Saturday, 26 September 2009

The story of the plummy red yarn.....

I've been playing around with the red dyes a bit more this week and spent a bit of time trying to get subtle tones of mid to dark red. They don't look the same on paper as they do on the yarn but if you give them a coat of PVA glue they come up a treat! The brush can drag the dye as well though so a spray varnish would probably be a better idea next time.

I've been keeping colour notes as I go along to go in my dyeing notebook - see, getting organised:-) And having fun playing with tones on a colourwheel too. There are so many online charts you can work with - this tonal version is from Itten's book on colour. Simple and clear tones, easy to read and use. I like this one for its clarity.

And this much more complex version if you really want very subtle gradations of colour. Its a shame my printer has run out of ink as this one is pretty comprehensive to work with. I need to laminate a copy and stick it on my workshop wall - when the shed is ready, that is.

So after my foray into colour, I narrowed my colours down to three tones of reds and three tones of plum purples. Then played with colourwashes:-) The red wash was a lot more subtle before I killed it with glue - sigh! I also had an idea to stop the colour varying on paper and yarn by using thin mini test blanks. You would have had some lovely pictures as they painted up beautifully. It's just a shame I set fire to them in the microwave -BIG sigh!

So, how did I manage that, you ask? Um, well, I chopped up a long knitted length and stapled card on the ends to stop the yarn unravelling before dyeing. What's wrong with that, you ask? Didn't dawn on me that the staples are of course metal until I saw the flames:-) Luckily the microwave still works - god knows how! - if a bit smelly for the next few uses but its all fine now. It took longer getting the burnt smell out the house. Luckily I still have the blowers that are drying the floor in the living room - still! don't get me started on that subject:-) I'm ignoring the fact that the water leak has taken over a month to dry out so far... But the blowers came in handy to shift the burnt smell! (NB - I only use this microwave for dyeing! I never use it for food, so don't worry:-)

But it was worth it as I got a lovely plummy red skein of variegated yarn ready to go. No idea what I want to make from it, I'm just living with it for a while till the right project comes up....


  1. The skein is absolutely fabulous. I love the colors.

  2. Me too, me too. I hope I played a tiny part on sending you on this quest. The results are marvelous.

  3. I just LOVE those colors! absolutely stunning! Those are nice color wheels also.

  4. I am sooooooo in love with that last swatch of reds - especially the last four - which, on my monitor anyway, are deep blue-y red, flame red, pomegranate-y red and watermelon red. So inpsiring. I want to eat them up and/or make a quilt in those colours in rich fine wale cordrouy, silk, taffetta and velvet. Imagine the textures - you'd just want to keep stroking it.... :)

  5. Thank you all for the inspiring comments:-) And thank you EJ for choosing this colourway for your commissioned yarn!
    I think I may keep this yarn all to myself:-) Unless it turns into a christmas present along the way.

  6. Oh I can imagine the rich deepness of the colours in that quilt Kit! Velvets, stitch, silk - yum! Maybe I should start dyeing some fabrics as well:-)


Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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