Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fustic, Cochineal, Weld, and Quecitron

I have noticed that some colors I can photograph with ease with my digital camera and others like the colors in the next two pictures, just cannot seem to be captured properly. The picture on the right is Fustic and Cochineal. I don't really like the combination. The two dyes seem to fight one another. It could be something I am doing incorrectly though.
The skeins on the left are the Weld and Quecitron mixture. I wish I could capture the beautiful glowing yellows with the camera. They look quite anemic here. I might just have to try to take the pictures again.
I really like the Quecitron/Weld mixture. The yellow/green of the Weld and the golden yellow of the Quecitron blend into a lovely vibrant butter yellow.
The next few dyepots are various combinations using Logwood Grey. Logwood Grey and Fustic make lovely olive greens. Pictures will be coming soon. -Renee

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fustic and Madder

This picture was taken in direct sunlight so the colors are a bit bright. Fustic and Madder is very close to Quecitron and Madder. I like the Quecitron mixture better but I think I could come pretty close to it with Fustic with a few adjustments. Fustic is less expensive and easier to come by than Quecitron. Both are more golden yellows as compared to Weld which produces a more greeny yellow.
Today I mixed Quecitron with Weld flowers to see what kind of yellow I would get. I should have the results soon. I have Cochineal and Fustic drying and will post it tomorrow. I got another batch of skeins mordanted today as well. I am excited because I have three more batches of 36 skeins to mordant and dye and then all the yarn will have been dyed and the Color Mix category will be done. From there I will move to the final and most challenging category, Indigo. It will also be the most fun and interesting to me. I have already figured out a method to keep track of all the dyed skeins that will be dipped in indigo. I will reveal the method when the time comes. It is simple and that is usually the best. More dyeing tomorrow. -Renee

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sumptuous Color

Sumptuous, sensuous, sustainable color. Those three "s" words are my new design motto. It is a plus that I get to use them here with the Quecitron and Madder color combination. The colors glow with a life all their own. I do believe this is one of my favorite dye batches. These skeins will be fun to pull out on a cold, grey winter day. I am planning to weave myself a meditation shawl. It is my birthday present to myself. My birthday was a few months ago but it is next in line to go on the loom. I have been waiting to see the results of some of the dyeing before making my final choice. The yarn is a silk/wool blend, undyed of course. I wanted a wrap that was warm and luscious. I would also like to experiment with woven shibori. I am thinking I will dye the yarns a lighter color over all and then overdye the darker using the shibori. I am also thinking of dyeing several sections in these colors, gathering the shibori threads, then overdyeing with Indigo. That will be a long process but it would be interesting to do.
I dyed three batches of dye today, the Quecitron and Madder, Madder and Fustic, and Cochineal and Fustic. Tomorrow I will mix two yellows, Quecitron and Fustic. I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of yellow I could get.
I have a question today, Do you have words, mottos, or phrases, that you use for inspiration? If so what are they and why? I have decided the three words I mentioned are ones I want my weaving and fiber art to strive for. In fact, it wouldn't hurt to shape my life to fit those words! -Renee

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yarn Stash Challenge Final

Way in the beginning when I started this blog, I mentioned my Great Yarn Stash Challenge. I was trying to weave up my yarn stash. I have officially declared it finished. The remaining yarn is designated for specific projects. I have no more odd cones of yarn. I saved all the empty cones of yarn for fun. I snapped a quick picture of the cones before putting them in the recycling bin. Not all the yarn was on cones but this is close enough. Nyx the cat popped into the picture just as I took it. She was curious, naturally!
I have the next batch of yarns mordanted and Quecitron is steeping for tomorrow's dye session with Madder and Quecitron. What do you bet that the color is another variation on pink? I will not be mixing all the reds with Quecitron as originally planned as I get the picture now! I will be posting the results when they are ready. Here's to a colorful week...-Renee

