Monday, October 23, 2006

More dyeing, more sampling

I had to try yet another dye run this weekend, although my results were again mixed. What's the opposite of "on a roll"? Off a bialy?

Here's the roving. I meant it to be black, purple, orange and Margaret Hamilton green:

Black is grey, orange is red, green is dull. Purple is fine. It still looks seasonal, though, so I spun up a sample of, of course, 2 ply sock yarn:

Not so bad and it could go into my purple/green collection. But not the Socktoberfest socks (no progress, eek!). I will sample some more later.

Some lovely stuff I "finished" this weekend:

On the left, Spunky Eclectic's offering for the end of July, silk in The New Black. This is spun on my Cascade Little Si Spindle while I was on vacation. Finished the cop the other day. It's very nice. If I spin the other half, I can have some handwarmers, I think. On the right, 174 yards of laceweight Navajo plied BFL, dyed by me in better days. The singles broke quite a few times but I spit spliced and finished it up yesterday. 174 yards you say? I also say, WTF will I do with that? Perhaps it goes into the collection!

Hope you're having fun today. I begged off all of my (myriad) volunteer activities today due to illness. And I am actually sick, more's the pity. Comments would make me feel better...


Blogger Cindy said...

I'm sorry you're under the weather. I love your colors. Why are we always so critical of our own work? I know I tend to be overly critical of my own dyeing and knitting. I don't even want to think about my spinning.

2:46 PM  
Blogger sopranospinner said...

I guess it's just I would like to start ending up with what I had in my head more often. I never do. But then again, I usually like the surprise! The glass is half full...

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Maia said...

I like your roving too. I think all of the colors go together very well and the 2-ply sample is gorgeous.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

5:15 PM  
Blogger joyfossil said...

Well, I am not one to ask, as I like nearly everything you dye and absolutly everything you spin. I think you are just on a Kaiser Roll, and you want to be on a Sweet Roll... it's all a matter of taste - you want sweet but you are getting savory... or something.

What is your illness and can I help you?


5:59 PM  
Blogger sopranospinner said...

Thanks for the compliments, all, and the good thoughts. I just have a terrible cold (and DH has it now, too). And a houseguest. And everything else. I still need to get a roving that I really like.

And how do you dye a real black? Start with navy? Add navy?

11:12 PM  
Blogger Heide said...

Hope you feel better soon. This time of year all of the kidlets start sharing a variety of "bugs" and they even bring them home. I love your roving. Wish you lived closer, I could use some dyeing tips for some yarn that I recently purchased. I've only used Kool Aid and Wilton up until now and I'm terrified of the real dyes. Your spinning is, as always, amazing.

6:24 AM  
Blogger sopranospinner said...

No need to be afraid of real dyes, Heide, they strike better and don't split as much. But don't go by my recent efforts! I still need a really good result to get me out of my funk. But now I have a houseguest so I probably won't get to the dye pots again for a bit. Looking forward to what you will produce, though!

7:30 AM  
Blogger joyfossil said...

Disclaimer: I was a dyer for fabric... wool may be completely different (although wool fabric is wool, right?).

Dyeing a real black is very very difficult. You have two choices; you can buy black dye and test it. You have to find out if it is a purple black or a blue black or a green black (or an orange black...). Then, once you have figured that out, you have to contradict that color with it's opposite on the colorwheel - in other words, if you have, say a purple black, you have to add yellow. You might have to add some orange or green, depending on if it is a purple black with a bluer tint or a purple black with a redder tint. Does that make sense?

The other choice is, if anything, less exact. That is take equal parts of each primary color and mix them. Then be prepared to tint one way or another with secondary colors (again, is it a reddish purple black or a blueish purple black). The problem here is that sometimes red will have more oomph than yellow or than blue or vicey versey.

And, you obviously want intensity. Non intense black is grey (or purple...) I would suggest one of three things:
use the least amount of liquid (whatever process that is) OR... and you won't like this answer... buy black wool. (I mean unless you are entering it into a contest where you can't do that...)

AND.. or is it OR... try dying the black part of the wool by itself - you can always pull from the black when you spin, right? The black dye is likely to upset all your other colors anyhow, so dye it in a pan slightly to the left (or right) of the rest of the stuff... and then put it in the same bag and call it one. You yourself said there were no rules!

I have noticed that most hand dyed yarn doesn't have a lot of black. I am pretty sure it's because it's very problematic.

My masters thesis project (Tartuffe) was in a completely forced pallette - black, white and shades of yellow/gold. The white we bought (or bleached) the yellow/gold I dyed (and dyed and dyed... and experimented - did you know you can make a wildly interesting textured velvet by washing and dying it... it has missing tufts and is really interesting, or was) but the black, I bought. Some bits of it I dyed, but it was usually arduous.

I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm only saying not to beat yourself up about it - the black/grey that you got was really very nice!

If I ever stop working for a day or two, I would love to dye with you... I have been requested so much and worked a LOT! The weekends are mostly out, due to Brownies and the pressing need to do laundry... We'll get there, I guess.

Feel better,

PS... when I was a dyer, I use to worry that my future child(ren) would come out all multicolored because I always had my hands (and head) in a dye bath... all those fumes... but, she seems to be all the proper colors... thank goodness! There is that little smudgey freckle on her nose that looks like dirt... hmmmmmm....

9:53 PM  
Blogger sopranospinner said...

There you go, I didn't even know you had a Masters. That's so cool!

I could start with grey or black wool, certainly, that would help. I cannot tell from how this came out what flavor my black dye is, though. And I used straight dye stock, no added water. At least it didn't split into its component parts, though, which a lot of black dyes do. Thanks for all of the information!

And your DD is not multicolored at all (or not any more than she should be)!

7:07 AM  

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