Sage socks

I came back from the Chautauqua show pleased with my sales. I know I want to make a few more mobius before my next show, but I have 5 weeks+, so I’m not pressured.

I spent Monday basically resting and recovering, physically and mentally. On Tuesday I put everything away and thought about my next move. I decided I wanted to dye a mess of socks next. I actually managed to remember to photograph the various steps in this process.

First I scoured the socks to make sure there were no oils or residue from spinning on the fabric. I actually did this before the show.
scouring socks in preparation for dyeing

Then on Wednesday I scrunched the socks on old plastic yarn cones and used carpet warp to tightly tie the socks. I used 90 winds of cotton around each cone. This is my interpretation of a shibori wrap technique.

Truth be told, I forgot to take the photo yesterday. This is from today, when I decided to try to wrapping a pair with Sugar & Cream yarn to see if the thickness of the yarn had an impact on the finished product. Also, yesterday I wrapped one pair of socks without a cone to see what that would do, and they’re obviously not in this photo.

socks wrapped on plastic tubes for dyeing

After that the wrapped socks went into the dye bath. For this batch I used 1.5 teaspoons intense blue dye and .25 teaspoon golden yellow. There’s a process for the dye bath of stirring and waiting and stirring and waiting and stirring and…you get the picture.

green socks in the dye bath

After an hour of that, the socks come out of the dye bath. In this image you can see those long snake-like socks that I wrapped off the cones.

One by one the cones are run under water, and when the water is mostly running clear I carefully snip the knot and unwrap the string to reveal the sock. This is always exciting for me.

green socks fresh from the dye bath

Now the socks go into the washer and dryer, and only after that will I know the depth of color I achieved. Here are all the socks. There are 3 pairs of bamboo socks, one pair of cotton socks, and one pair of footie socks. Those pair with lots of white on the left side of the image are the snake wrapped socks. They’re the only ones I’m not happy with. But I’m really pleased with the socks that were on the cones with round holes. They have circles of color where the dye went through to the sock from the inside of the cone, as well as the shibori effect from the dye on the outside of the cone.

green socks, dried

Here are the snake socks, top and bottom.

snake-wrapped socks, top and bottom

I decided I’d try something with them. I prepared them for hand painting and stretched them over pool noodles so the dye that I applied next would remain only where I put it; it would not soak through to the other side. My plan was to mix some dark blue dye and put it in a squeeze bottle, applying it in a zigzag in the white part of the sock.

Well. I did not have the kind of control I’d envisioned with that bottle. In my head it would be like applying ketchup. In real life, not so much. The dye is like water, so as soon as I tipped the bottle, dye came zooming out. I therefore wasn’t able to achieve what I’d intended. Sigh.

snake socks with zigzag

Hand painted socks need to batch overnight at 70 degrees or more. Since it’s 90+ today, I decided outside in the sun was perfect. They went into my garage overnight.

snake socks batching

Tomorrow I’ll rinse, wash, and dry them and decide if they’re worthy of being sold.

Today I did a batch of socks in blue. Tomorrow I plan to do burgundy.

One more thing

How is there always one more thing? I realized I never showed you my pin loom mug rugs.

pin loom mug rugs

All were woven with wool on my 4″ vintage Weave-It loom. The 6 on the bottom row hadn’t yet been fulled when I took this photo.  And somehow 2 of the completed ones didn’t make the picture.  So I have 26 completed mug rugs.  4 will be a hostess gift, along with a towel and some jam, for the friends that are gracious enough to host my stay on the grounds of Chautauqua Institute every year.

I have no clue if people will buy them…only time will tell.

I’m so ready

I don’t remember being this well prepared a few days in advance of prior shows. It’s a good thing, and I’m confident (ok, I’m hoping) that I haven’t forgotten some big prep thing that won’t occur to me till mid-day on Thursday.

My finished pieces are all tagged, marked, and in their bins. (More bins that usual, as those bigger pieces take up a lot of room – much more than a scarf or shawl.)

bins loaded with finished products

My rigid heddle loom is set up, all except tying to the front apron, which I won’t do till I’m there to ensure even tension.

rigid heddle loom threaded

My electronics that can be charged in advance are charged. My list of what to bring is updated. I don’t think I can do anything else until Thursday morning. That’s when I’ll pack my clothes, pick up the rental van, proceed with the final loading, and head out.

Here’s where I’ll be this weekend. I hope if you’re in western New York you’ll stop by.

Ad for Chautauqua Craft Show

FYI, I’m only at the July show; I can’t weave enough to apply to both, and I do a different show in late August that I’m not willing to give up.

People shopping at craft show

I’m so prepared that I decided I’d scour a bunch of socks that I’ll dye – shibori and hand painting – when I return.

scouring socks in preparation for dyeing

I have 14 pair of adult crew socks, 9 pair of footies, 3 pair each of infant and toddler socks and 3 pair of children’s socks. Is that too many? Probably.

I’m approved to bring these socks to the August show. Even though there’s a fair amount of time spent, dyeing is SO MUCH quicker than weaving, and I know I won’t have much time to weave in the 5-6 weeks between shows.

A few more pieces

I only have a few more days before my first show, so I’m finishing my last few items. I wove them on a warp I hand painted.

Here’s the thing…I obviously can’t reliably predict how the color will look from wet to dry yarn. My inspiration was Design Seeds sugared tones.

Design Seeds sugared tones

Nice summery pastels, right? HAH! Here’s what I ended up with.

2 new hand painted warps

We can all agree – Not. Even. Close.

So, how would I proceed? Well, if I wanted to tone it all down, I’d use a white weft. That’s what I did for the first scarf.

handwoven scarf of handpainted tencel yarns-sugared tones

Much closer to the intent. And I like the random switching of the treadling pattern.

However, since I’d dyed some weft yarn to coordinate, I wanted to use it. I’m calling this one sugar & grapes.

handwoven scarf of handpainted yarns-grapes

Then, because I was clearly barely sufficient with the number of my cowls, I wove the last two into short-ish cowls instead of one fringed scarf. First I used a gold weft. Also reminiscent of the original intent.

handwoven cowl, handpainted yarns

Finally I used a grayed-blue yarn, giving the cowl a denim-like appearance.

handwoven cowl from handpainted yarns

On to the many off-loom and/or administrative tasks that need to be done before the show.

Towels and jams

Here are those polka dot towels I mentioned recently. While blue is a main color, you’ll also see lots of lavender, purple and some turquoise. I like the mix. For me, the darker ones appeal to me more than the lighter ones, but I’m hoping others will feel differently. (I like the way I photographed the red & orange ones better, but this is okay.)

handwoven polka dot towels

Like my first polka dot towels, I decided to try weaving with the treadling that switches the background color. Also like that first batch, I didn’t like it so much, so went back to the ‘regular’ treadling. I actually like it better in the photograph than in real life. Weird, huh?

Yesterday morning after the gym I went to a local farm market. I’ve purchased quarts of strawberries from this market and others, and I think this farm’s strawberries are the sweetest. So when their price for a flat was low, I couldn’t resist buying a flat of strawberries. I brought them home, set aside a quart for my neighbor and a quart for my son, washed a quart and a pint for my frig, and since the berries were fully ripe, needed to make jam. Today.

2 batches homemade jam

I made one batch of strawberry with low-sugar Sure Jell. Then I made a batch of strawberry and raspberry, with lime juice and zest, with regular Sure Jell. I would have used low sugar for this, too, if I’d had another box. Both batches actually jelled nicely, unlike some of my experiences. I need to stock up on sugar and Sure Jell (low sugar) so that next time I stumble on the best fruit I can take advantage without an emergency run to the store.