Wednesday, 11 May 2016

dye pots and fiddlehead poisoning

prior to being sick, i managed some late afternoon photos of my latest me made may outfit...
i've spent a lot of time with my dye pots recently. i've also spent a lot of time in bed, after accidentally giving myself fiddlehead poisoning on the weekend. fiddleheads, which used to be my favourite (give it a few years for the emotional scars to go away), are baby ferns which can be eaten - if you cook them properly. i.e. boil them and kill all the gross little organisms hanging out in their furls. forget to boil them, like i did, and you'll find yourself in bed/hugging the toilet within as little as half an hour. it was the most unpleasant food-related sickness i've endured. i won't go into details, but i did find the whole process kind of fascinating in a bizarre and slightly masochistic way. 

anyway, i'm back on my feet now and mostly recovered, and my dye pots helped pull me through the post-barf exhaustion. unfortunately, the dress that i was so excited about making and was planning on wearing to a party on sunday night had to be shelved. or closeted, i suppose. i wore it for a whole ten minutes during an errand i ran over at wolseley wool, then came home and changed into the equivalent of pyjamas. i love this dress though! it's vogue 1410. i think if i make it again, i'll go down a size because it's a little looser than i would normally like around the armholes. other than that, i'm totally in love.

the photo is fuzzier than usual, but you get the idea. 
the fabric is a 30/70 blend of silk and cotton, which i scoured, pre-mordanted with a bunch of acorns for their tannin, dyed with madder, hand-batiked with beeswax, and then overdyed with indigo. it was a labour-intensive process, but completely worth it! the spot on the back of the dress is a total fluke! i love the unpredictability of natural dyes. it's so incredible satisfying, especially when you go into the process without any major expectations.

speaking of unpredictability with natural dyes, i am stoked to let you all know that i have a new perk that will be added soon to my patreon campaign - naturally dyed silk scarves! i have a dozen silk scarves, each 29" square, that i'm dyeing and either hand batiking (with beeswax, of course), eco-printing, or shibori dyeing. there are even some solar dyes in there now that the sun is coming out to play a bit more!

the first completed scarf - logwood with marigold, onion skin, and carrot top ecoprints!

each scarf will be completely unique and one-of-a-kind, and they'll be paired up with a signed copy of the book for the patreon perk. i'll announce when they're available (likely this weekend), and figure out some way of posting the individual photos so you can choose which scarf you'd prefer. once they're gone, they're gone, so don't miss out! i'm sorely tempted to keep one for myself, but the upcoming deadline of publishing flotsam & jetsam reminds me that i should be smart and make them all available to you...sigh.

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