Sunday, 27 March 2011

Colours, stitches and Chicken Math!

I've spent the last few days dyeing, that's with an E, and stitching.   The dyeing are for samples for the carding class at FITP this weekend.  This used to be an SCA event hosted by our Canton, but it's moved out to the real world where it has a chance to become bigger and better.     The brown is Mohair locks which turned out quite nicely.  The lurid purple is Cormo.  The colour split making it a rather bright fuchsia and purple.  I had wanted colours to show the differences of fibres when blending.  No, nothing natural about these colours.  Both are food safe acid dyes.

The stitching has been more experiments with the Bayeux laid couching stitch.   I was using a different type of wool on different grades of linen to see what the differences were.  I like the wool, a 3 strand Persian needlepoint yarn. It's easily available, comes in a ton of colours and is relatively inexpensive to boot.   The blue linen is a coarser weave.  It's a little trickier to stitch on.  I was halfway through when I realized that I'd probably saved this bit for a keyhole neckline trim, since it's the right size for that.  Oh well...  next time I should probably label my scraps instead of folding them and putting them in a bit with assorted other bits. :)

I was stitching away minding my own business, when out of the blue, my sweetie says to me " You're going to make a whole reproduction of that thing, aren't you?"   I had to reassure him that I wasn't interested in doing all 68 m of the tapestry and like where would I put it.   I do have plans for a bit more trim for a gown, maybe a pillow and a wall hanging - a small one.  The hanging would be to take to the longhouse as decoration.  That one is in the future though.  Right now, doing singles of the animals is a really nice break from Master Spinner homework!

Garden seeds are started - 4 types of tomatoes, peppers, soup celery, marjoram, onions and leeks.   I've still a few more to plant but sometime this week should suffice.   I don't know how many extra tomato plants I'll have.  I ordered hybrids this year because of the severe blight problems we had last summer.  These varieties are said to be quite disease resistant, so I thought it was worth a try.  They seem to come in exceedingly small amounts - like 15 seeds in each packet.  I may run out and grab a packet of regular old tomato seeds to start as a backup, just in case. 

I ordered chicks as well.   The meat chicks are a no brainer - we ordered the faster growing ones this year.  We've enough time to do 2 runs if necessary.  However I also wanted to order a couple more layers.  This fall our girls will be moulting and likely not lay any eggs all winter.   I figured a couple of new hens would help us have winter eggs.  I thought maybe 3 would be a suitable number, but when I ordered them, it came out as 5 of two different varieties.  So I've  got 10 more laying chicks coming.  Someone once warned me about the dangers of chicken math because sometimes it just doesn't add up right!  How 3 could turn into 10 is beyond me!


Leigh said...

Chicken math, I love it! Your dyeing is lovely and so is the stitching. Hurray for your started seeds! You've been busy :)

Julie said...

Love your dyeing very nice! I've also been looking into chickens and I did get my seeds started!

Sharon said...

I do love they dye results. You are braver than I am. I'm a skeered of Cormo - it is so sensitive. It never has crossed my mind to dye any thought I do have some Cormo roving in the garage. Yours didn't felt?

Nina said...

Leigh - Thank you

Julie - That's wonderful you've started some seeds too. I always hover and worry until I start seeing them germinate.

Sharon - Cormo is a fussy fibre. I soaked it in lukewarm water for about an hour. Then put the pot on the stove, added the colour and heated it slowly. After it had been heating for a while, I added the acid, vinegar in this case and let it gently cook for another hour or so. I never let it boil and while I did gently lift the fibre a bit once, I didn't really touch it at all. It cooled down in the pot overnight before I rinsed it. No felting at all.