Dyeing days

I didn’t yet get up to that promised week of just plant dyeing every day and writing up a storm about it, but I yesterday did a bit of odds and ends for future projects. First I decided to use up the bucket of woad solution that I saved back when I last dyed in fall. I had some extra yellows, so I planned to throw them all in together.

The theory is, I think, that you just need to reheat to 50° C, apply hydrosulfite and Bob’s your uncle. PH was good. Blue froth – not so much. Perhaps that black coating on the bucket lid was all the dyestuff?! After all my preparations the dyebath still looked odd, a lot like another which I never used, of Japanese Indigo which I suspected was harvested too late. So this time I tested one skein just for science and got what I expected: FAIL. But at least this task is now off my list 😉

I can’t properly acid dye beyond the solutions I’d already made, since my scales are broken, and I use such tiny amounts of powder when I mix that spoon tips are too inaccurate. So I’ve run out of most colours after today! 🙁

In fact afterwards I had a pot of leftovers with some other baths poured into as well, some kind of brown, I suspected it might even be nice (on the white spoon it looked just like red wine), but which yarn do I put in, as in, which type of project am I likely to use it for?! I don’t like to just pour it out…

I made a purple that I really ended up liking, so now I regret only making a small skein. For the intended tapestry project (yes, yes, I know I said I’d use the plant dyed yarns for that, and I will, I promise! But, you know… one idea breeds another and….) I don’t need a lot of the purple, if any, but perhaps I’d want to use it in another? Oh well. It was something with violet and a bit of black and a bit of rusty brown from the other pot, but did I also include green? (my goto breaker of purple to tone it down a bit) And if somebody now says “what do you need the scales for”, see the above mention of the huge amount of leftover dyebath. 😉 I also don’t know quite what made the gold colour, which I ALSO like, because that too was made from sloshing leftovers into my last bit of yellow.

In the end I found a use for the leftovers, which did not yield red wine but rust. I stuck the end of 100 g top in there until it had enough, next bit in, next dye leftover etc. completely at random. I mean to spin it and weave it as a tapestry, shapes determining what happens with the colours. Or something. It’s cheviot and there’s no way it’s getting near my skin other than hands.

Perhaps not one of my brightest moments. The top ended up looking pretty ghastly, but I’m going to spin it anyway. Who knows, I might get a surprise? And then what happened as I got to the end of the rope and it had taken on enough colour? I was left with ANOTHER bath, this time dark green. So whatever, I added one of the small silk skeins I use for plant dyeing.

And now for some weekend. I wanted to weave now that I’m all warped, finally, but apparently I’ve been overdoing things says the body, headaches for two weeks now. I don’t think I ask it for very much, I’ve been indulging the “no exercise wish” for a while longer, but apparently “projects” are taxing the stress muscle even if they’re fun and relaxed. I don’t feel stressed or anxious, but I know it could be the next step, even though I think I’m doing pretty well with my attitude towards “busy.” I rarely go “OMG there’s so much I have to do”. So it’s probably “I have so many things I wanna do. Just one more…” 😉

Or possibly it’s not my busy-ness at all but my thoughts about “what if someone disturbs me or asks to see me in the middle of my project, not right now please I need to do this thing first. Just go away and come back next year.” And I know I’m blowing it out of proportion. Something to work on.

So I’m not feeling happy about this break as usual, a weekend of just sitting isn’t really my idea of a good time. Probably doing nothing will stress me even more, so I’ll have to pick one, slow project to fiddle with. Back to serial thinking…

Tonight I deserve a rest though, I wheelbarrowed a week’s worth of horse manure out to the back field to try to cure my shoulder tension. And vacuumed the bedroom. Possibly I’ll just spend the weekend doing the rest of the house very slowly and getting my desk ready for a fresh start Monday.

12 thoughts on “Dyeing days

    1. Oh, I’m ok, really, just the headaches are longer than normal. Tired I’m nearly always, uninterrupted, never. I would need to make a largeish extra chunk of moolah on a regular basis to get my own space. One thing is certain though, it would not have a phone! (I actually close down our phone router (IP) and Skype when I’m home alone to make the most of it)

    2. In fact the shovelling did seem to help the headache/tension. Now I just have a right arm that’s screaming along all ligaments, but whatever! 😉

  1. A hot bath in epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils. Your plan sounds good! I didn’t vacuum today. It is New Years and sweeping/vacuuming is bad on the first day of New Years as it’s said you sweep away the good luck. Come tomorrow, there will be extra work. I too will need to make use of this weekend and clean and prepare work areas. I’d like to get sewing done and perhaps some drawing. Have a happy weekend. ✽ ✾ ✿ ❀ ❁ ❃ ❋

    1. I didn’t know about sweeping out the luck. Oh well, if I need any, it’ll be in the back field, won’t it. 😉

      Sounds like you have a busy weekend ahead, have fun!

      1. I actually think we make our own luck. Karma and what not. Yes, busy weekend always makes for fun. Love the colors of your yarn! If I can squeeze in the time, I really want to learn to crochet !

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