a journal: textiles, inspiration, musings

Bloom on the vat

A very promising sight this morning, lovely blue bloom on the fructose vat

IMG_1414And the ph was good at 11.4; so I had high hopes for a good strong colour; but in fact it was a fairly pale result, proving that my vat often has a mind of its own! Nevertheless some multiple dips and some over-dyeing produced some interesting results

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And even a couple more misty moons!

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My first indigo moon

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I have managed to revive my dormant fructose vat with a combination of methods…. heat, more fructose, more hydrated lime and finally a new starter added in! I  find I want to overdye some of the pieces after they dry . Nice pile of garments growing, also small bits of fabric for a slow cloth that i am starting to plan. But most exciting was my first successful moon….

I love the moon circles that Jude Hill uses in her lovely Spirit  Cloths, and I have been learning some indigo and Shibori techniques from the  Shibori Girl website. I think this  will be the forerunner of quite a few moons!

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Saori cloths

the pile of saori cloth pieces is growing… becoming scarves and shawls, simple-pieced jackets, gifts …. adding to my quest to make or upcycle garments wherever possible. It’s a fun and very satisfying challenge! And the saori loom is so lovely to work with; a meditation, a chance to play instinctively with colour and texture.

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Today I learned how to ply my first two reels of spun yarn; it is definitely “art yarn” as it is quite bulky and textured……..good thing that’s just the way I like it! and the colours have worked out really interesting when spun together…a combination of some lovely brown fleece Mandy gave me to start to learn on, and a very bright multi-coloured fleece from First Edition in Euroa that I had purchased several years ago with the plan of felting a background for embroidery with it. The fleece looked pretty garish when I brought it home, must have been an odd moment when I chose it! so it has sat in the back of the cupboard till now, and I wasn’t sure how it would spin, but the resultant colour is looking much better than I thought and when I have spun enough it will be lovely to see how it weaves on the Saori loom.

 

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A fleecy journey

Little Gem and I are becoming better acquainted, after an initial period of not talking to each other in the same language..thanks to lovely and patient friend Mandy, I am actually starting to produce something resembling yarn, and enjoying the process!

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So of course I am wanting to try another step…..learning how to turn Rosemary’s old but lovely fleece into a spinnable [and dyeable] yarn.

Progress so far:

this

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to this

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to this!

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Beautiful bounty

There was a time when I saw seaweed as something almost polluting the beach, and I do understand that there are people who want to “clean it up” ( although I’m not sure how that would be achieved, a constant battle against nature)…..But once you’ve really looked at it, really seen it, studied  the  colour, form, textures, the way it creates its own little glorious compositions of art on the beach….you realize it’s all in the way we see.

 

 

Indigo at last

A very fun blue-letter day: my first attempt at an indigo vat. Used the natural 3-2-1 pickling lime and fruit one, used fructose today but will try with bananas next. I muddled along a bit with the proportions and getting the lime to dissolve into the brew, so as I always seem to do, I was learning on the job! but it seemed to follow the general process which all the instructions point to, and I managed to sample -dye a number of pieces of fabric! very exciting, will keep practising with this over the next week or two; a change from my favourite eucalyptus – based dye pots . Will be pleased to see how the fabrics look tomorrow after washing: can’t quite believe it has been so successful and so quick! The vat was very strong, I actually weakened off some of the brew for the lighter pieces but I suspect they will be lighter in any case after washing………..watch this space !!!