Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Fun in The City

Saturday, after a minimal of weekend house stuff was done, I headed back to the City. This time though, it wasn't to eat with least I didn't think it was.

I'd discovered an email in my bulk mail about a Natural Dye thing at the City Arts Center. Oh ack!! It asked that you call and tell them you were coming and here it is the very day. But I emailed back and Abi graciously told me to come on. So..I did!

We were given some information about the dyes we would be using. Ummm I've forgotten some of them but I know for sure there was cochineal (from bugs) that made red, logwood that made graying blue, and indigo that heh..made blue. I think I was too excited to remember too much. There was a big group there. Some ladies that looked like socialite sorts, some really fun teenagers, some young boys..maybe pre-adolescent that were more fun than anyone, mommas and girls and grubby dyeing people like me.

When I first got there, I talked to some teenagers who were winding what appeared to be jute..or something...from huge spools onto swifts and skeining it up. I asked them about it, and it was going to be dyed at a later day and used for weaving.

What fun! We were all dyeing silk scarves..there were 75 available and you were allowed to take one home and the rest they were going to use as a fund raising project for the Natural Dye Studio. Well...we went through the 75 and they found more and I think around 90 were done plus bandanas and little bags. Everyone was talking and sharing ideas and we all were just sure that our most recent idea would be the best.

I was most fascinated with the indigo. Put the fabric in to a count of 10, pull it's lime green. And as soon as the air hits it, it starts turning blue. I wish I'd taken pictures of it. And, if you wanted it to be darker, instead of leaving it in longer, you came back about 20-30 min later and dipped it again. And so forth. I really have to learn more about this! Oh yeah, and it doesn't smell the least good. We all did all of our own dyeing except for the indigo pot and a really nice woman named Leah was in charge of that and ever so patient as all of us asked questions and crowded around.

Towards the end of our session, a henna artist showed up doing free henna tattoos (not sure that's what they're called). I missed out on that because I was still dyeing stuff and you can't get your hand wet. I should have asked her to do my ankle but it might have been rather difficult to drive home barefooted. Someone also brought a bunch of pizzas. I didn't miss out on that! Sat there with a wet scarf in one hand, pizza in another and having this slightly intense conversation with some young very punk looking kid. I think he was a lot smarter than me!

And how very cool our workspace was. A HUGE room. Big metal sinks, lots of long tables. And you could just thumbtack your scarf to the wall if all the clotheslines were filled.

Someone lucked out and ended up with a silk stole. I don't know how she made it look like that and she didn't either. I think it was my most favorite.

There were a variety of things done.

This was my effort at camouflage.

And this was my time with indigo (primarily) along with some overlapping cochineal and logwood. And this one came home with me.

And that's about all that happened on Saturday. No knitting. I was so tired, and when Earth Hour arrived, like a good girl I turned out the lights and that was it for me until 5 AM this morning :-) Today's been all about getting stuff done that didn't happen yesterday. Tonight maybe knitting!


Sara said...

Susan - that sounds like a wonderful time...isn't it great when the kids are there - they can be so funky! But, you learn a lot from them...

Love the camo you did - but really like the one that came home with you!

Devorah said...

Very cool! I love your scarf! Are your going to become a dyer now?

Shelley said...

your blog is terrific. thanks for sharing. the pictures are absolutely fantastic.