Monday, August 31, 2009

Lots of dipping, but not in the lake.

Another weekend in the "summer that never came" found us inside the cottage staring out at the grey mist and generally miserable weather. We did manage to get a walk in on Saturday between rainstorms, and did the water testing on Sunday in the mist.

However, I had already decided to use this time to do some dip dyeing for my Crewel course in a couple of weeks. Although I haven't dip dyed since my course at Trent a few years back, I decided to try. In the event of a total catastrophe, they will be selling supplies there. But I figure even if I only get a couple done, I'll be further ahead.

Choosing the colours from the formula sheet, without the benefit of a sample, is always the toughest part. I just picked two and decided to do one on Saturday morning and one on Sunday morning, before Rick was up and ready to do other stuff.

Saturday was a Yellow to Purple transition, and I think I may have made things more difficult for myself, rather than easier. My strips were too long, which made dipping very difficult (and may have affected the formula). Instead of doing one large piece, I tore it into four pieces and pinned it to a coat hanger. It wasn't as successful as I remembered, but I think I remember the pot being on the floor on my little hot plate, which made the dipping much easier than on top of the stove. I also thought my colours were pretty "wimpy", but I had followed the formula, so left them to dry before I made my final decision.

Sunday's results were much better. This was just a Blue formula with Blue Violet on the dark end. I used one piece instead of four and it wasn't as long as the previous one. And there was more dye so the colours were quite beautiful.

I was so happy with it, that I decided to add more dye to my Saturday project, while I had everything on the stove. And since I already had the Blue Violet in the pot, why not? The results were much better, although the picture I took on my blackberry is very fuzzy and not worth sharing.

Dyeing early in the morning (and the dip dyeing went very quickly compared to jar dyeing) gave me more hooking time later in the day. The weather was no better on Sunday - that is until we started packing up to come home. So, Max edged ahead "by a nose" and the little raccoon got his tail outlined.

It's amazing how when I wound the piece on the Cheticamp frame to give some new area to hook, I realized again how big this piece really is! The fact that Max's eye is no longer visible in the vertical area between the rails reminds me that he is one big critter. I know it's not easy to make sense of a nostril and muzzle, but that's where I will be working next weekend. Next time I wind the frame, I'll try to take a picture of all the progress.

All in all it was a pretty productive weekend. Next weekend I will also try a Red Orange dip dye formula and maybe some green for my leaves. I feel a little bolder each time I dye - guess that's the same with everything.

I'm hoping to do some in-the-lake dipping next weekend too, since Labour Day is often the last time it's warm enough to do so. My optimism about weather on long weekends is waning, especially this year - though the long-range forecast looks promising.


Woolly Mammoth Woolens said...

That blue dip dye is fantastic! I would definitely say you've mastered the technique!!

Sheri said...

Beautiful wool! I've never tried this dyeing process. It does look like you've mastered it! And I've never hooked a rug large enough to use that rolling frame either! Maybe someday!

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