I just got these in the mail: a dozen GIANT handwoven cotton scarves from Maiwa. Guess what I’m going to do with them 🙂
The air is crisp, and twinkle lights are out all around the city lighting up the dark nights. True winter means you’re wearing a scarf ALL THE TIME! So, why not rock an indigo-dyed infinity scarf! Perfect for keeping the chill off.
Are you wishing that Santa helps you get your Christmas wish of a hot summer weekend of indigo dyeing in 2018, but want to know a little more first?
Here are some FAQs about the retreat:
Q: Can I bring my own fabric to dye?
YES! While the retreat price includes all your materials, including fabric, tools, and access to prepared dye vats, you can bring whatever you want (as long as it’s natural fiber) to prep and dye during the retreat.
Q: Will I learn how to prepare different types of indigo vats?
YES! Jen will demonstrate how to do both natural and synthetic vats.
Q: What is included in the cost of the retreat?
Deep Into Indigo is an all-inclusive retreat. That means you get your lodging, meals (including wine and cocktails), instruction and all indigo dyeing supplies & tools. You can bring your own fabric, but only if you want to.
Yesterday was so fun! I love the Aldo Leopold Sale. The vendors are really talented, the location is gorgeous, the people are nice and I get to support the nature center. What could be better?
Matt took a quick shot of me with my tunics and other awesome blue things for sale. Now I can relax for a little while, which is awesome.
The tunics will soon be available at Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton so be sure to stop by.
I’ve been dyeing like crazy to get ready for my December 3rd Sale at the Aldo Leopold Center in Madison. To be honest, I fear that I made too much. I’m going to bring a bunch of stuff, display one or two of each type of dyed thing and keep some under the tables. But you’re in the know, so ask me to bring out more patterns when you stop by my table.
I had a lot of fun dyeing at One One Thousand but only shared pictures through Instagram so here are some collaged screen shots
I’ve been lucky enough to dye in all of the publicly available dye studios in town: Blue Bar Quilts, The Electric Needle and – though it not officially a dye studio – One One Thousand. They are all my favorite places to dye. All of them.
So if you are a local dyer, I recommend that you call one up and reserve some time. They are all equally awesome. I was treated to a beautiful sunset when leaving One One Thousand so I’m sharing my blurry picture of it with you. I hope I see you tomorrow!!!
I recently acquired a box full of itajime blocks. I plan to have them available at the Deep Into Indigo Retreat. The Retreat is a blast. This year, to ensure our sanity, we have decided to ask for a $150 deposit due by January 30th. If we get 10 people by then, the Retreat will run. If not, we are going to focus on other events. But we reeeeeally want the Retreat to run. So if you plan to wait until the last possible minute to register, that minute is coming up really soon.
You don’t need access to acrylic blocks to make gorgeous work, simple rubber bands will do the job very nicely. Itajime is a very simple, yet beautiful and sophisticated technique. Like all shibori techniques, it has a bajillion possible variations.
First you accordion or fan fold your fabric. Then you do it again. I like to use a triangle fold but you could totally use a square or rectangle. My favorite triangle fold is the equilateral triangle. You make it using a fold and a flip.
As you fold it, you need to go on as you began…finally that advice makes sense to me. Meaning, if your first fold is away from you, after you flip it, all of the folds need to go away from you. Not that “away from you” is the only way, any way is right as long as you are consistent. Now, that’s some good advice.
It’s easier to show than to tell, though, so I made a quick video about it. It’s less than two minutes long.
Once you have made your triangle bundle, you get to pick how to place your resists and which resists to use. This is also half the fun. Every slight variation you make in where you put it, will totally change the look of your pattern. Mighty cool.
Let me know if you have questions about the technique or the Deep Into Indigo Retreat. Happy dyeing!
Thanks to Kathy Hattori from Botanical Colors for sharing the chemicals for three different kinds of organic indigo vats at the Deep Into Indigo Retreat. I attended a workshop day in her studio in the spring and I learned so much. She’s really awesome; generous with her expertise, time and supplies.
For starters, you gotta hydrate that indigo before it goes into the vat. The directions often call for shaking it in a jar with water and marbles but a whisk is just easier and works as well.
We made an iron vat, a henna vat and a fructose vat. Like most things I get into, I made lots of really awesome messes and mistakes.
But that didn’t slow us down at all.
Here’s a dip from the iron vat.
To see if the dye is ready, you check under the flower to see if it’s clear and not at all blue-ish.
We put our fabric in stainless steel baskets to keep it from getting stained by the sludge at the bottom. Also, the liquid was hot and we didn’t want to keep our hands in there.
Oops. Here’s my favorite mistake of the weekend. I made a fructose vat. I tripled the recipe but didn’t triple the container size so it made a pretty awesome mess. Like a kid’s volcano experiment but deeply blue!
I scraped it into the vat and it still worked. Just a little unexpected adventure. And, yes, I did give myself a blue mustache.
There was definitely an “Organic Vat Posse” among the participants. I also had some pre-reduced indigo crystals from Dharma Trading Company for people to dye with but these ladies were super into the organic vats.
The whole process of using organic vats is really enticing. It smells way better too.
You can learn more about it on the Botanical Colors website. Like I said, Kathy is very generous with her knowledge and, along with really high quality dye stuff, her website is chock full of tutorials and advice.
Haley Hundt took all of these gorgeous pictures. She did such a fantastic job!!
Get to know the Deep Into Indigo Retreat Sponsors!
We have a few and really want to thank them and ask you to check them out. They are all super awesome and have so much to offer!
I met Teresa Kim of Suite 101, a couple of years ago. She’s a calming, authentic and very talented enabler of creativity. Her paintings are beautiful and really thoughtfully made.
She offers classes – I’ve been to some and they are the bomb diggity. She’s super warm and generous and supportive.