Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Let them out!

Does the artist in you rarely come out to play?
What's stopping you from experiencing the joy of self expression?

We are looking at that very topic today in Our Daily Bread on The Welcome Mat.

Do you dream of artistic freedom?
Everyone abides in a prison of their own making.

Why not try exercising your jail busting muscles?
Sign up for our January Journal project centered on the idea of house and home.
Build a beautiful abode for your heart's desire by painting with wool.
Expand what you can do with your mind, heart and hook.
See you there!

Monday, December 29, 2014

January Journal - A Wonderful Way to Spend the Month

There is light shining at the end of the tunnel of winter I promise!

It's almost January Journal time on The Welcome Mat.
This is a wonderful, yearly tradition, we work around a theme and hooking an "entry " each day.
This year our theme's is House and Home. 
How you explore this idea is up to you.
Artists love exploring the idea of house, home and village.

Uptown By Patricia Keeler

You can be highly organized or incredibly chaotic in this work.
It can be simple or complex.
It is for you and up to you alone how it transpires.

You can dream up your fantasy of a house full of wool or one made of it!
You can create a bunting or swag with 31 different little things you wish your home had.
You can build the cottage of your dreams or a new simple house each day.
You can join us right here, it worth joining up to the Mat for.

I help if asked and encourage as much as I can. Great works have been created in our Journal challenge by wool diarists.

"A page of my journal is like a cake of portable soup. A little may be diffused into a considerable portion."
James Boswell

I love this quote because my own journal rugs act very much like this, letting me get in touch with all sorts of amazing untapped creativity that feed me all year long, a rich and thriving wanderland. I wonder what it will do for you?

So many ways we can to go to traverse this month with our heart filled subject, I can't wait to see what you create.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dyeing Idea Mash Up

We've all made a spot dye....

Or have  pile of them with nothing to do...

Have you ever thought of making a swatch of them?
I have thanks to clever Sue Hamer.

Beautiful fulsome, something else!
You gotta try it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beautiful Greens for The Season

It looks like it might be a green Christmas here!
My friends that's better than a blue one!

Here's are some true greens using Majic Carpet Dyes.
Notice the top one looks a little more yellow and the bottom one looks a little bluer.
This is because we are comparing them to each other. 
They are the same value and will blend nicely.
These are great for landscapes.
Formulas have been mixed together with boiling water, poured in a dye bath over a wet 1/8th yd natural wool. Heat was added, then citric acid or vinegar after about 10 minutes or so. Wait until water clears. Rinse well, dry in dryer or hang to dry. 
To increase to a larger amount of wool go here for my handy chart.

2/32 tsp. Moss Green 
1/32 tsp Turquoise 

1/32 tsp. Bottle Green  
1/32 tsp. Brilliant
1/32 tsp. Moss Green 
1/64 tsp. Seal Brown -it was rather heaping.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Choosing Dyes To Mix and a Beautiful Red

Not all sets of colours make good mixers.
Recently to my surprise I've noticed people employing the red blue green system for subtractive colour use. Don't worry about the use of the word subtractive. That just means using pigments like paint or dye, inks.  It is describing how when we put pigment on something it subtracts some colour from our perception while other colour is left.

The red blue green system is about additive colour. This is the system that operates our computer screens and TV and in stage lighting. These three colours create every colour on a screen. Add them all in and they create white.

We all know when we put all our pigments together in the dye pot we are likely to get black.
These two systems additive ( light ) subtractive ( applied piments)  while both about colour and mixing couldn't be more polar. One theory cannot be applied to the others use.

Using additive colour primaries ( red , blue , green) doesn't get you good full colour wheel results to mix them in a subtractive application, like with our dyes.

If you want to be a full colour array mixer start off with the subtractive primaries that have been successfully in use by visual artists for donkey years.
Turquoise ( Cyan), Yellow, Red Violet ( Magenta) and Black.

The cleaner each of these subtractive mixers are, the better separation you'll get between the colours you can create to make a colour wheel or mix in the dye pot.

You can read more about the comparisons right here.

And that said you can get even more beautiful and expansive colourations by employing the addition of orange, violet and green to these 4 basic colours. Most artworks are reprinted using a 7 colour printer because the colours are more accurate to the original creation.

This full colour use is what I like to employ as a dyer and now a mixer of dyes for sale.
More mixing choices means better colour up to a point.
Our 14 Majic Carpet Dye colours are a great system for artistic and beautiful colour mixing.

