ursulas_alcove: Robin of the hood woodcut (Rock On!)
Of course everything got ripe all at once. Mulberries to pick, strawsberries, black raspberries and even a few red raspberries. The Dyer's Coreopsis came early this year. We have a show to prepare for. So much to do!

Coreopsis (gold) and Oregano (dark brown)
Presoak Natural Dyebaths

Oregano dyebath

Coreopsis and oregano

And from last year's crop out of my freezer, Dahlias because I need to see which mordant I like best. The Blue Vitriol (copper sulphate) wins. Those are just starting to bloom.
Black Dahlia

Black Dahlia Dye

Not enough yarn, never enough yarn to play with. Next up will be Black Hollyhocks. This one is a mystery. Wild Color shows a rose tone range while Harvesting Color shows a mint green. I am curious as all get out. I am still collecting blossoms to get a nice strong color.



Stayed Tuned!
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
Great Lakes Fiber is coming up Saturday and Sunday only at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster, OH. There's a lot to see and do. Looks like the weather may actually cooperate this year. It's going to be a great show! Visit their webpage for more information. http://www.greatlakesfibershow.com

Green Hemp and Linen

I feel like I'm back in school, cramming for a test. So many new displays do I have in store for you! I finished my dyeing today. I've been busy winding and labeling the hemp. The green is the last I'll have time for. I am missing gold in the color palette but I will remedy that after Great Lakes. Tomorrow I get to work on the sock yarn display. I am so pleased with today's kettle sock yarn dye baths. They turned out so well. No pictures yet. I finished at dusk. They are drying now. Tomorrow I wind and label. You are going to love these! Here's the mini skeins that are already packaged:

Getting ready for Great Lakes Fiber.

Chronographia is winding extra balls of zephyr, which is still my best seller, ten years running! Zephyr is a 50/50 Wool/Silk blend. It comes in lace weight. I also carry the DK weight version, which I still need to find hooks for and pack into travel totes. Then I have to price and label a big box of Alpaca in natural colors that is occupying my living room couch. Next comes loading the van and bringing down carton after carton of certified organic wool in a rainbow of organic color. And of course my weed-of-the-week collection, featuring dyer's coreopsis, and rhubarb natural dyes.

I will also have books and a few hats to try on. It's a teaser for next weekend's Columbus Arts Festival. Chronographia will have a booth on the bridge. Stop on by!
ursulas_alcove: Blakes 7 (kicking ass)
New Chemistry like new math

So all these cones of yarn were on back order. They came in long after I needed them. They're mostly 10/6 hemp. So while its nice and I have lots of water, I was able to get a couple pounds skeined and scoured. I still have quite a few colors I ordered in 2012 that I've never opened. I use untreated water from the furnace or from the dehumidifier. In summer, I use rain water. The results are more repeatable and our water supply (for tap water) keeps changing treatment chemicals, which will change my results.

Turkey Red Hemp Yarn

We've been waiting for weeks for my husband's new job to give him a start date. Finally today they said Monday at 8 am. So now that I was lulled into believing he would never start there, "puff", no time to do much except pack and get the hell out of Dodge. So I'm burning the midnight oil winding and labeling yarn. We also have a small evening event this upcoming week at Girls Night Out to raise money for literacy. See their website for details! http://www.lcswpa.org/events/2014_girls_night_out
We'll have a table of our most popular items for sale. And we are donating an autographed book called Gossamer Webs by Galena Khemleva. She specializes in teaching how to spin and knit Orenburg lace shawls.
Chronographia will be doing this event since I will be in Michigan. Now back to preparing for the journey.
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
On the Loom
Start weaving

Finally I have bunches of projects going simultaneously! I started knitting a gold hat, I have weaving on the loom, and another wet felted hat in progress. I have products ( buttons and clasps) to label and put onto cardstock. I made quiche today, did dishes, added items to etsy, and had a good night's sleep. Yay!

First Wet Felted Hat Done
The Count Down Begins

And the finale was to wash the silk handwoven scarf and start eco-printing it. I pulled all the oak leaves out of the bag in the fridge. The wind has gifted me with a nice collection. I took the steel wool soaking in tea and added the fake egg whites to dip each leaf. The mix was black. The scarf got a pre-soak in salt water. I dipped and placed my leaves and covered them with muslin. Then I took my shoe and hammered all down the line. I took apart my drop spindle and used the dowel to roll it up. I stuck it in a plastic bag. Since there won't be sun here for days, I stuck it in the microwave for a minute to heat it at a low temp. I do this periodically. Going to leave it there for a couple of days.

