Tag Archive | dyeing

OHS Level 2: Day 8

I started this post on August 27. That is how crazy things are here. It’s crazy/good though.

I apologize if anyone was waiting for this post. I got my Sweet Pea back on Sunday and we’ve been busy making up for lost snuggle time. I’ve also been trying to wash fleece and get things organized in the house. It’s been a crazy summer and I’ve been away from home for the most of it. I want to be organized for this fall so that I can get my assignments completed on the early side and so that I can spin my brains out. I’ve done a lot of prep this summer, so I should be good to do a lot of spinning this winter.

Speaking of assignments, I just ordered the mordants I will be needing for the nature dye assignment. I have a game plan about how I’m going to find out more information. I know I can use Golden Rod, but I’d like to do something different if I can. Golden Rod will be Plan B. I think I’m reluctant to make it my first choice because it’s too readily available LOL

Once again, class went too fast this year. I enjoyed it even more than I did last year. I feel so much more relaxed coming into Level 2. I’m very clear about the format now so I’m just going to let ‘er rip. I’m not just doing this to get by, for the prestige. I want to pass this art on. A few things were made clearer. Had I have known these things last year, my assignments would have looked much different. I was pleased with my marks, but I felt limited because of what I didn’t know. I have some more info I’ll be adding to my “Notes for Newbies” so those who take the course down the road won’t encounter the same limitations. 

Here are the results of some of the nature dyeing we did the last 2 days of class:

Marigold - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Our group used marigold and this was the results

Marigold-dyed fibre - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

The fleece we put in our marigold dye pot to level out the weight

OHS Level 2 nature dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Another group’s work

OHS Level 2 nature dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

And another…

OHS Level 2 nature dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

And another still…

OHS Level 2: Day 7

Today we prepared for nature dyeing tomorrow. First, we soaked our samples in a variety of mordants: alum/cream of tartar, copper, iron and a couple of others that I can’t exactly recall at 11pm. Yeah, it was a long day.

For those wondering what a mordant is… It’s like a colour booster. Each mordant reacts differently with each nature dye. It’s really quite interesting.

Then we prepared our dye stock. They all needed to soak overnight at the very least. Each plant varies. My group prepared marigold.

It was a fun day. Tomorrow will be even more fun to see the results from the dye pots! The down side is that it will be our last in-class day.

We ended the day with a trip to Marty’s. I picked up some more merino/stellina wool. I also got some nylon with the intention of making some socks someday (I will blend it with 75% wool). I picked up some more of Marty’s magical moth mix and some nettle tea to help fight allergies. And I thought I didn’t need anything there…

As I always do, I had Little Mickey and Pooh with me. I promised my Sweet Pea that I would take them with me everywhere because he left them with me to look after me. So it has become tradition that I take pictures of them doing different things on our adventures. My plan is to possibly put a scrapbook together for him someday.

Fleece for dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Fleece that was added to the yarn samples

Samples of plants for dyeing - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

A sample of some plants that can be used for dyeing

Dye plants - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Some plants we’ll be using for dyeing tomorrow

I also had a bit of a self-realization moment today. It came to me while discussing group leadership versus teaching. I’ve discovered why I’m not a leader in a group situation if the group has other ideas. If the group is respectful of my assigned position and has an open mind, I’m totally comfortable with that role. I’m totally comfortable in a teaching role. There are some situations where it may be expected or understood that I would be in a leadership role within a group. I have no problem with that unless I’m accosted by a bossy and/or domineering person or people. If my peers don’t respect my assigned position, I won’t argue with them. I have been through too much BS to even try to get somebody to listen to me who clearly thinks they know more than what I do (they may or may not – but I was assigned the role for a reason). I’m weary from fighting to be heard. I have little left. I have nothing left for those who don’t care to open their minds. I would much rather focus my energy on somebody who is open to what I have to share. I may not know all there is to know, but you’re missing out on what I do know if you choose not to listen. We all have different experiences and I enjoy sharing mine. You may even learn something.

The other part of it is that if you think you know better than I do and you screw up, I don’t want that reflecting on me. There has been more than one occasion where I’ve been in a group scenario and the group decided to not listen to directions. If I was taken seriously as leader, there’s a very high probability that that wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I’m very detail-oriented, which is probably one of the reasons I was assigned the role. I would have gone to the instructor to verify if there was any doubt. But hey, you know best, so just go right on ahead. I’ll be over in my corner waiting for instructions.

I think what it comes down to is the abuse that I endured. Everything was always my fault, even when I wasn’t involved. I got the blame for everything. My thoughts, opinions, experience and feedback meant nothing. So now as a result, I’m constantly in cover-your-ass mode. So if I’m in a group that doesn’t want to take my leadership role seriously, I’m not going to kiss there butts. Plus, my ass is covered for when they screw up. If I was in a leadership role and the group actually listened to me and the team screwed up, I would take responsibility for it because clearly I had passed on misinformation. But if the group chooses not to listen to me and there is a screw-up, it’s not my problem, is it?

Teaching/assisting on the other hand, is completely different. If I’m teaching/assisting, obviously I’m there specifically to pass on my knowledge and adhere to the set out curriculum. I’m there for a reason and that reason is because I’m a fit for the job. I was asked what I would do if I encountered a student who gave me a hard time or chose not to listen. Because let’s face it. I can come across as a bit of a pushover. Again, it comes down to choosing my battles. I have encountered a scenario where I had a student who challenged me. It was in dog training, but it was still a teaching job. He was on a mission to make me look like I knew nothing. I didn’t claim to know all there is about dog training. I’m not a behaviorist. That’s a whole other field. I was given a set of guidelines that I needed to follow for my classes and I did. I did it well. I got to the point where I had to tell the student that I was there to pass on what I know, which met the expectations of the company I worked for. I wanted to see him and his dog succeed. But if he had an issue with my methods, he was free to discuss the situation with management. If my classes weren’t meeting his expectations, then he may want to consider finding another dog trainer that can meet the needs I’m not.

After that, he had nothing more to say and my classes went smoothly.

Teaching and group scenarios are two different things. If you’re teaching, it’s because you have worked hard to acquire the skills and knowledge to pass on to others. People are there with the intention to learn from you. You can learn a lot in a group setting as well as long as you go in with an open mind. Many don’t. They judge before you even open your mouth. Who’s losing out though? Not I because I won’t expel the energy on somebody who has no interest in my experience, therefore, does not deserve it.

On the Wheel Today: July 18/15

Merino/Stellina blend, dyed by me - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Merino/Stellina blend, dyed by me

I had started this post on Saturday at the artisans market I attended, but I got too into the spinning to finish it. 

I also discovered the “before” picture too…


Merino/Stellina blend dyed by keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

I dyed this earlier this year

And after spinning and plying…

Spun and dyed by keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

2-ply, sport weight-ish (haven’t checked the finished WPI)

I’ve been doing a LOT of spinning and dyeing since my Sweet Pea had to go last Sunday. He was so upset, so I’m sure you can guess how I’ve been. But rather than let the darkness win, I have dove head-first into my wool. I know some out there were counting on me shutting down and being depressed. But I bet they didn’t count on me fighting back with colour and fluff. Who says wool can’t be used as a weapon?

Birthday Wool

Yesterday was my birthday. It was hard this year because it was the first one without Mom. So rather than wallow in self-pity, I decided that I was going to dye some yarn for funsies. Of course the base was going to be purple! But I wanted to see if I could fracture the colours like I did with my “happy accident”, but this time on purpose.

Keep Me in Stitchez's Birthday Wool

Wool that I dyed to celebrate my birthday

I think I was pretty successful at my end goal. Of course I had no idea that the blue was going to be so predominant, but I’m perfectly fine with that! This photo is also a little deceptive… There are sparkles in the wool, but you can see it in the photo.

