Friday, May 15, 2009

Trace elements: we has them.

I finished up an all-natural dye experiment today, and finally confirmed my suspicions that no, indeed, this dye job was NOT gonna turn out as planned.

It's a pretty color, I kinda like it, but it sure as hell isn't the red it's supposed to be. With all the research I've done, I think the biggest variable is the unfiltered water I mordanted and dyed the yarn in (alum mordant, cochineal dye; it SHOULD be red). Or rather, what's IN the unfiltered water. Trace elements, especially iron, can really screw with touchier dye processes. Like this one, apparently. Geez.


On the fashion designer front, I'm going to continue the series, really, but responses have been rather mixed with a love-hate reaction, so I'm going to start doing reality posts in between the fashion designers. I've got a few designers to go yet, but I'm gonna start steering this boat toward knitwear. It'll get more relevant. Honest.

In the comments people were marveling at what Vionnet accomplished on her own, which is true, but not (as history gets). She did marry, but left her husband at 18 to go to London and work as a seamstress. After that, there's no mention of him in any of her bios that I've read; her business partners were friends or contacts she'd made in the business, herself. As were the people she collaborated with. Personally, I see her as doing it herself, but she WAS married. Honesty forces me to throw that info on out there.

There was also a question about where she went during the World Wars. WW1 she spent in Rome, according to what I've read. WW2, I'm not sure where she was - sources aren't clear and I haven't read the on-paper biographies of her - but it looks like she rode it out in Paris.

There are excellent articles about her, available on line. Threads did an article that discusses the sewing techniques used in detail, here.


Otherwise, it's the usual over here at House O' Samurai. I'm still spinning:

And I finally started the second sock. Finished the toe increasing and am on the foot itself, lovely lovely rounds and rounds of zombie knitting as I read a book:

And I replaced the bulb in the halogen light over my spinning wheel:

Which doesn't seem like a big deal, but around here, with my increasing hand problems, getting those little screws out, and removing the piece of glass and the bulb - not the reflector cartridge but a little prongy bulb - and then putting it all back together again was an event. Really. The husbeast offered to do it for me but I was determined to make my hand do it. And I did.

The Goob got new shoes:

I've got a love/hate relationship with Crocs, but you can't beat them for cooking in the kitchen (lots of time on your feet, spilling things) or splashing in mud puddles (if you're three or standing next to someone who is three). The Goober had outgrown her old ones and the husbeast went off last night, dog in the woods that he is, to find new. These slipper-style Crocs were not on the shopping list, but he spotted them on the clearance table and now I'm stuck looking at ugly brown Crocs. Ah well. The way she grows, I won't have to look at them for long.

Otherwise, the weather is really crappy. I intend to spend my Friday night watching documentaries of some kind or other off the DVR (Warriors is turning out to be a good show if you're interested in history and/or martial arts; How the Earth was Made is kickass geology geekdom of the best sort) and spinning blue-violet silk and wool blend.

Have a nice weekend.

Tomorrow... Elsa Schiaparelli and the Trompe L'oeil Sweater.


Amy Lane said...

auuughh! I missed a designer? Bummer... and I know it wasn't the color YOU had in mind, but I'm a big fan of that blue/purple stuff (or at least that's what it looks like on my monitor!) Well done!

We have a gazunga shoes... none of them fit anymore... you won't be looking at them for long... (and you can always get some bright pink croc-charms--those'll mix things up!)

KnitTech said...

Have you seen Deadliest Warrior? It answers those burning questions of 'who would win...'

Rooie said...

I'm a relative newcomer to your blog. But I love it all. Came for the Vogue reviews (oh, so true!) and stayed for the adorable Goober and your witty and insightful posts. And I love the ones about art history and about the fashion. I dunno...I think you could write about the history of the phone book and it would be interesting.

Rose Red said...

I've been loving the fashion posts (but no Paul Poiret? He's featured heavily in the retrospectives I've seen - which haven't been many, I have to admit!!)

Emily said...

I'm with Rooie....I think you could write about the history of the phone book & it would be interesting!

Roxie said...

You could dress up the crocs with ribbon flowers, or give her a big blunt needle threaded with cotton yarn and tell her to embroider her own shoes.

Sorry people have been complaining about the posts, because I love 'em. Tell me about anything that interests you. I'm fascinated!

Chris said..."Shoes"/gender/"kids" For some good prices on Crocs....maybe even in good colors!