Sunday, August 11, 2013

August Dye Day!

A sunny, dry day, perfect for outdoor dyeing. Today was so much fun, and I now have bags full of wonderful color ways to experiment spinning with! I used about 2/3 pound of 100 percent wool roving, soaked in Synthrapol (about a 1/4 cup, in 3 gallons of water). Using a 1% solution of Greener Shades dyes, I toned down the intense colors in most of these samples with the addition of black dye. I prepared 1% solutions, but since I was handpainting the wool, I ended up using more than what I had prepared, and had to go back in the kitchen to prepare more dye to finish all 350 grams (roughly 2/3 pound fiber). The one labelled "Parakeet" had no black in its colors. These are the pure hues resulting from the dye stock, with approximately a two to one ratio of dye stock to fiber weight. This was a purely experimental day, one meant for me to get comfortable with the dyes, and the resulting colors. Next, I would like to play with color schemes, tints, shades and more color theory! I notice that I have to be careful not to felt the fiber as I apply the dye with the stencil brushes. The fibers were painted on top of Saran Wrap, sealed up and rolled, then put in a steam bath over the stove, using a canning kettle with a wire insert to lay the rolls on as they steam. This took about a half hour to complete. The rolls were left to cool down, then unwrapped, rinsed gently with water, and hung to dry, after fluffing slightly with my fingertips. They are so pretty, I hate to use them! Coming up with the names for these color ways was so much fun. The one called "Mountaintop" was so named because my daughter and I had just recently visited the summit of Mount Graylock in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. These colors were all around us  as we looked around at the vista that lay before us, up in the clouds! I will have fond memories of that day forever!

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