Thursday, April 23, 2009

So much done; so much to do

Today was crazy busy; I measured out a lot of fiber, worked on packaging, and, very important, set aside six pounds of finished goods to send Toni of The Fold in Marengo, IL; she has kindly agreed to take some of my stuff on commission to some shows.

Forgot to put business cards in the package; will have to send them separately...

I also got my beautiful skein-winder from WoodenSpinner on Etsy. It's all set up and I've wound a few turns of alpaca lace-weight on it; I think I'd like to clamp it to the table, but it works great!

Today's photo is something a little different. No, a lot different. Safflower contains a yellow dye that is readily soluble in cold water. I rinsed that out of the flowers. It also contains two dyes, one red and one yellow, that are soluble in alkaline water. You soak the flowers in water that has soda ash or some other alkali modifer, and then when they have given up their dye you add vinegar to make the water acid. At this point, silk will take up both the yellow and the red; cotton will take up only the red. I have soaked three silk scarves in the liquid (top), along with some cotton towels (bottom). I have removed the silk to dry; it is finished. The cotton I can discharge into another alkali bath, and then I can acidify that and dye silk in it. The remainder of the bath, now that I have taken out the red with cotton, is dyeing three more scarves yellow. It's very exciting and I will post more as things go...

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