I am hoping that this blog will help you and me experience the craft of crochet as well as knitting. During times of silence or turmoil, crochet and knitting continuously help me quiet my mind at my own pace, enabling me to find my center. I have patterns for sale in PDF Format, you can find them at their own Pages at the top menu. The posts are classified By labels which are at the far right, all the way down. We are the Borg! I think it will bring Order into Chaos!

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Natural Dyes Class

I have wanted, for a long time, to take a Natural Dye Class at "A Verb For Keeping Warm" . These ladies not only are fantastic sponsors of some of the MFKR if not All, they are fantastic teachers for Natural Dyes. Kristine is a wonderful teacher and I can spend hours listening to her teach, the same with Aday. This couple are a great combo of information and techniques about natural dyes and the plants to use. I was very glad that I joined this group on Father's Day. I was delighted to find my Friend Kate was taking the class with me. We had a chance to catch up and walk to the Train together. This class is worth the money, because they give you so much information in so little time. We did everything with a very simple , yet full instructional approach. I am looking forward to the mushroom dye class in the future.
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The picture Above is the mason jars that we  made our dye batches.  We used natural things, animals and flowers.  We understand the sacrifice and the environment and it is a great way to approach dyes.  You have limitations on color and it is  and it is not an exact science.  I think people have been  using dyes from nature for thousands of years. In these jars from left to right, you have madder root, rebeckia, cochineal, yarrow and marigolds. The yarn needs to be mordanted before the dye really takes a hold of it.  At this time we used protein fibers to dye, no cellulose was dyed.
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Now on the picture above we put the jars with yarn in a double boiler.  We cover the mason jars, then we cover the pot.  You actually have it simmering for a bit of time,   at least one hour. Below you have the Indigo Batch pots.  We actually dyed some wool felt and some yarn as well.  Indigo is a different kind of creature and we really got the fundamentals, plus the safety measures to take. It was a fun class.
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Below you see the pieces of wool felt that we got to dye and to the far right below  our  yarn strands. Indigo is a lot more fun to do, it changes color and it requires a more vigilant eye.
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Once we had our mason jars in the double boiler for an hour we took them out.  They need to be rinsed in water with some vinegar and a mild detergent ,then rinsed on clear water, warm to hot.  Gloves should be worn at all times and depending on the other things that you are doing a mask is not a bad idea. It's OK to dye stuff , but you really don't want to inhale the powders and chemicals into your lungs.
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Once we got our yarn rinsed and washed, we were given a card to put the yarn strands on.  I made mine over, it was not pretty, lol. You have the yarn types, the date, the mordant and what you use for dyeing. This ladies are well organized.  The card we made was hand written, but the same effect than the one I am showing you at this time.
AVFKWNatDyeClassJune2012
I took the opportunity to purchase some spinning fiber.  Talking about spinning, that is another posting maybe in a day or two.  This class was such a high, that I am not spoiling it with anything trivial. I got some Suri Alpaca to spin.  I am hoping to make some gloves, but more than that I wanted to spin Suri Alpaca.  This is a beautiful grey color.
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Kristine is also one of the few people that carries this fiber below.  This is a lady from Vancouver , BC, Canada.  Her fiber and yarns are fantastic to work with.  This is a 50% merino, 25% bamboo and 25 silk. It should be lovely to spin.
AVFKW50Merino25Silk25bamboo (1)
So this concludes a fantastic day at class. I am very happy with the class.  All the classes I have taken from "A Verb For Keeping Warm", have been outstanding and I keep coming for more.  Thanks for stopping by!