I spent most of today engaged in fibery activity, which, by default, means today's been excellent. I worked with a somewhat uncooperative cochineal dyebath; I tried mordanting and dyeing my wool simultaneously, and instead of the rich rasberry color I expected, I got at best, a darkish pink, and at worst, a washed-out baby pink. I almost despaired when an entire pound of rambouillet refused to hold much dye, but I am not one to despair. Instead, I called upon the trusty indigo vat to save from dissapointment. And oh, did she ever! Ten minutes submerged in the vat turned my lackluster roving into a lovely length of variegated cobalt blue and soft pink. It's shades are actually very similar to the skirt I decided to wear today. Perhaps there is a correlation between my chosen wardrobe and the colors my dyebaths will yeild. I think tomorrow I'll be wearing dark brown (for good luck with walnut dyeing) and red while I have another go at the cochineal.
Some of my other attempts with cochineal turned out acceptable. I now have about 8 ounces of deep pink BFL and some flicked targhee locks that look eerily like cotton candy.
While my dyebaths were busily simmering, I worked on flicking locks from the most beautiful Shetland fleece in the world. This fleece belongs to a sheep name Sybil Trelawney, who lives with the Ludlams at Windswept Farms. Her fleece is destined for many a great thing, including center stage in the artists book I'm planning to begin after I finish my current book project.
she's lovely, yes? I've never seen such a clean uncoated fleece. Never, never. Of course, I'm sure it doesn't help that most of my fleece buying has been carried out over ebay. I hope I've learned why not to buy over ebay, but I won't lie; I'm sure there will be fleeces in the future that are too tempting to not bid on, and then I will curse myself when I open a box of manure covered fleece filled with more VM than is worth my time.
Tomorrow I'm taking a break from flicking locks in order to bind a few more copies of Lace Stories. There are lots of great exhibition opportunities whose deadlines are coming in October, and I'd like to be ready sooner rather than later!