At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Tuesday, August 13, 2002



INDIGO UPDATE: DAY TWO

It's been a spinning-intensive, computer-light kind of day. Thanks for everyone's input on the indigo dyepot. I did not take a photo of its progress today because I've decided I just have to leave it alone and stop fiddling with it. Each time I take the lid off to peer inside the pot exposes the infernal broth to air, lets drops of condensation fall into the mix (thereby introducing oxygen), and generally increases my frustration. Suffice it to say that the dyebath looks about the same as it did yesterday, although much less fizzy and bubbly. The edges of the dyebath are beginning to take on a greyish cast--I hope this means the beginning of color change. I have stopped applying heat with the low crockpot setting, after rethinking yeast physiology and Jenny Dean's instructions. The yeast are active at room temperature, only less so than at a warmer temp. Dean specifically says to keep the temperature constant and suggested setting the dyebath in a sunny spot outside (won't work--very foggy today), or on the stove with a pilot light on. I will try the stove idea if there is no change to the dyebath color by Sunday. In the meantime--I'm going to leave the whole thing alone.

For those of us who like instant gratification, this is a frustrating process. It is so much easier to dissolve Kool-Aid into a saucepan, add vinegar and toss in some fiber. Even natural dyeing, which requires pre-mordanting, yields an instant reward with well-prepared fiber. I loved my experience with logwood, in which one ounce turned an entire pound of fiber into varying shades of deep purple--within minutes. Compared to logwood, my indigo experience is like watching a pond stagnate!

MEANWHILE....

In an effort not to fiddle with the dyepot, this is what I got done this evening:

1) Finished spinning the last of the Alpine Meadows fiber for my SOAR vest project
2) Plied 3 bobbins worth of the same fiber, and wound into skeins
3) Washed 5 skeins of the same fiber--about 750 yards--to set the twist
4) Finished spindling 0.9oz of Chasing Rainbows merino/bombyx top on a wonderful, perfect, fabulous bocote Swan spindle
5) Started spinning some handpainted tussah silk roving by The Silkworker, destined to become a scarf for a friend
6) Actually cooked something for dinner--baked potatoes with a broccoli/cherry tomato/olive salad. Yum!

As I said--spinning-rich and computer-poor, thus no photos to share with you. Maybe tomorrow....

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