They are a bargain right now for US customers because our Canadian $ is weak.... it's like getting 20% off!

Here's a beautiful colour to get your in the mood for Christmas.

Hanchett's Vermont Barn

Hanchett’s Vermont Barn
4/32 tsp. Red
2/64 tsp. Moss Green

1/64 tsp. Chocolate Brown

I dyed this sample over 1/4 yd unless otherwise stated in the recipe. 
I immersed the wet wool in a generous dye bath with the dye solution ( formula ) already added. please add 1/32 tsp of citric acid at after the wool has been swimming with the dye solution for 5 minutes. Heat until water is clear.

Please note red is also very difficult to photograph accurately. I’ve done my best but for certain reds the richness, nor the relative cool or blueness  of them does not show through. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Print This Increasing Chart For Your Dye Journal

I've just made this chart to help you increase the amount of wool you dye with my small sample formulas in Rug Hooking Magazine and The Welcome Mat and The Majic Carpet Club. I'm usually dyeing 1/8th yd. of wool for these endeavours.
Now dye the same colours over 1/4 , 1/2 or 1 yd. pieces easily, I've converted my most popular measures.

Here's my old rug colour Blue and Grey dyed over 1/8th yd of wool using Majic Carpet Dyes
1/256th tsp. Blue
1/512th tsp. Seal Brown
1/512th tsp. Black

This formula was dyed over 1/8th yd of natural wool using a Microwave Dye Bath as follows.
Add 6 cups of boiling water in a microwaveable safe vessel, I use an 8 cup measuring cup because it has a handle that does not heat up. I like to boil my water on the stove, it is a lot faster for me than using the microwave.
Wet wool in synthrapol or jet dry.
Add dyes to boiling water stir very well, add wool to water, stir for 1 minute.
Place in microwave for 2 minutes.
Remove, stir, add acid in the form of vinegar (1tbsp.) or citric acid, ( 1/32 tsp.)
Stir more, place back in the microwave for 1 minute, remove and stir, repeat until water is clear.
 By all means use a conventional dye bath to create this color.

Using the chart below the Blue and Gray Formula for 1 yard of wool would look like this:
1/32 tsp. Blue
1/64 tsp. Seal Brown
1/64 tsp. Black 

Increase 1/8th yd. dye samples to dye a ¼ yd-  multiply by 2
1/16th tsp increased from a 1/8th yd sample to a ¼ yd = 2/16  or 1/8th tsp.
1/32 tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd sample to a 1/4 yd.  = 2/32 or 1/16th tsp.
1/64 tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd sample to a 1/4 yd. =  2/64  or  1/32th tsp.
1/128th tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd. sample to a 1/4 yd. = 2/128th or  1/64 tsp.
1/256th tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd  sample to a 1/4 yd. = 2/256th or 1/128th tsp.
1/512th tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd. sample to a  1/4 yd = 2/512th or 1/256th tsp.
Increase 1/8th yd samples to dye a ½ yd-  multiply by 4
1/16th tsp increased from a 1/8th yd. sample to a ½ yd sample = 4/16th  or ¼ tsp.
1/32 tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd sample to a 1/2 yd.  = 4/32 or 1/8th tsp.
1/64 tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd sample to a 1/2 yd. =  4/64  or  1/16th tsp.
1/128th tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd. sample to a 1/2 yd. = 4/128th or  1/32 tsp.
1/256th tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd  sample) to a 1/2 yd. = 4/256th or 1/64 tsp.
1/512th tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd. sample to a  1/2 yd = 4/512th or 1/128th tsp. 
Increase a 1/8th yd. samples to dye a 1 yd  - multiply by 8
1/16th tsp. increased from a1/8th yd. sample to 1 yd= 8/16th  or ½ tsp.
1/32 tsp increased from a 1/8th yd sample to 1 yd = 8/32 or ¼ tsp.
1/64 tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd sample to 1 yd = 8/64 or 1/8th tsp.
1/128th tsp increased from a 1/8th yd. sample to 1 yd = 8/128th or 1/16th tsp.
1/256th tsp increased from a 1/8th yd sample to 1 yd. =  8/256 or 1/32 tsp.
1/512th tsp. increased from a 1/8th yd. sample to a 1 yd = 8/512th or 1/64th tsp.
Please print this out for your dye journal or reference book.

Monday, December 8, 2014

How to dye by eye - Formula free

You can make a real difference in your hooked rugs by dyeing.
You'll make colours only you can.
It's a special realization when you know you can make any colour you wish.
The world is your oyster then.
Here are some tips:

Each of us has looked at something and wanted to create the color we see in the dye pot. What do we need to really SEE when we look at our inspiration to get going  ?

