"I'm out back dyeing"

"Ugh! Mom that is getting so old." I guess it's time for school to start, my comment about being out back dyeing is not funny anymore. Well last week, before it got so terribly hot, that is what I was doing. I was out in my backyard dyeing. I decided to use up the some of the dye stuff I had collected last year. When the sun is out I take advantage of it and solar dye.

Sun, work your magic!
A beautiful basket of yarn!
While the sun was working away on the jars, I set to work on some 30x30" 100% cotton flour sack towels. The perfect size to try out some shibori techniques. Having recently received some new colors of fiber reactive dye, this would be a study of color and pattern.

The Fire Red dye bucket!
I forgot to take any pictures of the 'packages' before they went into the dye bath. I am very careful to wear my mask and gloves which sometimes makes picture taking difficult. Although I don't have before pictures, I do have my notes. I document how each cloth is folded, the dye color name, as well as the details of the dye formula. If I really like how something turns out I want to be able to create a very similar piece.

Some of the items I used. 
This is why it's sometimes called a 'dye kitchen'.
I have to tend to these like you would a pot of soup. Stir frequently, add a little salt, stir frequently for 15 minutes, let sit for 15 minutes, add something else, stir again, and sit for 30 minutes. I think you get the picture. Listening to podcasts helps the time go quickly, lately it has been On Being with Krista TippettDear Sugar,  and Magic Lessons. Some of these can be on a speaker in the backyard and some need headphones, I'll let you figure out which ones are which, they are all great to listen to. After approximately two episodes the bundles are ready for their first rinse and to be unpackaged. That is when the magic is revealed.  

The first batch, Fire Red & Fuchsia Red, on the line.
It is really fun to see what patterns the ties, blocks, and clamps create. Some of them I know what to expect and others come out with a pattern makes me think, Oh I want to try that again but do XZY with it. And I am off to work on another 'package'. The male part of my household seem to like the circle motifs best while I prefer the linear and diamond designs. I have something for everyone.

A close up of one that looks like sand dollars. 
The next day was a new set of colors and a new set of 'packages'. I also tried a few bundles of 100% cotton yarn that could be used as a warp for my weaving and a couple of squares of 100% linen. The colors this time were cool colors, Turquoise and Avocado. 

The second batch, Turquoise & Avocado, on the line. 
When I am trying out colors and patterns I really don't have a plan for the end fabrics. I guess that is how I do everything. I let the end cloth decide what it wants to be. I think the small squares will work great for furoshiki . But I am open if something else inspires me. 

The towel display for instagram
There are always more colors and patterns to try. Next up are Kiwi, Chocolate, Straw, Pagoda Red, and Basic Blue. I have already started gathering more items for the shibori: tongue depressors, plastic shapes, and PVC pipe. Anything is possible when you are not afraid of making a mistake, I only have happy accidents.


Popular Posts