Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Making Color

Saturday morning before the kids got here, I rainbow dyed some washed locks I've had upstairs for quite a number of years. I put four ounces of the wool in my largest pot and added water up to 3/4 of the fiber. If I were to cover the locks, the colors would run. I used Gaywool Dyes again, but instead of dissolving them, I chose three colors for each batch and sprinkled a third of a cap of dye crystals over a third of the wool. After I added each color, I gently poked the fiber to help the color circulate. It is so quick and easy that I wonder why I bother to dye any other way.
I've also had sari silk and dyed mohair locks upstairs for quite some time. Once I saw the jewel tones of my first batch, I knew that I would card it together with the mohair. By weight it ended up being just about 50/50.

Many years ago I took a two-day class at Black Sheep Gathering taught by Jill Lasky, called Blending for Effect. Of all the classes I've taken, this one has been the most useful. I learned that when carding and blending colors, one pass through the drum carder makes for a more variegated yarn, which is what I prefer.
I separated the locks into three colors and carded the wool once, the mohair twice and then both together. It pretty well blended it into a solid color. The next locks will only get one pass on the drum carder. I ran out of hibiscus, which is my favorite color - the lilac. I called and ordered it and three more colors from Carolina Homespun: myrtle (violet), cyclamen (pink) and honeycomb (gold). No matter what I do, the pumpkin dye keeps coming out orange - I'm sure I'm the only one who has ever been surprised by that.

We've been having afternoon thunder-
storms off and on since last week. The rain is most welcome. The lower temps are welcome too. It makes me realize that our summer is almost over and my tomatoes are still green.
Poor Eddie doesn't need a barometer to know we're going to have electrical activity. This is his safe place.


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Beautiful colors! I love the way mohair dyes up!
I wonder what it is about thunder that scares dogs; all three of mine go into hiding when we have boomers.

Theresa said...

Yummy colors Sharon. How is mohair to spin? Do you mix it with anything to add strength for weaving? Poor Eddie, I have one right now that gets wigged out over thunder. He's certainly a handsome dog ..cattle dog mix? I've always been attracted to them, neat workmanlike looking dogs. Give him a pat from all of us sending you those boomers and tell him we're sorry.

Leigh said...

You couldn't have tempted me more but with those colors! Yum!

bspinner said...

I just love the way mohair dyes. So bright and shiny. Beautiful colors!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't blame Eddie for hiding. Smart dog.

Life Looms Large said...

Great colors!!! Definitely inspires me to dye!!

In the Barking class that I took Bailey to, the instructor talked about dogs in thunderstorms. She said that they are very sensitive to barometric pressure, and that for some dogs it seems to both their skin - maybe feeling prickly or something.

Those dogs often find relief by hiding in the bathroom - sometimes even in the bathtub. (I don't know if it's because the water pipes provide a lot of grounding electrically, or if there's some other reason for that.) Weird, eh?

We've had beautiful sunny warm humid weather this week. A welcome respite from all the rain earlier in the summer!