Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Etsy shop!

My shop:

What an adventure!  Etsy is amazing.  A huge community of all sorts of crafters making such a mind-boggling array of products.  I've posted up a few of my shawl pins and had 2 very lovely sales.  How wonderful!  Please come and see my shop, but also spend some time looking around.  You will be amazed.

I have been spending a couple of hours a day trying to figure out how Etsy actually works and how to succeed at it!  I see this as being a pretty major component in the new direction I am taking my life.  So many people working very hard at helping other people to succeed, there are hundreds of hours of suggestions on how to make your site better.

Adventures in dyeing:

Dock seeds soaked for a week.  A new smell sensation!
We gathered an entire rough tote of dock seeds and set them to soak on the porch.  I went out and poked the floaty bits down into the water for the week.  About day 5, they started to smell quite, um, ripe.  By day 7 when we went to start dyeing, it was most fragrant.  But we had harvested a nice amount of color, without using any additional heat.  Fascinating as natural dyeing uses a lot of time at the boil/simmer, we are experimenting with reducing the footprint by cold extractions.

Straining the seed heads from the color.  Stinky, really.  I'm not kidding.
We brought in the pot and turned the vent fan on high!  We decided that the dock seeds had enough tannin so that they wouldn't need any additional mordant and added a couple of skeins to the pot and set the timer.

We started another pot of apple leaves harvest that day.  It took a good long time for them to give up their color.  We are debating trying freezing moist green dyestuffs.  I freeze fruit when brewing to break up the cell walls so that the maximum amount of fruity goodness is extracted, I'm thinking it might be very successful in extracting color.

The first pot of apple leaves.
The dock yielded a nice soft camel color on the first pot.  We added some iron and got a darker gray-brown.  Then I took down the pH drastically and got a very cool russet.  It confirmed something I had been thinking about - browns are made of complementary colors mixed together like red and green.  By dropping the pH, I posited that the red would be more prominent.  Quite excited that my theory was proved, at least in this instance.

Russet, it's actually redder than this but it didn't photograph well.
The early spring version of apple leaves made this terrific olive green with iron.  I am head over heels in love with the color it made and have totally grabbed 2 of the 3 skeins we made.  So I was hoping to make more with the fall leaves.  We got a good pot of color after a quite a long boil time.  We put a couple of skeins to the pot to get the also very lovely apple yellow.  As expected, the yellow was lovely.

Apple leaf yellow.  Looks like spaghetti, doesn't it?
I took the pot and added the iron.  And bizarrely, got very little reaction to the iron.  Usually, botanical yellows react by turning some sort of olive-y green when iron is added to the pot.  But not this pot of late summer apple leaves.  So we went ahead and dyed several skeins anyway.  They came up a very odd almost electric yellow green.  Lovely, but so not what we were expecting.
Apple leaf plain and with iron

Ah, the wonderful tapestry of life!  Why this hasn't gotten routine even though I've been messing about with making colors since 1972.  The colors we make often don't have a name, so I just make some up.

 My color names are inspired by the thought that if you weren't sure what colors to put together, you could just put together the adverbs and adjectives to make the sentiments you wanted to express.  Our indigo blue is Resolute, a deep red is Passion, one of the early apple spring greens is Cohort.  I have a great time naming the colors and thinking up different stories to go with the combinations.  I just knit a baby sweater using Cherish as the primary color.

My next task is to get some of these amazing colors photographed and put up on the Etsy shop!

No comments: