Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jump in, already.

I'm sure anyone who has read this blog for more than, oh, two days, has realized that when it comes to trying new things, I tend to read a whole lot on the subject first. Eventually I hit a point where I'm looking at the raw materials of the project (in this case, natural dye stuffs) and thinking "I can read about this for the rest of my life, or just try it already." This infomration overload point, for the natural dye project, hit at about two AM, yesterday. I'd finished the section of "Bright Earth" that was about dyes and the invention of modern chemistry, and my brain was melting, and I thought "I need to get some more chemistry books" and then I thought "You really need to get a grip, for crying out loud." Then I went to bed.

This morning, bright and early, I started stewing hibiscus flowers (dried) for dye:

I poured boiling water over them, then simmered for an hour, then I'm letting them sit for an hour. This is being mentioned so that later when I can't remember what I did, I can look here and see. This SHOULD produce some nice purple sock yarn. Yes, I will sell it. Natural dyes aren't as light-fast as synthetic dyes, but I'm doing all I can (mordants, heat, etc) to make it as colorfast as possible. Tomorrow, I may be dyeing with madder. Maybe. And I need to get some safflower. And try dyeing with spices. And...

My size-five circular needle I usually use for knitting sleeves is currently holding the last sleeve of "Innsvinget", which really plays hell with the idea of using it to knit on the Russian Prime. So I'm thinking of actually SEWING THE SECOND SLEEVE INTO INNSVINGET today. If you hear reports of plagues of locusts or rivers of blood in South Carolina, you know what happened.

...the Goober just ran up and took a big slug out of my drink, which she thought was water. It was ginger ale. I REALLY wish I had a photo of the face she made. But since I don't, here's a shot of the view from my chair, most mornings.

Is it possible to be loved to death? Ah well. What a way to go.

10 comments:

Amy Lane said...

I've GOT to see the results of your dyeing...how wonderful!!!

And for the last three days, I've gotten that view in stereo (two kids, two cats). It makes me really jealous of you. Really jealous. You have no idea.

Donna Lee said...

Loved to death? Of course. It's a great way to go. I miss those days, and I love it when my grown up girls come in and sit on the bed and lean on my shoulder and talk about their days. I need that.

Jen said...

I always learn so much on your blog. I love it.

When my dd was 3, she was eating at Subway with my dh. She took a swig of what she thought was orange juice. Turned out to be pop and she spit it out all over dh. She's 12 and still doesn't drink pop.

Alwen said...

Oi! Maybe you've already found this, but look look, we're so sane:

http://www.mini-mum.com/pages/miniknitting.html

(You've been to Bug Knits, yes?)

B said...

Cute little piggy shirt on Goober! I was just reading a chem lab today about natural and synthetic dyes including indigo. I thought of you.

Louiz said...

cool, wow... looking forward to seeing the dye result!

Josie said...

I'm totally fascinated by this natural dyes idea.

Just last night my kid was watching "Are We There Yet?" (a Canadian kid's travel show) and the little hosts went to Peru and dyed alpaca fleece with cochineal, spun it up and made bracelets. They made it look so easy. Now, I want to try, too! But maybe not with cochineal. I shed no tears over bugs being squished, but my little vegetarian heart couldn't stand *wearing* a cochineal-dyed item.

Can't wait to see how the hibiscus dye turns out!

Roxie said...

Well, Sweetie, anyone would want to cuddle up to those wonderful jammies of yours. No wonder you are being loved to death.

Looking forward very much to the hibiscus results.

Caroline / purplish said...

Did someone just say purple? I just might be stalking your Etsy shop for the next few days...

historicstitcher said...

I'm telling you - we were cut from the same cloth! I can't seem to start anything without reading every book and article ever written on it!

Sometimes I think it's the best part!!