Messing About with Dyes

In Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Wind in the Willows, the Water Rat says to Mole,

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

A great quote that applies to dyeing as well, in my view. There is nothing half so much fun as messing about with dyes -- which is what I did yesterday with my two talented friends, Joan Rusitzky and Eve Botelho. We played with Pro MX Fiber Reactive Dyes all morning, mixing colors and cleaning up spots on Joan's basement floor. I was dyeing cotton muslin, using some shibori-resist techniques I learned from the wonderful book, Textile Dyeing: The Step-by-Step Guide and Showcase by Kate Broughton.

My results are pictured above, after taking the pieces home, still bound with string, discharging them in thiox, and then over-dyeing them in indigo. (I'm not a purist, so I mixed chemical and natural dyes as needed.)

Thanks to Joan and Eve for a wonderful day. 

And, if you're curious, here's the entire quote from The Wind in the Willows.

"Is it so nice as all that?" asked the mole, shyly...

"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

"Simply messing... about in boats -- or with boats... in or out of 'em it doesn't matter. Nothing seems to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.

"Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together and have a long day of it?"


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