Color Palette – Pink Agate

I’ve been playing with making color palettes from random photographs. This one ended up on a colorway that I called Pink Agate (although the more I compare the picture with the crystals I have, this looks more like a Rhodocrosite):

PinkAgate

50/50 Merino Silk Blend

50/50 Merino Silk Blend

This is silk chiffon dyed for the feltmakers in mind.

Hand Dyed Silk Chiffon

Hand Dyed Silk Chiffon

They are both listed in my shop now for purchase ; )

 

Patricia

Collars for Marcia

I made a beautiful collar for another Mother of the Bride. She lives in Maryland and it happens that she also raises Border Leicesters which have been used to create the collar below:

Textural Collar Textural Collar Textural Collar

The brown collar was made with Wensleydale lambswool from JoAnn in Occidental, CA and then dipped in an Indigo Vat to get a blue background.

Wensleydale Collar Wensleydale Collar Wensleydale Collar

I swear I can’t ever get enough of these curls.

Patricia

New in the shop

Here is some eye candy. These pictures belong to my latest shop update. And why I’m so excited about this update? Because my list of domestic breeds offered at my shop is growing! I’m already have a wonderful Rambouillet that is a dream to spin and felt, then I added the Targhee that is equally wonderful. Now I’m also have the Superwash version of the Targhee and last but not the least, I have a beautiful Domestic Merino that takes the dyes wonderfully.

Domestic Merino Combed Top

Broadway

Domestic Merino Combed Top

Florentine

Domestic Merino Combed Top

Domestic Merino Combed Top

Domestic Merino Combed Top

The Superwash Targhee was so much to fun to work with. It literally drinks the dyes:

Dreamsville Domestic SW Targhee

Dreamsville
Domestic SW Targhee

Bazaar Domestic SW Targhee

Bazaar
Domestic SW Targhee

Art Collector Domestic SW Targhee

Art Collector
Domestic SW Targhee

Ice Cream Truck Domestic SW Targhee

Ice Cream Truck
Domestic SW Targhee

Stirred Paint Domestic SW Targhee

Stirred Paint
Domestic SW Targhee

Along with this updated I also included  some Humbug BFL top. I love how the color mixing of the ecru and natural browns gives a nice heathery effect.

And the last two products to my addition are two fun fiber blends that I’ve been playing with lately. I’m planning to post a tutorial about how to use it for felting because it has been a lot of fun using it to make felted scarves.

Forest Jewels is a blend of Merino in bright colors of turquoise, magentas, greens with Soy Silk.

Forest Jewels

Peacock is a blend of Bamboo and Merino in blues, greens and magentas with brown. The colors are deep and beautiful.

Peacock

 

Patricia

Cochineal and Osage Orange

I was able to order some cochineal from a farm in Oaxaca a couple of months ago, and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to use it. Well, I realized that it wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t make the time for it, so in the middle of getting ready for the Wool Festival last weekend, I was also dyeing silk fabric at the same time I was labeling and pricing wool. It got a little crazy here at home, but I just couldn’t wait any longer for the perfect moment to arrive. In my hurry, I also underestimated the dye’s ability to stain almost anything, that I bypassed washing my dye pot thoroughly that I previously used with cochineal last winter and my  mordanted fabric got a pinkish color. I kind of like it, but it definitely will change the outcome of my final colors.

LESSON LEARNED!

Mordanted Fabric

I also been soaking my Osage Orange in vodka. Even though I soaked it for a few months, I think I prefer this method, because it saves a lot on energy, time and the brew is ready any time I’m prepared to proceed with my dyeing.

Osage Orange and Cochineal

There is my Cochineal to the left and my Osage Orange soaking to the right. This is getting exciting…

Dye Pots

Cochineal Dye Pot IMG_0557 IMG_0559 IMG_0561

The silk gets one shade lighter after it gets dry.

Mulberry Silk dyed with Osage Orange

Mulberry Silk

Osage Orange and Cochineal

I didn’t plan to have these orchids blooming at the same time…

Orchids

Patricia

Stormy Eye

Once in a while I like to challenge myself and see how close I get to matching certain colors that spur my inspiration. Back in November of last year, a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook about the Strongest Storm in the World to Approach Alaska, reported by Accuweather. I got immediately fixated by the graphics and how the colors form a vortex with swirls that change from chartreuse to lilac, to a pale pink. A blend of Bamboo and Merino would be perfect to match the white swirls, since the Bamboo does not take the dyes that work on protein fibers.

