Friday, 21 March 2008

Dyed and set

I was planning to do a whole batch of wool dyeing today, which I usually do outdoors as it's messy and (sometimes) smelly. But the weather didn't agree with the plan, we've had wild wind, rain, a bit of sleet, all sorts of stuff. Not to be outdone, I decided that I'd set my horse's stable up as a temporary dye studio. My horse, Sam, doesn't use the stable much, although there is still straw in there from Giles' occupancy a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, armed with a newly-purchased wallpapering table from B&Q (I usually use a picnic bench, but that just wasn't going to fit through the stable door), I set up a dye painting area and soaked some Shetland roving in preparation.

My usual method for painting rovings is pretty time-consuming, as I'm a bit of a stickler for note-taking. Must be all those lab practicals I did at uni. However, since these rovings are destined for sale (in my online shop, which is on its way soon) it's probably a good thing I've got notes, someone's bound to ask me to repeat a colourway. So after setting everything up, I only finished two rovings today, but the table and dyes are still out there, so I can do a whole day's dyeing tomorrow.

Just as a teaser, here are today's two, just before I 'cooked' them.


I base my colours on photos I've taken, the bluey/greeny one was based on a photo of some rock pools at Charmouth beach, while the red/purple one was inspired by a photo of some wild blackberries. The last batch of rovings I did came out remarkably close to the colours in the photos:

This roving, which I called 'Coast'

Coast roving

Was inspired by this photo, taken at Charmouth Beach last spring:

Jurassic coast at Charmouth

And this one, called 'Calendulas',

Calendulas roving

used colours from this photo of some calendulas I grew last year:


No idea if today's colours will come out as well as these, I'll post pics of them if they do. And I'll go back to my drawing board if they don't! :)

p.s. Giles and Splodge the rams are getting on much better now, so it looks as though Splodge will be around here for a while. But just to maintain Giles' cute and friendly factor, I'm planning to halter train him, so I can take him out on walks on his own sometimes. Splodge isn't going to like being left on his own at all, but it serves him right for being so mean to Giles in the first place!


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I couldn't be there to help out with the dyeing, the weather never seems to have the same idea. I like the sound of using the stable, very practical. I can only imagine your next batch of colourways to be just as lovely and vibrant as these :)

Bea said...

No, no, no you must post pics regardless. They look very promising. Waiting with bated breath. I love the pics of the last ones beautiful colours!

Bea said...

The suspense is killing me, I have a need to see how it all turned out. Please???