The foolish dyer

How did I mess up? Let me count the ways!

1: you didn’t see this last week. I miscalculated drying times in a humid Sydney and the planned warping time came and went with yarns still damp.

2. After all my warp calculations… I forgot about dyeing some weft!!! D’oh!

3. Dyeing yarns in the same pot doesn’t mean getting the same colour. I chose colours from my dye marathon earlier in the summer – the brown and blue middle top. The base warp is the same 20/2 silk, the supplementary warp a 50/50 silk/merino mix. The browns I dyed together – the results are the next two cakes of yarn moving around the photo anti-clockwise. The silk/merino yarn gobbled up the dye, giving a darker brown and leaving the large amount of 20/2 silk pale.

4. Finally I dyed some weft – the brown at the middle bottom. Actually this is OK. A different brown again, but in the ballpark.

5. The blue silk/merino at the right. I was using the whole hank and didn’t check the ties. Lesson learnt.

All of which has ended up working well for me 🙂

a. I took the samples to weaving group on Monday night. Based on them I was planning to warp at 30 epi (15 each base and supplementary). Liz suggested the 40 epi sample was fine, or 36 epi could be even better. I only have a 10 dpi reed – to which the class pointed out both the possibility and a source for acquiring a 12 dpi. Since (fortunately!) warping had been delayed (see above) I can change plans and use the new reed which should arrive in a week or so.

b. In the meantime other new weaving equipment arrived – an avl warping wheel. I took it for its first spin (ho ho) today and you can see the first few sections of 20/2 silk sitting smoothly on the sectional beam.

Not everything has to be new. I decided to use all the browns in the warp and my lazy kate worked very nicely to keep things moving smoothly and separately.

c. I still need to redye some blue silk/merino, but this gives the opportunity to go for a somewhat lighter depth of shade. Maybe it’s different fibres and sheen which is causing the darker shades.

Current plan is to overdye the old blue with lots of black, which will surely come in handy one of these days.

After all my trip-ups, not a bad outcome. A foolish but fortunate dyer.

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In Basketry NSW Transformation exhibition Sunday 2 July. More info fibresofbeing.wordpress.com

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