Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Old Recipe - New Method

Daughters of Darkness

Yesterday I needed dark yellow and blue greens, VERY DARK.
I had every available element and outlet occupied.
I decided I would dye in the oven as well and try some of my very dark recipes.

I dyed 1/2 yd of natural in the spot dye method but I mixed all the dye colours in the solution as though I was going to do a straight up dye bath.

Instead I poured it over the wool, mashed it up until I felt dye covered everything nd popped it in the oven.

The results were spectacular.
Will post picture later.
Here are the RHM recipes I used so I wouldn't have to type them out for you or try to remember what I did !!! LOL

1 tsp. Brilliant Green
1 tsp. Black

1 tsp. Black
2 tsp. Yellow


I have had several days, perhaps it's weeks now, of intensive dyeing.
Two things come to mind.
#1 It's damn hard to think of colours to create.
One of yesterday's task was to fix up the blue green pile which is customarily about 3 ft high. It was down to about 2 feet.
I look through the pile to determine if any of the colours are duds and to see what I'm missing in the value and saturation department as well as warm and cool.

I redye the duds. Fill in the missing blanks. And frankly I do this for me, to change my view of the wool, I get tired of looking at the same old stuff. Also it helps me to better help in the colour planning of client's rugs.
So as I'm doing this I find I'm blank minded about what I want to create. I know I need to make 6 different medium darks, and several medium lights. And I have several dyes that are blue green but I'm leery because I often create the same colours in this blue green world over and over using completely different dyes. If only I had something to look at to inspire me.

As soon as I have a moment I'm starting a visual journal for each colour. This way I can have somewhere to turn when I'm making colours.

You might be asking why I don't turn to a dye book or perhaps my own RHM recipes ?
Well.... I don't dye that way. I like to create new as I go along. This way I develop collections of colours that are "current " and don't keep rehashing the same stuff again and again stagnating myself and my client's rugs in the process.

#2 My feet hurt. Soon I will be of them for Wednesday and Thursday as I finish off some rugs for display in my booth.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dyed Nylons Today

Wow !
I've even impressed myself, I dyed over 50 lbs of nylons today. My feet are killing me though....

One beautiful combo use the equal ratio
Military , emerald and dark green from Aljo dyes
Spot dye or pour over wool in dye bath, one at a time.


Blue,Turquoise and Blue Violet, Majic Carpet dyes

Noticed :
One interesting thing about dyeing these is the rate at which they absorb the different colour contents of the dye.
I used a vast amount , about 1/2 tsp of PC 503, threw in the nylons , about 7 and left them, when I returned the water was pure strange yellow and the nylons were a dull dark NAVY !!!

Also Avocado about 1 tsp , in a dye bath yielded me about 4 terrific different greens as I added nylons as the dye was absorbing.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Love Reds

Yes I admit I love hooking with red, what a change from my 20s. When we moved into a house with a bowling alley length living room with a red floor I BLANCHED inside and out and vowed to wear sun glasses. But now I love red and try to use it whenever possible in my home and work.
Jules Feiffer said :
Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid.

I have spent a whole week immersed in the colour red. I dyed up several terrific recipes for RHM and even made some comparison ones for Pro chem users.
The original Majic Carpet colour is on the right over natural and the Prochem one is on the left in each picture. You can see you can't really make a direct transfer but the reds are still beautiful. Even if you don’t own Majic Carpet dyes you can still make a stab at some great reds

Gabriel Garnet Dyed over 1/2 yd natural with Majic Carpet
4/32 Tsp. Red
1/32 Bottle Green
2/32 New Formula Red Violet

I dyed these over 1/4 yd each.
First I choose to “translate “ Gabriel Garnet into “Prochemese”

I retitled it - Imitation Gabriel Garnet
2/32 tsp.351 Prochem Bright Red
1/64 tsp. 725 Prochem Green
1/32 tsp. 338 Prochem Magenta

Please note I followed the same measures ( these were cut in half because I dyed 1/4 yd, not a 1/2 yd as per the original) and came up with a delightful red, though not the exact one. For a possible correction to the Imitation try adding 1/64 th magenta and 1/32 Bright Red and a hint of some blue.

Next I tried Hanchett’s Vermont Barn. Not able to approximate the chocolate brown and moss green accurately with out lengthy recipes I opted to use Brick to do the work of the brown and green.

Hanchett’s Vermont Barn In Majic carpet
4/32 tsp. Red
2/64 tsp. Moss Green
1/64 tsp. Chocolate Brown

Hanchett’s New Hampshire Barn with Prochem
2/32 tsp. 351 Prochem Bright Red
2/32 tsp. 255 Prochem Brick
Shown with it’s Majic Carpet counterpoint you can see it isn’t exactly the same but it is a very good red. For a closer call add the same formula into the dye bath again.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OHCG Annual Show Midland Ontario Canada

Winner of Last year's Theme Award "Blossom Time " in Belleville
And the Day came

I wanted to let you I'm going to be in at the OHCG Annual Show as vendor.
“HOOKED ON HISTORY” is the 2008 theme. Date: May 2, 3 and 4, 2008. Location: North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre
Midland, Ontario. It is open to the public on Sunday.
If you come to my booth and tell us you read my blog you can pick a pair of dyed nylons up or something from the dollar bin for free.
This is a good show with great diversity and there are many terrific and varied vendors. I hope to see you there.
Here is the OHCG website for more info.


Tornado Sky

Last year I dyed an interesting sky using the following method I wrote in RHM.

If the colours represented don’t suit you, being a little on the glowy side, just add a bit of their compliment ( the colour opposite on the colour wheel ) to the dye formulas. Though I would encourage you to try a sky that is bright... just pep up the other colours you use in the rest of the rug.

