Friday, February 8, 2013

Preparing to Dye

For the last six weeks I've been taking care of the rather boring, business end of having a small fiber shop.  I've played accountant, I've ordered supplies, I've replenished my inventory.  Now, at last, I can return to the fun stuff.  

I started off today by dyeing a little Firestar.  I haven't done much dyeing recently and Firestar is a nylon that takes dye with ease.  Basically, it was just something fun to do to get my mojo back.  I'm not superstitious, but when it comes to dyeing, a working mojo is important.  Otherwise you may become absent minded and neglect your wool.  Even worse, you may overcompensate and agitate your wool too much.  Neither of these scenarios produces a nice finished product.  

*Note: Tongue in Cheek :D

After I finished painting my Firestar, which dried in about an hour on this blustery day, I was still itching to do more.  I remembered the planed wood pieces I have stored in a closet.  My brother is a carpenter and he offered to rescue some wood shavings for me.  This was very nice of him as I am sure he generally does not sort his wood waste by type.  

I've dyed with wood before, but never with large shavings like these.  I decided to pack them into a jar and cover them with water.  I'll wait for about a week and see how much color I've extracted.  Right now I have one jar of Dark Walnut and one of Honduras Mahogany.  The different types of wood looked so pretty to me, that I filled a bowl with them and set it out as a centerpiece.  

I think the colors of the wood will be soft and pretty, but I felt the need to do a third jar with something more vibrant.  I grabbed a bag of dried peppermint that I keep for making Tea.  Then I decided to add even more green and went out to my garden.  I picked a couple of lemon leaves off my lemon tree and cut a handful of parsely.  Parsley, mint with a touch of lemon seemed like a nice idea.  I covered my greens and mint with water and will let that steep too.

So now I wait.  In the meantime I can mordant my wool and get ready.  I'm contemplating an entirely cool dye method this time.  I usually use heat when dyeing, so I think it will be interesting to try something new.  I'll keep you posted!


Janine - Foxtail Creek Studio said...

My brother's a carpenter too! I never knew you could use wood shavings in a dye bath...yes, he and I will be having a conversation about this soon!
Thanks for the info :)

Jane McLellan said...

Sounds like fun! Look forward to seeing the results. I bet your bowl of shavings smells nice too.