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So Excited!

I just got these in the mail: a dozen GIANT handwoven cotton scarves from Maiwa.  Guess what I’m going to do with them 🙂

Khadi Cotton Fine Handwoven Shawls

Club Indigo

If you have ever taken a dye class with me you are welcome to join Club Indigo.

I will open up my indigo vats on the first Sunday of every month in the dye studio at the Electric Needle from 11 am to 3 pm.

This is NOT a class. I will be dyeing but will be happy as always to give you my advice. If you want to work in shibori or batik, you are welcome to, but I can’t help a ton as my hands will be blue. Books, resources and tools will be available.

Bring your own fabric – limited to about 5 yards of fabric a club day. All fabric MUST be made of natural fibers. The Electric Needle is closed on Sunday so there will NOT be availability to purchase fabric on club days.

Pre-registration is required. After you have registered you will receive an email explaining how to join us.

The registration fee includes a minimum of 2 hours of dye time and 1/2 hour for clean up.

Be advised the dye studio is in the basement, you will need to be able to navigate a flight of steps to get to the studio. If this is impossible for you please call so we can arrange a private lesson.

Deep Into Indigo Retreat

Deep Into Indigo Retreat

A creative weekend getaway including: All food, beverages and lodging plus piles of fabric and paper to play with, unlimited access to prepared indigo dye vats, and gifts and prizes all for one low price!

Join a us at a creative indigo dye retreat in Westby, Wisconsin.  Located about two hours from Madison Wisconsin, you’ll be able to shed the grind of your daily life, and immerse yourself in the study and play of dyeing with indigo.

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Wearing a scarf ALL OF THE TIME!

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.

All I Want For Christmas Is…..Deep Into Indigo!

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.

 

Shibori Class at The Electric Needle

Come and learn several traditional Shibori folding techniques.

We will not be dyeing anything during this class but rather focusing on the folding, wrapping and stitching techniques.

We will be experimenting with a variety of Shibori techniques to make beautiful patterns on fabric.

The fabric bundles you take home from class can be dyed at a future time. There will be an indigo dye class for you to dye your bundles on Saturday, November 18th, but it’s not required.

We will Shibori as much fabric as we have time for and there will be plenty of time for Q&A with Jennifer. You will leave with enough knowledge to continue on your own at home.

Six fat quarters of prepared quilting cotton will be included.  Feel free to bring additional fabric, which must be made from natural fibers.

Students also taking the indigo dye class can take home Jennifer’s dye tools and return them after the November 18th class.

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Itajime

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!

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Botanical Colors FTW

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.

Henna vat samples. Both had one dip. The one one the left was tested on the first day, the one on the right was dipped the second day. Henna vats work best a few days after they’re made.

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!!

Deep Into Indigo Retreat

Deep Into Indigo Retreat Westby Wisconsin Shibori
A creative weekend getaway including: All food, beverages and lodging plus piles of fabric to play with, unlimited access to prepared dye vats, and gifts and prizes all for one low price!

Join a us at a creative indigo dye retreat in Westby, Wisconsin.  Located about two hours from Madison WI, you’ll be able to shed the grind of your daily life, and immerse yourself in the study and play of dyeing with indigo.

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Sponsor: Quilt Basket n’ Creations

Get to know the Deep Into Indigo Retreat Sponsors!

We have a few and really want to thank them and ask for you to check them out.  They are all super awesome and have so much to offer!

We are huge fans of Quilt Basket n’ Creations.  It’s local to Viroqua and we hope everyone joining is stops by to shop. We just walked in off the street last year and asked Carol, the owner, to sponsor the retreat and she was super open and welcoming.

QBNC has loads of fabric and notions..I’m a sucker for notions and pick something up every time we stop by.

They have sponsored the Deep Into Indigo Retreat with a bolt of sexy linen-cotton blend.  It was the belle of the ball at last year’s retreat.

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Sponsor: Botanical Colors

Get to know the Deep Into Indigo Retreat Sponsors!

We have a few and really want to thank them and ask for you to check them out.  They are all super awesome and have so much to offer!

I was lucky enough to go out to Seattle to learn from Kathy Hattori of Botanical Colors last spring. My luggage never arrived and she was especially nice to me considering  I stunk and wore the same clothes for three days straight.

I’ve been aware of her and have shopped from her for years.  They carry many different kinds of natural dyes in addition to indigo. Check them out and tell them Jennifer sent you.  🙂

Kathy publishes Feedback Friday on their blog when they answer customer’s questions and also share many tutorials for free on how to use their various dyes.

She’s incredibly generous (both in person and online) with her knowledge and resources.  Also with the Deep Into Indigo Retreat, she is sharing chemicals for us to experiment with three different kinds of organic vats!  Thank you, Kathy and Botanical Colors.  They are awesome!