Webbed Moon

Also in the shop, this commercially dyed thread hand embroidery is on indigo dyed cottons.

One more to finish!

But i have been sampling too on other work, and ideas are pouring forth.

You’ll have to use your imagination to see what *i* “see” with this one 🙂

 

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a natural moon

I’ve been slowly (and not so diligently, as other pursuits in the studio have “interfered”) working on this indigo moon, using my newly dyed naturally dyed threads. This is a lesson in itself, as the indigo i’m working on is strong enough to overshadow certain colours, necessitating some more neutral backgrounds for future plans/use.

 

The moon is worked with cotton, silk, silk/wool blend and wool threads in cochineal, osage, logwood, and privet berries, with the brown of the seeds coming from potassium permanganate (actually an inorganic compound). I found a walnut bath i had stored several years ago, when i was setting up in the basement, and shall test to see if it’s still “live”, for some of my browns in future, though i do love all the permutations the PP gave on the skein of cotton. On the background surround, in cotton, silk, wool and silk/wool, the colours i used are privet berry, cochineal, brazilwood, rhubarb root, hollyhock (and that’s where the “oh-oh” happened, as some of the colours are so soft, they are barely discernible), osage, logwood, and sandalwood. Using pre-mordanting (VERY important), and post modifying methods, changes the colours to a wide range. (Ha, just realized i used none of the wonderful madder results!)

I have two other moons still in the finishing stages, and hope to get them done soon too! All will be in the shop.

 

 

abracafabric!

I SWEAR that i looked everywhere for the fabric i wanted to use for a new big work. Potassium permanganate dyed, it was a substantial piece of yardage, and i could not for the life of me figure out where the damn thing went, and finally surmised i must have cut it up. I had scoured bins, boxes, bags of fails, scrap debris in the dye dungeon and the usual odd places where something goes to be “kept safe”.

Yesterday i was going through a stack in the studio, pulling out chunks to be redyed, admiring or not in new separate piles 🙂 , refolding, and hanging larger pieces over the back of the chairs, and

WHAT????!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had just refolded the piece i was looking for all along.

So, i redyed it in the PP vat, as the original bath it had at the summer res was weak and old, resulting in a negligible beige blandness, and have now a warm deep milk-chocolate-verging-on-dark-chocolate chunk. I’m going to introduce it to both logwood cloth (cotton and silk) and madder, osage and logwood (cotton) threads.

See how much darker the silk is? Technically this is why protein and cellulose fibres shouldn’t be in the same pot, as proteins uptake faster and deeper. (I should have divided the bath and done separate soaks.)  The logwood threads were done by themselves in the first new pot, and the colour uptake was phenomenal. (The silks and cotton fabrics were done in subsequent soaks in the same pot, in two sessions.) Of course, that’s because i accidentally dumped in what was left in the jar, instead of actually measuring!

I am perfectly happy with the results though, even if the cottons are quite mottled (due to sitting in a pot all day while i was at the DayJob and unable to stir once in awhile), and will use it all anyways. I still however have to do a post mordant/modify with iron, so expect these to become somewhat darker. Again, going with the flow, and happy the work is working!

And there’s still some dye left in the bath, so am scrounging up some more protein fibres: a lone piece of linen, maybe some wool threads and a bit more silk. I expect they will be not as deep a shade, but can always build on them in other dyes, such as cochineal, madder or the old stand by, indigo.

HOWEVER, since i have been lazy/uninspired/busy for at least a month and a half, i am keeping all my notes in the 2018 file. I have 3 small moons to finish, and will not allow myself to start major new work, while dibbly bits are still hanging around waiting for their turn. I WILL get to new work before the end of the year, but the luxury of starting will be only when the UFO’s are gone!

more boring thread results, shop update

I say “boring” as in not many are truly interested in the subject! I however ❤ these 🙂 Madder, madder with cochineal and madder with sandalwood:

All on cotton, some of which will stay in my stash, and some into the shop (limited quantities!). There are also a few others listed, and these will be the last listings for awhile.

 

While i *am* working on Samara’s wings and my small all naturally dyed moon, i’ve plans for lots of potassium permanganate dyed pieces as well. I’ve been taking my sketchbook to work, as it’s been rather quiet lately, and am ruminating on where to start. Big work again, and frames will have to be built for some because of the size and orientation.

I’ve had my dyeing “binge”, the way i do everything really, and am ready to get back to stitching. My stash is nicely built, and it’s time to get serious with studio time.

The Magic Bug Collection— EDIT: listing now active

Cochineal in all its permutations–who knew one dye could have so many variables?

Various mordants and modifiers, and brief visits for some of these skeins with other dyes, i was trying to figure out a fair way to offer these, as some skein lengths are not exactly what it says on the card! Because of this, all of them are going to be 5 bucks each (CANADIAN, so check your currency exchange rates), with no individual length on the double cards being less than 8 yards each. The single threads will be no less than a generous 17.5 yard length. That’s quite  a deal on hand dyed, naturally dyed threads, so please bear that in mind 🙂  Most are cottons, with a few wools thrown in, as is the deepest colour in the left top corner. As always too, any extra postage paid will be refunded.

Work today will be figuring out the tension on my niddynoddy so that future offerings WILL be in 10 or 20 yard lengths. I *might* adjust prices up a WEE bit then, but not shockingly so.

There are limited quantities on these, with some being “one off’s” or a pair. All are washed and have been properly prepped, mordanted and dyed, according to Real Science, no Kitchen Scrap Nonesense here 🙂 Listing will commence later today. NOW ACTIVE.

