Dyeing to share

Upfront acknowledgement: long post with lots of pics.

We’ve been quite fortunate on the snow front. Didn’t get dumped on anything like some other people. About 8″ in one day was our max, but on that day it came down fast and Jack’s short little legs had difficulty on our walks.

snowy Jack

I had a great time in my dyeing workshop. I learned A LOT and got TONS accomplished. More than was reasonable, I think. I was working so hard I forgot to take pictures, but did manage to get one not-so-great image. In fact I barely stopped to each lunch. Here’s one of my four rayon warps, laid out on the table and painted with the dye. As soon as I snapped the photo I had to roll it up really tightly in the plastic wrap it’s laying on, keeping each the length separated from the ones next to it.

painted warp laid out

After rolling it tightly the long way it got coiled up like a cinnamon bun, then put in a steamer for at least 30 minutes. The Weaving and Fiber Arts Center keeps pots, steamers, utensils, and other tools separate just for dyeing, because you can’t also use them for food. I managed to get four of my five warps steamed during the workshop. We didn’t have time for me to do the last one, so I took it home and set it on my heating pad, turned on low and left overnight, to really set that color.

dyed warp on heating pad

Here are the four rayon warps in their cinnamon bun state. One thing I learned was that the warps that had been steamed were MUCH more difficult to get out of that plastic wrap than the one that sat on my heating pad. You can see in the photo that it looks sort of like it was shrink-wrapped on. Removing the plastic without damaging the warp was a real pain. And since I didn’t have gloves at home (didn’t know I’d need them), I also got lots of dye on my hands that I’m still trying to get off three days later. I’m betting it’ll take at least another 2 days.

4 rayon warps rolled up

And my one silk warp.

silk warp rolled up

I had intended to use all four of the rayon warps in one width for shawls. I’m now pretty sure I won’t do that. To make it work the way I would have wanted it to, I would have had to do much more careful planning with my colors. But I’m fine with that. I’ll make 4 different warps, adding solid color rayon as needed for scarves (or maybe even shawls with the wider bouts). With each warp long enough to weave three pieces, instead of 3 shawls I’ll have 12 scarves!

After I uncoiled each warp and rinsed it, it sat overnight in my bathtub to get more of the excess dye out. Meanwhile the last warp sat on my heating pad.

4 warps in overnight soaks

Then I hung them over the drying rack in my tub, while the fifth wrap did its overnight soak.

4 painted warps on drying rack

After all five warps were dry, I ‘snapped’ them in sections to straighten out the yarn and get rid of most of that crinkly look. Here they are, all dry, showing their beauty in my studio.

5 dry warps

Then I chained each of the warps to keep it organized until I can get it on my loom. Here are the four rayon warps.

4 rayon warps chained

And the one silk warp.

1 silk warp chained

I am really looking forward to using these warps! 🙂 None of them will be up next on the loom though. 🙁 I have a red warp I prepared when I did the green one that’s on the loom now, and it should go much more quickly than that green one since it’s a one-shuttle weave. By the time I get that red warp off the loom I may have yarn here for more baby wraps.

Good thing I love weaving, huh?

5 comments to Dyeing to share

  • Erica

    This is so cool! It’s fun to see your pics of how the dying process works. Your colors are great!

  • Perry

    looking forward to seeing the woven scarves. they are lovely, Peg.

  • Alma

    Little Jack, Little Jack, you chose the right family to come to . . . short legs all around!

    Peg – Your dying is wonderful. I’m really liking the one with the green in it. The closeup of the silk in its plastic looks like something from Spencer’s gifts!! It’s gorgeous on the drying rack, though!

    Good learning!!

  • Wow, what a productive and colorful workshop! And so much fun weaving with those warps will be.
    8″ of snow sounds just about perfect. Enough to really make it all look clean and bright, but not too much to be difficult for very long. Boy that snow must make for a cold belly on these little low riders. He looks quite dapper in his coat.

  • Judy

    Awesome! Love your vivid colors & your combinations! Have fun with them and share photos as you work.

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