Tuesday, September 07, 2021

dirty threads : updated


There is a mountain of thread to be processed.  Lest ye think I have a hive of elves chained up in the closet making this happen, let me explain.

The wind-on happens while I'm on the clock and involves a heavy water glass and fifty fast flicks of the wrist. Each skein is tied off with a four-inch section of itself in a firm knot.

I have worked out a technique that, although repetitive, involves no physical strain. Or I'm an alien. 

The actual process of applying the dye is complex and mutable.

Once the dyed skeins have cooked in the sun until dry, they have to be gathered up (in a very specific way to keep them from tangling) then hand washed and rinsed until there is no dye run-off. I use Dawn detergent, so soap city.

Time to dry. Last year I bought a cylindrical mesh tower to dry my herb harvest. It's also perfect for drying skeins of thread. It never fails that as soon as the tower is hung on the high deck and loaded, the weather says, "Foolish woman!" and I scramble to get the whole thing inside. Grateful that Colin was here to handle that yesterday.  24 hrs to fully dried.

And so, to the great wind off. Where are those elves when you need them? Each skein has to have its tie-off clipped carefully. I loop the skein over my left wrist and transfer the finished thread onto the cardboard bobbins (Dee, the ones you sent are wonderful.)  One skein at a time.  I do this operation while I am working the night job, between calls for a company I used to call the Whine Mine, most recently promoted to The Shit-Show. It has paid the bills for a dozen years, but I'm coming up on my fill of lies, bullshit, and grief. Fast.

At first, this lot of thread presented as ho-hum, and I was thinking there'd be the nightmare of repeating the whole process in reverse in order to overdye the worst offenders.  Nope. Each one of these has a subtlety going for it. "Take me as I am". So be it.  I'll be posting groupings of six to the store in the next few days. 

I'm nearly out of materials and my time and attention are needed for other things.  The DIY book for Dirty Threads is looking more likely every day. 

§§§ by light of day, many were boring so I held a do-over. 


Angie said...

Would love a DIY book for making dirty threads! :)

Liz A said...

gotta say I'm ever so happy that you do what it takes ... 'twould be fascinating to know all the how, but I doubt I'll ever take the plunge

deemallon said...

I probably wouldn’t ever make the attempt either. I have my theories about how Georgian sun and heat are necessary elements.

Deb Lacativa said...

Dee, I'm sure you are right. Through many years of trial and error, I know when it's hot enough to make turquoise stick, black dig in, and yellows go pale.

Deb G said...

I have a "Widget" that would be happy to help. Of course I don't think you'd want her. :)