Momma needs a new office chair—this morning mine fell apart literally as i was to have my first coffee, NOT a pretty sight!!!

 

 

start your needles

Fine threads, thick threads, wool and cotton, it’s all becoming strands of delish.

I was hesitant for the longest time about the wool, as i figured it was too “fluffy’, but have now fallen in love with it. I experienced “not all about sweaters and warm slippers” after working with it 🙂 Depending on your tension as you stitch, it can be more raised, more taking acceptance of the loft, but you can also draw it slightly tighter and end up with finer lines, whereas medium tension will give a fuller appearance in stitches that fill more space. The wools i’ve been using are classified as lace weight, which means while they look downy, they are as easy to use as cotton. (But i do recommend shorter lengths, not the longer than fingertips to elbow *i* normally use!)

The cottons have been a joy also, as they are easier (for me at least) to get a variegated dye happening. From a weight that is like using 2 strands of conventional embroidery floss, to one that imitates a full 6 strands, the colour variations are wonderful.

I decided too that labelling them only needs the type of dye–i’m not about to add all the mordants and modifiers, as it could get rather wordy!–the length and the type of fibre.  Some of these are also shorter lengths than i had intended, as i learn about tension on the niddynoddy as i wind the skeins, pre-everything! Prices will reflect that, but all are still worthy and long enough to be treasure. In the future, i intend 10 yard and 20 yard pieces, depending on the thread. (Most of these vary from 7-18 yards, though i erred on the side of caution: some may be slightly more than indicated, but none will be less. And the “20 yard” ones will be having their labels changed to reflect that they are more likely a generous 18!)

There are many more to wind still, and yes i kept some for myself, though none of the above, so it’s not a tease with any of them. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I still have indigo, potassium permanganate and a mix of the two to complete, so there will be those as well.

 

I’m still deciding on pricing and packaging, as with the cost of shipping, it’s probably better to sell these in sets of 2, 3 and/or 4. I want them to be something you can work with together, rather than just a “one off”. So far too, i am doing small lots, as i am only a one woman show,  so you’ll have to bear with me for availability! Pricing *will* reflect the hand dyed/naturally dyed “point of the exercise”, but will also be more than fair for the amounts (and the work involved to do them!). I hope to add these to the shop on the weekend, October 30th the latest.

The Dye Dungeon Openeth Again

BANG. “Shit”, pause, “Sorry!” BANG. “Fuck”, pause, “Sorry!” BANG. “dammit”, pause, “Sorry!” The poor water heater man was in the basement, fixing things, and that’s what i kept hearing. Our basement is low ceilinged after all, being in a 107 year old house. You *can* walk upright (unless you’re 6′ plus, in which case you will be grazing the first floor bracing beams), but there are areas where furnace ducts are low, and both Greyman and i regularly bash our heads on them. When my hair was long and i wore it pinned up, it would be a common part of the experience, catching that full tilt on the top of the head……….I finally had to tell that poor workman to stop apologizing, and just get on with. I’ve heard all those words before, so whatever 🙂

And yes, our basement is slightly creepy. The house is after all Old, and there are parts behind walls down there that are the original stonework and earth dug-outs. It doesn’t smell musty or moldy, just old, no strange growths anywhere or slithering whatthehellisthats, one of the benefits of Calgary’s dry climate, even with us being beside the river and probably not that far above the natural water table. (Actually after the 2013 Calgary flood, we *know* it’s not far above, but we do know we also have the only self draining house on the block!) You can stand up in it, something not said about a lot of 107 year old basements, it’s floored with concrete and mostly painted white. We don’t use it for much beyond storage and it occurred to me yesterday that it was largely being wasted.

It’s divided into 4 strange little rooms, evidence of the original size and shape of the house, documenting add-ons and renovations. There’s actually no basement below the teeny back bedroom, laundry room, kitchen, bathroom and one bedroom, unless you count the old stone and earth part (!), but it’s still big enough for a lot of uses. Dyeing space immediately comes to mind through the winter. The garage is uninsulated and too far from the house in terms of -30c weather, so why not just descend to the depths?

That’s where the Dye Dungeon is again, in the back part near what is the old cistern, long boarded and bricked up, and containing we are sure, a body or two…..There’s a tiny backroom with lots of old wood shelves for all my dye supplies, natural and un-natural chemical/synthetic, plenty of old pull string lights, and a concrete floor. Nothing fancy down there at all, just space where the dog never goes (she’s afraid of the creepy old narrow stairs down), and the cat rarely, as “it’s boring, so boring”. (You know how cats are.) I *did* have it set up 7 years ago, but admittedly didn’t do as much then as i had thought i would. I’m afraid right now if i keep using the studio, that the mess will become a wet one, with pots and jars all over, and inquisitive studio assistants, Slapshot (official studio cat) and Nessie the DogFaced Girl (resident i-go-everywhere-Mom-is dog).

(I’ll post pics in another entry 🙂 )

And the first cochineal results are in, and i am very very quite happy 🙂 These are dry too, so none of that misleading wet photograph stuff–we all know wet is more intense looking than dry!

Same threads, different light, to show their beauty, all on wool or a silk/wool blend, different mordants and modifiers.

I have cotton threads as well now, dried after a long soak in the dye bath, and oh i am thrilled with the results!

So, in the last two weeks, with experimenting and testing that i am doing things correctly, behold my new stash!!!!!!!!!

As soon as i can plan for being more productive, quantity wise, i really would like to be offering these in the shop. Stay tuned 🙂