Tuesday, April 1, 2008

dye pot anarchy

so, one thing i've never talked about here is dyeing fiber. there's a reason for this: i suck at dyeing. no really, this technique portrayed as such an easy technique to master is the hardest one for me. my main problem *and know you're going to laugh, and probably think i'm crazy* when you read this, is that i have never used professional dyes. *hangs head in shame* i know. but there are reasons.

  1. i don't have adequate space. our kitchen table is the computer table, we live in a tiny duplex, with no counterspace *seriously, i can barely cook in this kitchen*
  2. *and this is the most important* without a seperate studio space away from the house *and children* i was always too afraid that some horrible, possible exploding disaster would happen. it's just not great to do around kids.
  3. then there is all the serperate dyeing pots you need. for some reason all i have are small pots, when all i ever cook with are big ones, so sparing the big ones for dyeing is impractical. and we're poor, i can barely feed my fiber habbit! i DO currently one large, great pot for dyeing... ONE!

so my only dye history is kool-aid and wilton's icing dyeing. and though the kool-aid does work surprisingly well, i just gave up on it, after lusting for all the beautiful colors and possibilities of acid dyes. not to mention kool-aid is not great for blending colors because they have no primary blue. so pretty much, what you get is what you get.

but yesterday, i decided i was being a baby about it. now here is the interesting and main factor to my decision to retry it: a friend of my mil gave her some silk dyes that she didn't want, which of course can also be used on wool. they came with no special instructions, so i prepared everything as per normal wool dyeing. i broke out some picked finn fleece, threw it in the pot. i mixed all my colors, let the pot get hot and threw everything together. after going back a couple of times to find the wool had taken almost NO color, i gave up and turned the heat off. i let it sit there overnight because i was just so disgusted that after all this, i had failed yet again! and of course, in the morning, my kitchen stunk of vinegar because of how much extra i poured into the dye pot when things were going wrong. so i dumped everything out, rinsed the fiber *i had mixed some beautiful green, turquoise and two yellows, which were now an ordinary kelly green* and now i had a mint green wool. *barf* while laying it out on the washing machine top, i noticed some big grass and what-not still in the wool. upon picking this out, i made an amazing discovery! the grass in the wool had actually dyed!!! and it WAS turquoise! what an amazing and completely unexpected discovery!!! i'm thrilled, i thought these dyes were now totally useless, but i discovered, i just might have to use them in a different way! and think of all that beautiful COTTON i have waiting there for me on my bobbin....

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