blue

Do It Because You Can

I dyed my hair blue.

Before anyone screams at me about responsibility and adulthood, there’s two factors to remember here: I really, really diluted my dye so I essentially glossed my hair, and this is what I normally look like in public:

july polar vortex scarfwrapped1Notice a trend here?

I veil in public full time. I don’t show my hair to outsiders if I can at all avoid it.

What difference does it make if my hair’s blue if no one can see it anyway?

One of the things that my burn out and then my weird vacation (because it really was a weird vacation) has shown me is that sometimes you really just have to throw your hands up and say [redacted] it, you have to live sometimes.

It’s just hair, hair can be cut and regrown or overdyed. It doesn’t really matter in the end. If you want to dye your hair, do it. Or dance in the rain, or let yourself heal, or do whatever it is that you’re holding back on.

Because there’s going to be a time when you can’t and I would rather have said that I did it once than regret never having tried.

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flamingo toes

reasons to skip the housework

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Dubh You Even Know?

I don’t take a lot of custom dyes or spinning projects because they sort of make me nervous. I’m always afraid that I’m going to make something that they don’t want.

But I will, however, continue with a project that I started as a gift for someone as a custom piece.

Another round of Dubh, this time over 3-ply Costwold. It’s about 1/3 of the yardage of first batch which shifted this one darker than the first. Oddly, it exhausted more than the first as well, which is not the direction that I would have thought this would have gone.

dubh2

Dubh

base wool: Cream Cotswold from Windsong Farm Originals

ply: n-ply

wpi: 11

yardage: 108

dye: food grade w/ citric acid

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lady bug blessings

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the tasty fork

the self sufficient homeacre

joyful homemaking

i should be mopping the floor

a pinch of joy

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flour me with love

Dye What You Can When You Can-Dyelot, Fiber Choice, and Acidity

dubhdubhbatch2

You know how store-bought yarn comes with a warning to make sure to purchase enough yarn at any given time to finish a project because of dye lot variations?

This holds even more true for hand dyeing, especially when you work with a method like solar or kettle dyeing.

It is exceptionally hard to maintain the same color across batches, especially if you have to vary fiber choice later on down the line. That can have a lot of fun; different protein fibers take up color in different ways-and even differing types of the same fiber such as different wool breeds will impact your color way. This can be a lot of fun and is actually part of the appeal of hand dyeing for me.

One of the greatest impacts on the dyeing process is the amount (and even type) of acid used. A ‘good’ dyer will make sure that every batch has the same amount of acid, of the same type, across the board. I’m a child of chaos so when I dye I rarely do that, though I do mark what I did in my dyeing notebook in case I have to try to mimic what I did before for a sale, trade, or supplement a custom job I gave as a gift.

When using a dyeing technique known for volatile results like solar dyeing or kettle dyeing, both of which being techniques that like to break colors, keep in mind you’re not going to get it to mimic perfectly every time. You can probably get the colors to break again but not in the same places to the same extent.

The bottom line: make sure you dye large enough amounts to fulfill your intended projects, or make sure you’re okay with two radically different lots in case it happens.

Both blues pictured are both Dubh batches; they differ slightly in acid strength and wool choice. The latter came out much darker and richer than the first, which came out a much brighter, stronger neon color, though the darker breaks are the shades in the second skein.

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

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Dubh

I can’t believe that I forgot about Dubh, what with it being the yarn for the tutorial and the project that got me back into dyeing and all.

I don’t know what’s been wrong with me lately. I’m dyeing and spinning colors that I never work with right now. My next dye will be pink. Pink. I don’t even like pink.

I am sort of in love with Dubh though.

My hands have been wobbly off and on as I’m adjusting to a med change, so the top picture is a little blurry. It shows the color variation better though. This batch was spun bare and then dyed. The base yarn is sort of a creamy natural color.

dubhbatchonefinaldubh

Dubh

base wool: heinz 57 from the woolery

ply: n-ply

wpi: 10

yardage: 368 across two skeins

dye: food grade w/ citric acid

Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.

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Sunday Legends-Haint

house

So you’re moving into a new house. It’s YOUR new house, but it isn’t a NEW house.

Knowing that this means you’re going to be messing with whatever big bad or nasty that the people who have lived there before you have managed to dig up, you cleaned the house throughly. The house happens to sit next to a somewhat sluggish river, but it’s still a water source so you leave out some grain in hopes that you can invite a brownie in.

What can you do to keep things out of your newly stripped house? It depends on what you’re trying to keep out.

Haint Blue

Haint blue is a sort of robin egg’s blue color. Found frequently in the American South-my personal experience with it is from Savannah-you’ll frequently find it on the outside of houses such as the ceilings of porches, around door jams, and on shutters. It’s actually a really pretty color but it may seem strange to find a row of houses all with the same shade of blue on the porch ceilings.

Why would this happen? What are people attempting to accomplish, or do they all just like the color? It’s a little bit of both. The word ‘haint’ refers to a type of ghost that is attempting to enter a structure to take up residence. The blue is thought to remind the ghost of the sky (or daylight) and prevent them from entering. Some sources claim that the color reminds the dead of water, which they can’t cross.

The color is seen to have such a power over the supernatural that it’s sometimes used in spaces that seem to be highly active. When I was in Savannah in the late 1990s a building was going up that had its entire substructure painted with Haint. Everything that had been built there previously had either failed or burned, so the builders decided to take the extra precaution of painting it blue. Other highly haunted buildings have entire walls painted the color.

There is no one definite shade that is ‘haint blue’ since it was a hand-mixed color for such a long time. However, Benjamin Moore offers two or three regional variations of Haint.

(I’ll be covering other methods in later entries. Stop by next Sunday!)

(Photo from Morguefile)

Blue

blue

Even though it’s been close to a year since Holly asked me why green was considered unlucky, I haven’t forgotten to finish out this series. It does stand to be pointed out again that color associations do vary from culture to culture and even within usage. These associations also shift over time-in large part, our association with pink belonging to girls and blues belonging to boys extends back only as far as the 1920s or so. Actually a great deal of our culture markers (including diamond engagement rings) also extend back only into the Interwar period but that’s a discussion for another time.

Like green, blue is a peace color. Used to pull in healing and calming energy, blue is used to encourage peace and comfort. In some cultures the color’s associations with a draw down of energies is so strong that it is actually used to mark mourning. The presence of too much blue can likewise push down energy so much that it inspires depression; to be depressed is sometimes referred to as being blue. Blue is often associated with water, and by extension the color is sometimes used in with similar meanings such as boosting emotion or intuition.