This method is dyed over 1 yd of natural wool with Majic Carpet dyes, if you don’t have these use a likely substitute, have a little fun.

The Big Kettle Method
By now many of you already have a big soup pot or canning kettle you got to try Wandering or to dye yard lengths. If you don’t have a pot like this yet they are very useful to include in your dyeing paraphernalia. Buying one may seem like a bit of an investment but you and your beautiful rugs are worth it.

Fill your soup kettle 3/4 full, set on stove to heat. You might want to make sure your kettle is impeccably clean because we will be useing small amounts of dye and the least little speck of dye on the pot from your last session will corrupt your recipe. Though having said that I honestly love what happens when I use a “dirty “ pot.
Soak your wool thoroughly using synthropol. Have a bowl or pan nearby to place the hot wool in.


Formula One

1/32 tsp. Red Violet
1/256th Brilliant Green ( just use a tooth pick ) This colour dulls the red violet, just don’t add too much or your sky with be a purplish grey which is lovely result if that’s what you want.

Add Formula One into the water (dye bath) in the kettle.
Arrange the yard of wool so the selvedges are running up and down and you have gathered the wide edge in your hand.

Hold your wool by the upper 1/4 and immerse it into the dye bath to the half way point.

Just hang on to it and swish it around, no dipping. If you want this wool to have a bigger section of more let it go into the water 2/3 of the way now.
You might notice the colour gets taken up pretty well without acid, but add 1/32 tsp. at this point.
NOTE: If you are stature challenged as I am stand on a sturdy step stool, be safe.

As the water begins clear dip up to the 2/3 height then finally let the whole piece submerge.
When water is clear, remove the wool to the pan or bowl, cool it off by rinsing in cool water.

Add 1/128th tsp of Yellow into the kettle, stir well.

Arrange your cooled wool as described before but place the other end of the wool into the dye bath, the lightest end.

Swish around as before, immersing your end in as far as you want yellow to appear, when yellow and pink cross orange is what appears, or in this case peach.
Dip your wool in deeper as the colour in the dye bath disappears, swishing as you go, creating smooth transtions from one colour to the next.

After the dye bath is clear, remove wool and cool.

Next add 1/64th tsp. Blue into your kettle, stir lots make sure none flew onto the kettle sides, creating glories and merriment you might not want.
Now arrange your wool as before and lower in the dark end, the one that is pink.
Swish and dip as you see fit creating the sky you wish.Once again as the colour disappears dip more of the wool in.

Remove wool when dyebath is clear, cool , rinse thoroughly. Acid left in wool is not good for wool longevity.

This took me a total of 15 minutes. I wasn’t reading directions and I knew what to do but soon you will be whipping these out in no time too.
You might notice this wool looks a lot less “smooth” than traditional dip dyes.
The colour transitions are still subtle but there are up and down striations that are lovely to hook. There are two ways to use this wool: keep your wool in order as you cut it by taping it down to a piece of paper or let caution go to the wind and hook it as you pull out each stripette from your basket. Both have their own beauty.

For the Tornado sky I used blue violet on one end and Brilliant green on the other end WOW !
Today I finally sold it to a lady who wished to use it for an aurora borelais in a deep blue and violet sky.
It looked a somewhat dull colour but against the dark sky it was tremendous and glowing.
See picture for a collection of different colours dyed this way.

Dyeing Reds

Yesterday I was dyeing a bevy of beautiful reds for RHM. I was surprised to note the rising of my blood pressure and a mild anger forming.
Hmm could the old colour and mood influence be true or am I just a crotchety old dyer ?
As more evidence in the case, I was promptly relieved when I discovered a 1/4 yd of orange and 1/4 yd of yellow plaid wool left over and dyed them turquoise. I actually felt the stress leave my shoulders, I took a deep breath when I saw it begin to take
up .....
Do you think I should ask for stress pay ?

I had a red dye mislabeled by the factory that did cause me some heartache so all the tension might not be from the immersion in colour red only.

When dyeing reds you need quite a bit of dye, over a quarter yd. upwards of 1/8th tsps or more. The reds can be very garish too, try tempering them with 1/32 yellow green , blue green or black for interesting depth, or dye reds over already red wool or yellow, orange or fuschia wool or light green or blue green or violet or tan...... heck you can dye reds over anything !!!

Go for Broke !

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Getting Organized

Sometimes it takes quite a bit to get organized but once you do the steps you are on maintenance.
I hired someone to keep me on top of tasks because I'm easily distracted.....oh look at that pretty blinking line running ahead while I type, don't you love the sound typing makes, I'm hungry.....
you get the picture.
I am highly organized while I workcreate ( dye, make, hook) and when I workinspire (teach) but when I do workmath or workwhen am I supposed to be there and workwhat is my subject ? things can get a bit slippery if I'm highly involved in the first two.

But I don't feel the least bit worried about this. I would rather have my free mind to engage in acts of expansive and creative thinking on a big scale than worry about my daily minutiae. Nothing wrong with hiring a go getter to do the things they love that help you and help them as well.
It is very enjoyable for me to feel the support of the "committee" as we work solving and examining possibilities.

Long ago I was a clothing designer and I had little kids. Surprisingly they often wanted to eat. I often didn't want to switch off my create to cook or even think about what to cook.
I took 60 minutes of my time and created a list of 20 things I could make for dinner and a coordinating grocery list on the computer.
14 years later I still consult those lists. The relief I feel at knowing it's there to rescue me if I need it is HEAVEN. You can build you own support committee by figuring out what will ease your day and reduce stress and getting helpers ( human or otherwise )

Ask for help
Don't suffer
Be realistic
Be good to yourself, who else knows what you really want and need ?