Friday, May 18, 2007

The first dye batch

Today is the day the first batch of skeins goes into the actual dye. Yesterday I mordanted 15 skeins using alum. sulfate. I also had the walnut dye bath that I had made earlier so I went to my yarn stash to see what I could find to use it on. I found a cone of natural cotton. As with many of the cones purchased from one weaver's sale or another, it has no label. The cotton looked pretty raw still, meaning that it wasn't a glossy smooth mercerized cotton or anything. I decided I better scour it. While the wool was in the mordant bath, I skeined off the cone and got it ready to scour as soon as the mordanting was done. I took a picture of it which I will post with the finished skeins from today's dyeing. After scouring the water was quite dirty so I am glad I took the time to do that. I gave the cotton a good rinse and then popped the skeins into the walnut dye pot. I brought the temperature up to 180 degrees F and held it at the temperature for an hour occasionally moving the skeins around. When the hour was up, I turned the heat off and have let it sit overnight. This afternoon I will rinse and hang the skeins up to dry.
I have added a glossary to the blog and the Loreena McKennitt link. I will be posting a bit on safety in dyeing and on copyright as well soon.
We have had an unexpected change, or I should say addition, of plans for this weekend. We already had a pretty full schedule but our nephew from California and his girlfriend will be swinging by on a visit. I am looking forward to it! I may not be posting until Monday. I will have pictures to post and a lot to tell as well.
Do you have the proper safety equipment in your studio?
Until the next post, -Renee


dana said...

How many dye pots do you have? (I should say dye/scour/mordanting pots.) With your aggressive program I hope you have several. I bought five when I started because I wanted to do classes, and it still seems like the one I want is always busy doing something else, or needs scrubbing thoroughly before I can use it. I'm looking forward to pictures of chestnut and walnut. Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! The dyeing has begun! This is so fascinating - I can't thank you enough for taking the time to share your project in such detail! There's a book in this when you are done! Thanks also for your excellent post on fear and art. Everything you said is so true! I've requested the book from the library.

Heidi (WWG)

Renee said...

Thanks Dana and Heidi for your comments!I am finding that blogging this project is helping push me through as well and the comments you leave keep me motivated. Thanks. -Renee