I cannot, for the life of me, believe that summer is OVER! It seems like summer just began and here I am looking at my last Wooly Wednesday Class Tomorrow! We are starting up “Fall Crafting” next Monday during the afternoon but this still seems like the end of an era.
Wooly Wednesday’s could not have gone better if I had tried. I do have some plans for how to modify these classes for the spring and summer in 2018 so that they are more comprehensive, don’t rush my students as much, and cover more students and class time for the same amount of supplies (my boss will like that one).
LOOK AT ALL OF THE COOL STUFF MY LADIES CREATED THIS SUMMER!!!!!
This summer of Crafting ROCKED, so did my Wooly Wednesday Ladies. I hope to see you this fall, I miss you already!
My First Dyeing class was a runaway success. The techniques and materials were simple enough that the students had no problems following along. Everyone’s wool turned out bright and beautiful, the results were phenomenal. I hope that every class is as enthusiastic, cheerful, and helpful. The questions being asked proved that the patrons were there to learn. I am so excited for the rest of the Classes. Dyeing Wool Handout contains the methods that I taught to dye fibers easily using materials found in a kitchen. There are a million other ways to dye fiber, so do not take this as gospel.
For the first class I am teaching in June, 2 hours long, I hope to mention how eco-friendly wool is (sheep are not harmed in shearing); and cover some aspects of color theory while emphasizing that this is only the beginning of our wool journey not the end by any stretch of the imagination. Since I am also planning on the students dyeing some wool and having a blast this is a lot to cover in just 2 hours. A lot of preparation has gone into this class, so wish me luck!
I am having so much fun with dying techniques! These are my first 4 attempts at dyeing with depth, using more than one color before putting in my main color so that the main color stands out more than it would have. The first two braids, that I think of as Crows and Ravens are red & blue with black as the main color. The reds and blues struck the fiber more than I thought they would leaving little room for the black to attach, I think I will have to use less of the first two and perhaps a professional black if I want to try this again. The yellow is a light yellow overdyed with a stronger golden yellow. I like the effect, it gives the yellows some depth without muddying things up too much. The reds were an interesting experiment, between my cake frosting dyes, and my regular dyes I had about 3-4 shades of red/pink. So I used all of them, the end result was supposed to be a strong red with pink undertones/depth. Things didn’t seem to be working too well until I remembered a piece of advice where they said to use a contrasting color to emphasize the main color, so with a hope and a prayer I put in a drop of blue. Much to my shock the red started to pop and the overall effect is that the colors deepened quite a bit.
I am very happy with these results and look forward to my next dyeing day!
I have to confess, this wool is so much softer than it looks. All of these pieces of wool are dyed using either Liquid or gel food dyes as well as a combination of Alum and Cream of Tartar as a mordant. I do enjoy how the colors have turned out, they are not as brilliant as I would have liked. I did find out with the last batch of yellow I did, if I pre-mordant the fiber and cook up the dye bath in the mordant and use about half a container of the color then the colors come out very rich, the bottom two golden yellows. The yellow right above was first dyed in Hibiscus Tea (a variety that was quite sharp though I usually prefer hibiscus tea). This particular blend of tea is a very sharp red and initially turned the fiber a beautiful Burgundy…alas all of that color just ran right out of the fiber when it was taken from the bath. The result was a very faintly beige color, you know that shade of eggshell where you are staring at it and saying “it isn’t quite white but it isn’t really anything else either.” So I overdyed by plopping this fiber into a pot that I thought was exhausted (it wasn’t) and turned out to be very pretty and rinsed clear.
I am really happy with my experimentations. If I get particularly brave this afternoon I might try to fill out cards with what information I have for them and start a dye dairy. At the absolute minimum I intend to finish dyeing my fibers using the Wilton Cake Dye kit I obtained and Alum Mordant so that I have a wide Pallette of colors to play with. If sometime this summer a yen takes my fancy I might look into obtaining some Jacquard dyes to get more colors. I do hope to spend some time this summer and fall experimenting with plant materials and the dyes that they can create, how exciting!