Monday, February 27, 2017

Dyeing Lessons


You Tube is a wonderful thing! Though I read a lot, I learn better by watching, and best of all by doing.  This afternoon I've been watching dyeing videos. 
Gene Shepherd has a Wool Dye Session that he's recorded showing his dyeing basics.  He covers equipment and supplies and uses 1/8 teaspoon of cherry dye in 2 cups of water to dye 1/2 yard of wool. He demonstrates that by adding the 3 separate wool pieces with a short delay between them, he can get a succession of values. Gene makes the process very easy and non-threatening.

Wanda Kerr has a video explaining spots dyes, The Beet Goes On. Wanda wrote an article on spot dyes in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine ( pages 76 -79) in her column "Colors to Dye For".  The article describes the steps for doing a spot dye and offers 10 recipes for some beautiful wool.  The piece she dyes in the video is one of the recipes from her article.  Wanda dyes a 1/4 yard of wool in a 9" x 13" cake pan with 2/32 t red violet, 2/32 t bottle green, 1/32 t seal brown, and 2/32 t yellow (Magic Carpet dyes).  All the dye colors are mixed with 1/32 t of citric acid before she spots the wool.  The video covers how to properly place the wool in the pan, mixing the dyes, pouring the colors in a pattern,  and finally processing the dyed wool. If you don't use Magic Carpet dye (I use ProChem and Cushing's Perfection dyes), Wanda says that the recipes from her article can be tried with dyes from other companies. "The results will not be the same but they will be interesting and useful." (p.79)

The final video I watched was Casserole Dyeing Wool for Rug Hooking by Sandra L. Brown.  Casserole dyeing  creates transitions from one color to another in one piece of material. The dyeing wool can be many layers deep.... adding wool on top of wool and repeating the dyeing process. Sandra's video is a follow-up to an article she wrote, "From Edge to Edgie", in the 2013 Sept/Oct  edition of Rug Hooking Magazine (pages 18 - 25). Sandra says her casserole dyeing is a modification of Edna Flemming's One-Hundred & One Formulas for Casserole Dyeing, Copyright 1965.  (Edna used Cushing dyes and adds vinegar to her dye solutions.  Sandra uses Pro Chem dye and does not add the mordant to the dye as she thinks the color takes up too fast on the edges of the wool and makes the color more difficult to spread with her spoon.)  The video follows Sandra as she dyes wool with grasshopper #719, saffron #228, burgundy, and mahogany #508.
Sandra says that the 49 grape leaves in the "Bonanza" pattern below were dyed using the casserole method.
  "Bonanza", 42" x32"
Pattern by Pearl McGown, Hooked by Sandra Brown.

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