Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mood Indigo

I had the opportunity today to attend the OHS Southwest Region Seminar Mood Indigo in Strathroy and had a great time.
A good friend and a new acquaintance made the trip together. We met up with other members of our guild there too.
Regional guilds had beautiful displays set up with the colours and wares of Indigo, weaving, basketry, spinning and knitting.
Oxford Weavers and Spinners Guild display at Mood Indigo
The workshop I attended was about dyeing with Indigo. Two kinds of vats were made. One with pre-reduced indigo and the other an organic vat using banana and slaked lime.
Examples from H. Boon's collection

Also from H. Boon's collection
Harriet Boon was the keynote speaker and gave a talk all about Indigo and its use around the world. Very interesting and informative. Found out a lot of new information.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Indigo X Dandelion to Myrobalan

May 19, 2014

Dye 338 gr BFL roving divided into 6 packages. Forgot to take undyed sample.

1.     Divide roving into 6 packs. Tied loosely with string. #1 will only be dandelion dye. #2-5 will be first dyed in indigo, left all day to set colour & then overdyed with dandelion. #6 will be the strongest indigo only dye. Finished indigo dyeing at 11:30 a.m. Roving aired all day.
2.     Dye Plan as outlined. Each dip will be for 15 min. then aerated for 15 min. (as close as possible).
a.     clear yellow #1. (dandelion flowers only). Prepare Monday; let sit overnight & strain. Add skein to vat after warming at 8:10am. Leave until indigo dye is finished.
b.     indigo, light. #2. Time in vat: 15 min. 
                                               i.     Start at 8:20 a.m.  #’s 2, 3. 4, 5 are going into vat together. Take out. Air for 15 min. #2 then finished & removed.
c.      indigo, mid. #3. In vat twice: 30 min. total.
                                               i.     9:02 #3,4, & 5 went back in vat. Added a little heat for 5 min. to keep it warm. Airing at 9:17 - #3 now removed.
d.     indigo, dark. #4.  Time in vat: 50 min. Added  5 ml more stock sol’n to vat.
                                               i.     Added 4 & 5 back to vat, but also added 5 ml more of stock sol’n. Timing for 20 minutes in vat. Out at 10:00 a.m.
e.     Indigo, dark #5. Total time in vat: 70 min. Added 5 ml more stock sol’n. 10:45 am taking this out. #5 is finished.
f.      indigo. #6. This one stays in constantly. Total time: 1 hr. 30 min. but aerating as with all the others.
                                               i.     Indigo only-do not put this in dandelion.
                                              ii.     #6 finished at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Undyed BFL. Tied. Labeled. Scoured. Mordanted.

1.     Monday. In a pail filled with very warm water add 2 tsp. TNA soap. Let BFL soak 35 min. 1:40. Drained Rinsed.
2.     Monday. Mordant fibre in new alum mordant to prepare for later over dye (27 gr. alum sulphate & 24 gr Cr. Of TT) for 1 hr. at 180 F. Rinse only.
3.     Monday. Gather fresh dandelion flowers and simmer to extract dye.
4.     Monday. Weight of dandelions: ¾ bag full. No weight available.
5.     Monday. Amt. of water:  2 gal.  (for dandelion vat).
6.     Monday & Tuesday. Simmered on induction burner for 95 min. at 195F. Sit overnight. Strained into pot and warmed to be ready for #1 BFL for dandelion only roving.
7.     Monday. Prepare indigo dye vat.
8.     Made indigo stock solution. Recipe from Jenny Dean’s blog. (
9.     To make indigo STOCK solution: In a large mason jar, mix 50 gr indigo powder to a paste w. 4 T. very hot water. Add more water to jar, but leave room for fizzing. Then add 2 T. sodium hydroxide (aka lye, or caustic soda). (Dangerous chemical – be careful.) Stir gently, then add 2 T. thiourea dioxide. (Thiox or can use hydrosulfite, aka hydros.) Stir. Keep jar warm & set aside.  When it turns clear amber, it’s ready.
10. To make a vat: Fill a large stainless steel pot with water no hotter than 50C. Add 1 tsp. of thiox & 1 tsp. washing soda (sodium carbonate (also known as soda ash or soda crystals, Na2CO3,) and allow to stand for a few minutes. Very gently add 40 ml stock solution, according to the size of the vat and the depth of blue required. The vat can then be used as usual and more indigo stock solution can be added as necessary. I used a large syringe to add indigo stock.
11. 7:55pm Indigo dye stock sol’n mixed. Ready in 45-60 minutes. Letting it sit overnight. Will dye Tues. Gently warm by sitting jar in pail of warm water.
12. Tuesday 7:45 am. Prepared the indigo vat with 40 ml. indigo sol’n added to pot of warm water that has had 1 tsp. sodium carbonate & 1 tsp. thiox added. Placed on stove to warm to 50C or 122F.
13. Tuesday added fibre as outlined at top. Note that when I added 4 & 5, I added 5 ml more of stock sol’n.
Indigo only. #'s 2,3,4 & 5.
#6 Only Indigo
 14. Tuesday strained dandelion vat for later over dye. Put vat on burner to warm & added only BFL #1 roving. In at 8:15 am. Removed at 5 p.m.
#1 in Dandelion vat
#1 Dandelion only
 15. Tuesday. Dandelion vat last for skeins #2, 3, 4, 5. 
Put roving ‘packs’ 2, 3, 4 & 5 into dandelion vat at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Heated to 180 for 1 ½ hr. Cooled and left to sit overnight & all day Wed. until I return from work when I will rinse, wash, rinse with vinegar rinse all roving packs.
After looking at the result of the dandelion overdye, I was disappointed. Although skein #1 was a lovely straw yellow, skeins 2-5 appeared to have changed very little if at all.
16. Save indigo dye vat for rejuvenating with stock sol’n in closed pail. Label clearly.
17. Thursday evening. I decided to do a myrobalan over dye using 30% extract powder to 338 gr WOF. 101 gr of myrobalan in pot of water.
a.     Added dye powder to some water. Mixed. Added rest of water and heated to 130F.
b.     Added my washed & rinsed fibre. Heated to 180F for 1 hr. Let sit overnight.
c.      Steeped all day in dye vat until I returned from work.
d.     Drained. Washed. Rinsed. Rinsed with vinegar.
Top Row: #6, #5, #4. Bottom Row: #1, #2, #3.

