Monday, February 4, 2013

Things Are Strange Here!

I woke this morning with a light rain.  I know that some time I did hear thunder way off in the distance, but this was a light Spring rain.  Is it late March yet?  Not according to my calendar.  I have bulbs already sprouting above ground.

Also I have been opening my door and airing the house more.  It is glorious to sit out on the deck on the south side of house in the sunshine.

I also have been watching my two neighbor hawks swirling around in the sky calling to one another.  It is truly love in the air.  Last year they mated right in front of me while sitting on the white oak tree.

I am experimenting with a black bean dye.  I have been reading a lot about using this bean, but never considered it.  Suddenly I have to see what can be done.  I have soaked the beans for 48 hours.  I strained off the liquor and now it is sitting and settling. 

I am premordanting my wool (BFL).  I know I made a B in chemistry a long, long time ago, but I am not a patient chemistry geek.  Normally I just throw in some mordant in the dye pot and hope for the best.  This time I am actually trying to do it right.  I measured the wool, measured the alum, measured the cream of tartar.  I simmered for one hour.  I am now letting it cool in the mordant bath.  This is taking way too long for me, but I am trying to do it right.

In the meantime, I am soaking the beans in more water.  The first soaking only gave me 2 quarts of liquor.  So this will probably be a weak dye-maybe.  So I am going to strain off the next soaking and add to the dyebath when time comes.

So far I don't know what will happen.  I know there are gray spots on my counter.  The liquor looks like blackberry juice to me.  Supposedly I am going to get a blue color.  We'll see.

This is part of my road to dyeing with natural dyes more this year than the chemical ones.  It just takes a long time and big ole mess to do it.

I have to go check on my wool.  Let you know how it comes out.     

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