27 May 2012

where i stand sunday - the dyeing edition

Very bizarre words came out of my mouth this morning: "I hope its a really hot day."

If you know me, you would have been worried. (I rank hot weather on the enjoyable scale right about in line with scrubbing the bathroom floor with a tooth brush.) About my mental health as well as to the general wellness of the planet. For the record, I am not insane and the sky has not fallen. I've got a project going in which I decided I needed my own hand dyed fabric. And since the weather man is predicting 90 degree weather today, I figured I better get a move on.

I'll be honest, dyeing my own fabric is not my favorite thing in the world to do. In the past its been an issue with a poor working area and then all the bending and hunching that produced nothing but an incredibly cranky back.

I found a way to help minimize these things. Behold my new dyeing space:

This is my garage with new utility sink lurking in the corner. I was incredibly thrilled when the contractor automatically added a light fixture over top of it, I felt he really understood me.

Behold my beautiful little sink:

The tray that is in there is the shelf that goes on the bottom. I discovered by accident when I was giving it a washy that it has a slight press fit and can hold itself up along the edges as long as I don't push too hard on it. I was overjoyed - no bending! :)

You'll notice that I have a lot of jars of dye. I know how to mix colors (thanks to Carol Soderlund's dyeing boot camp) but I also have the firm belief that if you see a pre-mixed color you like, go for it. If you work with colors you like, you'll get fabric you like. Simple philosophy but works for me.

Doesn't the chartreuse look alien?

I did a bunch of parfait dyeing, which is what the white jar is for in the other picture. If you aren't familiar with that, you put a piece of fabric on the bottom, dump dye on it and repeat that for three layers. I crammed three fat quarters into each jar. I did have a little bit of dye left over from each layer so I decided to dye a frankenstein piece of fabric:

See the haloing around the edges? That's from the pre-mixed dye powders, there is more then one color in there so when you dump it on dry fabric like this, it separates out into some of its individual colors. I think its fairly nifty.

I wasn't sure if I would have the fortitude to get through the ten yards of fabric that were prepped. (Soda ash and I don't get along. The fabric I used was pre-soaked some time ago so I got to avoid dealing with that.)

But by the end of it, all of it got consumed. Here they are ready to swelter in the heat:

I love those blue trays, got those from Susie and they hold a yard of fabric very nicely. Since I like to work with dark colors, they always look like a mess of yuck. But have faith grasshopper, the results are usually very different.

So I'm going to let them cook today and probably overnight.

15 fat quarters and five full yards. Oy, the washout will be epic. But once they are done, I'll be set for a while.


Lisa said...

The color Chartreuse is one of my newest favorite dyes. My other new favorite is Rust but strangely I haven't tried them together. That might be interesting. I can't wait to see how your fabrics come out. Especially the parfaits.

Jean Baardsen said...

Is "parfait" a new term in relationship to dyeing fabric? I'm starting to see it everywhere.... Can't wait to see the final results!

Deb H said...

"Parfait" dyeing is a term first coined by (I believe) Ann Johnston in her book "Color By Accident" published in 1997. Still my favorite book on dyeing!
And, my favorite playmate for rust color is indigo. But chartreuse goes with everything! :-)

Lynn, I'm eager to see your results. You always get such lovely, earthy colors.

Jeannie said...

I am coveting your blue trays and your dye set up! Our weather is still too cool to dye, but soon!!! I love the chocolate with the halo. Parfait dyeing is so much fun and I love to share that technique with newbies. They look at me like I am nuts and then squeal with delight at the results. Looking forward to seeing the finished product. By the way, I miss Dooley. How is my favorite little pooch?

Carol said...

I'd love your work space!I'd love to see the end results...