Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pioneer Day 2007

Today was another amazing day to spend outside! K, M, and I went to the Pioneer Day festival in Brooksville. This is a great event that takes place annually at Chinsegut Nature Center. The site is the original homestead of the Bishop family. Their chimney and cystern are both still present on the old home site.

This great event brings together artisans from around the area including Rope makers, Cider makers, musicians, chair caners, people making homemade butter and ice cream, growing vegetables, quilting, weaving, natural dyeing, and yes, spinning. This was my third year here, but the difference is that I made a new dress this year, and even better, a "new" wheel! Yes, this beautiful antique is mine!
Each year that I've come out, I've gotten a little better with the costume. This year I felt there was only one or two things still missing. Everything you see in the picture was made by me. Dress, apron, bonnet, shawl (handspun, handknit). My socks were also handknit, but not handspun. Now that I've learned to spin my own sock yarn, I want to spin and knit my own socks to go with the costume. But, what color should they be? Some people have said "oh, they should be grey"... The problem with grey is that it would be 100% natural wool - and probably somewhat coarse. Period correct-ness aside, I don't want coarse wool socks. So, I cheated just a bit - and purchased 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel roving. But, white? Nope, just not gonna work.

Did I mention that there were natural dyers at this event? So, I divided my 4 oz of roving in half, tied it into hanks, put it into two lingerie bags. I mordanted the fiber in a 10%Alum/5% Tartaric Acid solution last night, drained the extra liquid off, and put the bags of roving into plastic bags and in the refrigerator. This morning I took them down to the natural dyers and explained my request. They took care of the actual dyeing for me, leaving one bag in 30-90 minutes longer than the other.

We let them hang on the line for most of the excess liquid to drain off, then put them back in the bag to take them home. At home (after a LONG nap), I rinsed the rovings in water several times, a vinegar bath (to set the dye), a shampoo bath, and several more water rinses. And after all that? This is what I ended up with:

I LOVE the beautiful honey blonde color!! Can't wait to see how this spins up when it's dry! Stay tuned, I'll have more pictures as these "socks" progress.


Batty said...

That is such a pretty color! It's going to be beautiful spun up.

spinndiva said...

Ooh what a pretty color!
Can't wait to see them done!