My Blue Heaven

I stayed home this past week.

Didn’t have a real agenda. Just needed a little time to slow down and do homestead type stuff.

And I did.

I picked raspberries and cherries
Weeded in the garden
Trimmed sheep hooves.
Mucked out the sheep shed.
Sat around chatting with sheep and chickens
Washed fleece
Did some yoga.
Listened to a lot of sports talk radio
Baked a cherry pie
Spun
Carded
Spun some more.

Then, I dyed.
And not just some instant gratification koolaid dyeing (that happened earlier in the week).

This time I pulled out the big pot, and started an indigo vat.

Gimme an I!
Ordered more natural indigo powder from Earthues in Seattle
Gimme an N!
Selected and reskeined yarns to be dyed/overdyed

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Gimme a D!
Washed up a bunch of Griff’s last fleece

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Gimme another I!
Hit the internet for a refresher on the process
Gimme a G!
Assembled all the necessary tools and ingredients (lye, thiox, pH test strips, gelatin, thermometer, big washtub, etc)
Gimme an O!
Dove in and started my stock solution.

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It was overcast, so I set up under cover of the breezeway

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I had a little bit of a hard time conclusively determining the pH because my test strips kept turning blue, but I used gelatin (because I oculdn’t find hide glue locally) as an additive to the vat to help protect the wool fibers from the alkaline solution. It seems to have worked pretty well, as everything feels like it is still in good condition.

Indigo is a little tricky, but it has the advantage of not requiring a mordant, and the results are aMAzing!

Griff Indigo Fleece2

INdigo Skeins close

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2 Comments

    • denisemor

      thanks Donna- I am really pleased with how it all turned out. Especially the Griff fleece. I’m putting together a plan to make a special sweater to remember him by.

      Reply

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