Wednesday, 17 June 2015

1st Attempt: Eco Printing

When I went to the Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta a few weeks ago I purchased some Eco print fabric from Caroline Bell.  I knew I wanted something to sit in with my rusted fabrics.  I cobbled them together and made this cloth.  

It's 36 x 23 inches and a good size to cart around with some neutral thread and stitch into.  

I've wanted to have a go at eco printing for a while and have most of the kit.  Last week I finally gathered up some fabrics and put them on to boil for a couple of hours.  I then let them soak in an alum solution before selecting several varieties of leaves to fold into them and simmer away on Friday.

After a couple more hours I switched off and left them in the pan in the utility room to steep. 

Over the weekend I took Ellie over Dorchester way to do some tracker training.  She certainly got those little grey cells working and I was very proud of her achievements.  Within the Pointer groups I am a member of on FB there are several who do this on what could almost be classed as a professional level working with search and rescue teams finding people and lost dogs etc.  Very rewarding for both owners and dog.  I'm not sure Ellie will go up to their level but she certainly rose to the challenges set her.  Obviously we were too busy to take photos but this is Ellie and I with the other ladies and their dogs who were with us.

When I came back I rinsed out the fabrics and hung them to dry in the shade.  I've just taken them in to iron.  They didn't come out fantastically and I was amazed at how yellow most of it was. I will have to look into which leaf it was that did that.  Here are some photos of the better bits.

There were some bits of shirt, old table linen, turban cloth, silk, calico and good white cotton.  I'm not sure if I should now post mordant them to see if they change colour again.  I think I need to read a bit more into it again unless anyone has any experience they wish to share. Also the camera has lied a little and made the colour a little more vivid than they are.  For a first attempt I'm pleased at least some pieces came out usable and the rest of the fabric also has some good tones if not leaf patterns.  

In other areas I have been fiddling a bit.  The coursework's latest session is almost done and I am doing two workshops online with Artful Gathering again this year, mainly for technique but they are fun too.  Knitting has almost come to a stand still but I've had a few books and magazines arrive so I read them in the evenings rather than knit. 

I made these three door slams this morning.  

Now it's finally becoming warm the doors have a habit of slamming shut with everything open. These save the dog's noses or them being locked in let alone unsuspecting fingers. As for the build, we can now see shapes of rooms with walls going in and the roof timbers are on. I did like the shadows the wiring cast the other morning, they reminded me of the cow parsley I've been using in my coursework. 

We are on our third total rewire of the house.  The first time was because all the old stuff had to come out.  The second time was when we had an extension built 7 years ago and there was a lot of rat damage and rerouting.  This time the rats have eaten us out of most cables so this stuff is rodent repellant and semi armoured.  We have also had perforated trays made to block access in the cavities and are using scrunched chicken wire in other areas.  We will win this battle! 

And finally if anyone ever tells you online friends are not really friends you can poke them in the eye.  I had a lovely gift and card in the post to cheer me up.  

Thank you Benta. They are in and on my bag so I'm never bagless. XXX