The color:
What color family does this item belong to ?
This first question lets us know what dye to start with as we start our new formula.

The intensity of the color:
Is the color dull, bright or somewhere  between ?
This reveals what to add to the first color to create the proper intensity.
You might need to add the opposite color, or if you you desire a deadened or very calming color you need to add black. If you want a brighter colour you need to look at colours that surround your colour family of your item. eg Yellow will make red, orange, and green brighter.

Is this color warm or cool ?
The color you seek has a temperature.  You may need to add a warmer compliment or a cooler compliment (opposite colors on the color wheel) to get where you want to go. To explain, if you needed to reduce the intensity of a color but still have it be rich, you use a complimentary color to reduce it.  A purple that is vibrant but needs to be calmed down and warmed at the same time would benefit from the addition of yellow orange rather than yellow, it’s true compliment. If it needed to be reduced and cooled, adding yellow green rather than yellow would aid you.

The value of the color : 
Is the color light, medium or dark valued ?
 This tells us how much dye to use. Of course the amount changes according to how much wool is dyed. If you dyed 1 yd. of wool with 1/32 tsp of dye and you dyed 1/4 yd. with 1/32 tsp of dye  the two values would be quite different.

Here are some colours I matched of beach treasures. I know you can do this too!

Friday, December 5, 2014

What I might have made today but....

 I made all of these two weeks ago and aren't they delicious?
I used the Zero Waste rule and there were no remnants to toss into landfill.

They are all for sale at Wandaworks. These one of a kind garments are hand dyed and sewn by me, I can't tell you how wonderful these all feel, made from the same piece of 100% wool jersey from Italy. They look great on everyone! They are on a size 18 dressmakers dummy and look good right down to size 4. Can you imagine swanning around in one of these joyous beauty this winter? Put it on your wish list!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

What I didn't make today!

I made this a couple of weeks ago and I'm so pleased with it!
Using a wonderful Italian knit wool in a lightweight with a great soft hand, I cut and sewed these gorgeous jackets, they can be worn many ways including upside down. And then I dyed it.
It will be for sale soon, I have two colourways right now, each one I make is wonderfully unique, just like you.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Don't Make A Thing Girl!

Traditionally this is the time I start my "Make a Thing A Day" for the month of December.
This year I don't want to.
It's as plain as that.
Instead I'm getting ready for our International Hooking Day celebration on December 4th and I'm doing my favorite job:

I have this effect on all the men!

I'm also getting my home studio back in shape for my bevy of rug hooking beauties to return. Thank goodness I have my Miss Watson to help me!

We will be posting though in December.... don't you wonder what we will be showing you?
Stay tuned.
Oh... are you looking for dyeing info?
Away you go.... straight to The Majic Carpet Club or look at our boon for this week in The WandaWay Studio

Friday, November 28, 2014

Darks For Black Friday

Let’s propose you want a dark background for a rug.
Look for some wool that is already on the way to being darker.  I like to use a four value range on the value scale for this type of work  ie: #4 #5 #6 #7.
It helps to save on dye if you are starting out with medium values for dyeing darks.

Here are a group of close values, use these to judge your selection.

Gather up different wool that fits a “mostly”, they might be mostly green, mostly grey, mostly brown... just choose the mostly that suits your purpose or what you have on hand. Use textures and little bits you might have leftover too. No need to worry about running out. Just make sure they fit your chosen “mostly”

 Here are the Mostly Greys for Old Stormy before dyeing

Wet your wool as usual with synthrapol or the wool wetter of your choice, shampoo without conditioner will work if you have nothing else.

Chose one dye from your selection that will get you the results you desire. Keep in mind what happens to certain colours when they are dyed with another, for instance, blue dyed over brown becomes tealish. Maybe you will want to add some black dye to deaden or some brown dye to dull according to what you need your dark areas to look like. Make that judgment as you dye. It takes about 1/2 tsp of darker dyes to make this much wool darker and keep in mind lighter dyes such as yellow will not make a dark colour for you.

A series of blue greenish wool over-dyed with black will give you a cool black. For a warmer one look for  a “mostly” that are brown.

