Considering that we had snow again today (April 3rd), it’s hard to get in the ‘spring’ mood. The daffodils are convinced, though, so I’ll go along with them.
And here’s another sign of spring – Easter egg dye packages, on sale for a few days after the holiday.
Yes, I bought ten of them… and if the price goes down further, I’ll buy some more!
They are plain old food coloring, but food coloring can still make some very pretty colors on wool. These simple, bright (often too-bright) colors can be mixed and overdyed to produce complex and subdued results.
This wool, with the exception of the dark brown Shetland at the bottom of the picture – is all Kool-Aid dyed. It’s my latest foray into dyeing, and is the beginning of a special project for the Midwest Weavers’ Association Conference this summer.
Each guild associated with Midwest Weavers is encouraged to participate in a special exhibit, based on the guidelines decided upon by the conference committee. This year, the challenge is to express the Kansas state motto, “Ad astra per aspera” (To the stars through difficulties), as inspired by the wide Kansas skies.
I won’t give any details on the actual project idea to be completed by members of the Wichita Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild, but I will share my own personal inspiration picture:
This is the view from our back door… not a house in sight! It makes me happy.
As much as I hated to, I knew that I’d need to start the dyed wool through the next step on the road to yarn, so I combed some of each color. The different shades of the dyed Merino fleece blended into colors that I think are a fairly close approximation of some of the colors in my picture.
This snapshot doesn’t do justice to the actual, in-person colors, especially the lavender, but you get the idea. I decided the day after taking the picture of the uncombed wool that the orange was a little too pale, so I did one final overdye in black cherry Kool-aid. The picture above has both the ‘before’ and ‘after’ orange shades, since I kept back just a bit of the lighter orange for combing. Now I just need to say goodbye to the rest of the dyed fleece and comb it so I can get on with the spinning.
It’s always interesting to see what everyone else does, and to see all of our projects arranged on the guild table, AND to see how ours stacks up against the other guild exhibits! And if our table should just happen to win the prize money, we won’t spend it all in one place.
Well, we didn’t win, but here is a picture of my finished fingerless gloves on our guild’s display table.