Life after Work

Checked and found Cochineal bugs

I finally walked around the corner to check out the white patches on the prickly pear cactus patches in front of the car dealership near my office – lo and behold, they really are cochineal bugs! Now the question is – can I harvest and prep them myself?

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Natural Dye Workshop – Day 3

Our last day was spent finishing up the sample cards and winding the last mini-skeins before heading home in the early afternoon. We left with over thirty different shades of beautiful, plant-dyed yarns. Here is a link to my Flickr set for the whole workshop.

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Natural Dye Workshop Day 2

After beginning our second day here at the Blue River Retreat with another great breakfast and morning walk it was back to the dye pots for me. Today we focused on post-mordanting with copper and tin as well as trying out a variety of exhaust baths and combinations of them, with exciting results. All of […]

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Natural Dye Workshop Day 1

Mr. Wise and I drove up to the Blue River Retreat (near Alpine, AZ) yesterday afternoon. We are staying in one of three Windstream travel trailers so that I can attend a three-day natural dye workshop held by Jane (a.k.a. Janie) Hoffman, an expert tapestry weaver and dye master, with five other women. Two of them I […]

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Tour de Fleece, Week 2

Yay, about 3/4 done with my spinning! I also plied a skein of wool that I had already spun and was sitting around on bobbins. In rug news, I am about 1/2 inch away from the top of John’s rug which sets me behind my goal. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it by Tuesday.

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Tour de Fleece 2008

I came across a new challenge, La Tour de Fleece. Participators set themselves a spinning goal and try to attain it while the Tour de France is going on. I’m a bit late because the tour started last weekend but I’m going to try to reach my goal anyway. I decided to challenge myself to […]

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fiber,roving,handpainting,dyeing,acid dye

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Finally – some finished projects

I managed to finish a crochet hat and a headband, both made out of my very first handspun yarn. About time! The hat is based on a pattern from the book “Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker”. I used the first yarn I spun, the first fiber I dyed, and some other handpainted fiber that I spun at […]

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Indigo experiment I

I love indigo blue and the Mister found pre-reduced indigo for me to experiment with. The cool thing about this is that you don’t have to go through all kinds of chemical experiments to come up with your dye vat. The way John described it, it couldn’t be any easier: “The lady on the phone said, just put […]

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Kool-Aid dyeing for the first time

Finally, I tried out my own dye lab (courtesy of Mr. Wise). I split 8 oz. of superwash merino top in half, soaked it in vinegar water, mixed up several flavors of kool-aid and poured it on. I didn’t do any color mixing I just wanted to see how the colors would come out straight […]

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