And the matching results:

1506062_10153040147993455_2320659631741479936_n

 That was pretty fun.

Patricia

Cochineal – Grana de Cochinilla – Carmin

Red has been a valued colour in so many cultures. It carries importance since it has been used to symbolize power and gave status only to those that could afford to wear it. Since ancient times it has always been some sort of a quest to find a natural source that yields such colour. Ochers, Iron Oxides and Cinnabar were some of the pigments used to get reds, but technically they are not considered dyes since they don’t chemically bond to the textile. Generally speaking, dyes comes from an organic source, like plants and insects and only a handful of them yield a deep red colour. Madder, Shellfish Purple, Lac and Kermes are some of the examples of those natural dyes used and traded throughout ancient history. In Mexico a scale insect called nocheztli (tuna’s blood) that fed from a cactus, was cultivated in order to get a red dye. Eventually the name was changed to Cochinilla and entire families and countries built businesses and fortunes around it. Their sources and recipes were seriously considered trade secrets and those who gave away valuable information were severely punished with the risk of losing their lives if those secrets were revealed.

“The finest and best dye drug in the world.” – Amy Butler

Collecting Cochineal

DSC_1612

DSC_1615

DSC_1620

Cochineal Teabags

Cochineal Teabags

Undyed Wool Scarves

 

Wool Scarves

Wool Scarves

Great books to read:

Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay

A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield

 

Patricia

More Felting Done

More Felting Done

I made this dress for a window display in Pt. Reyes. The materials and dyes used for this project had to be all locally sourced. It was a lot of fun collecting the materials to create the garment. I tried the dress and I was very surprised that wasn’t itchy at all.

Felted dress

Felted dress close up

Back of dress


I finally finished this dress/coat that I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. Since the walnut tree behind my Post Office is about to loose its leaves for the season, I decided to take advantage of it for the last time and harvest a handful of them to print the garment. I love the back, but I’m not so trill about the front. I have to think about something else to spice it up a little. I think that I jumped way too fast and didn’t plan well enough before placing the leaves. I’m already planning another version.

Dress before dyes Bundling the dress Back details Front Felted dress

Patricia

Dyeing Yarn

I’ve been having so much of a good time dyeing yarn. I got about 100 skeins of fingering weight yarn last month. I have been using different methods and they all achieve different results.

Candy Rush

Candy Rush

Huntsmen

Huntsmen

Forbidden Fruit

Forbidden Fruit

Chrisalis

Chrisalis

Stubborn

Stubborn

 

 

Pathway

Pathway

And the last but not the least, this is my Equatorial yarn. I got inspired by the Selvedge magazine cover from the Summer of 2013 issue.

Equatorial

Equatorial

They are all listed now in my Etsy shop. I think I still have about 80 blank skeins that I need to go through. Fun!

Patricia.

Deep exploration of botanical print class with Irit Dulman

And not only with botanical prints. We also focused on the use of different dyes like Madder, Indigo, Weld and Cochineal to add more depth to the already interesting looking prints that we get from the leaves. The class went really fast and the amount of information was sometimes a bit overwhelming, but it was all reinforced by putting into practice the information given in the classroom. Besides being a wonderful teacher, Irit is very generous with the information she shares with her students. I came back home tired, but eager to start playing with all the new techniques that I learned at Pacific Grove. Here are few of the pictures I took of some of the student projects made in this class.

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Indigo Vat

Indigo Vat

Indigo

Madder

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Irit's class Pacific Grove 2014

Patricia

Making bundles

I did some dyeing this weekend. But first I had to go around my neighborhood to do some “shopping” for the right material.

Eucalyptus

I did found good leaves, but I also saw a men coming out from a driveway with the back of his truck filled with olive branches. I got so excited about trying something a little different from eucalyptus and after he told me to help myself as much as I could.

Olive leaves

Then I found these leaves that looks like a type of acacia. Their leaves are very similar to the olive leaves.

Branches

After I got home I started working on my bundles right away.  I made four bundles and put the whole thing to “cook”.

Bundles

The hardest part was to wait, so I took my camera and I went for a walk.

Bolinas Beach

A few hours later, I decided that it was time to take them out the pot.

Bundles

Here are my bundles before unfolding them.

Here are the results:

Eco prints

Eco prints

Eco prints

Eco prints

The Eucalyptus yielded the most bright colors, the acacia-like leaves, left a nice subtle print and the olives didn’t print at all.

Patricia