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Natural Dye Workshop


Growing up we didn't really clean the house until someone was coming over.  No, the house wasn't ever very dirty but it was totally cluttered.  I'm the oldest of four so there was always something going on that made a mess of some sort.  As I got older, Saturday was cleaning day - we dusted and polished the furniture and emptied all the ashtrays and we must have vacuumed the carpets although I really don't remember that.  What is the most clear in my mind was getting that frantic call that someone of importance was coming over soon and we needed to clean up the house now!  I have no memory of who qualified as "someone of importance"  but I remember the mad dash to get the front room picked up.

I know my tolerance for clutter is much lower than my mother's was because our house doesn't tend to get cluttered to the extent my childhood home did.  Now the dye studio and the weaving studio are both a study in clutter which brings me to this week's unrelenting activity.

I have been cleaning out the dye shed.  We have been using some horrible burners that leave the dye pots coated in thick soot and make a horrible mess when we scrub them clean.  These burners were supposed to be a step up from the previous ones that worked moderately well.  I gave the moderately functioning burners to my son-in-law for the deer lease before I realized how horrible the new ones were. 

We didn't want to invest in lots of burners before we could test them out so I bought a single double burner set at Bass Pro Shop rather than at Academy like the last ones.  My test of that new burner was to mordant two batches of yarn for the natural dye workshop tomorrow.  The burners did fabulously well!  No soot on the pots and controls very much like I have on the stove in the house.  So I went out and bought two more.

But the cleaning thing didn't end there.  I power washed the walls and cement floor in the dye shed along with the cement porch and the wooden seats that were slowly turning green. In our very moist climate, anything that sits under large trees turns green pretty quickly.  It all feels so nice and bright and clean!

The Natural Dye Workshop is tomorrow and it should be a hoot!  Because the process actually takes longer than a single day, I've prepped quite a bit of yarn and will start some of the dye stuff soaking this evening.  I've got the water in the indigo pot too so it can rest over night.