dyeing, fiber art

Christmas Eve Preparations and Onion Skin Dyeing Photos

First and foremost, I will bake the broccoli casserole for Christmas dinner tomorrow. This is usually my sister’s dish, but she is celebrating with her husband’s side of the family this year, so I get the honors! Yay, I was getting tired of doing the out-of-season asparagus casserole. I was able to buy broccoli at the farmer’s market, although most of the other ingredients can’t really be updated to local and still achieve the same degree of yumminess. Unless you call Duke’s mayonnaise local, which could technically qualify depending on your definition.

But I somehow missed buying onions on my many food-buying trips over the last week and so I’m waiting for Mr. Sandy to help me out by going to Deep Roots to buy some for me. It’s surprising since l was all about the onion skins this past week! I have to start gathering a new batch.

In the meantime, I’m getting ready for my big eucalyptus dye-fest after Christmas. I have a variety of cotton fabric swatches and yarn hanks simmering in a mordant of alum and soda ash right now. They will have plenty of time to soak over the weekend. Many of them will be dyed over the onionskin dye, which should be interesting. The wool scraps will not have to be mordanted so I am just soaking them. I’ll make some silk yarn skeins too. I love dyeing small amounts of silk to use in my tapestries. Silk takes dye so wonderfully. If I have time I’ll wind off some silk/cotton blend yarns. The different kinds of fibers take up dye differently so you end up with these marvelous heathery results.

Here are a few photos of the first go-round with the onion-skin dyes. The most vibrant results are on the wool scraps. I rolled oak and maple leaves in some of the bundles and tied them up. The strong lines are where the ties made a resist and the dye didn’t penetrate. Resist dyeing is a fascination of mine that I haven’t explored in a long time.

Unrolling a bundle of wool fabric in the sink – ooooh!

Cotton bundle unrolled – the strongest colors show up on the outside of the bundle and get lighter as you go toward the core.

Drying them near the woodstove.

You can see some of the leaf prints.

I’ll photograph the yarn skeins after I get back.

Merry Christmas!

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