While I was doing the in-class portion of OHS Level 1 this summer, it was discovered that the supplier that made the dyes we were using changed their formula. It was significantly stronger, which meant it took forever for the dye pots to exhaust. I had bought my dyes awhile ago, so I was thinking that they didn’t fall into this category. Wrong I was! So after doing four different strengths and at least 16oz of fibre later… Now I have a lot of really strong magenta yarn and fibre. I’m glad I like this colour! LOL

So when I dyed my fibre yesterday, I hadn’t officially came to that conclusion yet. The purple was darker than what I was aiming for, but I’m pleased with the results. And in the fashion in which I was taught, I documented what I did. While I may not be able to get the exact same results (and why would I want to?!), I know how to get the effect. That ones going in the books for sure!

Dyeing Fail… Or WAS It?

Go big or go home, right?

Yeah, that doesn’t always work. I was SO EXCITED to get working on my dyeing assignment that I made a few rookie mistakes. Mistakes that deep down, I “know better than that.” But sometimes you need to make the mistakes yourself to see the results first hand. We’ll go with that… hehehe


Blank canvas


My studio/work station… Not kidding when I say that I have a small area to work in!




This photo doesn’t do it justice, but things are so pink that it looks like Pinkie Pie threw up!

So… This is one of those cases where it looks like smaller is better. I decided that I was going to add some fibre to my dye pot to bring it up to 2oz. I’m not sure what it was that caused the unevenness to happen, but it could have been a few things. I know that I initially didn’t add enough vinegar. I also think that the fibre composition of the roving played a huge part (especially since the roving took all the colour). On the positive side though, I did end up with a beautiful “happy accident.” I guess when you mess up in dyeing, the only mess-up is if you’re striving for certain results. The only thing wrong with this is that it wasn’t the results I was after. I can’t wait to get this spun up!


Totally NOT what I expected. While it won’t work for my assignment, it’s better than I expected! Now to get this spun up…

Baby Shoes and Spinning

I know I was on a roll with the posting and then it seemed to come to an abrupt halt. I’m in the process of tweaking and trying to figure out how to schedule things better. Also, tourist season is quickly approaching in my little section of the world. I’ve been working on items to sell at the Kinmount Artisans Marketplace. I’m also working on finishing up some orders so that I can focus more on spinning.

I have a couple of pattern tests that I have completed. They will get their own posts, along with my thoughts on the patterns (be excited about this because they are both AWESOME! hehehe)

Here are a few things that I’ve been working on recently (which I guess would explain the lack of posts):

baby shoes

dying tnt

In the dye pot

dyed tnt

Just off the wheel… Thick ‘n thin style

blue tnt

Stay tuned for the pattern reviews… I’m off to write them right now!

Day 25 – Disperse Dyes and Wrapping up the Reactive Dyes

I have got to say that this was a really fun week! I had a blast working with colour. I can’t wait to delve into it more. I’m sensing a trip to Marty’s next weekend for some food colouring… Little man is gone, so Saturday will be “retail therapy day.” I’ll be going up to school to take advantage of studio time anyway, so why not, right?

Anyway, the disperse dye was fun. I can’t see myself doing much with it in the future though. It only works on synthetic fibre (except silk, which seems to be the exception to the rule of everything). Essentially you’re making a heat transfer.

The transfers I painted

Some pieces done with disperse dyes

We also finished up with the reactive dyes. I think I’m going to use my 10 step scale yarn in a new bandana or two (I’ve got a lot of compliments on the one that I wear quite a bit). This was a fun process, but again, not too excited about working with chemicals on a regular basis.

Acid dyed yarn drying

My 10 step scale

This was Laurie’s last day. She taught us A LOT this week. She was a great instructor and a lot of fun:-) She took various pieces of our work and fixed the display case up outside the classroom. It looks awesome!