 Note the beautiful warm buttery yellow of the myrobalan. The 4 skeins do look a green of course. I tried very hard to dye the skeins evenly, but there are places in the 4 skeins that the indigo did not take evenly; the yellow bonded in those places. I will do a sample with all of the colours & post when ready.
Indigo X Myrobalan. Ready to spin having been drumcarded.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Results of Dye Day

Just some colourful photos from Olds Master Spinners Level 5 dye day.
Colours are like jewels & it's no longer 'string'. It's yarn.
% Dye Yellow to Magenta on Unbleached Linen

For Colour Wheel
Ramie Roving Injection Dye before washing
Ramie Roving after washing
So much fun adding colour!! These are MX Fiber Reactive dyes on sample skeins of unbleached linen and cotton.

Injection Dye on Unbleached Linen

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sheep to Shawl

I was part of a team for a very friendly 'Sheep to Shawl' competition held at Joseph Schneider House in Kitchener, ON on May 4, 2014.
Our weaver was Yvonne N.; our plyer/spinner was Karen M; spinners were Linda W., Lidja and myself. So it takes 4 spinners to supply 1 weaver.

Yvonne wove a gorgeous houndstooth shawl in a blend of Shetland wool & Alpaca. 72" plus fringe.
A fun event and I was honoured to be asked to join in the event. It was a tie by the way.
Here is a photo of shawl, samaple skeins of yarn, unspun fibre & the plan.
Sheep to Shawl May 4, 2014. J. Schneider House.

Olds Level 5

Today is the middle day of the week of Olds Master Spinner Level 5 program. Luckily for us it's being held very close to home this year - just a few minutes away for me. Our teacher is Donna Rudd who flew in from Alberta for us. She has a lot of experience judging fibre animals and teaching.

The first day we spun a few samples of new to us fibres. To name but a few: nylon, tencel, lyocell, seacell, polyester, hemp and more that I can remember at the moment.
We prepared for dye day and covered all the information needed to start on our fibre reactive dye adventure.
It's been a great week so far and yesterday was 'dye day'. These days always seem a little hectic, only because we have to do all the dye projects in one day in the dye room. Typical for weather for S. Ontario, it was humid and very warm. When it came time for our fibres to cure in a warm place, we wrapped them up and put them in the greenhouse where they 'cooked' quite nicely.
Here are some interesting rainbow colours I made. The first one is a ramie roving. The small sample skeins are 2 ply linen.

Ramie roving sample. Rainbow. Fibre Reactive.
Linen sample skeins. Variegated. Fibre Reactive.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Cowl

The project right now is a knitted cowl using a fingering weight yarn I have used for socks. A simple pattern that uses yarn overs, straight knitting & knit two together. The result is a pattern where the stitches appear to change direction. 
When finished it will easily be worn around my neck or pulled to cover my head in cold winter weather. 
True - it's spring but it's a nice little project anytime for a gift. 
It also has a pretty picot edge.