Today was our monthly meeting of the West Side Weavers. We rotate locations among the houses of our members which always makes it interesting. Today was my turn. We met out here for an indigo day. Everyone brought along what they wanted to dye. Susan Helgeson brought two skeins of wool/silk blend yarn, Cheryl McWilliams brought some cotton scarves and some handkerchiefs. Connie Elliot brought a lovely blouse that was just a bit too sheer and lots of cotton remnants for fun experimentation. Cheryl and Connie have more experience with indigo vats and dyeing in general than I do while Susan had never done an indigo vat before. The range of experience was wide.
It took a while to get the vat in working order. This is a common issue with indigo - the vat has to be right or it doesn't work and what it requires most is patience. I'm not real long on patience but this is one of those things that will drive you crazy if you don't just let it sit and balance itself. Today I had the vat started before everyone arrived but it still took another hour or so to get it right and even then the best dying started another hour after that.
Susan's yarn came out just the right earthy blue that indigo should be. Cheryl had already dyed her scarves but wasn't happy with the result so tied them up in odd ways and tossed them in the vat. They looked spectacular with just the right amount of blue but still some white and some happy orange. Connie's blouse ended up a lovely chambray and there were lots of small squares and rectangles of interesting blue designs hanging on the line.
In the end everyone got great color. I didn't have anything I wanted to dye with indigo today so worked on dyeing some rug yarn. I had four large bumps of jute cored yarn - jute on the inside and a wool/mohair blend on the outside - that I didn't want to use for rugs until I dyed them. White rugs are just not my thing. I'm pleased with the colors.