Scarf to be Printed
Plain vanilla
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
Exploring Eco-printing:




Hoping to go for a walk on trail somewhere out here in Oregon and see what I can find. I have raw silk to weave with. At the moment Oregon has sun. I might take a page out of jshubert's book and go out to the ocean for my salt water. This will help my soul to sing despite the current predicament.
ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
cochineal dyeing

Stupid hot yesterday and today. I moved into the basement last night. Been awhile since I sleep in a chair. So tired it didn't matter. The concrete floor also looked good. Got home during the most spectacular light show nature can provide. Who needs fire works? The storms were east of us. No thunder, just wonderful lightening.

I am leaving tomorrow for Seattle with a stop in Coralville for groceries and Cedar Rapids to pick up stock. Unloading the van in hot, hot weather with humidity. And repacking today. Winding lots of balls of yarn to replenish crates.

Finished a lovely dyebath of oregano before the show setup on Friday. I have some lovely fuzzy mohair in a honey yellow. Today I started by deadheading the coreopsis. I have that cooking along with some bugs (cochineal) on the outdoor stove. Coreopsis makes me smile.

dyers coreopsis

Tomorrow I must get 4 new tires, renew the tags on the vehicle, and buy sales books. Then pack, wait for UPS, wind off orders, take them to the post office. And finally hit the road. Oh yeah, I should probably pay bills.

Tomatoes need to be planted and the carrots ere we travel. Crazy days.

coreopsis dyeing
ursulas_alcove: Woodcut from Robin Hood (Spock's Raised Eyebrow)
In the Middle Ages, dyers were located in the part of town next to the slaughterhouses and stockyards. After today's adventures in dyeing, I understand why. Even with the cooler temps, I've had some tomato vines soaking in water since the beginning of October. The water is green and the vines dead. I pitch the vines and cook the water about an hour. Then I strain the bath and run a test sample to see which mordant gives me the best result. I have stashed away four ounce balls of yarn, each mordanted in a different mordant. I take a 6 to 8 inch length of each. Alum gets one knot, iron gets two, copper gets three, and tin gets four. I tie all four strings together and throw them in the hot strained bath. I leave it sit a while. After all, I'm not tossing in my good yarn into that hot a bath. It is wool. I don't care if the samples felt.

Watched some TV, ate lunch, and then checked on it. Today's winner is copper sulfate. I measure out 15 % by weight based on the weight of the wool I want to dye. I toss in some cream of tartar for protection. And set it going again.

Okay, so when I strained the bath, I poured too fast and spilled some on my shoe. It stinks. Like a barnyard or the Bog of Eternal Stench. While I'm eating lunch, I notice the smell did not leave me. My sock is wet. Oh dear! The yarn has cooked for an hour and I need to run to the post office to mail my show applications. The entire back porch reeks. I turn off the flame and leave in a hurry. After I dump the cooled dyebath, then I will change my clothes. Meanwhile, you can call me "Hoggle".
ursulas_alcove: J is for jelly baby (pamper thyself)
Okay. I didn't grow up during the time this series was popular. It was my daughter's generation. However, I sat through countless episodes on My Little Pony and She-ra and Rainbow Bright. It defined a generation. So I'm trying to process a backlog/stash of fleece. And of course, some of the burgundies were already spun off. And more little leftovers of other projects joined it. Last year it looked like this:

Year End Inventory

Well, now it looks a little more like this:

my little pony yarn

I'd picked up some wonderful mulberry silk top on etsy from the Yarn Place. Somewhere down the lone a bit of it got dyed pink. It really makes a statement.

After A Fair in the Park at Mellon Park, I decided I didn't have anything this year for my "purple" ladies. You know who you are. Purple is a color you can't live without. So far, I've spun over 100 grams. I am starting today on another ball. If you're not a purple or pink person, it's okay. I just spent a week with a lady who hates the color pink. It personally offends her at a basic level. I have other friends who hate blue. I am an artist and am not limiting myself to just some of the colors of the rainbow. I'll get around to your favorite color eventually.
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