I had a great weekend!  A rug hooking friend was over Saturday and we dyed fibre.  She is relatively new to dyeing and I am showing her how. She, meanwhile, is a great help to me in terms of being much taller and having more stamina. Her height came in handy, as we did dip dyeing and transition dyeing of 18” long swatches!

What is dip dyeing and transition dyeing you ask?  Dip dyeing is when the swatch of wool is a darker version of the colour at one end than the other, and it moves gradually through the shades from dark to light.  It is achieved by constant dipping into the dyebath, until you get the right colour in the right place. Hopefully no horizontal colour lines can be seen in the finished product.  Here are our finished swatches.

We also did some transition dyeing.  Transition dyeing is dip dyeing two colours from opposite ends of the swatch.  When they meet in the middle there should be a gradually shift from one colour to another.  Ours didn’t work out that well, but it will serve my purpose, which is to hook sunsets

Aside from that I needed blues for skies. So we tried a partial gradated dye process. Gradated dyeing is when you have several swatches (usually 6-8) and dye the entire swatch one solid colour, but there are several others lighter and darker of the same colour.  Here’s a selection of blues for an example. There are actually five different colours of blue here and two to three shades each, at least, of each colour!

We also dyed other fibre. This was done to exhaust dyebaths (use all the dye in the water), and to use up some leftover dyebaths from previous dye jobs. Here are the blues…

From left to right: nylon (old pantyhose), wool fleece, wool bouclé, hand spun Shetland wool, silk bouclé, and Merino wool yarn.

Here’s the orange leftover from dyeing the transition sunset swatches.

Left to right: nylon, wool bouclé, wool fleece, more lighter coloured wool bouclé, hand spun Shetland wool, and Merino wool yarn.

If anyone is interested, I sell my dyed fibre.  I also will teach dyeing after Covid is over.  Just contact me using the form below.

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