Z took a wool dying lesson today from Mo at the Cat and Crow in Mount Horeb. (They are such nice people!) Z took some notes and I took some notes, and basically, this is how you go from just sheared white wool to vibrant colors:
Materials (stores are all Wisconsin stores, but surely you have similar stores where you live):
1 pound white wool (from your sheep, alpaca, lama, rabbit or albino tarantula)
1 package extra wide plastic wrap (from Kavanaugh Restaurant Supply in Madison)
1 package food dye in your favorite colors (from Millers grocery store)
4 mesh bags (from World of Variety, laundry supply section)
1 or two 60 ml farm syringes (from Farm and Fleet)
1 bottle vinegar (from Millers)
1 bottle Dawn dishwashing detergent (from Millers)
1 pair Plastic gloves (from Millers)
You will need a clean table to work on, a place to air dry things (we use a fosball table), a microwave oven, and either a toploading clothes washer or a large sink for washing.
Time: 2-3 hours.
1. Wash the wool either in the sink or in the top loading washer, but do not use the regular wash cycle (agitating will felt the wool). Start by filling your tub with the hottest water you can from the tap. Fill washing machine (or sink). Add 1/3 cup Dawn. Soak 30 minutes. Spin it out. Rinse. Soak for another thirty minutes.
2. Mix your dye: vinegar, water, food coloring. Put it in your syringe.
3. Cover your table with plastic wrap. Spread some wool over the plastic wrap.
4. Squirt dye all over the wool.
5. Wrap it up in the plastic wrap, like you would a loaf of bread. Seal it.
6. If you have to use two layers of plastic wrap, poke to holes in the top.
7. Microwave 5 minutes or until juices run clear.
8. Cool in sink.
9. Take wool out of plastic wrap and put it into mesh bags.
10.. Spin it out in the washing machine. (You can do all if the colors at once in different mesh bags.)
11. Rinse in water the same temperature as the wool.
12. Spin again.
13. Take wool out of mesh bags and spread it out to dry on a fosball table or some other place safe from cats.
Once dry, you can card it and spin it or use it for a felting project!
Hey, all of you coloring book fans! I just made a beautiful book of pictures for you to color, based on the fantasy novels of Alex Bledsoe. This is the official coloring book of the Tufa, folks! Based on the four Tufa novels and a short story. For those not reading outstanding fantasy fiction, it is simply a book of beautiful pictures of forests and fairies and magic happening in very air itself. For those who are Alex Bledsoe fiction fans, you may just have died and gone to Cloud County.
Order it now, and you can get $2 off the official price of $9.98. That's right, from now until Chapel of Ease hits the shelves on September 6, you can get the official Tufa Coloring Book for only $7.98. Click here to buy it.
I hope you enjoy coloring it as much as I enjoyed drawing it.
Confession: I really hate swear word coloring books. But I am envious. Not of their content, no, of their sales! I feel like, while I painstakingly draw all of these elaborately creative masterpieces and making tens,these people are drawing loop Dee loops around F U C K Y O U and making thousands. While part of me understands the need to make a living, and the inherent humor in senseless cursing, a bigger part of me thinks these coloring books are simply tasteless vulgarity. Their humor is essentially humorless. Jerry Seinfeld said once that if a joke doesn't work without swearing, it isn't a good joke. Swear word comedy is basically cheap and fucked up. (Yes, I just did that there. You may call me a "fucking hypocrite," but I prefer "multi-faceted and deeply complicated.")
Introducing a new idea: the alternative to the swear words coloring book. How about a slightly more high brow approach, a book that teaches new archaic insults that no one has heard this century? This book will teach you how to put people down, without them even knowing it! Religious? No actual swears will be printed! Have kids looking over your shoulder? No problem! Enjoy knowing more than everyone else? This is your book!
Just an idea. But what would the title be?
Blasphemy Be Damned!
I've been spending all of my art energy on the Tufa Coloring Book today, so this is all I've got so far:
Sorry. I need to fuck around with it a little more, I guess.