"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dye Day

Old Misty is enjoying my company , and I hers, as I spend the day dying wool.
I have lined up some necessary things on the railing of our back porch where I have set up my little dying operation. ( sounds sinister doesn't it? ) There are jars of white vinegar, two big containers of dye mixed with hot water. One is full of blue dye, the other, crimson . I use Jacquard dyes. My big wooden spoon for stirring dyes and dye pot contents, and for some reason, I just always keep a big pitcher of water on hand...maybe the flames of the stove inspire that?
I set up the propane stove my husband bought me last year for my birthday. Every industrious woman NEEDS one of these stoves! I use it for dyeing wool and canning. It comes in handy for camping too, but really, most necessary for any big pot ( as in canning pots and kettles) needs. I have worn out so many brand new stoves with my canning and dyeing activities. Wish we had known about these stoves a long time ago! You can see I have a chair on which to park myself, and a book on CD to listen to while I simmer the wool in the pot for the required 60 minutes. There are also dogs to pet and birds to watch! I started with a lot of washed and still wet wool. This is black and white wool of one of my sheep.
Beatrix is not too sure about the hissing propane flame, and watches me from off the porch. That is fine by me, I don't need another dog underfoot.
Look at this blue wool! It is still hot, and wet, and after rinsing and drying it will need to be carded, but I love this color!
And look at this red wool! The dye bath was successful too, because the rinse water for both the blue and red wool has washed clean and clear! Whatever I craft out of this wool- be it yarn or locker hooked rugs, the dye will not run or bleed into the other colors or ruin a fabric it is washed with. The dye is set! Hooray!!! If you are interested in how to dye wool, check out this web- site. Gleason's Fine Woolies These summer days are busy. The animals need constant watering, the gardens need watering AND weeding, the strawberries are ripening faster than I can pick and can freshly made jam from them. The lettuces should be ready for picking tomorrow ....oh, and there is always the housework. ...and sleep?

19 comments:

Mildred said...

Misty looks like she enjoyed spending the morning with you. How very pretty the colors turned out on your wool. What a busy time summer is - but later on a cold winter's night, the fruits of your labor sure will be welcome.

Pamela said...

What gorgeous colors! I always enjoy your posts about how you do something. With your words and the pictures, it almost seems as though we are there watching over your shoulder.

Regarding your propane stove, my dad had one like yours...but with just one burner. He used it to fry fish and fry turkey. (Yeah, fried turkey--a southern thing and unbelievably delicious.)

Southern Comfort said...

Being busy with such good work makes one happy. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment to work on projects. Of course, none of mine look as interesting as yours. That blue wool is so beautiful, blue is my favorite color. I hope the day was peaceful and purposeful.

Karen said...

The colors are so bright. It must be rewarding to see the finished product when you have done everything by hand, from shearing to spinning to weaving!

Debbie said...

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble..I wonder what made me say that:) It sounds as though you're set for success. I don't know anyone who has sheep or dyes wool.
I have hopes of relocating to some acreage for some chickens and goats. I think I'll just sew and quilt in the meantime. The hot weather broke Saturday night with a bad storm and our cool days are here again. Have a great day,
Deb

LindaSueBuhl said...

interesting process - I didn't know you had to boil the dye into the wool but it makes sense that would make a natural fiber "take up" the dye more completely - fabulous bright colors. Do you freeze any of the berres? I love frozen whole strawberries in the winter when nothing tastes as fresh and sweet

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oh, Kathy- I always love seeing you work with wool! I've learned so much from you.
The propane stove is awesome! I could see lots of possibilities with one of those myself- I'm sure it is VERY handy!
Hmmm... maybe if I drop hints to my Hubby? LOL

Deanna said...

This was so very interesting!
~D~

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Beautiful dye job and love those colours! I'm not familiar with a propane stove other than the small Coleman cook camp stove. I'll have to do some research and then make a purchase as your propane stove looks GREAT for dyeing! Ever so much better than dragging everything from barn to house to back porch to...

Mary said...

Your narration is always calming, soothing. The love for what you do spills out. Love your helpers too.

Leslie said...

The wool looks terrific. The vibrant patriotic colors are very appropriate for the upcoming holiday. I like the propane stove. I can see how nice it would be to cook large pots on it outside and the house would not get so hot.

KathyB. said...

Mildred, yes, Misty enjoys spending time with me and I do appreciate many of my rugs in the winter. The rugs are very thick and plush, just perfect under the sink in the bathroom on those cold winter days.

Pamela, we have a turkey fryer and I don't think there is a better tasting turkey than a deep fried one!

Southern Comfort, we BOTH like blue best!Being busy with my hands helps me channel my energy and curb my mind....

Karen, the process of taking a lamb, raising it up and using the wool to make yarn, fabric, rugs, still seems like magic to me....a true marvel!

Debbie, the words are very appropriate, as I had to boil and boil with toil and trouble for at least an hour to produce not even 3 pounds of dyed wool. Well worth it to me too!

Linda Sue, I freeze the strawberries sliced and sugared so I can top ice cream and desserts with them , but I don't freeze them whole, maybe I will this year.

Farm Chick Paula, you will love this propane stove! It comes apart for easy transport and storage. I have a friend who sets hers up outside as a summer kitchen , and I am considering this too!

Deanna, thank-you!

Thistle Cove,I used the Coleman stove for a few years and it just didn't cut the mustard, so when i discovered this stove I was so excited! It is the stove I use to pressure can our green beans too. In fact, I did all my canning on this stove last fall, and I love it even more for it's practicality!

Mary, thank-you.

Candy Duell said...

The colors are beautiful! They are so bright and pretty. I went looking for locker hooking stuff in Walmart yesterday, and they did not have any. I may have to run up to Joanns and get the stuff to try your type of rug hooking. It looks like a great hobby :)

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I would just love to be able to have sheep and dye wool......would love being your neighbor to learn. Do you ever give lessons by the way? I know what you mean about watering and weeding and animals and gardens. It is a full days work. Loved the look of your wool! blessings,Kathleen

Vikki G said...

Wow~ What a wonderful process..my children and I saw this done many years ago when they were very little and they always wanted to experience it. Sadly though we never have...what a lovely way to spend a day.

Shellmo said...

Misty & Beatrix are beautiful dogs! What a great idea to have that propane stove! I think I need one for my canning now!!

KathyB. said...

Leslie, you're right! The colors are patriotic....and I think in your hot climate this stove would make a great outdoor kitchen right next to the barbecue and the tub of iced cold drinks!

Candy, I am going to do a tutorial on my blog soon about locker hooking. It is easy and you end up with a practical product, my idea of the ideal craft!

Kathleen, yes, I have given lessons, I have taught a a few people to locker hook and they are still making rugs....I actually sell locker hooking kits too!

Vikki, any activity that allows me to stay home AND be productive in a useful way is a worthwhile and often pleasant way to spend a day! ( cleaning the bathroom is worthwhile, not necessarily pleasant, )

Shellmo, yes, Beatrix and Misty love me to pieces too....I think in your neck of the woods this stove would be necessary! Even if it is only to set it up on the shore of the lake to simmer soup and make coffee and cocoa on those cold, cold birding days!

Daisy said...

The colors are beautiful, Kathy. That was interesting to read how you do that. You have so much talent.

BT said...

Oh how busy you are. Our strawberries have been like yours and Jim made a bit of jam, which is lovely. I love how you dye your wool. I wouldn't know where to start. I have just dyed some cream towels in the washing machine as they never seemed to look clean anymore and they look much better.