Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

2. September 2009 07:30
by Jobo

Fiber Candy! Silk and Shine Tussah Silk Roving

2. September 2009 07:30 by Jobo | 3 Comments

I figured it's about time for another gratuitous PRETTY Fiber post!

This is a litle something I found on Etsy and couldn't say no... 100% Tussah Silk in the colours of Delphiniums (I think the Seller called it "Sky, but in person it is more deeper blues and purples, and less sky blue, though it is in there!)

Of course, I tend to have problems with new fibers in deciding what quantity of product would be appropriate to make a project.  The listing was for 1 ounce... which sounds too small to do anything with?  I haven't really worked with any "commercial" silk yarns (they don't sell those at Wallymart or Zellers I'm afraid...)  When questionned the kind lady (enabler) at Silk and Shine volunteered that she had only listed one lot, but had a whole bunch of this for sale, sigh.  So I ordered 4 hanks like a good little fiber junkie - which now looks like a ton.  Maybe I have enough to do 2 projects with?  who knows?  :)

I plan on making something really light and flowy out of this blue and purple yumminess.  I really enjoy that Silk fibers are so long and strong and make such beautiful thin smooth shiny threads... I might even do this one on my spindle.  We have some travelling coming up, and I think this might make the perfect travel companion.   (And of course socks for the plane.  Always socks for the plane)

So there you have it... yarnspiration for all :)  Now where'd I put that spindle... ....

3. May 2009 12:16
by Jobo

Natural Dyeing Series... Blueberries

3. May 2009 12:16 by Jobo | 3 Comments

Yet another installment of Dyeing with household items...

We had a bag of leftover, quite freezerburnt blueberries left in the back of the deep-freeze... so I thought hey, since we wouldnt be eating them, why not try out their dark purpley goodness for dyeing!

I unfortunately did not measure anything.... I think I had about 2 cups of frozen berries.  I basically defrosted them at room temperature, then added about 2 cups of water and then gently simmered in a heavy bottomed pot for about an hour.  I squished the berries with a wooden spoon to help all the color come out.

I actually had considered blending it, but decided against it last minute (nightmares of tiny pieces of blueberry skin all over my nice Polwarth top) I wasn't sure if Blueberry dye required acidity to set, so I added about 3 tablespoons of Lemon Juice, since I had some in the fridge anyways.  To be honest, the kitchen smelled very much of blueberry pie.  I seriously had to fight the urge to go out and buy a pie and decimate it.

About 30 minutes into the simmering process, the water level looked low, so I added about another cup of water.

To drain the blueberries, I scooped them up into a metal sieve and squeezed as much juice as possible out with the back of a spoon.  I ended up with approximately 1.5 cups of very dark Purple/Black looking liquid (and about a half a cup of blueberry mush)  Looking at the colour of the liquid in the glass, I wasn't sure if I would en up with a more reddish dye than purple.  You can see around the edges where the light shines through the glass it looks almost vibrand red, with almost no blue in it. 

I pre-soaked about 1.5 ounces of Polwarth super soft roving/top by soaking in warm water and lemon juice for about an hour, then squeezed out the excess water and layed it out in a glass pyrex dish in a single layer.  Then I poured the dark liquid over the wool and gently swirled the dish to mix.  Surprisingly, once poured over the wool, the dye looked less red that I had imagined it would.  Notice the little bits of blueberry shrapnel in the wool.  I was very pleased that those bits rinsed away in the wash

I then covered the glass dish with plastic wrap, and nuked in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes, followed by resting for about 2 minutes.  I repeated about 6 or so cycles, swishing the wool around every so often so the dye would take more often.  I would estimate the wool stayed hot enough (just below boiling) for about 60 - 90 minutes.  Next I let it cool and soak in its juice overnight before rinsing in the sink in lukewarm water.

The resulting colour was quite a medium dusty purple! after carefully wringing out the excess water and rolling in an old towel... the wool dried overnight, and I got this:

And it looked so good with the tea dyed wool from the other day... I had to braid them together!

Hmmmm... all this talk of pie and tea... making me HUNGRY!  gotta go!

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