I think it is Grackle and Sun who put this expression into my vocabulary. I have been looking at the chemical dyes I still have in my possession and wondering about them. I think it’s best I don’t make any commitments for all future time… but it seems right that I try not to acquire any more. It also seems right that I use up those I already own, given that nothing I do with them will mean that they were never made.
Finally, I had a thought. The thing I love most about the Earth Palette cold pad batch dyes (locally made and allegedly low toxic)–is that you can dye greasy wool with them, rather than washing first and dyeing later. A friend from my guild called to ask for advice about these dyes (she is an acid dyer usually) and I suddenly saw it: I could dye these amazing greasy English Leicester cross locks from a local grower. Without prior washing. I still have a lot of this dye mixed up and ready to use (in fact, this is almost my entire stash: just one bag of sky blue dye left unmixed). The weather was perfect: hot days expected.
It doesn’t look good when applied to greasy, dirty wool. Two days in the hot sun and the bag smelled of ammonia from that raw fleece being in the heat.
The mud that ran out of it when I rinsed was unbelievable. And then out came clean dyed fleece. Yes, these are before and after pictures of the same locks! I made three different ‘dyelots’ in all.
The lustre of this longwool is amazing! Now all I have to do is figure out what to make with it. I believe I acquired it thinking about dyed English Leicester locks I had incorporated into art yarn batts. I don’t currently feel motivated to do that kind of spinning–but could make batts and gift them to the Guild. Or spin EL yarn. Or let them sit quietly until the perfect idea comes to mind. What do you think?