Monday, October 22, 2007

More Dyeing Fun

I played with the dyes that arrived from KraftKolour. I mixed the powders (about 50/50) to get an orange from the red & yellow, a purple from the red & blue, and a green from the blue & yellow. These pieces of fabric are the results of the baggies "cooking" in the sun using only one colour per piece so I have a colour reference for the future. I mixed up far too much dye so had a go later in the week as well with some yarn. And I've still got some mixed up dye left. Apparently they gradually lose reactive strength once mixed with water so I'm probably not going to get much else if I try to use them - but I will chuck something in to see what happens. If it doesn't work I haven't lost anything as I can always dye it again. I really like the Rubine.
This is the yarn that I think looks like the plumage of the Spendid Wren. I first dyed the yarn blue, then overdyed with red, purple and rubine. I was so pleased with it I started crocheting a top for myself as soon as it was dry! It will be a miracle if I look as good in this as the wren does in his finery :-)

Friday, October 05, 2007

A parcel arrived this week from KraftKolour I ordered some Procion dyes of my very own after the fun I had the previous couple of weekends. I decided on the 3 primaries and black, and then had a rush of blood to the head and added Rubine just because it took my fancy. They arrived in perfect condition so now I just have to pluck up the courage to actually use them. Bonnie at KraftKolour was very helpful when I explained that I was a beginner.

I've got a couple of things I want to do. The first thing I want to do is dye a piece of fabric with the pure colour and also mix the secondary colours from the primaries and dye a piece of fabric in each of them. So I'll have 8 samples of single colours. I want to add some more colour to the balls of yarn I dyed previously to get rid of the white that's showing. I have got some cotton yarn already skeined up too which I'll use several colours on. That's probably enough for one day. As a future project I also want to dye some really old faded and worn blue t-shirts and then cut them into 1/2" strips to knit and/or crochet. I thought I'd dye them first to make sure they take the dye rather than cut and knit only to discover they're not what I thought they were and don't dye. I'm going to wait to do that though until I have a bit more of a "feel" for what colours I get with what I've mixed today.

This is what my laundry looked like while preparing to dye. I mixed the powdered dye into a liquid in the laundry tub with all the doors closed to minimise any dye dust floating about. Then I did the actual dyeing just outside the laundry as I have a wall which is a great height for working at. This area isn't seen by visitors to the house so I figured if I made a mess and dyed the bricks it wouldn't matter too much - better than spillage inside the house.

These are some El Cheapo brushes I bought at the $2 shop - I went in looking for something to hold the bags such as washing up bowls or cat litter trays. They didn't have those but I thought I'd try the brushes at $2 for 4. They were brilliant for mixing the powdered dyes into a liquid. I'll be going back to buy the rest of their stock as soon as I can.

This is one of the washing up bowls with the dyed fabric just "sitting" in the sun. I placed it on the bricks in the sun as that was the warmest spot in the garden. I folded the tops of the bags over to prevent evaporation.

All the dyeing sunbathing. As this is my first attempt I mixed up far too much dye and will probably have to have another go in a few days to use it up - apparently it lasts about a week as a liquid if not refrigerated - and I don't have spare room in the fridge. This is absolutely the hardest part - leaving for 24 hours as I'm sure that will give me the strongest colour. I've told Russ he needs to eat more ice cream - I need more containers :-)