Friday, February 6, 2015

NCFF - Day 3

Well, this might end up being more of a 1 post per month type blog till I can get myself a bit more organized. (Or until I figure out a way to just not need sleep ever again.) Anyway, back to NCFF...

Day 3 was the one that I was really looking forward to because Katie and I had our Natural Dying class that morning and it was amazing!! The instructor wanted to use up as much of the dye as possible during class because she couldn't take it home to use afterwards so we were told to bring any additional dye-stuffs that we wanted. I, went through my entire stash and pulled out everything that was white/off-white and brought it with me (which ended up being way more than anybody else brought, lol).

The first part of class was super informative, we had to let our items soak in the mordant for awhile before we could start dying so we got a ton of great info on the science behind natural dying while the mordant did it's thing. Our instructor does a lot of natural dying and had some great recommendations for books to read if we wanted to delve into it more. I was pretty excited to see that one of the books that I regularly recommend to customers was one of her favorites as well. (Now I just need to buy my own copy.)

Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess

Our kitchen set-up for the dyes from left to right: Cochineal (reds/pinks), Turmeric (yellows), and Black Walnut (browns). There's one more pot on the far right that had the mordent bubbling away.

The dyeables provided by our instructor starting in the top left and going clockwise around: Undyed Wool Yarn, Cotton Fabric treated with a Copper Mordant (the green-tinted one), Cotton Fabric treated with a Rust Mordant (the brown-ish one), Untreated Cotton Fabric, and a White Silk Scarf.

All my dyables tied, banded and knotted into various shapes to create different dye-effects (similar to tye-dying).

Everyone's dyeables in the mordant pot!

Checking the coloring on the items in the Black Walnut Dye Pot. As an aside: Black Walnut is actually a dye that is a mordant, so we didn't need to soak things in a separate mordant before adding them to this pot. We still did pre-soak them, though to develop a deeper color since we only had a few hours for the class. I tossed one of my extra skeins into the Black Walnut Dye Pot without pre-soaking in the mordant first and it came out a light tan rather than a warm brown even though it soaked for the same amount of time.

The Turmeric Dye Pot took forever to create a super deep gold color, but that was my goal so I left mine in for as long as I possibly could.

The Cochineal Dye was intense!! Within minutes the dyables were turning really bright shades of pink and some people took their stuff out pretty quickly after putting it in. This was the pot that almost everyone added their silk scarf to.

All of my things post-dying. The items in the bags are mainly the yarns that I brought from my stash (my silk scarf is the yellow in the top left).

My bits of Wool. I had tied too many tight knots in the brown one and when I took it out initially, it was more like cream yarn with brown spots, so I tossed it back in the dye pot unknotted and let it soak for a bit more. It still isn't my favorite, but it's better than it was!

This was my Untreated Cotton Fabric that I had folded up and banded so tightly that only a chunk in the center soaked up any of the brown dye. I wasn't very happy with it, so I tossed it in the yellow pot after most people took their items out.

I put the Cotton Fabric that had been treated with a Rust Mordant into the Cochineal Dye Pot for a long time and was pretty pleased with this fun tye-dye look that came out.

This was my Cotton Fabric that had been treated with a Rust Mordant. (No, those aren't blood stains. The spots are from the mordant.) This one sat in the Turmeric Dye Pot for as long as I could let it and I'm pretty pleased with how disturbing it looks.  ^_^
After our dye class, we had to make one last trip to the market and came away with even more fiber to add to the stash! Then it was time to pack up and head home. I'm super excited to go back next fall, I'm definitely hooked on these fiber excursions and love the classes that are offered. The 2015 North Country Fiber Fair is being held September 18-20 in Watertown, SD so be sure to mark your calendars and sign up for classes early!

This beautiful skein of loveliness is named Dark Elf and that may have been the tipping point for me to purchase it. (That and the fact that it's a silk/wool blend in amazing colors!!) I'm not sure what I wan to do with it, yet. Originally, I was thinking that I would make a Hitchhiker but now I'm thinking that I may have to make up something as I go. This will be such a fun yarn to play with and I can't wait to see Heather again at next year's NCFF.

Softest, prettiest roving ever!! Seriously, just order everything that you can from Jeanette & James at Willowbrook Farm. The fiber comes from their alpacas and the whole booth was decorated with pictures of the alpacas being adorable. How can you not want to buy everything that they have? I bought 4 oz of this lovely bamboo/alpaca blend and it spins like a dream! (P.S. They sell their alpacas and I have a birthday coming up... Just sayin'.)

Driving home from NCFF with big, fluffy clouds pointing the way.