Thursday, 21 April 2016

batik schemes

i took a 3-day workshop in batik dyeing techniques from karen clark last weekend through mawa. it was absolutely fantastic, and on top of meeting some really lovely folks (i am collecting other fibre nerds and witches as much as possible these days), it really got me thinking about the possibilities for batik with natural dyes. we used acid dyes in the workshop, and as per my usual green witchy self, i stuck with dark colours, using only blue and black baths. i also knew i wanted to come out of the workshop with some fabric i would actually use afterwards, so i made two pieces with a relatively simple repeated motif that i will eventually stitch into a cushion. hurrah for practical pieces of handmade beauty!

on the last day, we were just boiling off the wax, and so i was quickly looking for another project to start. mawa is a block away from mitchell fabrics, so i ran over and grabbed three yards of a silk/cotton blend (30/70), completely forgetting that i of course need to scour and dry the fabric before starting any batik or dyeing process on it. luckily, i did remember that before i started applying the wax. kelly and i were discussing how to do the batik with natural dyes, since the majority of natural dyes are set with heat, which would of course melt the wax. (kelly also brought me a loom on the weekend, and i'm going to start learning how to weave as part of my neurocraft project.) i'm planning on doing another simple, small repeating motif on the fabric with beeswax, after dyeing it with the remainder of my madder stash, and then dip it into my indigo vat. i pre-mordanted with a bunch of acorns for their tannin. i also took advantage of the dye bath and dyed up some more mermaid hair too. i'm re-releasing double scoop later this summer after knitting it up in my mermaid hair base, but all my dyed stash is currently over at wolseley wool for sale. so, here we go. a shawl to match the fabric.

vogue 1410.
one of my new lovely folks, carly, was very clever and brought doilies to batik on, which got me thinking about what you could do with batik on vintage lace trim. of course, that wouldn't make a huge difference for this particular project, because i'm planning on sewing this dress. it's got three different hem length options thanks to buttons on the inside, but my favourite is this mid-length. there's an end-of-season party coming up, which i may or may not end up bailing on, but i figure if i aim to make the dress for that, i will have more incentive to actually go to the party and also will get a dress out of it. i also have upcoming schemes for making tinctures, and i need to get my ass in gear with neurocraft, and i have three new designs on the needles that need to come off by's all fine and dandy though. i am keeping busy and learning new skills and meeting new people and enjoying life. i just need to figure out how to get a bit more sleep through it all...

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