I know, I know – I should be writing about Doctor Who. Really, I should – the family sat rapt on Sunday morning (we dvr’d it so we could skip the ads – damn the ads!) and enjoyed the hell out of ourselves. But it was a to-be-continued, and I just don’t want to write about it until I’ve seen part two, y’know? All I’ll say for the time being is that zomg, Steven Moffat, I has a little writer’s crush on him.

Ok! So back to the business of… well… business! I spent last week temping, as cash is tight all around, and that means that trade in pageant frocks is down. So temping it is. The agency that I’m working through is super nice, which is a bonus. We still have a bitty nestegg, which is also a bonus.

But there is time between jobs. Which is not great for the wallet, but super great for the creative portion of me. And I’ve been busy!

Last we talked batik, I was flailing a little bit – ahh, chemistry. But I think I’m getting the hang of this, at last. I did a bunch of baby clothes today, and was greatly pleased when they came out of the dye baths. I went back to the beginning, went mostly with one color, simplified simplified simplified. Also, I got a handle on the ratio for the dye bath \o/

The scoop:

– 100% cotton, pre-batched (washed with soda ash and dried in the dryer on low heat). Roughly 1lb cloth to 1/2c ash
– soy wax (Totally comes out in a hot washing. Ok, maybe in 2 hot washings.)
– 2/3oz dye per 1lb fabric
– 150% fabric weight in salt, added in four increments, three minutes apart
– minimal agitation – just enough to dissolve the chemicals
– 1hr soak (World of Warcraft tiem)
– 1/2c soda ash per 1lb fabric, added after the hour soak, in three increments, five minutes apart
– final 10-15 min soak
– cold rinse till water runs clear, hot rinse to get globby wax out*

Yielded these:

You’ll notice the simpler patterns came out best, and the two-color patterns better than the three color one. I need to make the sunflower even simpler in design, so that I can neaten it up (I’m working with a brush, not a tjanting tool – I haven’t ordered it yet – so no fine fine lines right now).

On the multi-color ones, I applied the wax, then applied the dye inside the lines, and let it sit for an hour to dry. Then I waxed over the whole business. I think I may go back to adding soda water under the hand-applied dye, to brighten the colors.

Another batch is in the wash now. I think I’m going to use the purple dye tomorrow and see what I get. Think good thoughts, and watch my Etsy site =)

*Dude, I totally need a washboard. Just sayin’.

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