Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monday's Fabulous Fiber Odyssey

Before I get started, I want to give a special shout out to my new friend Debra, a fellow Georgian whom I have yet to meet. She left the sweetest comment after my last post. I think a lot of other bloggers will agree that when posting, we are really hanging ourselves out there, exposing both ourselves and our families, not to mention the highs, lows, and mediocres in our lives. It is always nice to receive comments (yes, even the negative ones), so that we know who is reading us. I also want to say hello to Ineke, the lovely lady from whom we purchased our beautiful home over ten years ago. We had been next door neighbors and friends for quite a long time, and I still miss her and her husband, Martin, as they have moved away and we never get to see them now. Ineke purchased a scarf from me the other day......one that I had posted a pic of on the blog a week or so ago! What fun!!!!

My friend Roberta (aka Dr. Sock) came over yesterday and gave me a great lesson in yarn dyeing. We had the most fun playing in the studio, and I really wish that she would have stayed longer. Maybe next time Roberta??

I didn't have my camera with me for the first couple of skeins of yarn that she dyed in pink gradations, but I ran back into the house and got it so that I could take a few pics as we did round two:

She had brought along her Jacquard acid dyes, and had mixed up some lilac and some chartreuse (YUMM!) and I offered up some of my blue Japanese acid dye. Here's how the skein looked after applying the dye:

Then Roberta carefully wrapped it all up in the plastic wrap which she had placed underneath before dyeing:
Isn't that just yummy looking? Sort of reminds me of an Easter egg! Here are her four skeins of yarn ready to go into the steamer. (She uses an old pot with a steamer basket in the bottom, and they steamed for only 20 minutes.)

Roberta went home shortly after lunch and washed and dried the yarn. She sent me pics this morning, and I am just in awe of how beautiful they all came out:

I'm in love with this last one, and have to tell you that I'm ordering some yarn to dye! Oh Lord!!

Last week I set out to dye my first silk yardage, stretching it on some saw horses that I had found discarded by the side of the road (hmmmm: sounds like Virginia Spiegel's Tuesday Garbage Day Project, doesn't it?). You may recall this photo, or one similar to it with Barker guarding the silk!

I wasn't too terribly excited with round 1 of my process, but photographed it anyway:

The next day, I came back in and added more red and also lots more salt, as I just love the salting effect on silk:

It looked good then while it was still wet, but after it dried, the silk was quite blah and I was pretty darned depressed about it. So yesterday after Roberta left, I did some discharging on it, and then stamped some thickened purple dye on top of that:

At that point I figured I had nothing to lose and just tinkered away with it until there was no more silk to tinker with! Because this silk is 45" wide, I had to add the "top floor" to my rocket steamer (this was a first for me) and had to climb up onto the top of my stepstool in order to load the silk package down into the steamer:

I was thrilled almost to tears three hours later when this gorgeous piece of silk emerged from the steamer! You've come a loooooong way baby!!!

I'll bet you're wondering what I'm going to do with it. Any guesses?????



Rayna said...

I won't tell. Judy - the silk is yummy and I can't wait to see the end result. Did you say how many yards?
Cheesh - that steamer is an impressive looking machine! I'm staying tuned.

Carol said...

Oh wow! Your silk is so beautiful, and I had no idea of the procedure so I love to see all your photos. Your steamer is amazing. The yarn was pretty yummy too so I hope we see you do more of that. That's a big piece of silk, looks about enough for a dress. Not sure if that's a guess or not. You'd better tell.

Gerrie said...

You are having too much fun. Is this legal? That is really gorgeous.

Karoda said...

I've missed a week of reading your blog and its amazing to see all you've been up to, including this great piece of fabric and a fabulous kitchen finish!