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!