Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Little Look

Into my world. :)


Well, you just saw a corner of one of the rooms that I keep finished batts in...

And you've seen what the foyer can look like when I get a shipment of yarn in...

In the past, I've given you a glimpse of my Solar Dyeing experiments, and my blending workspace when it isn't being used for order fulfillment.

Most of my dyestocks are kept stacked up in an upstairs bathroom that I reserve for rinsing yarn (and drying in inclement weather). I tend to mix dye stocks outdoors, wearing a mask though I'm now in the market for a respirator because I find the mask uncomfortable and am often tempted to not use it. I admit to doing all my dye application indoors, though like any good dyer, I segregate all my pots and utensils for dyework from any sort of food/eating application.

In order to set the dye, I have toyed with microwave setting, as well as the previously mentioned solar experiments. While I do kettle dye my semi-solid colorways, I tend to steam set most of my yarns and fibers. You can see the 2 pots I keep for these occasions below, though I'm looking to expand and am shopping for steamer racks now while trying to decide if I can set steamer racks on top of my existing big dye pot...


Over the holidays, I took advantage of the additional time to experiment with natural dyes - you can see some of the results collaged in that photo. While natural dyes produce gorgeous earthy colors (I'm particularly fond of the Madder and Cochineal), I don't think they will become a regular part of my shop, though I may offer some of these up as limited editions. One thing that absolutely amazed me was the change in color of the madder root from a flash-flood muddy brown color to that stunning red - and the by looking at the cochineal extract (boiling bugs, by the way, do not smell very appetizing), I wouldn't have expected the vibrant fuschia hue - I would have expected more of a reddish color.

Incidentally, I also took some time to dye up a bunch of yarn and fiber just before the New Year (a pile of limited editions due to hit the shop for February!) Turns out I underestimated how much space the roving would take on the drying racks (and the experimental natural dyed yarn was taking forever to dry) that I ran out of drying space - I do all my initial drying outdoors as I was getting tired of the scent of vinegary wet sheep invading the house - LOL. Anyhow, I took the rest of the yarn and fiber in and set it in a box to await final rinse - turns out the cat approved of the warm steam-heated perch:


Incidentally, if you haven't cruised over already, the fiber (blended and/or dyed) was updated into the shop :)

2 comments:

Oiyi said...

Your cat has great taste, waiting for all that fibery goodness underneath!

amysbabies said...

I love reading about how other dyers work their magic!