Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cutch and Poppies

Today is a day of rest for us. We have been going day and night for several weeks now and needed the downtime. It felt great to sleep in to 6:30 am then take a nap after a bit, read, and play around with whatever we wanted to work on. I gave the skeins dyed with Cutch a final wash and then did the iron modifier. This a picture of one of the Cutch dyebaths to show the difference in the final product. Cutch takes a full 2 hour simmer to "bite" onto the fiber. Kind of like the slow caramelizing of sugar. It hangs around in the pot looking a lovely golden yellow color and then all of a sudden toward the end it turns caramel like. I will have a picture of the final results tomorrow. I did make another mistake...sigh. When I looked at my storyboard to see how many skeins I needed, I was in a hurry and didn't look carefully enough. I neglected to dye skeins for another modifier bath so I will have to do a special session with just one skein of each DOS. That makes three separate dye pots with one skein each that requires a two hour simmer, rats. The Dream Skein Winder has moved to v. 1.2 with the addition of bracing and is working beautifully. I have taken these first dye batches slowly to work through the process and get a feel for it. With the skein winder up and running (pictures soon to come) I will wind and wash all the skeins so that I will be able to mordant a weeks work of skeins at a time and be more efficient. I will need to be to get through all the dyeing before weather and lack of light shuts my outside dye area down. The next dyepot will be Pomegranate. I am getting some of the duller colors out of the way. After Pomegranate will come the ones I have been dying to get to, Cochineal, Lac, and Madder. Things will be looking a lot brighter then (yep, I see the puns, go ahead and groan if you would like!).
Speaking of bright, the poppies suddenly bloomed and I couldn't resist taking pictures. I thought this picture would make a wonderful source of inspiration, or a great inspirational challenge!
On the weaving and spinning front, my loom is still half threaded with the next Yarn Stash Challenge warp. Things have slowed to make room for getting the dye project going. I have had a problem with the warp yarns for the first time since starting the challenge. My solution, I do just a little at a time and before I know it, it is threaded and up and running. More about that later. The dog fur/alpaca yarn is still being spun in between things too.
As this weekend is Memorial Day, my husband and I will be going to the Memorial Day service at a local cemetery where my husband will play TAPS, always a moving experience and we do our little part to honor those who have given their lives to serve, regardless of politics, race, gender, or religion.
Where do you find your inspiration? -Renee

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