Thursday, April 26, 2012

I've been dyeing

That's dyeing, not dying. Silk scarves, in fact. A few of these have even made it into my Etsy shop.  The ones I dyed today will make their way into the shop in the next few days.

Normally, I dye during the day so I can see the colors in natural light.  However, and this is a big however, I couldn't sleep last night so at midnight I got out my dyes and an piece of silk that I had sun dyed in cochinel a few years ago and ranged from deep red to pink.  It was kind of pretty but not precious.  In other words, an ideal candidate to experiment with.  I hauled out a handful of itty-bitty hair bands and randomly bound the scarf.  I wish I'd taken a picture because a bound piece of fabric is kind of cool looking.  I threw it into a basin to soak.  While it was soaking, I choose a lovely brown dye with a bit of a gold tone.  After mixing up the dye, I threw everything into the dye pot, everything that is but enough acid.

After all the dye exhausted, I pulled it out of the pot and rinsed it.  The dye was bleeding a bit, actually quite a lot.  But it was very late (or early depending on your point of view) and I released the bindings.  It was lovely, really lovely.  Except my hands, which were not; they were a weird gold-y brown.  It was then that the light bulb went off.  I needed to throw the silk back in the dye pot with enough acid to set the dye.  This changed the color of the areas that had been bound.  I was disappointed!  But it was very late and I was finally sleepy.

This morning this is what I saw.  I love it.  The red is there but is muted.  And the browns, they glow!  It's tie-dye but it's not TIE-DYE.  It would fit in at Hippy Hill but does not scream Hippy.  Bohemian, cool, different, wonderful. 

Monday, April 09, 2012

New Etsy shop

As some of you know, I not only knit, spin, and write knitting patterns, I also make felt scarves and dye and pleat silk scarves.  In the past, I've sold these at a holiday craft fair that my former employer sponsored.  As you can imagine, the audience at this fair was very limited.  So to gain wider exposure, I opened an Etsy shop.  Today I stocked it with some scarves. 

Each scarf is unique.  Some are nuno felt, which is wool that is felted onto another fabric, usually silk.  Some are straight up felt made of wool that I dyed.  Some take it a step further and are over dyed using resists to create a pattern.  The pleated silk scarves are individually dyed using a low water immersion technique and then pleated borrowing a Japanese technique that is also used in shibori dying. 

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Cobblestones Neck Warmer

It's spring and in Northern California, it is still nippy.  I'm ready to put away my bulky scarves but still want to keep the chill off my neck.  So I decided to use some very special yarn to make a neck warmer.  In my view, this is not a cowl.  It is fairly close fitting without being at all tight. It scrunches so I can adjust the length.  In a pinch, I can pull it up and use as a hat if my head is cold. 

Krista of Pigeonroof Studios gave me this gorgeous skein of Siren Two Sport in a unique colorway.  It deserved to be made into some special that wasn't  hidden on my feet.  I used a simple lace pattern.  Then I cast on and knit until it was long enough.  I call it cobblestones because the knit fabric reminds me of cobblestone roads that are laid out in random patterns.  I used less than 250 yards of sport weight yarn. You can download a free copy of the pattern from my Ravelry shop.