Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dyeing

That -e is important, isn't it?

I spent all day Saturday and all day Sunday in what was the cafeteria of an elementary school that is now a Community Center, at a dyeing workshop. They are doing some great things there; there is a huge community garden out back, a little library, all kinds of studio space, too.

Actually, I spent a good deal of Friday there, too; I was on hand to help set up, which meant covering the entire floor of that cafeteria with sections of what used to be, apparently, a gigantic plastic banner that hung down the side of a building and was cut up for painting, dyeing, etc. workshops. Plus covering every imaginable surface, and some I hadn't, with painters' drop plastic, which comes in a roll à la plastic wrap.


Above, some of my skeins, photographed atop my work.

My table partner dyeing her skein; mine is to the right. Both of us felt very tired after all of this, and I was under the weather yesterday. Dyes are quite toxic, and Lynne, our instructor, is very sensitive to the fumes. She had to absent herself from they dyeing room for a while. Interesting that this is what she does, but has to work around heightened sensitivity.


My dyeing partner also brought me a gallon of milk from her cow and a pound of butter she made! The butter is delicious; the milk I'm going to use to make another attempt at cheese.

Fleece set out to drye.


Our instructor, Lynne Vogel, giving a spinning demonstration. I haven't been at my wheel for months, so I am still very much a novice . . .


A bunch of stuff I dyed, hanging up out of reach of Bear and Soul. We did a couple of silk scarves, which was fun, as we just dribbled the dye over them.


Close up of spinning . . .


I don't think I'll be dyeing much on my own, but P had put a deep sink down at the studio for dyeing, so perhaps I'll have more done. I did get a large hunk of mohair bouclé to do something with, but I might use Koolaid (which, by the way, has some surprising stuff in it; you may want to rethink ingesting it).

21 comments:

DineometerDeb said...

We were thinking you were at a dying workshop in the hospice sense of the word. This definetely looks like it was more fun than that would have been.

You will have some great show and tell for Saturday!

Where do I know the name Lynn Vogel from?

Oh and you missed an abortion debate on Saturday. And lots of political discussion. And I brought three cookbooks to show you but you weren't there.

dennis said...

Dennis might due his paws for halloween with orange koolaide. thanks for the idea.

Shammickite said...

I've dyed skeins of pure wool with KoolAid... the colours are so vivid, makes me wonder what happens to your insides if you ever drink this stuff!
I knitted a baby hat for my great-nephew in UK using KoolAid dyed wool, but never heard from the parents if the dye washed out or not.
Your efforts are lovely. I wish I had more time to do this sort of thing.

Middle Ditch said...

I used to have a spinning wheel. I loved it. So serene.

I sat outside and the wool-fat made me so tanned, it was unbelievable.

I knitted some beautiful jumpers from the wool.

Reya Mellicker said...

Koolaid? It figures that it's potent as a dye. This info adds to its nefarious rep. Wow.

Your skeins are beautiful! Do you have a plan for what you'll make from your freshly dyed yarn??

Mutha Mae said...

This takes me back to childhood and watching my mother dye and spin in her shop. She had a tiny shop on our farm property where she sold wool from our sheep, spinning wheels, and looms. She also taught classes. I would sit out there with her and watch her spin for hours. It's so relaxing to watch. I had her come in for all my school show and tells and eventually my science projects. Always scored A's! Those colors are so vibrant. I will show mom this post. She will be pleased to see the younger generation carrying on this tradition!

lettuce said...

the skein is gorgeous colours - i've done space dyeing in a pot, but not painting it on like that it looks like fun.

this makes me want to do some more spinning

d. chedwick said...

We used koolade in high school to put streaks in our hair.

LeenaM said...

Beautiful colors! I would like to start knitting at once!

Joanne said...

Wow! What a process ... I've never seen this done before. The yarns look gorgeous. What will you knit with yours? Something to make over the winter? And the cow's butter - how was it? I'll bet it was great!

Pecos Blue said...

Tut tut they are lovely. What are you going to make with all of that. I cant wait to see.

citizen of the world said...

That looks like fun (if difficult). I love the earth tones in those first skeins.

Suse said...

I love the skeins in particular!

d. chedwick said...

ps I think Dan Zanes is coming to my town--unless that was last week. I think I saw a sign.

Kurt said...

There's someone at my house who LOVES knitting and yarn, and trades yarn online with other people. Should I hook you two up?

tut-tut said...

Kurt: Please do. One can NEVER have enough on hand because, well, you never know . . .

angela said...

Great photos especially the close up.
There's an amazing amount of stuff going on in your community cantre. I'd love to have access to group activities...

Linda said...

Really fascinating to look at. I had no idea people were still dyeing like that. I remember people used to use Kool-Aid to dye their hair those awful pink colors so it must be powerful.

JGH said...

That yarn is really vibrant and pretty. I used to do a lot of batik and reading your post made me realize how much I miss dyeing.

Steve said...

Beautiful colors, even if a bit toxic. :)

I'm toying with doing some dyeing of my own...thinking about tie-dying my curtains! We'll see...

Mountain Dweller said...

Sounds like a great way to get some very original colours and have fun too!