Sunday, March 13, 2005

Dyeing fun and more

It seems I am in a mood to do some dyeing. I've been thinking about doing it for quite awhile now. Even bought supplies when I was in Estrella to do some -- the iron and skeins of undyed or bleached wool.

On Thursday, my garden miracle worker came. She is a friend who designed my yard and has gracioiusly consented to do a lot of the hands on garden tending that husband and I have not had time to do and which you would never entrust to a mow & blow gardener. I had come across a recipe the prior day that called for dyeing with berry leaves and vine. Well I have a lot of wild blackberry that trys to invade, so I had her clip me a bucket full. Then onto the dyeing. The leaves and vines give off tannic acid. Dyeing with it alone is something a kin to tea dyeing.

I premordanted the wool skeins (10 yard lengths) and a swatch of silk with the iron. 1 skein was only done in the iron to show the color differences. Then tried the rest of the wool/silk in the dye bath from the berry vines for various length of times - 1 hour (1 sk + silk), 3 hrs (2 sk) and then overnight (2 sk). Of course I washed everything very carefully and will do so again. It didn't seem to really make a difference from the 3 hrs to overnight and very little from the 1 hr. I guess once the chemical reaction happens - it is all done but the shouting. The blotchiness on the silk is from the uneven mordanting of the fabric.

Friday the husband and I ran around in circles - or so it seemed. Actually we got a lot done - went up to San Francisco, got the hair cut (my hair dresser is very distressed that I have quit dyeing it and am letting it go white/gray - not the $$ issue, but he just really liked the fabulous affect of my skin coloring and the hair coloring - very dramatic), got all the shots for the trip, got the pictures taken for the Brazil Visa, and more little stuff. We had planned on the Yellow Fever shot, the Typhoid, Hep A, and the Tetnus, but it seems you also need a Polio booster too. So we opted for the Typhoid in pill form. Also got the Malaria perscription.

Saturday was local EGA BOD for me and the husband went off to help friends move. Since I can't sit through a meeting without something to do, I finished the wire work for the brass - 7 loop Viking Metal Braid necklace. I've included a pic with the brass work on the dowl, a test of a 5 petal and 7 petal (the shortest piece) that had been through the draw plate, and a silver piece that had been drawn and is ready for the ending bits to make it into a necklace. It is addictive.

Last night we were locally cultured -- we attended a reception at a local art gallery of photography. A friend had a piece of his chosen for the show. The show was juried with about 800 entries and 58 picked with different 44 artists. Then out to dinner. Pretty impressive photography from all over the US.

Today is catchup on all the little things before I plunge into next week. So here too is a pic of the dyeing I did last weekend. I still need to wash the silk skeins again to ensure that there is no color bleeding. You would have thought that the heat would have sufficiently set the color and the 2 washings, but I was using really concentrated color so.....

Walnut dyeing - batch 1 tomorrow.

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