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Category Archives: Jam Day

Thread SCORE!

I restrained myself, and spent 80bucks, half of what they are worth, because the poor man is trying to clear his departed wife’s stash in this estate sale.

A Valdani “Collection” (12 balls ofย  3ply embroidery floss), 10 DMC perles in #8 and #5, Caron Wildflowers in colourways i haven’t seen before, a couple of delicious mystery brands, and that solid DMC greeny bit because it reminds me of wasabi mustard.

This was a drop in the bucket. The woman had, i kid you not, about 5000 times as much thread, in boxes, cases, hatboxes, worm binder thingies, bags, storage carry cases and more. I kid you not. Seriously. I’d have taken more, but i fight with linen threads, the silks were too fine, and the solid DMC’s are readily available anywhere.

And he gave me this:

The legs have zipped openings as well. I’ll be quite stylish carrying this one ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Jam Day, Not so ordinaries

 

as the daylight dyes

above, euc on silk with brazilwood

below, right chemical vat, left 123 vat, quite a difference

previous peony ecoprint fail, then overdyed with brazilwood, then dipped in 123 vat:

oak, madder and tannin on silk, in brazilwood:

failed osier ecoprint with bits of euc (?) dipped in brazilwood:

failed osier on silk ecoprint, brazilwood and 123 indigo:

maple ecoprint on silk, brazilwood, 123 indigo:

lots of pretty colours, copious notes made, pre-testing for res

time for supper

 

indi-yes-go!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, apparently all i had to do was wait ONE more day for the vat to actually work, the chemical one at least. (The 123 is a whole different waxed can of balled worms….)

A lovely lovely LOVELY “flower”:

I see some new Indigo Moons happening!

 
 

HAUL!!!

Attended the UjaamaGrammas big sale yesterday with my friend Susan—–kind of shocking to see all the stash that has been handed off to others!!!!!!!! BOLTS of fabric, bags of fabric, piles of yardages of fabrics, grab bags of fabric, a quilting cottons room, umpteen “kits” never touched, a long wall FULL of yarns, a room full of patterns, books and magazines. Admittedly, i had donated 3 huge garbage bags full of my stash! The place was wall to wall people, but apparently we came at the right time, because even though it had “opened” the night before, it was still crammed with stuff. Some years, there have been block long lines waiting to get in!

And admittedly too, i brought 3 ( much smaller) bags home ๐Ÿ™‚ I deliberately took “only” 75 bucks with me in cash (though they did accept debit and credit cards). I spent 5bucks for two “tapestry” frames, a buck for a bag full of “crochet cotton balls” most for dyeing, a dollar for 4 books, 22dollars for 22YARDS of fabric (most for dyeing, though there are also a couple of chunks for fall wardrobe purposes), 2bucks for admission, and i donated 6, because WTH. Grand total: 37 smackeroos.

And Susan generously gave me the two longer that she had got last year ๐Ÿ™‚

The largest frame is the PERFECT size so that i can finally do the standing figure for “Tabula Memoria”, without struggling to keep the grain straight–my largest hoop would have necessitated moving the fabric in and out of the grip, and that would have meant the grain would surely have been off on the damned haremcloth. (Love AND hate that stuff!)

The minute i got home, all of the fabrics went into the washer.

Silk A FREEKIN’ DOLLA A YARD, five yards, this one will be thioxed gently to remove some colour:

Cottons for dyeing, naturally and not ;):

The top piece is my favoured cotton flannellette, used for stabilizing all of my work, *as i work it. Sometimes more expensive than the dyeable cottons!!

The wardrobe pile:

The blue piece is the only piece that we mis-identified–we thought it was a sueded silk, but alas, it’s polyester.ย  That being said, it will be great for binding edges and slivers of detail. The yellow rayon may possibly be overdyed with indigo. The top fabric, also a rayon, will have some of the motifs embellished and accented somehow, and/or overdyed.

Threads to dye:

Some of these are quite quite fine, which means they’re going to be great for dyeing in variegation, and possibly plying together in one needle. The black is actually a slippery fine rayon. (I could have stuffed probably 10 bags with these threads as they were a dollar a stuffed bag, but space is a premium in the stoodio, so restrained myself!)

The books:

Now, i recently got rid of half of my library, so these will probably be passed on in a short while to someone! The *only* reason i bought the Rosemary Eichorn book was because when i had my wearable art business in the 90’s, i COVETED it desperately!

It was funny too, to suddenly reach exclaiming about a certain fabric and then realizing as i touched it, that i had donated it–it stayed! Didn’t see anything else i had gotten rid of, so i guess someone fell in love with the rest of it–ha!

 

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Jam Day, Not so ordinaries

 

nothin’ like the smell of senescent soymilk in the morning

GAG. You know that garbagey, something’s-dead-and-liquescing smell that tells you there is something rotten in the State of Denmark?ย  I searched the entire house yesterday, thinking i’d find a decaying apple, a bag of decomposing rose leaves or an ancient pizza crust maybe that the DogFaced Girl had stashed. Turns out it was the soymilk i had made up for mordanting fabrics. GAG. Into the basement with that! I have one more dip to do tonight and then that crud is getting flushed!!!!!! GAG. Fortunately too, the Dye Dungeon is quite cool, the basement of a 107 year old house after all, and nothing is wafting up through the air vents!

While i was down there, i also poked the old indigo vat. I started it in the summer of 2011, managed to revive it even after it being outside and FREEZING through 3 Calgary winters, but Long Live the Indigo Vat, the Indigo Vat is dead………….

