Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Needle Felted Pumpkin

I just finished this little pumpkin today. I wrote a tutoral about needle felting on Wizzley. Have a look. It's fast and fun.

Fresh Batch of Fustic Dye

I did a fresh batch of fustic dye with just the blue vitriol this time. It came out pretty much exactly as the previous batch. I can't quite capture the color with the camera. It's a lovey green with yellow highlights.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fustic and Copper

I saved the dye bath from the last post waiting for my little package of copper, or blue vitriol, to arrive. I knew it might make the wool more green so I added about a tablespoon full to the dye bath. This was the second batch of dyeing for the bath and it already had some alum in it. I didn't know what would come out. It turned out to be more of the khaki green I had read about. It's really an interesting color. I'm spinning some up to see it in a yarn.
I'll be doing another batch with fresh ingredients so I'll report back on that soon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dyeing with Fustic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I had just about had my fill of dyeing brown. I haven't had much luck dyeing a nice dark brown or black. I decided to use up some of the fustic wood chips I've had in a bag for a while. I heard it did a really clear yellow from one source and khaki from another. I read that there is an "old" fustic from south America and a "new" fustic from somewhere else. This is the Old Fustic. Well, nothing to do but give it a go.

I soaked  the chips for a couple of days, simmered them for about an hour and let them sit overnight. I added a pinch of alum and wet yarn. I simmered again for almost an hour and let sit overnight. I was using my stainless steel pot to keep things neutral since other metals can affect the outcome.

It came out a brighter yellow and much more intense than the picture even shows. I was really pleased with the color. I got these chips from a woodworker acquantance of mine. I've read that Osage Orange is a similar dye and that tree grows everywhere down here.

I'm waiting now for my blue vitriol to arrive and I'm going to try that with the dye bath I saved. I'm hoping for an interesting green. I'll keep you posted.                                  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Zazzle Stuff

I've opened a new Zazzle store recently and started a category called "The Bare Ewe." Eventually it will be a new store in its own right, but for now, it's still in "Ragtimelil's Store."

I decided to use pictures of my hand dyed roving, yarns and assorted stuff to make business cards, labels and related items. I'm collecting pictures of fiber, sheep, and anything else fiber related to make more products. I'll be adding more daily so feel free to bookmark and check back often.
Garden Hand Dyed Roving Business Card business cards                Lavender yarn business cards business cards

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pecan Dyeing Part 2

I finished dyeing with the pecan dye.It didn't seem to be doing much so I added vinegar and waited another day or two. It started to look really dark, but when I rinsed it, all the dark dye washed out. Maybe I should have used a mordant. 
I was disappointed in the results, but it is a pretty shade of orangy brown. I'll try it again later. I still have a stash of pecans.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pecan Dye

I've started an experiment - every batch of plant dye is an experiment!
I've read that pecans can be used as dyes much in the same way as black walnuts. I found some pecan trees and gathered a few nuts. It's early in the season so I didn't get many. I tried peeling off the outer green hull and ended up with a black thumbnail. The hulls DYED it.
I took a hammer and crushed the nuts and added water and left them to sit.
They've been sitting for about 3 days and have started to ferment. I'm going on a road trip for a day or two so they should be just about right when I get back.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sun Dyeing with Kool-Aid and Rit Dye

I recently did some sun dyeing with Kool-Aid and Rit dye. Both came out great. It was easy to do, and the Kool-Aid dye is safe and easy to do with kids. Both came out very rich and deep though.

I have the complete tutorial HERE.