New Skills

It has been a while since I have posted.  I am happy to report that I have actually been making things.

I have also been immersing myself in learning.  There are so many things that interest me and it is great that we can get a lot of information on the Internet.  However, nothing is better than taking a class.  You meet such interesting and talented people.

Today, I had the pleasure of taking a class at Wild Haven Fiber Company.  The class was Natural Dyeing taught by Sarah Eichhorn.

Before I go any further, I do have to say that I am beyond happy that Kate opened her shop. She stocks beautiful yarn that I have not seen at any other LYS.  Her classes are interesting.  There are knitting classes and there are all sorts of fiber related classes.  Kate has created a shop that is warm and welcoming just like she is.

Today, Sarah Eichhorn taught us the basics of natural dyeing.  She provided a wealth of information and most importantly, inspiration to experiment on our own.  (You have to check out Sarah’s site.  She is super talented!  Link is above.)

We learned about mordants.  (They are used to enhance the dye and make it colorfast.)  Sarah explained the technique and then we went to work dyeing samples on cotton, wool and silk.

Each swatch had a piece of cotton with no mordant, cotton with an alum and cream of tartar mordant, cotton with a tannin mordant, silk with an alum mordant, roving with an alum and cream of tartar mordant and yarn with no mordant.

My swatches were still wet when I took my photos but here are the results.  I promise I will post photos when they are dry.

This is dyed using Longwood i.e. tree bark.  It yielded these amazing purple gray tones.  Mine looks a bit tie-dyed because when I wrung it out, I tossed it into the dye pot all balled up.  Learned a good lesson.

This swatch was dyed using, of all things, Queen Anne’s Lace.  Who knew it could produce such a lovely, yellow tone?  Now, I have a good use for this invasive species.

This lovely orange, peachy tone is from Madder Root.

This delicate pinky tone is from avocado pits!  So not only are they a delicious treat they also make pretty dye.

The best part of the class was getting to meet all of the lovely ladies.  Everyone was so interesting and talented. 

A big ‘Thank You’ to Sarah and to Kate for a fantastic class!  I can’t wait to see what colors my swatches will become when they are dry.

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