Friday, September 5, 2008

The colour of spring even though it's not here yet.

Some soft colours for lovely soft alpaca. Natural dyeing requires lots of bowls, so another trip to the second hand shops is due. It takes time to soak all the plant material overnight, boil it up, mordant the yarn and leave it to cure for several dyes before finally combining the yarn and dye to cook in some colour. It's a slow process and one I'm enjoying despite my busy days. Mostly these things can happen whilst I'm doing something else. So after a week or two of waiting here are the fruits of my labour, all washed and reskeined.
The plants I've used for these include brazilwood, and madder, osage orange, sandlewood and the little dried cochineal beetle. The paler shade are exhaust baths and mixing some of the dyebaths together.
The photo below shows one of my yarn displays at the Oamaru Textile Exchange. The yarns on the left are the natural dyed ones and the others are acid dyed handpainted skeins.
Next on the agenda is fustic, eucalyptus and indigo. Just mordanting another pile of yarn with alum. I'll take some more during shots.
It's been pretty variable here weatherwise, rain, wind, cold, sunshine, the works in fact. A few little lambs running around the neighbouring paddocks but not nearly the number as last year thanks to irrigation and the dairy industry growing so fast here. What a shame cows don't have woolly coats, black and white on one animal would be really useful.