affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
I swear I had gotten a second reed and leese sticks with the tabletop loom. I can't find either, so either I didn't or I've lost them. But I can weave twelve epi on a fifteen dent reed by skipping every fifth slot, and improvise leese sticks with a shoelace (thanks to a Yarn Barn class). Drattedness.

I am proud of my hack for to fix the twist of my warp yarns. Putting tension on the skein wasn't enough. So I measured out the 3 yards on my warping board, then stretched the length between two mobile pegs on opposite ends of the picnic table/plastic table and poured boiling water along the length. Much less wavyness.

I also set up the dye pot with woad and redyed the weft. Much more consistent color. Also, tried to overdye some other handspun*, but didn't get enough color. Last weekend's roving also got a bit more blue. Trying the last of the woad this evening.

*some of this summer's light blue woad dyed and some of last year's walnut dyed. If I have time, I'll make some card woven trim for the hood with this and some of last year's goldenrod dyed.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Craftwise, at least. Tried making goat korma on Monday, and it failed. Recipe depended on garam masala for most of the spiciness, and it was to sweet. Will look for other recipes, and try them out veggie first (cheaper than goat meat).

Tried dyeing brown wool green(er) today with Procion dye. Proved it was wool by how it reacted to the washing machine (thicker and fluffier, no longer looks worsted), but it did not take the dye. Haven't decided if I will try it with RIT, or just have a thick brown dress. And learned to look up washiablity before I try dyeing.

Strung up the loom for an even more complicated pattern, ram's horns. It involves turning the cards differing directions in batches. I strung the loom a bit to loose, but managed to add some tension by adding another peg. Played with the pattern a bit, and it looks nice. I know how to do it better next time.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Yew is one of those plants which gets attributed powers. Grows slow, famous for bows and so forth. I recognized the picture in my dyeing book as "that bush with gooshy red berries" (my method of plant recognition is idiosyncratic, ask me about "yellow driveway weed" someday). Then I couldn't find any until yesterday. First I found some on campus. Then I read that they take forever to grow, so I shouldn't harvest much. Then I realized I had a dead yew bush in my front yard that I'd been meaning to take out.

So I did this morning, and chopped it into pieces. I might still grab some leaves (small amount) from campus, but the wood seems to give a pink color (for me, book says I should have oranges and tans).
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
So, current craft project to keep me out of trouble is a Viking Apron Dress. I need linen under dresses, but I yet to sew a mockup of one of those yet that I like (gores not at a seam are still defeating me). But I did both a three panel and four panel mockup, and liked the four panel one better. So I carefully drew out the pattern pieces on grid paper to see how much I'd need.

It was an odd size, so I decided to use some of the light brown linen I'd gotten at a fabric swap (which I know dyes well, as it is one of the six fabric samples I've been using in the natural dye experiment). However, I didn't want a light brown dress. So I cut off the amount I'd need, and washed it. I then dyed it with one packet of dark green RIT and half a package of tan RIT, washed it again and hung it out to dry. Today is a warm, windy day so it dried quickly. I love the color. I ironed it, and soon going to cut it up. Wish me luck.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Slightly obsessed right now. Beet and blackberry samples are finished drying and have been stapled to paper (to get them all sorted - each sheet has all the mordant options for a dye for two fabric types).

The beet samples are all yellow. Mordants didn't seem to change the color much at all. Yellow is kind of greenish, especially compared to the tumeric samples.

Quite a lot of variety in colors in the blackberry samples. The wools are all browns. However, the linens are pretty, with iron giving a green color, and tin a purple color. The cotton with iron is army green.

In the pot right now is the red cabbage samples. They've been boiled for two hours, now cooling down (will fish out tomorrow when there is sunlight to dry them). Not much color at all. Definitely not the beautiful blue I remember from dyeing eggs.


May. 7th, 2008 09:11 pm
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Still on the dyeing experiment. The beet samples turned yellow. I think it could be the left over tumeric in the pot, but the iron mordanted samples didn't turn brown. Today's experiment is blackberry. Seems to be a light brown for most materials, a dark maroon brown on the silk. We'll see what happens with adding iron and copper tomorrow (habit is to leave the samples soaking overnight), then fish out the some samples, and add the after mordants of iron and tin.

Went out into the back woods this evening. Beautiful in the misty air. Amazing how well the higher elevation of the house dampens the train noise. Found stands of what might be elderberries. I hope so. Looking for nettle, but couldn't find any.

Realized I was out of calcium chocolate. If the calcium is in tasty dark chocolate form, I'm more likely to remember it. And I'd killed the loose leaf tea in the house. Merc run. Also found the flower jasmine tea balls for relatively cheap. Might have to make some of that.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Was productive this weekend. Started off with early morning garage sales Saturday morning. Haul included four tank tops, two swords (for sale to friends for what I paid, inquire if interested), a glass pendant and a flowing water bowl for the cats (hopefully fun enough that they won't need to bat it across the room like they do the old one. I'll get used to the sound soon).

