I have inherited somehow and from somewhere, a NASTY little Brownie. I don’t mean those cute tiny little Girl Scouts who come to the door begging you to buy cookies.  I mean one of those tiny creatures who come out at night and carry off things you need and hide them so no matter how many places you look you cannot find what you are looking for. Never mind that it is always in the last place you look…with these little suckers there IS no last place!

I’ve moved things myself because all the construction going on here; new studio cabinets, taking over a space for dyeing, moving looms and yarns to new locations…but everything was boxed and binned carefully so it could go back into its proper home.  HA!  What a fool I was.

The first thing to go into the netherlands was a box of dye. I waited and waited after Easter for all the egg dye to get marked down to a dime.  Then I filled a cart, checked out and when I got home I disposed of all the boxes so that I had a tiny box of those magic acid dye tablets. Along with that I put all my packets of Kool Aid from the warehouse store.  GONE!  Completely and totally gone.  Not in the studio, the dye room, the pantry or any nook or cranny.

Right before Christmas I washed, dried and folded fat quarters ready to go into mordants for natural dyeing. GONE ! Completely and totally gone.  Not in the studio, the dye room, the pantry or any nook or cranny.

I told my friend Liz that I hope when this particular creature dies that I will be able to find my stuff. She said she has one living at her house that has a wicked sense of humor. Maybe the next time she comes to play a stow away will find its way into her bag and go off to play with her brownie!  If you want to read more about these creatures, check out this blog.

“What a messy room! Don’t worry. I’ll clean it for you.”

Wool Dyeing weather

The day was scheduled for an indigo vat at a play day with Liz.  I awoke to thunder and rain. Booo…hissss…All week long we had carefully compared weather reports for her house in Missouri and my house in Arkansas but Mother Nature threw us a curve ball and we cancelled at 7 AM.  Within an hour the sun came out at my house and I had all this yarn ready to dye.  

The white and blue cakes were salvaged from an unfinished wool afghan bought for $4. It yielded 8 cakes of 3 colors so it was a real bargain.  But, the colors were boring.  Then my friend Linda gave me 8 skeins of vintage Spinnerin yarn. It is an interesting combo of wool and slubs of linen…but it was a pretty unflattering color of hot ping.  

I used a package of scarlet Rit dye for the bath. I divided it in half so I could do both a cotton bath and a wool bath. Cotton requires adding salt and wool needs to be acidic with vinegar added to the bath.  The pink skeins were rewound into hanks that could be twisted and I left the cakes as they were. Into the dye they went. The pink was submerged but the cakes were put into a plastic container and dye was poured into the middle and down one side until it was about 2 inches up the side of the cake.

Getting ready to unwind the cakes and skeins to dry. These have already been rinsed and squeezed out till the water was clear. 

Isn’t this white great? Look how it grades from red to white as it is unwound.

This is what the pink and white skeins looked like out of the dye pot. The very bottome photo shows some of the variation in the skein and the original pink.

Yarn hanging to dry outside to take advantage of the warm southern wind.

You can really see the variations in the yarn dyed this way. The tighter you wind the skein, more variation you will get in the finished color. Think of it as tie dyeing for yarn.  The bonus for this yarn was that the hard finish on the Spinnerin vintage yarn seemed to disappear in the hot water dye bath. The finished yarn is luscious and soft.

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Off The Wall Friday