Friday, January 29, 2016

(Sn) ice dyeing - continued

I finally confirmed my crazy lady status in the neighborhood. I planned to do some snow dyeing with concentrate, not powder, but the snow disobligingly melted before I could get to it. However...the snow plows had left heaps of compacted snow all around, so I headed outside with a bowl and a shovel (I could feel the blinds twitching: Those weird furriners are at it again, taking the snow inside). I soon had lots of cold stuff to work with. Not exactly pristine snow. I pulled out the stones and twigs, and was grateful not to find road kill. Also not exactly ice, though, so I'm calling it sn-ice!
 Since our brief Indian summer had passed and it was c-o-l-d outside, I was now staggering around the basement with heavy trays of dye-concentrate infused sn-ice. One more reason to love the plastic basement floor. This is what it looked like after a quick clean up when gravity overtook the klutz and a basin landed with a thump and showered dyed sn-ice everywhere. You would never know it happened, and as far as anyone in my house knows, it never did....although you may notice some selvages in the bowl of ice below, scooped up off the floor in the clean up.
When I dye I use the basement bathroom for batching. I close the vent and the door and make a little microcosm, which I can pump up to 75 degrees without affecting the rest of the house. I also have some deep, sturdy plastic trays which I use under my dye basins out of an excess of caution. The cats are deeply fascinated, and quite sure I am cooking catnip in there. They prowl about outside the door and sneak in whenever they get the chance. This is discouraged. I'm pretty sure the smell of soda ash would deter them from taking a sip of dye water, but I prefer not to put that theory to the test!
Folded, soda soaked fabrics on a grid, covered with sn-ice and then squirted with liquid concentrate. This time I used up the very few pre-mixed dyes I have from when I started dyeing, Dharma's rust and navy, along with some pure turquoise and grape.

Here are the results. I like these better in general than the ice-dyed fabrics, although some are a little dull. Since I used different techniques, it is hardly a fair comparison though. Click to enlarge.
Accordion folded

Smaller accordion folds

Accordion folds then diagonally folded

Maybe next year I will buy a few small tubs of mixed dye before snow season. Snow or ice-dyeing are certainly something to brighten up the dull mid-winter, but I don't think I will be doing the sprinkling thing again. It uses up a lot of dye and I just can't get past the loose powder without twitching. Susan's class was great though. Lots of interaction and well worth the very reasonable fee. She is running it again in March. Check it out!

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