Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dyeing for some blue

 Day three.  I realized what the weather is going to be the rest of the week and knew if I was going to try to darken yesterday's work I'd have to do it today.  I also realized I had the hard work behind me so the work table wasn't so cluttered.  The dye vat turned totally dark blue yesterday, which means it wouldn't dye.  It needs to be a yellow-green and after consulting my little book of instructions that meant just "sharpening" it with more powdered pee and a little more of the stock (in the canning jar.)  So the white bowl holds diluted powdered pee and the canning pot yesterday's left over dye pot.  I'm a pro now.  I poured some diluted powdered pee into the pot, and some stock, put the lid on and came back 15 minutes later to a yellow-green dye pot. 
 Dip the fabric in and get a teal color( blue and green makes teal.)  But you can see it changing right before your eyes.  Honestly, I pulled up a chair and just sat there and watched!  It's  magic. 
 Look at the difference between this after it's oxydized and the picture above in the teal color.  Magic.
This is dip number 8 for the navy and dip number 3 for the little piece of muslin from yesterday.
 Look at this luscious navy blue!  And the white piece is what it looked like yesterday!

The hard part is that you're not supposed to introduce oxygen into the pot.  I finally figured out to put the lid on the pot when I was going from one step to the other. But it also was contradictory because when the fabric or yarn is in the pot you are supposed to keep it gently stirred but not let any oxygen into the pot.  No bubbles so don't wring out the fabric. Don't let it drain back into the pot. It creates bubbles.  Don't put it in in a clump because bubbles will escape and get into the dye bath. Stir the fabric but not the vat ( What???). I know what I was doing wrong yesterday and tried to be gentle to the nth degree today. It's a touchy thing. Which makes it all the more magical.  How did they know thousands of years ago that this little green leaf will give off this gorgeous color but only if mixed with pee?
When I took my rubber gloves off I discovered I had a hole in the finger!   It's going to be blue for awhile.  I feel so authentic!

I know what you're thinking.  I can hear you.  "Why didn't she just get a box of RIT and in 15 minutes in the washing machine she'd be done?"



  1. I am really enjoying your dye dip and the books you read sound incredibly interesting. I don't know how I stumbled upon your blog but I am glad I have made your acquaintance.

  2. You are brave. I've never done any dying because I know I'd have a mess and it would be all over me. I bet you are having fun. Anxious to see what you do with this fabric.