Last weekend, I participated in a Natural Dyeing Class at Eye Dazzler Alpacas and goodness gracious, I had a ball!
On the first day, we learned about dyeing with Cutch, Madder, Osage orange, Logwood, Brasilwood, Weld, and Cochineal. Above, you see my lovely teacher, Liesel Orend, decanting our Cochineal dye.
Allie holds the strainer for Beth, who is decanting the Madder...
Double, double, toil and trouble... Here you see the backs of Robin, Beth, Marianne, and Liesel, and the front of Molly, and if you look carefully, you'll see Allie... Oh, this was more fun than you might imagine!
Molly pointed out how all of the natural dyes match, and here you can see that she is right!
Yes, I'm proud of all that we learned and yes, I want to show off our little skeins. lol
The next day, we learned about indigo dyeing. In the photo above, Marianne has just removed one of the day-glow-yellow Osage Orange skeins from the indigo pot, and it is quickly turning green. The magic of indigo is that it doesn't come out of the pot dyed blue, it turns blue right before your eyes. It is totally cool!
Here are the skeins, with only the dyes. We started with two different colors of alpaca yarn, white and fawn - the white skeins are on the bottom and the fawn on the top. They are so pretty! I can't get enough of them! Left to right - Osage Orange, Cutch, Cochineal, Weld, Logwood, Madder, Brasilwood.
Imagine how insufferable I'll be with photos of the grandchildren? lol.
Remember this barn from Shearing Day? The snow is all gone now, but the view is still breathtaking. Ahhh.... (click for big)
The happy dyers - left to right - me, Linnea, Beth, Robin, Liesel, Marianne and Molly. Allie, the brat, is not in the picture. Gotta do something about that... sigh...
Here are all of the skeins from the entire two-day class, from left to right, madder, brasilwood, weld, logwood, cutch, cochineal, Osage orange and indigo. (Darn my stupid camera - the colors are not true at all! In Real Life, they are brighter than this - especially the Osage Orange.)
The very bottom 2 rows are the yarn with the dyes and nothing else, the white yarn on the bottom, and the fawn on the row above. The next two rows have the skeins which were dyed, then dipped in an iron solution, which made the colors a little muted. The next two rows have the skeins which were dyed, then dyed again in indigo. (The 4 balls at the very top are just some extras.) This is soooo much fun! (click for a larger photo, if you like.)
Contact Allie at Eye Dazzler Alpacas if you would like to know more about her fiber school. There are lots of different classes - dyeing, spinning, knitting, felting, needle felting and others - and they are very much fun! All classes are held at the ranch in Westcliffe, and they nearly always include a scrumptious lunch prepared by Allie.
After a couple of days of dyeing, we visited the source of the fiber - the alpacas! Allie is holding the first baby of Eye Dazzler Alpaca 2007 Cria Season. I think that they named him Cowboy. Isn't he darling?
What big eyes you have!
What a great way to spend a couple of days! I really had a blast.