Still Dying to Dye

I didn’t get around to ironing my big piece till after dark yesterday and as there isn’t good light in this house for pictures, I was lazy and waited till this morning to post again. Excuses I know. I need to get away from them. Note to self – Remember INDUSTRY.

The dyeing continued on. (Have you ever tried to keep track of your spellings of dying and dyeing? So changes the meaning in a sentence. Don’t we love all the borrowing that English has done to give us such fun words!)

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Pole wrapping

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Second pole wrapped piece

I did another pole wrapped piece with my large cloth. I included a sample picture of pole wrapping this time. Here is the PVC pipe to which the cloth is taped. Then the twine is wrapped around it with constant scrunching up for effect. You can see this piece has been scrunched up once and then there is more wraps waiting to be scrunched.

This cloth is anything but a stiff cloth and so loves to just go where it pleased. This I worked to my advantage and as I wrapped it, I let it just twist and scrunch at will. Didn’t try to keep it straight at all. It also was too wide for the pole so had folded it in half to the center so that the dye is strongest down the middle and lighter on the edges giving it a wide border. (Boy, another fun word. Almost had someone staying with me instead of an edge to my fabric.) You can tell in the picture that as I wrapped it, the more it went off kilter and thus more vertical lines towards the bottom.

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Bar towel block dyed

Next, I had the bar towel that I wanted to try and so had to hurry with it – so I felt. (So much to try in so little time.) Connie had some beautiful ones with sharp shapes on them that I admired, so off I went. Do need more practice at getting a sharp edge to my shapes (more clamps?). But I did have a thought guiding this one. She had two … well I forget what she called the shape but as soon as I saw them I saw lightening bolts. Then the commas looked like they could be rain drops. Well after clamping them I decided it needed something else (over kill?) so also added the half circles. So we have a storm at night – lightening, rain, and the moon out as well. Ok, a strange storm, but a storm none the less. I think this came to me as small things can excite me, and I remember the first time I recognized a contributor in Handwoven magazine. It was a towel by Connie that was a pattern from South America and had to do with thunder and lightening. It was exciting to think, “I know her!”

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Wash cloth

Then the poor wash cloth. This one’s best claim is that it was dyed in indigo so fun, but alas and alack, nothing to brag about. Again, I need to improve clamping for better definition. And though the picture is a bit fuzzy, I decided it really wouldn’t look much better if I went and retook it. The edges inside the cloth are fuzzy. Though it was fun, and I think in a setting where you weren’t competing for space with others, it would be much better. But once again, a good practice piece.

The wash cloth and bar towel do take up dye quite easily. Neither were dumped more than a couple of times, if I remember right. So again more times in a bath would give them even a better and deeper shade of blue. You know, I came home with dye …. hmmm … they may get dunked again. I can see possibilities and another dunking, or half dozen dunkings won’t make them look worse.

One thing we could do was bring things from home to dye. So I had brought some zoom loom squares that I had made with handspun yarn that had been dyed by a friend in osage orange. It was a very light coloring to them, and not really liking the color yellow, decided that maybe we would see if we overdyed them, they would come out green.

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Very light osage orange

These two squares I wove at camp. You see, in the evenings we sit around and talk and work on small projects. While making one square with the zoom loom, a gal in my class got to wondering if you could weave two squares together instead of having to connect them afterwards (by sewing or crocheting etc.). Hmmm… the wheels went turning and I had to take up the gauntlet and see if it was possible. The funny bit of this is that I’ve made many, many squares and can do plain weave in my sleep. Or so I thought. Alas being half brain dead after busy days, and late at night, I had an awful time trying to get that forth row woven. I had missed the right pins on the third row then had done an extra row. After way too long, with even getting the booklet out, I finally found what I was doing wrong and did manage to weave the two together. I made one plain weave and the other a pattern so they stand out better. The suggestion was two different colored squares, but as I only had the one yarn, I thought pattern could do the job. I make it work! You have to cut your yarn for the whole square at the beginning, and as I didn’t want to weave the whole length in on the second round, I cut it in half and then made a russian join to continue. It worked. I don’t know if I’m the first to try this or not, but I showed to another gal that does lots of zoom loom squares, and she was impressed with the idea as well.

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Dusty over dyed squares

So the last sample for today is my squares I dyed. I strung them on twine and dunked them a couple of times in the dye bath. You can easily see that the osage orange was not that strong of a color as the squares didn’t turn out green. But they aren’t just a strong indigo blue either. They are a lovely dusty blue so the yellow did have a small affect on them.

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