Friday, September 26, 2014

Indie Knit & Spin

It's that time of year again folks...Fall, pumpkins, Halloween, cool weather and lots of knitting!  And let's not forget the INDIE KNIT & SPIN.  I'll be a vendor again this year ...peddling my wares.  Soaps and drawstring project bags created by me and ceramic buttons and soap dishes created by my lovely folks.  I'm always super excited to be at this event and each year it just gets that much more spectacular.  New for this year will be classes!  Such lovely ones too.  You can find all the details for everything pertinent and more here at their website.  See you there!

Oh, and case you don't feel like clicking on a separate tab...the event is a fiber fest held on November 15th from 11-4pm at the Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square  or 7604 Charleston Ave, Pittsburgh, PA to be exact.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Natural Dye Series - Part 3, Tea & Mint

Tea isn't anything new or different, most people know it dyes with a nice 'antiqued' look.  My husband and I drink a lot of tea so over a few weeks, I collected all of our used tea bags in a large ziploc bag.  I kept this in the fridge since I was afraid of mold.  There was over 50 tea bags ranging from Green Tea to Earl Grey to English Breakfast (all Twinings if you are interested).  

Here is how the dye took on the skein.  Kind of bland and boring if you ask me.

In addition to the yarn I dyed a plain white skirt that has been lurking in my closet for years.

As I mentioned above, I thought everything was bland and boring so I decided to give each a dunk in an Iron Post-Mordant.  My Iron Mordant is some old metal stuff the kids found in the yard while they were digging.  I put this in an old jar with some vinegar and water.  It sat for weeks until it was a murky orangey color.  I added about 1/2 cup of this into some water for the Post-Mordant. 

Each went in for a few minutes....probably 10-20 in total.

I only placed the part of the skein that was originally dyed with tea, not the whole skein.  The remainder of this skein was dyed with some mint (see below).

It darkened the skirt at is linen.

And the wool a lot.

Next, I put some fresh mint from my garden into the pot for the other half of the skein.

Here is the yarn in the dye pot with the mint tea.

It is a nice golden yellow, but I wondered what it would look like with an Iron Post-Mordant.

So in it went.  I only did half of the half dyed with mint.  I held it in the Iron bath for a few minutes checking it ever once in a while until it was a darker color.

and the final result

and what I've been knitting with the yarn...Splitbark Mitts by Stephen West

Now I figured, since this is technically a soap are a few snaps of soap where I used mint or tea as a natural dye.

Next up in the Natural Dye Series is Black Eyed Susans and Coreopsis (Verticillata to be specific) and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your interests) this next series is only involving soap.