Still on a bag construction kick (though not the one I'm supposed to be sewing), I started a "boro" stitched Japanese knot bag at my Spectrum Study Group:
The big travel project however is the Intersect sweater by Norah Gaughan (for Brooklyn Tweed):
The poor yarn had to go through so much to finally get the white dyed to the final colour! First I had to scour it which took two soapings and several rinses. Then I mordanted it in 600g of rhubarb leaves that I'd saved in the freezer from the spring harvest. There were 7 skeins, too much for one dyepot so I had to split the mordant into two equal pots.
After simmering for an hour and letting it sit overnight it took at least 4 more rinses to get out the excess mordant. Rhubarb leaf puts a yellow under-colour and I was hoping I would also get some of the burgundy-brown effect that I've gotten in the past when it is overdyed in madder. I used my whole remaining 2012 harvest of madder root but there wasn't enough so I topped it up to 30% WOF with purchased madder from Maiwa. After soaking the madder overnight I did 4 extractions, combined them and added 5ml of calcium carbonate (chalk) to the bath because our water lacks hardness which is beneficial to madder's colour. Then I divided the dye between 2 pots and repeated the low-simmer and cooling process. This time it took at least 6 rinses for the water to come clear! Poor wool. Totally abused.
And I got a much brighter orange than I expected when I was all done. I think I didn't use enough madder. But the colour is still really pretty even if it just about glows! I'm calling it "Flaming". You can see from these two skeins the difficulty I had untangling the matted wool yarn. On the right is before and on the left is after I spent forever parting all the stuck strands. I had to be gentle enough not to break the yarn, which I did only once when I pulled too hard.
Speaking of gallivanting, I was invited to another blogger mini-meetup! This time we lunched at the vintage Sylvia Hotel by English Bay and then repaired to Dressew for some stash enhancement after which we crossed Hastings Street to Atex for a little more stash enhancing. I hadn't been there before and found it very nice with lovely fabrics at very reasonable (but not super-cheap) prices. I paid $14.95 per metre for linen.
Oh you want to see who I was playing with? Here we are in the Sylvia:
A Colourful Canvas), Barbara (sadly no blog herself but she follows a lot of them!), and Melanie (A Bag and a Beret). Photo from Melanie's camera and kindly taken for us by a hotel employee. We had such a blast! Such delightful, thoughtful, intelligent and hilarious women. I don't think we stopped laughing and smiling and talking for a moment. My advice to the envious - find your tribe and make a date. Even if like the introverts among us you feel a bit of a "social hangover" later, it's totally worth the effort.
Yes, I bought more fabric. No, I didn't photograph it for you. I'm feeling a smidgen guilty because I can't sew any of it until we get back. I'm supposed to be making my hiking bag. Yup. Better get started. I'm running out of time. Sound of me running up to my studio...swoooooshhhh...