Old Stormy

Gather 6 pieces of random grey textures and solids equaling 8 oz or 3/4 of a yd. Arrange them from light to dark and add them in that order. This will let more dye go into the lighter wool and less for the darker wool keeping the marriage close in values.
These were over-dyed with Majic Carpet Dyes. 1/4 tsp. Blue + 1/8th tsp. Black in a dye bath with plenty of room, with minimum stirring. Add 1/4 tsp of citric acid after 10 minutes.
When water clears rinse wool well and dry.

When you hook these types of backgrounds try random irregular sections of colour dispersed without planning.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Creative Prompt From The Welcome Mat

Take a minute for yourself today, see what your inner self says.

So often we are reminded to keep on track, to be focused, to get to the point.
A mind that can meander is a gift.
Wandering off the topic can bring us to a new vista to explore.
Let's exercise our wandering mind.
Think of a word, write it down. NOTE: Don't think at length about it, you need to automatically respond with the first thing that comes to mind, and continue to do so to tap into your wisdom.
Then write down the next word that comes to mind.
Book - shelf
Continue to add words until this feels complete, maybe 12 or so words.
Now look where your mind took you, hmmm looks like I need some recuperative time still.
Have fun with this.
How this helps with rug hooking:
Being able to let your mind wander is a way to connect to your innate intelligence. It is so useful when a problem arises in your rug and it is hard to make a decision. Even if you don't think you know what you want or cannot decide what you want that innate intelligence knows. This exercise is a conduit for it all to come out.
After all every part of making our rugs is a series of decisions, all creative endeavours are. Let yourself find out what you really want with your rug.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Steaming- A Dye Method for Fancy Wool

Did you know we can dye our wool by using steam?

To process my wool pieces I lay out a piece of saran wrap and spot up a small piece of wool.
 The saran wrap/cling film must be larger than the wool.

I continue to add colour by pouring it on with a spoon. I have acid added to each colour.
When I've covered the wool as much as I'd like with my colours I roll up the saran.
I've used Majic Carpet  Bottle Green, Moss Green and Orange

There will be some drips as I roll and then coil my saran wrapped wool in a measuring cup.

I pop it in the microwave for a few minutes on high.

And here is what it looks like, I love the "bones" that appear from the dye settling at the bottom of the roll.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Blue With No Name

Here is a sample of blue straight out of our Majic Carpet Jar: 1/32 tsp of dye over 1/32 yd. and below it a great formula for water on a dull day or a great quiet background.

Blue With No Name

2/32 tsp. Blue
1/64 tsp. Black 
I dyed a ¼ yd. pieces of natural wool in a regular dye bath method.
I dyed the wool without adding acid until most of the colour had taken up.
 At this point I added 1/64 tsp acid. I add more acid for darker colours, less for light.
Join the Majic Carpet Club at the WandaWay Studio to see my great tips on dyeing with all blue dyes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Glorious News

Wow where did I go?
I was doing Grammy work.

And today my Wandaworks girls are coming and we are packing our wares and setting up our table at the Pottawatomi Spinners and Weavers Guild's Annual Show & Sale at the Owen Sound and North Grey Union Public Library. Owen Sound, Ontario. Come and see us there Sat. Nov 22 from 10:00 to 4:00, pm and Sunday Nov 23 from noon til 4:00 pm.  

We will have Majic Carpet Dyes and WandaWear in the form of hand dyed wool jackets scarves and silk ones too... and some art yarn fingerless gloves. 

Wool of course for spinning, hooking, knitting and weaving and applique and quilting. All dyed in gorgeous colourways. We will also have needle punching tools and demos.

And a whole assortment of deliciously dyed Gubbins to include in your art yarn.

And todays formula for Majic Carpet Dyes ( all the dyeing above was accomplished with them) 
2/32 tsp Orange
1/32 tsp. + 1/64 tsp. Red

1/64 tsp. Seal Brown

Over ¼ yd of natural wool in a dye bath with Majic Carpet dyes (though you can use which ever dyes you choose for possibly similar though not exact results)

Wet wool with an additive such as shampoo, Jet Dry or Synthrapol to prepare it to dye.  Heat a receptacle of water to dye in, for the smooth dyeing of ¼ yd use approx. 1 gallon of water.  Add dye formula into the dye bath, making sure it is dissolved.

 Add wool. Heat at simmer for several minutes stirring for smooth application of dye. Add in 1/32 to 1/4tsp citric acid depending how dark the colour, about 10 minutes into the process or until most of the dye is taken up. The latter is what I do. Continue heating until the water is perfectly clear or per your own directives.  Rinse well, use dryer or hang to dry.

And now I'm taking a week or so off for Grammy duty, what bliss! I'll see you soon!