My final project in my “DIY dye workshop” was to tie-dye more mandala T-shirts. I had promised several T-shirts to various friends, and I wanted to experiment more with mandalas, so I made these four, plus two more muslin ones:
I like the red mandala better than my previous attempt, if only because there was no backstaining in the white areas – they are really white, not pinkish like the previous version:
I really like the pattern on the previous star, though – it looks like a flaming ball of gas. So maybe they are equally good, in their own ways.
I did try a new trick for preventing backstaining, which I got off one of the dyers’ lists (but unfortunately have been unable to track down the source of the advice). I added a bunch of ice to the first rinse water, which reduces the reactivity of the dye enough that it doesn’t bond to the white areas. And the first rinse takes out the soda ash, which is required for the dye to bond to the fiber. So by the time the second rinse rolls around, the dye is no longer able to bond with the fiber, and the white areas stay white.
I also made two muslin stars, in an attempt to figure out how to make the points longer. This is explained in the excellent book I was using, How to Tie-Dye Stars, by Richard Rogers, but I wasn’t quite sure how it worked. Now I know:
My T-shirt stars all had short points. I plan to try again with pointier stars the next time I do this. (And there will be a next time…I love the look of the star pattern!)
On another note, my book proposal is back from the editor’s, and I plan to address her suggested changes this week/weekend – fortunately there are relatively few changes, and they are fairly minor. She said it was in excellent shape.
And I had my first day at work! Whew. I can tell it’s going to be really interesting, but there’s a lot of technology to learn. I’ve never done satellite work before, and while it’s fascinating, there are a lot of parts I need to identify and understand before I can start providing value. Plus, I need to understand all the teams, their structure and process, what they’re working on, and the overall schedule. So this week is mostly focused on coming up to speed at work. I really like the people, though, and it promises to be great fun (in addition to a wonderful challenge!). Don’t expect too much creative work out of me, though – my brain is stuffed full of new things at work, and because I was intent on the dye workshop, I’m at least 500 unread emails behind. Those do need to be addressed, so between the two, and working on the book proposal, I probably won’t get much done on Phoenix Rising for a few days, at least.