BUT Great Excitement abounds also! While the henna experiments failed as a dye, it’s working in a 123 indigo vat!!!!!! This is the stock solution below, and i’m hoping to get some indigo dyeing/shibori in this coming weekend.

Also started a conventional “chemical” vat, because i wasn’t going to hedge my bets that the 123 would work. That being said, i can now compare the two to see if i get the greener turquoisey results from the 123 i noticed while in a Yoshiko Wada workshop a couple of years ago.

And my threads arrived yesterday from my favourite supplier 123Stitch:

AND this weekend i am going with Susan to the UjaamaGramma’s sale, which means no doubt that some sad eyed puppy of a bag of thread or two, and sundry other heart-wrenchingly abandoned bits will follow me home. Good thing i donated too, so there’s room ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

revving and refreshing skills

Honestly, i haven’t done any ecoprinting in probably over a year, so thought i’d best get back at it. I need to refresh my skills for the upcoming res and for some slated workshops in the fall.

Below, cranesbill on privet dyed silk with annatto overlay:

Very soft but quite clear detailing, but you’d have to be very close to appreciate the nuances.

Dock dyed silk, with Grevillea ecoprint, softly coloured, but not wishy-washy at all. And look at the detail from the Grevillea buds!

One thing immediately apparent with this method, is that the base colour has to be STRONG, as some of it disappears in the cooking method. (Steaming has NEVER worked for me.) Next up, some premordanted fabrics to be dyed. In cotton, because that’s what i work with, and prefer, i’m hoping the recent gallnut excursions help with colour development. I never had problems before getting richly detailed, deeply coloured prints from leaves and flowers on cotton/cellulose fibres, but now i want true depth, more colour laying and dye fastness also.

 

fifty shades of orange

HA!!!!!!!!!!! After 7 years and some grey hairs, i’m finally getting my “true” oranges in natural dyeing.

Annato powder used on several fibre types

Annatto results from 2010—-corrections for silk types added today— i was still learning about silk, as i’d never used it before in *anything*, believe it or not!

The “Way Back Machine” aka my own memory dredged these up, from the first few months of my natural dye experiments. I had Jenny Dean’s book “Wild Colour” (STILL my go-to bible for all things natural, along with her other books), but could find only Annatto powder in the “International” aisle of the local StoopidStore. It was cheap in one sense, i think 50cents for a package, but of course i look at the weight (10 gr!!!!), and wonder if it was “cut” too with any waste plant material, and understand why i had to use 3 packages of it to get the results above! Not so cheap after all, except in terms of colour depth.

Pale, but pretty, i still like these shades, but now that i’m getting more serious (ie FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS–though there’s always room for experimentation), i lucked into actual Annatto seeds, thanks to my local dye and textile friend, Susan, who got these for me. And the cost is pretty much the same per OUNCE! By the way, if you really really REALLY like orange shades, you can buy Annatto seeds on AliBaba by THE METRIC TON for a mere 700US.

I could see the difference the minute i added a miniscule amount of soda ash to the bath. I don’t even remember using this that wayback time.

YUM.

Of course, cloth ALWAYS dries a lighter shade, but this bodes well.

 

And after an overnight soak (recommended, seeds left in, though they can be taken out also):

Above: threads, left top silk, left bottom overdyed pale grey silk, right cotton

Below, top previously madder dyed silk, bottom white silk:

Below, previously madder dyed cotton doily:

Below, the results all together:

Top left, gallnut extract pre-mordant, below unmordanted cotton, unmordanted silk. Top right, previously madder dyed cotton with matching doily, below previously madder and tansy dyed silk, bottom centre, unmordanted white cotton flannellette. Annatto doesn’t really “need” a mordant, but given the latest session of pre-mordanting craploads of cotton in readiness for Res 2017, i hucked a piece of gallnut extract mordanted cotton in as well, just to see if there was any difference.

MUCHLY better-er than 2010!!!!!!

I flung in two pieces of silk and some silk thread separately *after* the cotton was done, as different fibres have unique uptakes, and animal fibres grab the colour first. Best to take advantage of that after the cellulose fibres have had their turn–i figure it’s one way to “exhaust” the bath as well;) (Two separate baths if you want to do both in one session.) One piece had previously been dyed with madder over tansy, one was white and un-mordanted.

I plan on doing some other tests with various modifiers and post mordants as well, so who knows what shades i’ll get in the end? And some/most are slated for overdyeing with other colours.

 

EDIT: This dye material is INCREDIBLY POTENTLY STRONG. It immediately stained my stirrer, and at 3TBSP per 3L water, i’m pretty sure that next time, i’ll use much less, perhaps even “thirding” the amount of seeds to water. Of course i got a LOT of dyed fabric from this pot!!!!!! (I also did not cook and grind into a paste, as some do, as the seeds gave up their colour readily without a messy extra step. I suspect this was the influence of the soda ash–before i tossed that in, the seeds just laid sullenly at the bottom of the water, with no bleeding.) And sthere’s still a lot of colour left in the bath, so i’ll decant that into something dark and airtight, dry the seeds, and store all for the next use.

BUT:

However, it can be used as a base for other colours, and if they are substantive, or more resistant to fading, can hold the colour better.

And note, supposedly, annatto used as a food colouring has been linked to certain childhood behaviour disorders, and can cause an anaphylactic reaction in some!!!! As always, just because it’s Natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe for Everyone.

EDIT UPDATE April 18/17: lightfastness results here.