Monday, September 15, 2014
A Good Day to Dye
It was something I swore I would never do. I'd given it a shot years ago, and decided that dyeing fabric was something I didn't need to do. I mean, it's not like there aren't a million zillion fabrics already out there, just waiting to be discovered and then chopped into lovely little bits. But....
Finding yarns for tapestry in a range of gradations (especially in the US), is a real challenge. In fact, finding yarns for tapestry is rather complicated all the way around, there are so many variables. Just as with fabric, the medium values are easy to find. It's the lightest lights and darkest darks that are the biggest challenge.
Just as always, I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how this hand dyeing thing worked. Wanting just small amounts of each color for now, I knew that I wanted to use mason jars and a canner for steam setting the dyes. Figuring out how much dye to use to achieve the desired depth of shade was the stumbling block. Different sources varied widely as to how much to use, so my first batches were way, way more intense than I was looking for.
But the colors came out so clean and bright and pure, it was still super fun to just toss the skeins in the dye and just see what happened.
After a while I just started mixing colors, adding black to skeins that came out too close in color to be useful, or blue, or red.
After my first day of dyeing, I was pretty darned happy with my yarns. It's a pretty good selection, if I do say so myself, especially considering I had no idea what I was doing! Not quite the light lights and dark darks, but hey, that just means I'll have to dye another day.