| A fabulous shot of our the results |
of our dye day taken by Merna Strauch.
It was hot and dry today as we dyed twelve bouts of soy silk and twelve bouts of raw silk for an upcoming group tapestry project. Lots of noisy helicopters were flying overhead as some dropped water and chemicals on the brush fire in Malibu just across the nearby mountain range. Other helicopters with cameras took everything down to broadcast on TV. They all ignored the five of us dyeing tapestry yarn below.
I belong to the Seaside Tapestry Group, who love to do collaborative projects in tapestry. This year about twelve of us will each be weaving a small format tapestry with a seashell theme; quite appropriate since we live by the Santa Monica Bay. Fortunately there is no requirement for a local seashell since my design is that of a shell whose natural habitat is Florida.
We have never been entirely satisfied with our previous group projects so each time we do one of these projects we try something different. This time we will have everyone use the same yarn. Given two of us are allergic to wool, we decided upon silk and soy silk. We settled on three colors; a rust, a plum and a blue in four saturation levels. That's twenty four bouts of yarn we dyed today.
It took less than four hours with three camping stoves, six big pots, an uncountable number of buckets, three dyes, lots of salt, vinegar and five people to accomplish the feat. The raw silk required heat while the soy silk did not. We were organized into two teams of two plus a floater. Merna had it so well organized it had to be the easiest dye day ever.
And the results are fabulous don't you think? Each type of yarn took the dye slightly differently so we should get an additional richness if/when we blend the yarns together. The soy is quite thin in comparison to the raw silk. This will allow for some interesting color blending possibilities. It looks like perfect yarn to try out the techniques Merna and I learned with Joan Baxter in the Fall of last year. That was workshop was sponsored by Tapestry Weavers West.
Now that they yarn is dyed we next tackle design and firm up the parameters on sett.
The time nears when weaving will actually start...