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rest and Recreation

This isn't weaving, spinning, dyeing, or fiber related but is a picture of a mother bear and her cubs. We "met" her while hiking in Whistler, B.C.. It is a little closer than I like to get to bears but she didn't give us much of a choice! I have been off with my husband and dear friends taking a much needed break and vacation. It was wonderful to get out into the wilderness and hike, bike, and climb then come back to spend the evenings with friends and good food.
Now I am ready for the final push of dyeing. I have all of the remaining wool yarn to be dyed skeined and ready to process. I have the last half of the Color Mixes category and the Indigo category to go.
Summer is slipping by so it is time to hit the dyepots hard again. Tomorrow is a mordanting day and then the dyeing begins....Stay tuned! -Renee

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Summer fun

First things first, this is the Lac and Fustic color mix. The right skein used a light DOS* for Lac and dark DOS for Fustic. I have found that Fustic is a rather greedy dye and seems to strike before some of the other dyes. There wasn't enough Lac in the light DOS to compete with the strong Fustic so the color kind of got elbowed out. The middle and left skein have a medium and dark DOS of Lac respectively.
We have been taking advantage of cool but dry summer days to get the house painting done and other dry season chores before the wet settles back in. The dyeing has slowed way down and we are about to leave for another short trip. I didn't want to have skeins sitting in a mordant bath while we are away so I have just been skeining and washing yarn so I can go for the final push when we return. I am on the last 5 cones of yarn. The light is starting to shine at the end of the tunnel. Still a ways to go though and Indigo yet to come. It may be a week or so until the next post. I will be gathering inspiration on our trip.
Enjoy the summer! -Renee
*see glossary

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Weld Flowers and Lac

What do you get when you mix Lac and Weld? More pink! I remember the birthday party for my 5th or 6th birthday, my mother decided on a pink and orange theme. Have I mentioned enough times that I really don't like pink? I feel like I am back at that birthday party with all the pink and orange I have been dying lately. Dana left a comment on one of the recent posts that Fustic and Lac make wonderful pinks. She usually dyes on cotton. I couldn't resist finding out for myself how it goes on wool so I made the next dyepot with Fustic and Lac. The skeins are drying so the results should be posted soon.
On the home front, we finished the second and final coat of paint on our two story house today. I need a good soak in the bathtub to recover! I am starting to think about how I will tackle the indigo dyeing and keeping track of the vast amounts of colored skeins I will be dipping. I have a plan......
-Colorfully yours, -Renee

Sunday, August 5, 2007

House Dyeing and Lessons Learned

Well, we are not technically dyeing our house of course, just painting it. We still are applying pigment to a porous surface, in this case a cellulose in the form of wood. We have the first coat on and then there is the trim and doors....
In spite of painting today, I managed to squeeze in a dyepot. I used Weld flowers and Lac. More variations on orange and pinks. I will have a picture for the next post. As I am sure many of you who paint their own houses know, a lot of thoughts go through your head while you are painting. Today I was thinking of what I have learned so far at this point in my dyeing project. So here are some of the things I have learned in no particular order:
If the yarn is already mordanted, I can get a dyepot going in less than 5 minutes. That is dye measured, water added, mordanted skeins prepared, thermometer clipped on, and burner going.
I can tell the temperature of the dyepot by looking at it. I know just when it is at the perfect temperature to hold. I still use the thermometers though. I found out I could tell the temperature by looking at the dyepot when I forgot to put the thermometer on and didn't realize it until well into the process. Seems kind of funny I know, but when you dye day after day these things happen.
I know I need to double and triple check that I have turned off all the burners and that they are turned off all the way!
I am getting pretty good at predicting the colors I will get when combining dyes.
I have memorized by accident, some of the dye amounts I need for certain WOG* and DOS.
I am learning when to deviate from the book and break the rules and when to know the book is right on.
I am learning to follow my curiosity off the determined path.
I learn a great deal from my mistakes!
With the exception of the yarn burnt to a crisp, everything is usable.
Skeining yarn is not my favorite part of the project but it goes a bit easier with comedy on DVD borrowed from the library.
Well, those are some of the things I have learned so far. I hope to post tomorrow but cannot guarantee it until we are finished painting the house.
Hope summer is going well for all. -Renee
*see glossary