Friday, April 19, 2013

Natural dyes gone wild - silk scarves!

[Edit - this was right after the Boston Marathon bombing.  Page down for the scarf information]

Too much going on in my brain to actually compose myself into words.  All I can think is "What a waste."  Prayers to all those suffering today in Boston and around.  I have had to limit my watching as it really makes my PTSD symptoms flare.

Wonders of the natural world!  Pictures today to soothe and bless.

We got about 2 feet of snow, I believe over about 3 days.
Picture take out our east door.

Henry in the snow rocking his fleece coat.
Best dog ever.

Kathy and I have jumped excitedly into making naturally dyed silk scarves of many types!  The silk dyes up so lovely!  

Scarves are very different to handle than skeins of yarn, it's fun to learn something new.  And much much less taxing on our bodies.  Skeins of wet yarn are heavy!

Scarves in silk, cut velvet, and Devore.  Ties!
On the drying rack just out of the dye pots.

The green is a two step process:  first things are dyed yellow, this time with rabbit brush flowers harvested last fall, carefully dried, and stored.

Color is created by simmering the dried botanical material in water, removing the spent flowers, then adding the conditioned fiber things you want to dye.

Rabbit brush makes a terrific yellow color.
Madder root makes a crazy melon color.
This picture just makes me happy.  :-)

The plain silk scarves (not the Devore or the Cut Velvet) get a tie-up into one of many different Shibori-style patterns.  This takes a while to do and creates one-of-a-kind works of art.

Kathy in the process of tying up one of the yellow scarves before
it takes a swim in indigo to make it green with yellow accents.

The indigo pot in all it's glamour! 

 Indigo is temperature and oxygen sensitive.  It's been a learning process to become competent with indigo.  The first indigo dyed yarns we sold "crocked" like crazy.  The blue comes off on your hands and knitting needles.  Lots of experimentation and tons of research later, indigo still crocks but just a tiny bit.  Life lesson - Indigo crocks.  Deal with it.

Results of the shibori/tie dyeing on the drying rack.
On the far right is the rabbit brush yellow on one of the Devore scarves.
The neckties are the blue on the front and the green and yellow to the left of it.

Madder root pot - from whence came that
wicked melon color.

Here are a few of the colors we make in the Cut Velvet style scarf.

In the picture above the colors are created by: (from left to right)
homegrown coreopsis, indigo, gall nut, cochineal overdyed with indigo, gall nut, and cochineal.

Devore silk scarves.  Shiny rayon makes the patterns.

Here is a close-up on some of the colors in the Devore scarves.  These are light and floaty, just the thing.

Colors created by: (left to right)
homegrown coreopsis, rabbitbrush&indigo, rabbitbrush, madder, cochineal&indigo, indigo, cochineal.

It's too bad natural colors are all so dull.

P.S.  Check the Fox Ryde Gardens Facebook page for information about where to get these lovelies!


Paula said...

Lovely colors! I especially like the color from!

Spike said...

It is a wonderful tiny little flower that is so abundant in color. Every shade it makes is happy-making.

We plan on growing lots more this year!