Thursday, April 10, 2008
Last year I dyed an interesting sky using the following method I wrote in RHM.
If the colours represented don’t suit you, being a little on the glowy side, just add a bit of their compliment ( the colour opposite on the colour wheel ) to the dye formulas. Though I would encourage you to try a sky that is bright... just pep up the other colours you use in the rest of the rug.
This method is dyed over 1 yd of natural wool with Majic Carpet dyes, if you don’t have these use a likely substitute, have a little fun.
The Big Kettle Method
By now many of you already have a big soup pot or canning kettle you got to try Wandering or to dye yard lengths. If you don’t have a pot like this yet they are very useful to include in your dyeing paraphernalia. Buying one may seem like a bit of an investment but you and your beautiful rugs are worth it.
Fill your soup kettle 3/4 full, set on stove to heat. You might want to make sure your kettle is impeccably clean because we will be useing small amounts of dye and the least little speck of dye on the pot from your last session will corrupt your recipe. Though having said that I honestly love what happens when I use a “dirty “ pot.
Soak your wool thoroughly using synthropol. Have a bowl or pan nearby to place the hot wool in.
1/32 tsp. Red Violet
1/256th Brilliant Green ( just use a tooth pick ) This colour dulls the red violet, just don’t add too much or your sky with be a purplish grey which is lovely result if that’s what you want.
Add Formula One into the water (dye bath) in the kettle.
Arrange the yard of wool so the selvedges are running up and down and you have gathered the wide edge in your hand.
Hold your wool by the upper 1/4 and immerse it into the dye bath to the half way point.
Just hang on to it and swish it around, no dipping. If you want this wool to have a bigger section of more let it go into the water 2/3 of the way now.
You might notice the colour gets taken up pretty well without acid, but add 1/32 tsp. at this point.
NOTE: If you are stature challenged as I am stand on a sturdy step stool, be safe.
As the water begins clear dip up to the 2/3 height then finally let the whole piece submerge.
When water is clear, remove the wool to the pan or bowl, cool it off by rinsing in cool water.
Add 1/128th tsp of Yellow into the kettle, stir well.
Arrange your cooled wool as described before but place the other end of the wool into the dye bath, the lightest end.
Swish around as before, immersing your end in as far as you want yellow to appear, when yellow and pink cross orange is what appears, or in this case peach.
Dip your wool in deeper as the colour in the dye bath disappears, swishing as you go, creating smooth transtions from one colour to the next.
After the dye bath is clear, remove wool and cool.
Next add 1/64th tsp. Blue into your kettle, stir lots make sure none flew onto the kettle sides, creating glories and merriment you might not want.
Now arrange your wool as before and lower in the dark end, the one that is pink.
Swish and dip as you see fit creating the sky you wish.Once again as the colour disappears dip more of the wool in.
Remove wool when dyebath is clear, cool , rinse thoroughly. Acid left in wool is not good for wool longevity.
This took me a total of 15 minutes. I wasn’t reading directions and I knew what to do but soon you will be whipping these out in no time too.
You might notice this wool looks a lot less “smooth” than traditional dip dyes.
The colour transitions are still subtle but there are up and down striations that are lovely to hook. There are two ways to use this wool: keep your wool in order as you cut it by taping it down to a piece of paper or let caution go to the wind and hook it as you pull out each stripette from your basket. Both have their own beauty.
For the Tornado sky I used blue violet on one end and Brilliant green on the other end WOW !
Today I finally sold it to a lady who wished to use it for an aurora borelais in a deep blue and violet sky.
It looked a somewhat dull colour but against the dark sky it was tremendous and glowing.
See picture for a collection of different colours dyed this way.