July 2021 Newsletter
Stepping Into Color with Both Feet
You know the saying about today being the first day of the rest of your life? It feels like I am stepping into a new life journey, in technicolor. This is a journey I have dreamed of for decades! Having carried and stored a jar of cochineal bugs for almost 40 years, I am now, with trepidation, learning how to use them. Madder, Marigold and Cochineal are the first three colors to emerge from my dye pots!
When learning to weave on a table or floor loom, it can feel like it takes forever to do all the little things necessary to get the warp set up before doing the “real” weaving. And then, once truly bitten by the weaving bug, one realizes the planning, winding, warping, and of course the finishing, are all satisfying pieces of the weaving process.
And so it is, I am finding, with natural dyeing. Planning and preparation make for an experience that is satisfying and successful. Upon opening the third week module in the Maiwa online Natural Dyeing workshop, I was beyond excited to start going for color! Winding, tying, scouring, mordanting, had taken two full weeks. I had examined all the yarns and fabrics, affixed un-dyed samples in a journal, scoured each and every one according to the recipes for their fiber type. What a revelation. Just as in weaving, the set-up process takes time, and taking that time makes all the difference in the success of the next steps. And what a success! The colors are rich, deep and saturated. At last, I am setting out on the journey of natural dyes with a proper map.
Maybe I could dye and felt some “ruby slippers?”
Scoured and Mordanted
Cochineal, Madder & Marigold dyed wool yarns