Thursday, May 04, 2006
Linda Painting Yarn
I sometimes wonder if I deserve all the wonderful people that come into my life and the neat things that happen because of them. Yesterday I was honored to host a mini dye day with Sandra of Thistle Cove Farm and Linda, who has a fun blog called Goin' Up Cripple Creek. They arrived with knitting, books, fiber and food; what more could anyone ask? Lily was happy to greet them; TJ stayed in the yard to keep him from participating too much in our dye adventures.
I was so busy talking and getting the dye stuff ready that I didn't take many pictures. We worked in my kitchen with acid dyes and vinegar, and had time to do two dye runs. Linda is a new spinner, and she brought her first skeins of singles to be dyed. She's going to keep them as a reminder of her new venture into spinning. Sandra brought some lovely millspun yarn; large skeins of soft and beautiful wool. We painted the first two skeins with squirt bottles. We used water bottles, which work pretty well, although you don't have much control of where the dye ends up. We used turquiose, violet and gold Jacquard dye.
Sandra is experienced with natural dyes, but she hadn't used acid dyes before. Linda is new to it all, so I showed them both how to measure out a stock solution of dye and explained a bit about how to get predictable results. With painted dyes I don't get predictable results; I imagine there is a way to know what will come out of the pot but I like being surprised. We painted the skeins, one of Linda's and one of Sandra's, and then put them in the dye pot to steam. It wasn't long before we had the lovely yarn above. Sandra's is the lovely lighter shades on top; she used gold with hers. Linda's turned out darker and more turquiose and green.
Bunny House Scarf
Our next experiment was with vat dyeing; we filled the pot with water, dumped in the dye solution and some vinegar, and put in a skein each for Linda and Sandra. We used Jacquard Dye again, this time violet. I dropped in a scarf I knitted years ago which is mostly twisted stitches of mohair and angora yarn. Sandra's yarn turned out rich purple; Linda's was lighter while the bunny house scarf came out somewhere in between. Each item was made of different fiber and it was interesting to see how that affected the results.
All during the time we worked we talked, of course. Fiber people always have lots to say. Lily shared our lunch with us, doing the sad eyes and begging. Busy and intelligent women are wonderful to be around; the many projects considered, debated and invented at my kitchen table yesterday were exciting to think about.
Too soon it was time for them to leave; Sandra had a long drive home and Linda had to work. I saw them off hoping they had enjoyed the day as much as I did. Today the tidy house seems empty; I'm looking forward to another dye day soon!