Enough time to get bagels and strawberry plants at the farmers market, get home, start chicken and still get to Lindley by 11 to meet my helpers for another round of data collection. Various mishaps insue, but data was collected and I didn't break the system. Made a batch of Kahlua and headed over to [ profile] yanbaoqin's party. Ate, drank and was merry.

Woke up early this morning and lacked ambition. Decided to plant strawberry plants.

I wanted to be outside, so decided to start the great natural dyeing experiment (though the camping stove didn't work well, so ended up inside). Thanks to [ profile] auroraceleste had silk scraps. Now, most books and sites I've found on natural dyeing focus on wool. Most places only talk about the commercial silk dyes. Wool produces differing colors depending on the mordant used (mordant being a metal salt you treat the material with first). So I'm curious how differing mordants affect other linen, cotton and silk. Sample time. I finished treating scraps with alum and copper sulfate.

Still was restless. I can't work any further on my kirtle mockup, due to my inability to figure out how to put in triangle gores (will ask for help on Tuesday). Decided to make a mockup of a viking apron dress. Done, minus the gores (again) and hemming.

In between, much trying to research medieval dress patterns via internet. Not trusting much of it. As long as I blend in. Someday I'll figure out what all KU has.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Not feeling in the mood to do the work that I feel insanely guilty about not doing. So I gave up for today. Today is not a work day. Might as well admit it and try to enjoy myself.

But got to do something. I could read (parts of my birthday order have come in, and I keep having good library fu), but I'm not sure what I want to read (tyranny of choice is my downfall). So work on costume. One step is to try to add some green to my Eigetsu wig.

So I went to Goodwill for a dye pot. And I actually found a large enamel stock pot (enamel is a good choice for later nonRit experiments, as metals are mordants and affect the final color). I also bought three kimonos. One is a simple, onsen style yukata with butterflies on blue, one is paper cranes on red (possibly silk), and one is lots of random Japanese symbols (dragons, matama, scallops, and so forth) in browns and greens. Each for $7. (ETA - My collection)

Also, finally found the wig heads at Sallys. Hopefully got most things to style the wig, post dyeing.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Back to blue hair. I had 1 bottle of special effects green envy, and went to Sally's for more green. They didn't have any, so I decided to just get two boxes of Splat blue. The ends got very light with the stripping, though the right side was darker. I tried to mix together the two bottles of blue and the green. I put it all in my hair, and let it sit for an hour. The result is very dark. I'm waiting to check it out in the sun. I like this color.

Also, biked down to Farmer's Market for jalapeƱo and raspberry jelly (nummyness). I also bought a whole chicken for soup.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
One of things I have to figure out with each new type of dyeing is how to clean up. Today's experiment is in leather dyeing. See, I bought a pair of light beige suede pants at Goodwill last weekend for $3.50. I have blue leather dye. I've wanted blue leather pants (I have a blue leather jacket already).

First step is to shorten the pants as they were 6 inches to long for me. Easily done. Then test the blue leather dye on the the bit cut off. But I wanted it purpler. So off to George's. Which has no purple leather dye. But they have oxblood. I was worried that navy + oxblood would be to dark, so I picked up some light blue also. I've now spent more on dye than I spent on the pants.

Oxblood seems to be a magenta dye (at least on beige suede). Light blue is about the same as the navy, if not darker. I'm waiting for the testers to dry to decide which dye ratio is right (so far I like 1 part light blue to 2 parts oxblood best).

They'll be awesome $20 pants.
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Amusing myself this afternoon with spinning while watching Robin Hood: PoT on Divx. Until it stopped, half an hour from the end. Which I pretty much know, but kind of annoying. However, my hands are all purple now, since the alpaca wool I've been spinning was dyed with logwood. Have to remember and test for that when I try dyeing.

On a related note, ordered a linen swatch from Denver fabrics. More expensive than the stuff from, but hopefully it won't be see through. Otherwise, I found Ok stuff at Sarah's downtown for $13 a yard.

I'm also keeping an eye out for a basic canvas tent, like the girl scout ones Graff has. I want my own, damn it. Just not ready to spend much (over a $100).
affreca: Cat Under Blankets (Default)
Which I'm spending alone. [ profile] lawnchair is off being a ham for a charity race. I could have gone with him, but I really didn't feel like getting up early, because I was social last night.

I was productive yesterday. Ok, I sat around lazying until noon. And then I attacked the mess which was the living room. It could use a dusting/vacuuming/table wash, but the junk is up. I have organized my shoes (and realized I have more than I need). My goal today is to put away my clean clothes and clean up the kitchen. I need to sort through beads, but not ready for that yet. Trying to think of betting organization method or place for my beads.

Then I got ready for [ profile] queza7's birthday party. The theme was catgirl/boy (I declared myself to be a catlady), so I decided to make a tail and ears to match my hair. So, off to Hancock fabrics for blue fur. I didn't find any (ended up with blue fleece), but I did find what I had been looking for earlier in the week. A bolt of white, thin, worsted wool for less than my soul. I bought it all. I shall use it for my dyeing experiment, and then make some garb out of it. Much more period than the polylinen I have now.

On the linen front, I got my swatches in the mail, and they're more see through than I want. So, off to search some more.


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