Monday, June 24, 2024

Eyes closed, hoping.

I'll be posting these in sets of four later this week. Also prepping a run of just blues provided the spirits of color are in a generous mood.

 You never can tell. Until then..


Sunday, June 23, 2024

More like baked and blanched


Every time I dye, there is something to learn and more to remember. 
I like to flex, that is, improvise. But sometimes flexing causes me to lose focus on what should be hard lessons from past fails.

Do NOT wash out vintage cloth in the washing machine. There is no setting gentle enough to prevent tender fabric from disintegrating and coating everything with a layer of lint like so much cotton candy. It was the worst mess ever! I 

This was especially bad for the handful of crocheted cusspots. I'm hoping that when they are fully dry I'll be able to work them over with a lint roller or the vacuum cleaner. 

As for color, I'm always hoping for more. 

I shouldn't dwell on or share wet textile images. So much eye candy!
Still, there's a chemical mystery that I have to solve. What happened to the blues? Was I too cheap with the dye powder? Was the magic sauce too weak?
Did the cloth have a fabric softener on it? 

-I did not scour the cloth with HOT water and Dawn
-I was distracted and hasty when I was making up the dyes and way short on table salt. Kosher coarse should only be a special effect.
-It may have been optimal weather for dyeing but not for this human. 
-Wrapping the threads in cloth and kneading the bundles was overkill. But they are lively.

All things to consider.

I'll be getting all of this into the store later in the coming week. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024



 Wiping off with a piece of lovely old tablecloth.
 I wonder why no one ever uses damask to make garments? I can see it being winter wear. Supple, weighty, and warm. Maybe a caftan.

It's hot. 90ish. Nothing like the rest of the country has been suffering. The heat here is typical for this time of year. Even the cats are smart enough to stay inside with the AC.

For all my prepping, I forgot to ask Colin to get salt. No worries, I have a big box of coarse kosher salt.
That will do.

Sure it will.       Wishful thinking.

Right off the bat, I knew problems were brewing. Not enough color distribution. Too many voids call for a lot of handling, never good. So I flexed and batched the threads between two pieces of cloth giving them a second blessing in the magic sauce and little kneading. 
Too much of a good thing and some of these look overcooked. I won't really know until it all dries.

Here's where I usually get lucky and leave the cloth outside in a thunderstorm for a natural rinse. No such luck this time.

Once I had everything where I wanted it, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool.
Quite the perfect summer afternoon.

This is Way...with music

ProChem and USPS came through! 
Sending and receiving via the post office has been sketchy for a while here in Georgia thanks to a 'new' processing center in Palmetto, GA only one hour away from me with the city of Atlanta smack in between.

No excuses have been forthcoming, but I imagine the Postmaster General, Louis Dejoy, (a Trump appointee) is laying the groundwork for disrupting mail-in ballots. 

That's enough poison for one morning. I'm sneaking up on a dyefest. Late that I am, I'll call it the Solstice Special. 

If I write a book about dyeing dirty, it will have to be fiction because I'll be damned if I'll pay lawyers to write up disclaimers. Here is the one I wrote years ago: 

My "Law & Order" law degree dictates that I give all the inane and obvious warnings up front - Don't huff dry dye powder. It will gunk up your lungs. Don't drink dishwasher gel or soda ash solution. Don't make any of it into meatloaf and don't use it to cure crabs. 

Being a carbon-based life form myself, chemicals bother me so I work outdoors and wear gloves and glasses. Duh. This stuff will kill you as quickly as most anything else under your kitchen sink. 

If anyone chooses to disregard common sense (so what else is new?) the gene pool thanks you for getting out.
Here endeth the lesson.
The Braves beat the Yankees like a rented mule last night. Pity on the mule. 

I spent most of the game measuring off forty turns of thread onto my treasured Luminarc tumbler. I got them as a wedding gift so long ago and still have three shorties and three tall ones.  Just a tool that I favor. 

No science here, but I think the handling and the smoothness of the glass sets up a uniform surface on the thread that may cause the shine mine are known for. 

Or it could be the devil's bat piss. 

I'm not trying to kill myself out there in the sun today so this is going to be a short run, which is a good thing in the long run.

There's still a lot of summer ahead and the pool beckons.

Listen. So much magic in his lyrics. 


Friday, June 21, 2024

And be still


It's just what it looks like. Something soothing to keep me in the present. Things that must be accomplished are in the here and now, so this is just a little side step. 
I'm going to have the two of them mounted together in some fashion. 
There was supposed to be a local gallery show tomorrow, but their emails (with copious demands and instructions) only came yesterday. Oh, and btw, artists are expected to pay 25$ for refreshments for the guests and must stay at the venue all day.  
Fuck that shit, folks.

K. this was the favorite that I wrote about. A simple, cotton tea towel with more woven embellishment than usual. Does anyone know what this weave is called?  

I know it's going to take the dye beautifully with a diffusion that does not occur in other kinds of cloth. And I'll be keeping every shred of it.

There is still a ton of vintage cloth ready to go. Some Irish double damask, a cotton that's almost lawn it's so fine and delicate. Some old-school embroidered tablecloths. 

Still waiting on ProChem to come through with two colors that I'd used up, I started winding off skeins last night, but I had to stop because I was tired and a little clumsy. 

This part of the thread dyeing process needs a light, delicate touch or annoying and wasteful snags will frustrate the crap out of you. Think of putting decals on butterfly wings and not harming the butterflies.

I finally got one of our lawn chairs up to the grove for an elderly neighbor who walks (is walked by, actually) his little dog, Rocky. 

Since this picture, I've also replaced the old clay bird bath. The new one holds two full gallons, so I'll be lugging jugs of water up the hill for my daily workout.

I can't seem to nap these days. Can't imagine why.