Saturday, April 11, 2009

Progress in purple

I rinsed three of the skeins today; the one that had water softener in it was perceptibly darker than the others, so that's clearly a direction I need to go.

In other news, G made me a drying rack that slips over the railing of our deck. Space to dry stuff and to store finished, dried stuff is going to continue to be an issue....Thank you, DH!

I started a batch of safflowers to soak. Safflowers give a yellow color similar to saffron, though they aren't nearly as expensive. Furthermore, once you have rinsed out the yellow, there is a red and a second yellow that will only come out of you push the Ph high enough. After they are dissolved out of the flowers, you push the Ph back down to acid, and they can take up in cotton or silk.

HOWEVER, the cotton will only take up the red, not the second yellow. So, to get red on silk, you take up the red in cotton, put it into clean water, make it alkali again to loosen the dye, and then re-acidify it and add the silk. I'm going to try this with a white silk scarf I have. Fascinating.

Today's photo is of BFL Tulip Time. They have Tulip Time every year in Holland, MI, where I went to college; they plant them in big beds in the park and lining the streets, and they have parades and klompen dancers. To show how everything connects to everything, in my living history group we wear klompen, or sabots, as the French have it. Wooden shoes are period correct for working people all over Europe.....

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