Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spinning and Dyeing

In the midst of chores today, I am making a safflower dyebath in which I hope to dye a knitted sock blank yellow and then a silk scarf blank coral!  Both of these projects have further work after the safflower dye.  I want to do some shibori on both.  For the sock blank I will do some binding (haven’t decided what yet) and dip in indigo.  For the silk scarf, I want to do a lot of stitching, which will probably take me some time, before overdyeing with madder.

I understand that safflower is not terrible fast, so in the case of the scarf, as the safflower fades the madder will remain the dominant color of the scarf.  I am counting on some safflower color remaining.  I just don’t care for the look of shibori when the bound areas are white.

Dyeing.Spinning Sept. 09 001 The first safflower soak is taking place here.  Great golden color, isn’t it? The safflower is wrapped in an old handkerchief. After I get all the yellow out of this soak I will use this bath for my sock blank and start a new bath for the pink/coral I want for the silk scarf blank.  I’m following Jenny Dean’s recipe which recommends making the second bath alkaline with soda ash. I may also follow her further directions to bring the bath back to acid to get a pinker coral on silk.  More photos will follow!

I just joined GoddessKnits’ upcoming fall mystery sock KAL (starts early Nov.) and have decided to spin my own yarn for it, based on techniques I learned from Judith McKenzie quite a few years ago at a workshop during the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival.  I’m using three colors of merino top and creating my own color sequence.  I plan to make a cabled 4-ply yarn for my sock project.Dyeing.Spinning Sept. 09 009

Dyeing.Spinning Sept. 09 010

Bob is leaving today to sail our boat to Annapolis with a crew.  I will pick up everyone (including Bob! …since he’s working in his Manhattan office and will take a train to CT, where the boat is waiting) at various train stations on my way to the boat with provisions later today.

I will then have four days on my own in which I hope to get a good amount of spinning done, spin and weave with a couple of friends, finish weaving a scarf that’s been on my AVL for a year, and make plans for my next tapestry.  As long and slow as tapestry weaving is, I think deciding what to weave is the slowest part of the process!



Oooohhh I can't wait to see the shibori sock blank that should be tons of fun.

Life Looms Large said...

Sounds like you've got a great plan for the fall....with lots of fun fibery stuff!!

Enjoy!! Looking forward to what you come up with!


K Spoering said...

Not being a spinner, I'm not sure what a knitted sock blank is. Is the sock knit? Or is it yarn you have spun to sock weight? Your color combo for the sock yarn you're spinning looks yummy! I do love knitting socks...

OzWeaver said...


I was extremely careless in my description of what I was doing! Sorry! I am spinning for a sock project with the three colors of merino which remind me of a rose bush (the dull dark green of the leaves and two shades of rose), but the sock 'blank' is another project entirely. That's what is in the first safflower dye bath. It is a machine knit rectangle (white wool) that can be dyed with hand painted techniques and then unraveled and knit into a sock. I plan to do some shibori folding and binding before unraveling. The safflower will be the base color before I begin the shibori folding and indigo dip. I hope this makes more sense!

K Spoering said...

Wow! That sounds like fun! When you unravel it to make the sock, do you wet and stretch the yarn first, or just knit it all un-raveled and bumpy?