Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Record Keeping

I have two batches of glowing skeins that have been dyed in Madder root drying on the rack but I have run out of water so will have to do the final Madder root dyepot tomorrow. I will be getting Weld ready to dye with as well. I am going to take a little bit of time to play the with Madder roots. I want to see how much more dye I can get out of them and try them on some of the other yarns I have on hand.
In the mean time, I thought I would talk about record keeping. I believe record keeping is essential when dyeing if you plan to reproduce the colors. I keep a daily log with notes, calculations, observations and whatever else I feel needs to be thrown in. Each skein is tagged when it is finished. I didn't want to write out over 600 tags by hand so I devised a code system. My storyboard helped me determine what information I would want to have on my labels. I have numbered all the dyes with separate numbers for extracts and raw dyestuff. For example, I have a separate number for Madder extract and Madder root. I have three different mordant combinations, alum sulfate, alum acetate, and cream of tartar. I can circle the "A" and "C" and that would tell me the skein was mordanted with alum sulfate and cream of tartar. I list the modifier possibilities next and then I have depth of shade. I also have "number of dips" for indigo. Indigo will be the final category and a tremendous amount of fun.
I printed this information on mailing address labels using my computer and then I stick the label to a tag. I then just enter the dye number and circle the appropriate combinations. It keeps it consistent and neat and tidy. I also have the back of the tag for further notes if needed. The information on the tags are meant to be used in conjunction with my notes.
Once I had it set up, the system is quick and easy to use. I can pick up any labeled skein and know all the information I need to reproduce the color.
For those who dye, what is your record keeping system? I am sure there are many ways to do it and each keeps records to suit their own needs. -Renee

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