I have been trying to catch up recently with all things Spinning Shed. When the stuff hit the fan a couple of months ago, I had some fleece in dyes. I try wherever possible to use as little energy as possible, so where heat is not necessary, I leave it to soak to get the desired effect. As a result, the fleece had been in the dyes for over a month, and I wondered if I would have to get rid of the fleece/dyes. In fact the vibrancy of the colours was wonderful (only two had been left, logwood purple, and madder) comparing to my usual method of 24 hours or so in the dyes. Now obviously this has taught me a lesson, but bear in mind that although I am happy to do slow dyeing, slow dyeing to the point of not dyeing much at all takes the biscuit (as it were). So I think a happy compromise is to leave it in the dye pot for say a week from now on, and see what happens. Again, pretty slow, but this is the price of not using energy, and I am happy with that. I have included piccies above showing the normal method, and the lengthy method to show you what I mean about intensity. However, as usual with photography, it doesn't quite show the difference in full. I am happy with both sets of fleece, and can obviously use both techniques for whichever result I am after. The experimenting continues!
On another note, I am trying to get the ultimate happy place to spin in an evening. Have you obtained this yet? I spin on different wheels depending on when I spin, where I spin and what I am wanting to spin. However, in the evening, it tends to be just vegetative spinning, and I want comfort and ease. I have discovered a little used chair in the corner is ideal. Not one that is particularly comfy to sit in to watch tv etc, but is a good height to be at the same level as the flyer when feeding fleece into the orifice. This is my ideal place, and will hopefully mean I can sit down to spin without any fuss and getting into the right position.
Finally, I have so enjoyed getting back to business after the grief of the last few months. It is wonderful to have the time to handle matters in The Spinning Shed (and next week I am trying splash dyeing with natural dyes). Thank you for the good thoughts and wishes of those who have been in touch. It has been appreciated.
With love and light
As I experiment with natural dyes more, I thought I should share what I have been up to.
I like to use little energy, so the whole process takes rather a long time, which means I don't produce that much! However, here are a few piccies of the end results. As I build up, these things will hit the website with a shop, but all in good time, as this is slow production!
This is merino dyed with madder. I use an Alum mordant, but there are no other modifiers. It is salmony in reality and very pretty.
Here are three cakes being logwood purple (my goodness it is hard to exhaust that dye bath), valonia oak, and lac.
Five colours on the drum carder making a mixed batt of the above three plus madder and goldenrod
The mixed batt off the carder.