Monday, December 20, 2010

...and the Dye God(dess) Smiled

half of the yarn I dyed today....

The other half of the yarn is spinning out, soon to be hung (by the chimney with care?)

Things went exceptionally well today. Both the cyan and magenta dyes set, almost immediately, all the dye vats exhausted and the yarn rinsed clear right from the get go. I worried I'd be there forever but all in all, I was finished much sooner than I hoped or expected.

Perhaps it was the phase of the moon, or the humidity was just right, or - who knows - it's the solstice? Whatever reason I'm very grateful to get this lot all done. I may go back and dip dye some of the skeins to get some true varigateds, not just semi-solids, but for now all of this yarn is now officially 'not white'.

What's left is the silk gimp. A cool 30+ pounds left (better than the 50 pounds I was thinking!) I've got enough skeins wound for another dye day but I need to go buy a new timer (my measuring cup, timer and measuring scoop disappeared from the guild room) and another case of vinegar from Costco first. While I made do with the alarm on my Blackberry, a small kitchen timer works much better.

I'm not a dyer, just like I'm not a spinner. I can go through the motions. I can make yarn 'not white' and I can get a continuous thread accomplished. But I am not knowledgeable about these crafts. I admire and respect people who really know what they are doing and I know that if I spent more time learning I could maybe get more proficient at each. But for now I'm happy just to get a little continuous thread, preferably 'not white'.

My main focus is weaving. What I have learned over the years is that in order to sell textiles, cloth with lively colours will sell much faster than white. So I dye protein fibres. I don't really want to deal with fibre reactive dyes so I buy my cellulose fibres already dyed. There are so many talented dyers - it's nice to support another craftsperson.

Currently reading Somewhere Inside by Laura and Lisa Ling


mtayti said...

Glad it was such a resounding success! It's so much more interesting to work with 'not white'.

The timer, at least, may have been subject to baby-assisted gravity. I'm sure I saw it last week. In case yours doesn't turn up, I'll stick my magnetic kitchen timer to the stove when I go tomorrow. I never use it at home anyway, so the room might as well have it.

Don't know about the measuring cup, etc. - it may have been 'sorted' when the new shelves came in. I'll have a look when I head over tomorrow.


Laura said...

No biggie - my stuff was laying around for a year - lots of places things can go hide in a year.

Just so glad that I'm back on my feet and even feeling that I *can* do the dyeing now. :)

It was a looooong year - that somehow seems to have evaporated much too quickly. :}


Vera L Hazelgrove said...

I love your colours!!!
I have my skeiner attached to my spinning wheel with an added belt, so that I can wind skeins on or off quickly by just treadling the wheel. Your idea of creating "not white" yarn, gave me the idea to over-dye some cones I have standing around for ever - to a nicer colour...
Thanks for sharing, Vera

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

The colors are beautiful! Don't you love dyeing! You don't have to be an expert or a chemist to appreciate the gorgeous "not white" colors you get from dyeing.

Laura said...

I've over dyed yarns, too - in fact several of these skeins may be over dyed. One of the batches wasn't great, but I think those skeins will complement some other skeins already dyed so I'm not too worried about those.

I did a couple of shawl warps with this yarn a couple of years ago and will do some more next year. Still trying to bust that stash of mine!