Hard at work

After the job of painting the arbor I needed to do something that would be both noticeable (hard to see that you’ve painted black on something that was already black) and, hopefully, beautiful. So I planned 4 warps, measured out 2 of them of 10/2 tencel, and got out my dyes.

painting teals and purple

First I wanted to use a dark to light teal. After my experience with the last batch of scarves and the fact that the light and dark magenta looked pretty much the same, I made sure that my teals would look different. I was quite surprised to learn that at 1/4 strength there still wasn’t much difference. I used about 1/8 strength for the light, and decided to throw in some light purple for good measure. I left some short sections undyed, too.

Then I moved on to what I wanted to be terracotta and dusty rose.

terra-notta and rose

I know it looks incredibly dark there, but I’ve had just a bit of experience now to see how much lighter the colors are after the yarn has dried, so I felt hopeful.

I batched, rinsed, hung, and dried.

terra-notta on rack

O.M.G. That orange is AWFUL!!! Definitely terra-NOTTA. So bright there’s no way I can imagine using it. So on my morning walk I thought about what I would do, and decided that instead of trying to paint over the awful orange sections, I’d overdye the whole thing with the remaining teal dye since I’d mixed far too much. I figured I had nothing to lose…if I still hated it, I’d toss it out.

overdyeing terra-notta

As soon as it went into the dye batch I was like, “Uh oh. You can barely see the difference in the two different colors.” Nothing to do but continue with the process. Although I did shorten the time…it was supposed to be in the immersion bath at least an hour, and I took it out after half that time.

rats nest of yarn

When I hung it on the drying rack it still looked all black. And now I had a rats nest, to boot. All that handling and moving about of the warps got everything really tangled. Again I figured I’d probably have to toss it out.

I was pleasantly surprised when it was finally dry.

a pleasant dye surprise

It is dark, much darker than my usual dyes, and I will need to choose light-colored wefts for it, but it’s actually attractive. I did break some threads getting it as straight as I could after it was dry, and I’m betting it’ll still be a bear to beam, but at least it has potential.

But here’s the completed yarn that I really like. A lot. Very happy with the results.
lovely blues and purple

Granted the blues aren’t really teal, but I’m fine with that.

While I was waiting for all that yarn to process, I beamed the last hand painted warp I had. It’s 30/2 silk and I think I dyed it in my last dye class (before I started dyeing at home). It’s very pastel blue and green, and each color is longer than I’d like. (I’ve learned that for my taste, short sections of color are much preferred.)

I spent some time planning the weave structure. I started with the Raku draft from 60 Scarves for 60 Years from the Weaver’s Guild of Baltimore’s anniversary book. Then I made some changes in Fiberworks to threading, treadling, and tie up, threaded the loom, and tried out a twilight silk weft.

trying treadling and weft

Well, I hated the results – the first inch or so in the picture. So I changed the tie up to the original from the book and tried that. Much better. But I hated the color of the silk. So I pulled that out and started with a lovely lavender.

raku vs on hanpainted silk

I’m quite pleased.

2 comments to Hard at work

  • Well, it’s kind of like Goldilocks….trying out different things before finding that “just right” spot. I’m betting that one warp will be a bear too!
    How’s Jack?

  • Alma

    Wow – The dark blue is really pretty! Who’s have thought it! And it really highlights the difference between the was-orange and used-to-be-rose.

    I agree with you – the teal/violet/undyed threads are beautiful – a really good example of your dying abilities!

    The lavender woven piece is lovely!!

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