Sunday, 28 February 2010

Weaving, Dyeing and more

How 'bout those Canadian Hockey players.. eh?

In between Olympic excitement, I managed to get a few things done. I was able to weave off the cat blanket almost to the very end of the loom waste. In this case it didn't matter as it wasn't going to throw the measurements off that much. There was only 10 inches between the end of the blanket and the knots on the back beam. I was hoping to use some of it up, just because I was a bit short of yarn, but getting that much out of it makes me pretty happy.

I divided the length of woven fabric in half and hand stitched it together along one side. It was time consuming but really easy to just pick up the weft loops back and forth. It makes a good seam for a blanket. Hemming was done by hand with some leftover grey thread, so it doesn't show. I wet finished it in the washer for a few minutes and that quick wash really softened up the Briggs and Little wool. While it will be durable, it isn't scratchy. That's a win win situation. I believe it has passed the most important inspection test.. The cat seems to like it well enough.

The wool I dyed at the outside winter demo with Regia is washed and dried. The Red is from Madder extract and the yellow is dried Weld and frozen Golden Marguerite. The night before the demo, I boiled up the two together in a stainless steel pot and let it cool and soak overnight. In the morning I transfered it to a bucket and at the event, it was heated in the rivet plate iron pot.

I tossed my last bit of Madder extract into my basket on a whim as we were leaving the house. I wouldn't normally use extract to dye with at a medieval period demo, but I had nothing else prepared for emergencies. It was a good thing as the young lads were indulging in a bit of horseplay around the firebox and toppled the tripod with the yellow dye after only two skeins.

After we cleaned up the mess, one of the lads was helpful by collecting snow to melt for a new dyepot, with the madder extract. We secured the pot on a trivet, instead of the tripod and these lovely reds popped out of the Madder vat. I can't tell you how much extract nor how much water was used because it was 3/4 pot of melted snow water and a sprinkle of extract. Pretty results though!

I've had to replant the parsley, chives and basil plants from the little peat starter pellets into larger containers. The basil smells so yummy. I can't wait for it to grow larger enough to use. The rest of the seeds came in with one small disappointment. The Amish Paste Tomato seeds weren't available due to a crop failure. Since I won't put an order in for only one packet of seeds, I'll just have to keep looking on various store racks for replacement paste tomato seeds.

There is a new project on the loom. It's pettable and yummy. That's all I'll say about it for now...


Leigh said...

So nice to see a finished cat approved project. :)

Great colors on those skeins!

Too bad about those Amish paste tomatoes. I got Romas, but I was hoping to get a report on another type. Maybe next year(?)

Nina said...

Leigh - the cat isn't horribly choosy when it comes to wools... as long as it's wool, he likes it!

I'm still looking for Amish Paste Tomato seeds though. I just don't want to pay more for the shipping than for one packet of seeds! I have a variety packet of multi-coloured heirloom seeds as a replacement, just in case I couldn't find the Amish Paste tomatoes.

vandy said...

ummmm....rambunctiousness around the firepit should be discouraged, and not just to save your dye pot! Just sayin', is all...