Saturday, 1 November 2014

A Dyeing Day

Following on from my last post I finally drew the honeysuckle, the very last one of the year.

Quite subtle, a little tentative but I'm pleased. I asked the DH's opinion & he said it was very good but didn't know what flower it was when pressed, but he reassured me he wasn't a gardener. Does it become a bad representation if someone can't tell what it is or can they enjoy it anyway? I'll go with the latter I think.

 my very first dyed threads!

What a fabulous day I had last week at Jenny's 

When I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I'd never dyed anything, was terrified at the idea of mixing chemicals & how could I possibly manage it she kindly said we could have a go at hers.

Of course being busy peeps, its taken us this long. We live on the same island but being an hour & a 1/2 & about 55 miles away didn't help. Above is the sign to her wonderful patchwork & quilting shop, a real treasure trove.

What a view even on one of the wettest, mistiest day of the year!

Jenny had got EVERYthing ready, dyes, spoons, tubs, newspaper, pfd fabric (oh, hark at me!)

most importantly lots of bags in which to put the dye & the fabric in ready to agitate & stew...or is it batch?

above, Jenny's rich selection.

 No 4 left had better mottling on the underside so I cheated & turned it over ;)

Well, I was taking this quite seriously & was determined to keep a record of the 'Exchange Dying' session.We'd done wonderful some warm up exercises of scrunching, dripping & folding, random & so quick! But this was serious stuff, something you could repeat & I was determined to listen & have at the end of it the start of a sample book the same quality as Jenny's. So, exchange dyeing is starting with 2 colors - I just chose my favourites, turquoise & pink (Magenta Red) totally forgetting they'd make an amazing purple when mixed. What I wasn't prepared for was the stunning colors in between.

There are probably many measurement mixes but the first & last color is the pure color & you gradually add more of one & less of another & half way thru you add less of one & more of the it? Exactly, that's why I had to be shown first hand & taken thru slowly by an excellent teacher. So I numbered my pieces, just to be sure I was correct as to which they were when they came out of the wash the other end. Best way that I thought would really be pemanent was to stitch the numbers on ;) a nice rest from rinsing - oh, goodness, the rinsing , I'd heard about that..... The right hand side of the above 2 pics is the 'flat' color, the first in the bag that sucks up most of the dye then you put a second piece in & get the ghost color, well of course those are my favourites, delicious mottled resisted parts of fabric.

some of these are wipe up cloths & I promise I didn't nudge that pot over on purpose....!

I love how the flats & the mottles go together, one of the main points of the exercise, of course

I can't work out which is my folded piece but we did sprinkling, painting & more dripping after the exchange dyeing. Then I nicked some of Jenny's colors & got fabulous lime greens, quite delicious!

 I've long been inspired by a piece I won in a giveaway from Linda Stokes, some years ago & have been constantly impressed with the work of my blog buddies who dye & now I feel I'm nearing really making my own hand dyes! So exciting.

I couldn't let the 'spent dye' go to waste, as I poured the first bag down the sink I thought...paper!

I got flat color, drew with the lid of the containers & smooshed, patted & rolled the crumpled fabric & threads about (will I ever untangle them!)

saving some for later

My stack, my very own stack of hand dyes. Can you tell how grateful I am to Jenny?


chocolatefrog said...

Magical! Great new technique to learn and wonderful stash building. Lovely to hear your excitement come through.

Maggi said...

Not only is it fun, you get to have a really personal selection pif fabric and paper at the end. Well done, great results.

ju-north said...

No stopping you now! You can't beat hand-dyed cloth! Lovely results!

Iz said...

Addictive, isn't it! What a stash you've got now! Did you use synthrapol to rinse? Works a treat to remove excess dye - and I just rinse in the machine coz I'm lazy :)

Amanda said...

What a great day you had! Feeling your enthusiasm oozing through the screen! Enjoy using them. Yes, you now have to use them. :-)

Linda Stokes said...

Great! Now you're off on the hand dyeing path & with fabulous results - gorgeous colours!
It is so helpful to have a hands on learning opportunity if you're feeling nervous about jumping in.

Anonymous said...

How fantastic this stack. Great to add to your own work in so many different ways. You do live a long way from everything don't you? xox

Julie said...

Wonderful results Emma! You are now a convert! There'll be no stopping you. You've got a beautiful range of colours and great threads too!

Suztats said...

Oh, those are just fabulous results! i love them!

Jan said...

What fun and productive too! Next thing we know you will be dyeing big swaths of fabric. I want to dye some more even though I already have plenty. Last summer I bought some large plain white cotton curtains, planning to dye them. Only $2.00 for a shopping bag full at a, what do you call it, a boot sale? Hmmmm, maybe today would be a good day after reading your inspirational post.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, those hand dyes are stunning! Such an inspirational set of blank canvases for playing with. I'm very envious!!

Timelesslady said...

These are gorgeous...I don't work in fabric, I like to watercolor, these would be perfect backgrounds for watercolors too. Lovely.

Linda Vincent said...

Oh my goodness......what a treat you had! We can tell you enjoyed yourself and had a successful day ;-)