On a perfect summer day we met at Phyllis’s to prepare for our dye workshop next month. We needed to mordant our yarns and fabrics to prepare them to “take” the cochineal and osage orange dyes we will use next month. For dyers a mordant is “asubstanceusedindyeingtofixthecoloringmatter“. In our case we are using alum.
After weighing all our fibers, we soaked them thoroughly to ensure they were wet throughout:
We measured alum by weight, using one-tenth the weight of the dry fiber, and put it into a small bit of water which we heated to dissolve the alum. After removing our thoroughly wet fiber from the pot and wringing it out, we added the alum and fiber to large pots of water, heated it and simmered it for an hour.
And then we hung the fiber on the fence to dry.
While all this was happening, we had plenty of time to talk and show each other our latest projects.
We had a lovely meeting with just a few choice members showing up: Sharolene, Frank, Lotus, Marcia and Phyllis. We continued with our indigo-dyed shibori project. There are some interesting comparisons of wet versus dry indigo in these pics. They are duplicated to show how much darker the wet indigo is.
This is Lotus Baker’s handspun handmade beautiful vest that she made for the CNCH fashion show a couple of weeks ago. You can’t tell by the look of it but it has a wonderful feel and drape. She made it using plain weave on her rigid heddle loom. These photos don’t do it justice.
We had a fun meeting yesterday decorating eggs. Attendees were: Sandy, Marcia, Phyllis, Sharolene, Frank, Sage, Aviva, Ann, and Elaine. Sharolene tried some unsuccessful indigo dyeing on some mystery fabric, Aviva and Sage knitted, Sharolene and Sandy did egg decorating. Sandy dyed one egg in some older yellow dye, which worked fine, although the dye itself was not reusable any longer. Sharolene and Sandy experimented with a new to them method of dyeing eggs with fingernail polish. It was quite simple. The fingernail polish floated on the surface of room temperature water and the eggs laid on top and the polish stuck to the eggs in delightful ways. Ann used a silk transference technique where she tightly wrapped an egg with silk and then boiled in vinegar water for 30 minutes. This process transferred the dyes from the silk to the egg. Beautiful.
We had a lovely day outside at Phyllis’s and the results of our resist dyeing paid off in spades with Frank’s shirts. They are stunning. The indigo pot was perfect and they were dipped several times with different members doing the timing after the timer–OOPS–was accidentally dropped in the water. Once they are dry we need to have good pictures of Frank wearing them.
The rain held of long enough for us to use the patio for the indigo dye pot. Sandy, Phyllis, Carol, Lotus, Elaine, Marcia and Anne used the pot and shared other projects. The indigo pot has been in use for around twenty years! and just needs a little refreshing and warmth to get it back up to speed each month. Here are some of the items we dyed.
There were other activities too. Lotus brought some yardage she has woven in plain weave on a rigid heddle loom from yarn leftover on weaving bobbins. While she was here, she worked on socks she is knitting from the toe up with both socks being knit at the same time on circular needles. Sandy used her sewing skills to mend a beautiful quilted Mung jacket that belongs to Phyllis.
There were probably other things going on too, but this is a sampling.
These are wax resist eggs and are multiple dye dipped in several colors in between applying wax. We had a fun small meeting with regular members Frank, Sharolene, Sandy, Bambi, Phyllis & Marcia. Frank’s cousin Betsy, also had a good time painting eggs.
We met on an extremely hot day and met early to beat the heat. The subject for our September meeting was making covers for handmade paper notebooks. Frank Mikulastik was our fearless leader. Frank makes 40 pieces of handmade paper in his kitchen on Sunday afternoons! Frank is a good teacher and showed us how to size a cover for the size of the paper, told us what materials to use and showed us how to sew a signature into a cover. He is quite inspiring with his own indigo dyed notebook covers.
Sandy brought some leather that we cut for notebook covers. She was able to cut them to size with a metal ruler and a box cutter. She made them big enough for two signatures. It is a nice pliable soft leather and will be great for notebook covers.
Sharolene shared her madder dyed fiber that she dyed in the last few weeks, linen towel that she just pulled off the loom and cotton from the garden. The madder process was
Attendees at meeting were: Phyllis, Frank, Sharolene, Sandy, Marsha and Carol Lewis (new member).
We had a fun meeting on July 19th, 2015 at the home of Phyllis Karsten. Phyllis just got back from the senior games and won a first place medal in her 90+ class. She just missed the world record by something like 40 seconds. Way to go Phyllis!
Sandy brought the extremely soft woolen shawl that Jean Shoe so expertly and lovingly made, like all her hand work. But we felt the colors were a little too bright for our tastes so Sandy did a quick indigo dip. It muted down the colors wonderfully. We were very happy with the results.