Sunday, May 15, 2022

Day 2 - the cloth

It's starting to look like rain. A perfect end to a special dye adventure. We started on Beltane and will end under a full lunar eclipse. I will leave all these outside tonight to receive the moon's blessing.

I lift each wet bundle and shake out the oatmeal. The dye is exhausted at this point. I sweep the crumbs up and toss them out into the weeds. I don't compost this stuff because I also use salt in the mix. 

As much as I've read about salt killing plants, the weeds that grow so fiercely under and around my deck must not be hearing that conversation. 

None of the colors will transfer to the plastic and only stays a few rains on the deck boards.

I can't wait to wash and dry this large piece of lightweight linen from an online resource. I don't usually buy new cloth but I wanted to try using linen for some summer shifts. Couldn't leave it plain old white.

 Somehow my favorite linen blouse got mixed in to this lot and I didn't realize it until I flipped over the wet cloth on the deck (which was already strewn with dye-dusted oatmeal) and saw the row of mother of pearl buttons and the Structures label. 

Oh well. 

Day 2- more dirty thread


There was a clutch of thread skeins that I didn't get to the last time I was making dirty threads. Today they partied with the vintage cloth.

I should have shown how this goes from step one, but here's the reveal. 

Some of these I call over-cooked, colorwise, but I shouldn't rush to judgment. Cloth and thread always appear darker and more intense when they are wet.

These should wash and dry out to some nice strong colors.

Color from the closet- Day One


modern light linen

For me, dye days rely so much on the weather. 

I need early morning light to gather materials and decide what colors I want to work with. Then the day needs to cook up hot and bright - I have a great market umbrella for shade this year.  

As I'm working this year, I'm talking to myself, taking notes paying attention rather than running on autopilot the way I usually do. 

Telling and showing someone who's never done this before because that's how the book will be. 
There are so many random little bits that I don't even think about.

 Like, let the cloth have a good soak in the magic sauce before dyeing. Mixing a big batch and throwing the cloth in is the first order of business on dye day. 

There was a tub deep in the closet filled with pieces that I didn't get to last year. Some from the Italian Bridal collection, an embroidered cotton lawn nightie. Embroided damask napkins. Vintage sheets and pillowcases. A lot of varying weights of linen, some garment weight, some service weight. I have whole bolts of 22" wide coarse weave toweling. A natural fiber too coarse for cotton. My best guess is linen.

A lot of it got color today. 
Again, I will be hand washing/rinsing this lot.

Most of these will be for sale. I'm still thinking about the format. 

Stuffing it all into a plastic bag isn't working for me anymore.

My thought was to get a card table, 36" square.  Lay out a single layer of pieces until the table was covered. So a square yard of cloth and two skeins of dirty thread to a bundle. How to wrap it? How to ship it? 

It seems like the Christmas card method of sending threads is working out well. 

I suppose if I had to choose what color dye to fumble all over myself, this would be in the top two only because I have enough to waste.

Note to self - kitchen gloves are too clumsy for  dye mixing 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Color by Buggy Oatmeal


It's been so long, that I had forgotten how easy this technique is. And how satisfying the results are. I should STFU now because things are still drying in the sun. 

I am paying strict attention to that Demon Fuschia, so each piece is being hand-washed separately to prevent that creeping pink contamination. More handwork, but worth the trouble.

I found a box of all that vintage Italian bridal stuff from last summer that I didn't get to dye. Some of that lightest weight linen I bought online and a few test pieces of some premium bleached muslin from HoAnns. All of it taking up the dye like drunks in the dessert.

I'll be adding most of this to the store, so check back.

And there WILL be a book because there is no way I can keep up with the demand for my cloth. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Dirty Threads!


And there's a bunch. Plenty to go 'round.

Some changes. 
I won't be posting photos of sets, it's just too time-consuming. Most of you have trusted me to choose for you, so I'll be starting there.

The hanks will be coming this way as I won't be winding them onto cardboard bobbins (I'll send them along until I run out). I'm sure everyone can handle that part of it. Or should I make a video?

I'm experimenting with new packaging options - kicking those floppy old plastic bags to the curb.

Each skein is still 11 yards of DMC six-strand cotton hand-dyed with Procion MX dyes. 

A set of FOUR skeins is 23.00 which includes postage in the US. 

Sorry, I'm still not risking the PO boogie for international shipments.

I'm having issues with receiving electronic payments so checks or money orders will be the way to pay. You were wondering what you were going to do with all those checks anyway, right?

I'll be moving all these details to the shop page shortly.

There is still not enough hand-dyed cloth to offer for sale, but I'm thinking of making up some smaller kits that include thread and cloth.  Just a taste to get you hooked, if you already weren't. 

 And thanks for all the interest. 

Questions? email me.