keeping busy

today was a classic spring day; i cleaned the studio, i gardened (well, watered my seedlings really), i dyed, i wove, i cooked (black beans and yellow rice, yummy!), and then i had some serious thoughts about visiting the chiropractor.

it's finally staying warm enough for me to put my orchids out for the summer, and i figured right by my studio would be lovely. so, yesterday i crafted some wire hangers and attached hooks into the fence, and hung them with very little difficulty. they're happier outside then in (maybe it has something to do with the sparse watering schedule they endure at my hands?).

i also cleared a patch in front of the studio for the weld and indigo seeds, so i'll be watering for a couple of days and waiting on tenterhooks until they sprout. i checked on them this morning and found a line of ants tunneling down the middle of the patch, i hope they're not carrying away my seeds!

i was able to add samples of the madder dyeing i did on monday to my dye book. i've been having fun with the wool roving bits i put aside for the dye book, as i've found it really fun and easy to spin them on my bobbin winder. i'm thinking this technique may work for paper spinning.

one of the metalsmithing tools that's been loitering in my studio is a large crockpot which i keep forgetting to bring to goodwill. but luckily, procrastination paid off and i can use it for an indigo vat! now i'm just waiting for the mail system to deliver the ground indigo. i'm very excited, as i'm missing blues in my dye experiments.

a couple of weeks ago i put a linen warp on my loom and have been playing around with different yarns, piles, and random weft kasuri. i've enough left to try one more thing, maybe something sheer.

i took some photos of the studio before i cleaned, and i don't think the desk looks all that bad. i'm really happy with the way the inspiration board is fleshing out.


  1. I LOVE the piece on your loom!! I can't wait to see more of it. So, how much indigo do you have to plant to get enough to harvest? I've been wondering about that and do you plan to do the ash technique with it?

  2. i'm not sure how much will grow from what i've planted; but the seed packet contained .3 grams, which was a palm sized amount. i think i understand the process enough that i may try my hand at making an indigo cake to use in the vat, if it looks like the majority of the seeds took. i want to try fresh indigo dyeing as well (two methods i found interesting: http://www.turkeyredjournal.com/archives/V13_I2/cadoret-braunschweig.html and http://www.lustauffarben.de/faerben-faerberknoeterich-englisch.html), as well as just pounding it into the fabric!
    the method i'm using for the vat is from cheryl kolander (http://www.aurorasilk.com).

  3. Oh I admire this so much! I love your colors, and I like your inspiration boards very much. For a few month I'm planning on dying fabric, but I don't know where (and when) to start. You're an inspiration!

  4. petra:
    three sources of information helped me to start dyeing: "indigo, madder and marigold" by trudy van stralen, "brilliant colors with natural dyes" by cheryl kolander of aurasilk.com, and the naturaldyes group on yahoo groups. they're all very useful, and inspiring. the important thing is to read as much as you can, and don't be afraid to just leap into it; the rewards are incredible.

  5. Thanks! Have a nice weekend.