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Fiber fair and fairly awesome fiber

I had been eagerly anticipating an opportunity to attend the Great Lakes Fiber Show with my parents for at least a month.  They had given me a refurbished drum carder as a graduation gift and I wanted to reignite my deep fibernerditude with fiber-fanatic atmosphere.  I also needed to diversify my fiber stash to take advantage of my new drum carder.  To get “my hand back in” to the spinning world, I’ve been dropspindling some silk hankies (mawatas) that I had purchased a while back.

dropspindle silk

Dropspindling from silk mawatas

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Dye teasing

I just graduated today, and suddenly I can look forward to all manner of free time.  I’m delighted to be done, and very proud to have a Master’s degree… But I’m also eager to turn my focus to home, arts, and family. 

Our favorite annual gaming convention – and my costuming deadline – is just a few weeks off, so no time for a long post.  Here’s a brief tease of vat-dyeing adventure results:

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Seafoam green, plum blossom, and safari grey

The seafoam green came out nearly white (there’s an undyed hankie in there to show the similarity), the plum blossom came out crazy hot-pink on ths skirts (though more dusty rose on some canvas aprons not pictured), and the safari grey came out much warmer and more brownish than expected.  That’s the adventure part of dyeing!  You never know what will happen.  But these base colors are only the beginning.  There will be tie-dyeing, shibori, painting, resists, and more in the future for these garments. 

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And here’s an update on the jacket and harness rig that are a staple of my costume.  I’ve been refining both, improving them from what I wore last year.  Adding detail is especially important in steampunk looks.  Adding accessories to the belt/harness have pushed the inspiration into a “faerie hunter” theme, I like that it can be adventurous but not so rugged that frills and lace would be out of the question.  Not sure what might be done before the costume deadline, especially since my sewing/embroidery machine has had a breakdown and needs to go in for a repair and tune-up.

Until next time, keep those dye-baths bubbling and needles a-stitchin’…

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Preparing for a new (dye) adventure

School is nearly done.  Not just for the semester but indefinitely.  I am about to graduate and all I can think about is a summer of gardening, crafting and playing board games.  First up is a grand adventure to a gaming convention in my state.  Lots of people dress up in costumes, like any big geeky con, and this year’s theme is “Timetravel”.  It suits me well, because I really love steampunk and I think it will fit.

For last year’s early summer gaming convention, I started trying to cobble together a steampunk look,

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Breaking the Black Dye

The steampunk swap wrapped up last week, the box of goodies is even now wending it’s way through time and space to it’s recipient.  So this is a back-dated adventure from when I was in the thick of it.

Still hard at work on the steampunk swap, I had an inkling that my spoilee might appreciate yarn in a  colorway that resembled crow or raven feathers.  Blue Moon Fiber Arts has some amazing “Raven Clan” colorways that were the catalyst for this idea.  They are beautiful blacks with dashes of color, almost iridescent.  But alas, I’m on a credit-card diet for a while, so I could not indulge my spoilee’s and my desires for this particular yarn.  It’s not that it’s over-priced or anything, it’s just that I knew I would not be able to stop myself from buying several beautiful colorways, and that it would quickly get out of hand.  Sometimes it’s best for me just to not buy anything, rather than let myself get tempted to add just one more thing, and another, and another.

But I felt that I might be able to achieve something inspired by the crow feathers and the Raven Clan yarns with a funky dye technique using Wilton’s cake frosting tints and roving that I have at home.  I had wanted to do this technique for a long time, and my spoilee was giving me just the excuse I needed.

Wilton’s icing colors, like KoolAid, can be used like real yarn dyes to permanently (usually) color mammal-fiber yarns (ie. wool, alpaca).

Dye Day Adventures in KoolAid

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