Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unexpected Dyeing

You probably expected me to be weaving my wild warp by now. Or at least asking questions about some technical hurdle.

I expected that too!!

Instead, I've been dyeing a bunch of yarn, and whatever else I can find to throw in the dye pot. (So far Bailey has been spared....although he does hang out with me when I dye!)

Dyeing Fodder

To what do I owe this unexpected turn of events?

A weaving friend offered me some free dye. Since my favorite price is "free", I jumped at the chance.

My plan was to freeze the dye....but the combo of a very full freezer and concerns about dye safety convinced me to just go for it. (The dye was already mixed with water and other things - but not with soda ash, the dye activator. The dye has a shelf life that is rapidly running out.)

Fortunately I had plenty of white and off-white cotton and linen that I wanted to make more colorful.

I forgot how long this would take. Over the weekend, I used every spare moment to wind skeins. I have not dyed in years. Maybe not since 2002.

Monday afternoon and evening I dyed things, and rinsed things. Tonight, I finished rinsing a red skein, a purple skein and a giant turquoise skein.

How's that for unexpected dyeing??

The somewhat daunting news....for me at least, is that I've only used half the dye. Today I made a plan for the other half. How I can combine the colors that are left to make colors I want. How much yarn and mix-ins I need to get the whole thing to work.

So that will be some post-Thanksgiving fun!! (Well, and a lot of pre-Thanksgiving preparation.....Do you think anyone would mind if I brought my swift to Thanksgiving dinner?)

Two housekeeping notes:

I am still working on my mixed warp scarf during my early morning studio hour every day. I'm changing it to a straight draw, have added 2 shafts to the loom, re-thread and sleyed the third shaft and most of the fourth shaft. I bet I'll have it tied on by the time I eat Thanksgiving turkey! And you guys will be the first to know! I so appreciate all of your help and advice!!

Also, huge thanks to Colleen for participating in my Colors of November challenge! The list of links will be open until December 1 - so add your pictures any time before that if you want to join the fun!!


Charlotte said...

Goodness me, that looks like quite an undertaking! You're going to have some lovely yarns to play with. Good luck with the second half and great to hear you have stuck with your early morning studio session!

Theresa said...

Oh my Sue, really, if you've gotten enough of what you want it's okay to ditch the dye. ;-)
Looks like nice sunny days though. Glad the weather has cooperated!
I can hardly wait to see the Toika all tricked out with it's additional harnesses and the scarf progress.

Delighted Hands said...

Dye day looks great-what fun it is to produce vibrant color!

ladyoftheloom said...

The dye day looks like fun, even to me and I am not a dyer!

I can't wait to see what happens to that scarf...

Jennifer said...

Definitely what fun! and more fun! i tend to find whatever I take on seems to to take on a life of it's own.
I'll get to November Color - I've been collecting color combo pictures since your blog and thinking of it ever since. I've just been out of the loop this week with everyone's blog!

Life Looms Large said...

You know what's weird about dyeing?? I like the colors so much more than if I just bought them. It doesn't really make sense, because I only blended one of the colors - throwing some black and brown in with the bright yellow to make a color that would work with my sunroom.

But I love, love, love the red, turquoise and purple that I created. Maybe dyeing forces you to bond with the colors in a way that shopping does not!

The frugal Yankee in me will not be throwing away the dye!!! I have enough for another 5 dye pots, so I should be tackling that project Friday or Saturday. I'm more excited about it now since I like how the first colors came out!

The scarf report is now that I've got the loom re-threaded, and am just connecting the treadles. (Remember that this is countermarche and I'm hooking up treadles and shafts that haven't been used before, so a lot of Texsolv and pegs are involved in what would take about 10 minutes tops with my jack loom.)

Weaving soon though I'm sure!!


Sharon said...

I'm trying to figure out how you can dye in plastic tubs. I always thought you needed heat to dye wool. What's your secret?