally dyeing with the Brazilwood sawdust that I began soaking in February. I was advised to let the sawdust soak for 6 months so this is the right time to revisit my dyepot. I had the dye liquor covered with plastic film to prevent molding, and it seems to have worked!
My instructions (from Deb Bamford) called for heating the sawdust and soaking water together for about 30 minutes at 80C. Alas, I inadvertently let the mixture boil, which means the color will shift to into the brown range of reds. Frankly, the dye liquor already looked quite brown before I began heating it! After that initial boil, I turned the heat down to a simmer and let the dye continue simmering for about 30 minutes, after which I turned off the heat. When the dye liquor had cooled a bit I strained off the liquid into another dye pot and have saved the solids for a possible future dye. I then put in 2 oz. of my pre-mordanted yarn (Henry’s Attic ‘’Texas,’ wool/mohair blend previously mordanted with alum and cot) which had already been wetted. It immediately turned a medium value of dull orange. I have been reheating the mixture more carefully now, trying not to exceed 80C, and it is now simmering at about 75C for 1/2 hour. The color on the yarn has become a deep red/brown…more red than brown! I like it very much!
The flash washed out the color quite a bit….it’s a much deeper red. Who knows, it might be this color when rinsed, but I’m hoping for darker!
While dyeing I have also been finishing up a simple vest project that I’d like to wear in Maine on cool evenings. It’s a vest knit entirely in stockinette from yarn that I got from DBNY (Discontinued Brand Name Yarns). I have sewn on the zipper now and am now sewing a decorative ribbon (from LFN designs) over the zipper to add some visual interest when the vest is open.
My dark brown/grey corriedale which I washed and sent out to be processed into bumps, and which I was spinning during out last sailing trip, is not the right color for the stranded knit sweater I have in mind for the multi-colored roving, in a colorway called “Grapevine” which I got at MDS&W from Gale Evans. Earlier this morning I sat down to spin a little of the dark charcoal Shetland roving that I recently got from Hatchtown Farm, and it appears to be just right for the Grapevine. I am considering doing this sweater from the Twist Collective.
I think I will use the grey/brown Corrie to make a lace cardigan sometime in the future. It’s a dream to spin, but I will put that project aside in order to spin the Shetland for the the stranded sweater. Well, now! Aren’t I being mature?
And there was a very happy occurance in my inbox! Linda Lee has written to tell me that she will soon be dyeing my cotton sliver in her colorway “Phoenix Garden.” I can’t wait to get back to that project! Maybe the package will be waiting for me when I return home!
I’ve been thinking a lot about weaving, but not actually doing any since I returned from the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Conference in Gettysburgh, where I took a 3-day class with Jason Collingwood on 3-end block weave and shaft switching. While I am thinking about what sampling I’d like to do on the rest of the warp from that class, I have also been thinking about future tapestries. I have some ideas brewing….
I need to leave some time today for packing since we are leaving tomorrow morning! I hope this weekend’s storm is the only difficult weather we experience during this sailing trip!