Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dyeing... Touching Base

In the last few weeks, I have been REALLY into dyeing my own yarn.  I have played a little with roving, but most of my experimentation has used wee little samples of DK or worsted weight super-wash wool yarn. I bought the entire spectrum of colours available in one fantastic line of acid dyes, and I set about dyeing little samples of each colour. I want to establish my own colour palette, and I need to see what my base colours look like before I can do that.

First I created one litre bottles of stock in every colour... now I have a wonderful supply in my cabinet that I can pull out whenever I need!

Then I set about working my way around the colour wheel, making both light and bold samples of each colour of stock.

I have been making precise measurements and recording notes as I go. I have been taking care to make sure that all my results are completely "re-creatable".

I have been dip-dyeing and steaming my results... for these tests, that seems to be the quickest and most efficient way to get through ALL those colours at once in my tiny little work space!

I played around just a LITTLE bit with colour blending... mostly to see if I could make my own green.  I wasn't very happy with the first results, so I over-dyed it again with a stronger solution, and I am quite happy with this new shade. However, I have decided to complete my studies of all the base colours before I start a separate study of my entire pallet - making samples of all the blending options I have between dye stocks!

When all my samples were steamed and dried, I wrapped small lengths of yarn around index cards so I have easy access to a visual record of each colour. Now I can pull these out to see with my own eyes what each colour looks like before I set about designing a future colour combination.

Next stop: To create samples of the entire palette available to me. This will include tests with black dye and weak solutions so I can see all the tints and shades of my base colours. I have already got a start on it now, and will share the results as soon as I have them photographed!

Special thanks to my lovely sister Michelle for helping me take photos of the process!


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