Wednesday, 11 June 2008

I don't do white

Yesterday, I was working on some new projects. I'm trying a few different methods of fermenting and reducing indigotin pigments. If you know anything at all about reducing indigo, you probably know what is in those buckets and why they are outside! Hopefully the heat from the summer weather will help it to age gracefully and not stink up the house at the same time. Many thanks to my indulgent husband who is most supportive, even when faced with a huge bucket and a request to fill it.

Yesterday I also ran out to Headwater Wool in search of yarn to experiment on the new Warp Weighted Loom. Camilla Valley Farm was closed which was a shame, as it is just outside of Orangeville and would have been a convenient second stop for the yarn I want for a project on the jack loom. Both are decent places to shop, though Headwater only really has knitting yarn, their imported Romney is quite nice. I bought enough yarn for the w.w. loom project and a few extra skeins to dye later for a 2nd project. By the way, both suppliers do mail order and I've ordered from Camilla Valley before with excellent service. Highly recommended!

I had noticed that the Yellow Bedstraw was threatening to overgrow into the woad bed, so decided that I had to cut it back a.s.a.p. This morning, I filled my largest dye vat and cooked it up, tossed in 410gms of the yarn that I'd mordanted with alum last night. Now, I had no idea how much plant matter I had, though I couldn't fit any more into the vat. I think I had less than optimum for getting a deep yellow on the wool. However, since I actually decided to go for a particular depth of shade, this worked in my favour as I wanted a lighter yellow.

Even with gamma colour adjustments, I couldn't quite get the right shade - it's not quite as yellow and the green element, while there isn't quite so green. It is a pretty yellow and will go nicely with the green warp.
Yes, there is some evidence for different coloured warp and weft. Mainly though, in doing experimental first projects, I like contrast as it is easier to see what is happening with the weave structure.

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