Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spinning Study Group Part Two

We had our second session and our study group took on Chapter 3 in Deb Menz book Color in Spinning. We skipped Chapter 2, Immersion Dyeing as we felt that we had adequately covered the topic over the past few group dyeing days.

Chapter 3 is titled Painting rovings for multicolored yarns. I chose to take on Series 3 – complementary colors. The problem reads as follows. Using five colors for each roving, do six rovings in all, one for each of the following pairs: yellow and violet, yellow-orange and blue-violet, orange and blue, red-orange and blue-green, red and green, red-violet and yellow green. I was excited and ready to have some fun, and since there was room for interpretation I decided to go for the gusto!

As I am primarily a weaver, I chose to dye some great 1/6 tussah silk that I had recently purchased, rather than just wool roving for spinning. I started by soaking my tussah silk in soda ash and water for 30 minutes.
I decided to do some fine pencil roving so that I would have it to use for later exercises in the book. The wool was soaked in vinegar and water for 30 minutes also.I used Procion MX as that is my dye of choice and I have all the colours. The Procion MX booklet says it will dye wool, just not very well, and that was good enough for me as my goal was to get some lovely silk yarn dyed.
They were both squeezed dry after soaking. I put plastic wrap on my work surface and laid the silk and the wool side by side and followed this process for all 6 samples.Then I mixed the dye, and I decided to do a gradation of colour. I made up a 100% yellow dye, a 25/75 violet/yellow dye, a 50/50 violet/yellow dye, a 75/25 violet/yellow dye and 100% violet dye. Using sponge brushes I painted equal(ish) amounts of the dye staying in the same order on the silk and then did the same on the wool, and I did this painting sequence throughout the exercise on all the dye lots. I repeated this exact ratio of dyes for the yellow-orange and blue-violet dye lot.I decided to change the ratios for the orange and blue dye lot as I was getting a bit bored with it by now; and did 100% orange, a 1 to 6 ratio of orange/blue, 2 to 6 ratio of orange to blue and 3 to 6 ratio of orange to blue and 100% blue. I did the same ratios for the red-orange (I used scarlet) and blue-green dye lot. For the red and green I used Crimson and Maiwa standard green. I again used 100% crimson, but wanted less colour change so tried ¼ tsp to 1/8 cup crimson/green, ½ tsp to 1/8 cup crimson/green, ¾ tsp to 1/8 cup crimson to green and 100% green. I was starting to get tired and just wanted to get done….I also changed up the length of my painting repeats, yup they were getting bigger!

My last dye lot was red-violet and yellow-green and I was done with measuring and done with painting by now, so I made up 100% red-violet and then added 1 drop of red-violet to 1/8 cup of yellow-green, then 3 drops to 1/8 cup of yellow-green and then 6 drops red-violet to yellow-green then 100% yellow-green. I was definitely getting slap dash by now. Each of the samples was wrapped in the plastic and left for 24 hours. We found a really good way to keep the dyes from mixing while we wrapped in plastic. We had one sheet of plastic under the silk when we painted, then flipped the whole thing onto another sheet of plastic wrap to get the other side, then used the original sheet, making sure the dye left on the sheet matched the painted silk, to cover before we made our 'jelly rolls'. After the 24 hours the silk and wool were rinsed until the dye was gone (I used Synthrapol), then hung to dry.

The silk is wonderfully vibrant and you can actually see each of the colours I used, this is a definite success. The wool however- hmmmm not so good! The dye really didn’t take and what I have is a pale shadow of the colours that were intended. Here are the results.Yellow and Violet

Yellow Orange and Blue Violet

Orange and Blue

Red Orange and Blue Green

Red and Green

Red Violet and Yellow Green
Thankfully this is a learning exercise and I’ve learned a number of things:
#1 Procion MX really doesn’t like wool roving
#2 I have the concentration of a gnat and I get bored really, really easily
#3 I’ll throw process to the wind when I’m tired and grumpy
#4 I can buy my roving any colour I want and don’t have to dye it


dorothylochmaben said...

Hi There ! What a great set of pictures from your workshop, a busy day by the looks of it. Some beautiful colours.
I really love the list of lessons learnt especially the last one ! I guess you'll be buying in future !

Susan said...

I loved all the precise way everything was lined up and just so so....then when you said you were getting bored, I thought "Ah Oh!"

That was a lot of dyeing to do in one go! Maybe spread it over two days next time?

Great colour theory experiment!


Marion B. said...

I read your story and admired you for all the steps you took so carefully.....and laughed out loud when reading your lessons learned, especially the last one (yep, me too hihi)

Caroline M said...

I've used Procion MX on wool before and although the colours weren't quite as vibrant as on silk they ran pretty close. I can't see where you heated the wool and I'm guessing that's why the dye didn't take, it needs acid and heat. If you pop it in a steamer or in a bag in the microwave then you should get some lovely saturated colours next time.

Or you could just buy it.

Unknown said...

thank you for your detailed and very interesting report on dying!

Silky said...

I laughed out loud at your lessons learned. I'm exactly like that too.

Anonymous said...

Love the dyed silk skeins, great colors!