Archive for October, 2009

My . . . Other Studio

October 30, 2009

As I sat at the kitchen table working on this odd creation,


I started looking around, and gradually realized that the room I call my studio probably isn’t actually the primary creating centre of my home.  That would be the kitchen/living room that is the main area of this tiny apartment.  Most of these pictures were taken from the very place I was  sitting, in the middle of the room.


The Dye Area, aka the stove and stupidly tiny counter space.  I was multitasking and working on my dyeing project at the same time as the other thing.  Like I am right now, actually.  Type, stir, type, stir . . .   The first part is due on Monday (eek!) and I have 5 colours left to match, and tomorrow is a complete write-off.


The Pressing Station, aka the hallway.  I could set up the ironing board in the studio, but since I keep the door closed so the cat can’t get in, that’s just one more step that slows things down.  You’re getting a preview of the dyeing project there – that’s the logwood and cutch with their acid-dyed counterparts.


The Weaving Nook, aka wherever it fits at the moment, usually the floor under the kitchen table.  When not in use, it hangs on the studio wall, but I’ve been teaching DBF how to weave, so it’s been out for a couple of weeks.


The Spinning Hangout, aka in front of the TV.  All set up to start plying here, for the Mystery Project.  On the right you can see a weaving project from my first schooling days, a nice little rug.

DSCF1023The Carding Spot, aka . . . next to the breadmaker.  Ok, maybe not The Carding Spot so much as The Spot The Carding Brushes Fell To After Being Out On The Table Because DBF Thinks They’re Pretty.


The Projects On The Go Depot, aka, um, the random table on a table in the living room.  This is my new doublet for SCA purposes, waiting to be embroidered with that silk sitting on top.


The CD Spindle Settlement, aka the couch.  Put up there so it doesn’t get stepped on, after taking in in to do a demonstration for my “textile” class.  Which, I have learned, means a different thing at art school than it does at textile art school.   But that’s another rant.


The Lazy Spindle Harbour, aka on top of the books on the window ledge.  You can almost see my support spindle there with the pile of alpaca, it the place of honour within reaching distance of the couch, because I can use it whilst reclining, unlike my other various spinning tools.


The “I’ll Put Them Away Eventually” Repository, aka also on the window ledge.  Best not spoken of.


The “I’m Using It, Really!” Camp, aka the other end of the window ledge.


The “I’ll Just Put This Here For A Minute” Terminal, aka the top of the  cubby shelf thing by the door.  This is a patch I embroidered for my computer geek boyfriend.  One of these days one of us will actually sew it onto his netbook case.


The Swords and Drawings Corner, aka the swords and drawings corner.  Well, the swords corner anyways.  No, really!


The Cotton Hideout, aka the space between the armoire/pantry and the wall, aka the broom closet, aka the place we hang the shopping bags.  I’m not sure how that bolt of cotton ended up back there.


The Sample Book Centre, aka the kitchen bookshelf.  Those binders contain about half of what I learned at school the first time around.  Some day there will be room in the studio for them, but this works for now.


The Hat Shelf, aka the hat shelf.  The top hat was my felt project for school, and you can see the corner of my Laminaria shawl poking out of the bottom.  There’s a bunch more, but it’s mostly hidden.


The Reference Library, or part of it.  Aka the floor in the living room.


The – hey, that’s where my knitting needle gauge went!


The Chair That I Neatly Hung My Apron On.  Until it got attacked.  Which brings me to . .  .


Who, me?  Aka General Starkiller Fangzalicious The Third, aka Argh, You Monster, Enough With The CLAWS, aka Sayiidi.  I figure there’s enough cat hairs in everything I make he qualifies as an official source of fibre.

I haven’t been idle . . .

October 23, 2009

. . .  but I haven’t been taking pictures, either.


This is the madder, in process.  I now have all but the indigo dyed for the original colours, and am done the colour match for the madder, and the logwood match is on the stove as I type this.

It’ll be a few more weeks until I get it all organized, so in the mean time . . .  who wants to read my paper on spindles?

New Project

October 2, 2009

I love my dyeing teacher.  Since I’ve already taken the second year version of her class (and therefore already know how to use all the dyes she teaches), for the third year version the two of us basically just sat down and invented one big project that will be most of my grade.  Want to know what we came up with?

I’m going to make a colour reference book with natural dyes, procion mx (for cellulose fibres) and acid dyes (for protein fibres).  There are lots of reasons I can think of that somebody might want to use chemical dyes instead of natural dyes (they were invented for a reason, after all!) but still stick to the natural dye spectrum.  So I’m doing natural dye samples with a natural linen, a bleached linen, a wool and a silk fabric, and then colour match with the chemical dye of choice, and put it all together in one big book.  And, of course, post it on the blog.  I want people to use it!


Volume I (’cause I’ll probably do more) will consist of twelve colours, spread between most of the colour wheel:

  1. Dark Pink/Red:  Cochineal
  2. Pink:  Cochineal (exhaust)
  3. Red:  Madder
  4. Orange:  Madder Pale (exhaust + citric acid)
  5. Yellow:  Weld
  6. Olive Green:  Osage + iron
  7. Dark Blue:  Indigo (many dips)
  8. Light Blue:  Indigo (few dips)
  9. Dark Purple:  Logwood
  10. Light Purple/Grey:  Logwood pale (exhaust)
  11. Light Brown:  Cutch
  12. Dark Brown:  Cutch + iron

I’m mordanting the wool and the silk as I type (gotta love dyeing for multitasking!) and hopefully will dye the first couple of colours this weekend.

Here’s the chopped up pieces:


Top down is wool, silk, natural linen, bleached linen.