Wednesday, February 27, 2008

From purple to black

Last night I set out on the icy streets of Michigan to dye the last of my dyeable wool skeins of yarn. Jay, mad genius behind Jennifer Joy Creative handmade clothing and handspun yarn, was on hand to orchestrate my feeble attempts at alchemy.

Unlike the last time we dyed yarn, I was a little more hands on this time, mixing the dyes myself and just getting the job done. I feel like I learned quite a bit about color saturation, different shades of dyes and had fun seeing the results -- even though one skein in particular did NOT turn out as planned.

We first kettle dyed a skein of green for the Irish colors scarf I'm going to be getting to for my cousin Ryan. There was already a deep orange Jay had dyed for me for a previous custom dye job so I'm all set to go for his scarf now.

Other than that I wanted to make a skein for Uncle Scott, without whom the dyeable yarn would not have been possible. I have no clue what colors he likes, but I figured earthtones are always good with most anyone, especially men, right? I don't know. A weak theory at best, but I decided to latch onto it and run. So, for him, I did a mixed skein of the bulky rogue blue Leicester wool in tones of avocado green, chocolate brown and mustard yellow. I love the way it turned out and hopefully he will too!

Next I tried to do a skein in varying shades of purple -- from light lavender to medium and deep purple. Unfortunately, due to my own operator error, I'm sure -- it turned out as mostly lavender with a couple of punches of color in a totally different shade of bright purple here and there. So, even though it didn't necessarily come out as planned, I'm hoping someone (or myself) can make some good use of it.

Next I had one skein of the worsted weight wool left to dye (since I didn't end up having to dye a new orange skein) and since I had brown and purple already mixed, Jay suggested purple, brown and light blue. She mixed the tiniest bit of royal blue dye in a cup of water and it made an incredible shade of pale, pale, powder blue. It was a combination I would never have thought to put together myself and I love the way it turned out.

For my remaining two skeins, I decided to dye them the same. I realized that when I set out to buy some hand dyed yarn last year for a Christmas gift project, I had purchased two skeins of the same type of yarn, and maybe others embarking on projects want more than one skein too. For these two skeins of the bulky rogue wool, I went with chocolate brown, mahogany, pink sand (which is really a light tan, essentially) and orange to brighten it up a little. It was still steaming in the pot when I left Jay's around midnight, but it looked good going in. I can't wait to stop at her house this afternoon and see how they all look dry and wound up.

I'll be sure to add some photos when I have them. I can't wait to buy more yarn and get to dyeing! My existing hand dyed yarn isn't selling all that well in my ETSY SHOP, but I'm having a great time doing it regardless!

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