Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer, Swiftly...

It's just not been a summer for blogging.  I envy those who blog regularly, with beautiful and well-written posts.  I take photos and they languish.

But that doesn't mean the summer has been unblogworthy.  Here's a feeble attempt to catch up:

Natural Dyes Workshop with Sara Goodman

In mid July I spent three days with Sara Goodman, learning about using natural dye extracts for dyeing fiber.  This was one of the seminars offered through NEWS: New England Weavers Seminar.  I've kept quiet about it on this blog but using natural materials for dyeing has been on my mind this year.  When it comes to natural dyes I'm most interested in sustainability and focusing on materials that can be gathered locally.  This workshop involved using dye extracts from far away places... but I'm still glad I participated.

Samples from Sara Goodman's Natural Dye Workshop

Here are some of my projects from that workshop:
At twelve o'clock are some skeins of the first yarn that I had commercially-spun years ago; one dyed with walnut extract and one with a mixture of extracts.  Perhaps a shawl.

At three o'clock  is a skein of my sock yarn, originally dyed with a local plant material, then overdyed in the indigo vat that we learned all about.  I tried to allow some of the original color show through the indigo.

Center: dye samples on a silk strip.

At six to eight: a small pre-felt dyed in a mix of extracts.

The remainder: some of my lambswool yarn painted with a variety of colors for warp, along with a skein of the same yarn for weft.  Both were over-dyed in the indigo vat.  Enough for two scarves.

Would you like to see how yarn dyed in an indigo vat changes color as it is lifted out and exposed to oxygen?  Follow this link.

And here are my Pygora girls, up to no good.  Notice that when I called Tina's name at the beginning of the clip, she answered.

Finally, yarn destined for Meadow Muffins, dyed with alder cones, and two intensities of walnut.  Gathered from trees that are in or next to the pastures that my sheep graze.  Cafe au lait?

Meadow Muffin yarn, dyed with locally-gathered dye materials