Monday, April 30, 2012

Tundra Time

Here's a batch of cotton/hemp blend fabric I dyed in my Tundra palette. Rich, deep hues that are a little unusual I think. They all work well together, because they are all made with the same two dyes, just in different proportions. These have a higher value than the cotton yards I showed you on Friday. With a darker value, sometimes a slight shift in hue will occur too.

I tend to like yellows and greens that flirt with chartreuse, so the sorrel and saxifrage are really appealing to me.  I've also dyed some embroidery thread in these tundra hues and am washing those now.

This week, my other job in the garden calls. After starting tomatoes indoors with the children, it's time to repot them into larger containers and wait until overnight temps are much warmer before we plant them in the ground. Our daytime highs have fluctuated from the fifties to the eighties in April and we even had a freeze warning a few days ago. We'll be starting three kinds of cotton indoors this week too.

Here's a great source for cotton seeds if you are looking for some:

Southern Exposure

Cotton seeds are difficult to find. I love this seed catalogue. They specialize in open-pollinated organic and heirloom seeds.

Friday, April 27, 2012

blue + yellow = aahh

Mixing two primary hues is always a dyer's delight. By changing the proportions of the hues, you can create an infinite range of colors. By varying the value (percentage of dye powder relative to the fabric weight) you can expand your options even further. I'm calling this palette "Tundra". 

My favorite is the the yellowy green hue. It reminds me of those acid yellow lichen you'll spot creeping along a damp bit of outcrop.

This palette is dyed in a one percent value. I've made up five yards of cotton for this batch. I have another batch of hemp and organic cotton washing now, dyed in the same palette, but in a different value. More photos soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shop Update

Just a quick note to say these are now listed in my store.

Hope to take some more pics of work in progress later today. Stay tuned.

A cool, spring day has washed the pollen away. Hurrah!  To wake up without my eyes glued together would be a nice change.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Into a Shibori Phase

I'm a person of "phases".  I see folks who plan out their creative endeavors like clockwork. They have it timed to have the greatest commercial impact. It's organized and scheduled. Although I am very precision oriented when it comes to the process of dyeing, I find it difficult to keep a schedule and set a goal and stick to it.  I drift from phase to phase.  Not necessarily a bad thing, just not the ideal mode for someone trying to make a living!

Right now, I'm back in a shibori phase. I'm exploring ways to integrate stitched patterning with pole patterning. There's something about the contrast between the precise stitched areas against the "wild" unrestrained patterns achieved through pole wrapping that I really enjoy. Here are just a few examples of what I've been working on lately.

The fabric used makes a big difference too. I really like a hemp/silk blend and a 100% hemp linen for both pole and stitched shibori. It is easy to stich and I am able to get good contrast with it.  You can see in the 2nd and 3rd pieces above that one side is lighter than the other. This is a result of folding the fabric down the middle before stitching and binding. The layer closest to the pole will always be a little lighter if you fold before stitching.