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August 4, 2014

a wonderful thing about maintaining a large outdoor indigo vat is that you can dye all summer whenever the urge strikes

P1050337I frequently start the first dip while still in my pj’s

from left to right

heavy cotton napkin, first dip

napkin, same cotton  10 – or maybe 11 dips

the last of the woven shibori, more dips tomorrow

linen warp, shifu weft

P1050339 finally, 20/2 silk top dyed with indigo over pomegranate yellow

P1050348after several attempts this is very close to the actual colour

a dark teal green – yeah!

the challenge with my students involved an exchange of yarns

in order to have enough for two scarves (what’s the point of going to all the work of warping only one?)

P1050341I played with several colours from the stash

silk, some handspun

the gold yarn is spindle spun Fox Fiber cotton plied with silk

P1050343I choose to wind the colours in pairs – one increasing in number and the second decreasing

switch to a second pair which includes one of the previous colours

there is always a solid block of colour between the change in pairs

it takes a bit of time but blends the colours and varying yarns nicely

and I’m still working from the stash!

18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2014 5:50 am

    wow. gorgeous, luscious yarn and color!


  2. August 6, 2014 2:13 am

    gorgeous teal blue. the warp is also a beauty.


    • August 6, 2014 8:24 am

      Neki – thanks, just keeping my fingers crossed that this mixed warp isn’t too problematic.


  3. August 5, 2014 2:24 pm

    I do enjoy looking at a warp while it is still on the frame (or reel). This one is a beauty.


  4. August 5, 2014 7:24 am

    Are your pjs indigo in color? It seems they should be. I wish I lived next door to you so I could ask a million questions about your work!


    • August 5, 2014 7:53 am

      Kerry – cute!hadn’t got around to that but parts of me are definitely blue. you can always ask questions, email me if you don’t want it “out there”.


      • August 6, 2014 3:44 am

        Thanks! That’s a very kind offer about the questions and I’m sure I’ll take you up on it. But what I really want is the kind of picking your brain that probably can only be done if I was a long-term apprentice!


      • August 6, 2014 8:23 am

        Kerry – thank you, I appreciate your confidence and also understand your desire to learn. most of my learning over the years has come from books (I do have rather a lot!) and numerous workshops – was never lucky enough to find a mentor or a friend with similar interests.. working with your husband, as you do, is probably the most wonderful experience any of us could dream of.


  5. August 5, 2014 1:11 am

    You mean that, in order to deepen the color, you put the same piece of cloth into the same indigo dyeing bath several (11 !) times and it keeps its dyeing capacities ?


    • August 5, 2014 7:19 am

      Guillaume – yes, that is the traditional/technical way indigo dye works – simply put, the more dips the deeper the colour. contact with oxygen between dips is what bonds the indigo to the fibre. a very different dye process than any other, first you must remove the oxygen from the dye bath.


      • August 6, 2014 1:02 am

        Ok thanks. I must miss somtehing somewhere, because my bath looses its dying power after 2 or 3 dyeings.
        In the end, the cloth does become light blue, but more due to the color of the bath than to the real yellow-turns-blue process.
        May be my indigo is not concentrated enough then…


      • August 6, 2014 8:29 am

        Guillaume – there are many different ways/chemicals/recipes to dye with indigo. It takes time and experimenting to learn to get it right. Sounds like there is definitely something not working.


  6. Lis permalink
    August 4, 2014 11:20 pm

    Great colours. I love the balance in those final pictures.


  7. August 4, 2014 5:18 pm

    I absolutely love the dark teal green. Gorgeous! Can’t wait to see what you do with this 😉


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