Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fun with Acid Dyes

It is already 4 weeks ago today that I went to Summer School.
I had fun with Acid Dyes, given by Amanda Hannaford.
For me this was all very new, having only used naturel dyes myself. (apart from dyeing the warp for this scarf with Procion at my Guild last Autumn)

We started by mixing the 8 different colours to a percentage of 2% (2% dye to 100ml water) as we were going to dye silk as well as wool. The silk needs a stronger proportion dye sollution to dyeing wool. For silk it was ready to use at 2% but for wool it needed to be diluted to 1%.
We made up 2 liter canisters of dye stock for each colour. (2 reds, blues and yellows each + black and chestnut)
Next we had to pick a colour and with a partner we had to dye a very small skein of wool yarn in different percentages (0,5ml, 2ml & 4ml per gram of yarn) so that we would get 3 different shades of a colour and finally adding 1ml of black to 4ml of the chosen colour.
We ended up with a shade card each:We were asked to bring a digital photo with us for colour inspiration.
I brought several but in the end I used this photo:We than used Photoplus to pick colours to work from, these were the colours that I came up with:Left side were 5 colours I picked first and on the right I picked another 6. In the end I used a mix out of the 11 colours.
The different colours were poured over the skein (mine are lustrous shiny silk). The top skein I did first, using 5 colours and the next skein I used 6 colours.
The colours in the picture are not what they are. I will try and take another photo tomorrow in better lighting. It has been a dull day here today.
I also dyed some cotton/silk yarn to see how the colour would take as Acid Dyes is not supposed to dye cotton. I was pleasantly surprised with the result.
We also dyed some silk hankies and caps, pouring chosen colours on the silk. These are mine:Another method of dyeing was dyeing balls of yarn and dipping one side in a colour and next turn it over and dye the other side with a different colour.
I dyed several balls like this with these results:
The above skeins were bourette silk but I also dyed some more of the lustrous shiny silk. I was not happy with my result at all after making a skein of my dyed ball, there was to much white left in the yarn. May be the ball was to big and tightly made so that the colour could not penetrate enough to the center. So I decided to over-dye the skein with another colour and I was happy with the end result, the white had gone and in its place was a lovely lavender colour blending in with the colours in the skein.Another way was injecting the dye into a ball. This way you can use several colours at random and the end result is a surprise. I first thought that here too was to much white left but in the end I left the skein as it was.I now have lots of yarns to start weaving with. The lustrous silk (bottom row in photo) can be either warp or weft, also the cotton/silk yarn (top right in photo). But the bourette silk (top left in photo) can only be used as weft as it is a very weak yarn.We also did some Shibori dyeing, I dyed 2 scarves using the pole wrapping method:This was great fun to do, I'll have to go and look for some drainpipe to do some more pole wrapping at home.

One thing we learned was to save every bit of dye that has not been used up (even the rinse water that would still show colour). We had several pots for the different colours and it was surprising what you could do with this slosh dye. As you do not know what percentage of what colour is in the slosh you will not be able to repeat the colour, but hey it did give some lovely surprises. And it also makes sure you use up all the dye rather than throwing it away down the drain.

I enjoyed the Acid Dyeing and will try some more at home. I think I feel happy about using them next to the natural dyeing that I have been doing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lace in concrete......

When I was staying near Nottingham I went to see the new Nottingham Contemporary as I had read about Louise West, a textile student, being involved in part of the design of the building. I was intrigued to see this for myself.It was really amazing to see it for real. The lace pattern is embossed in the concrete panels and it just looks like the lace is tumbling down from the top! Isn't it great that textile is used like this in a building design! The building is not yet finished but will be opened in November this year.I also went to see the Frameknitters Museum in Ruddington. I had never heard of frameknitting. It is a very interesting small museum and it gives you an idea how it was so many years ago when the knitters worked on their frames. It made a hell of a noise when I was given a demonstration on one of the frames. In the room was not 1 but 17 frames!Just imagine the knitters, working in the noise and without much lighting either, working on very fine knitting work. When I came home to tell my husband about it, he told me that his grandmother on his father's side was born in Ruddington, her family was involved in the lace knitting industry.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Enjoying UK holiday

Last Sunday, Summer School has ended. I've really enjoyed myself this last week. There were 11 courses and about 150 taking part in this all. (Over one third were Online Guild members!) I managed to produce some lovely colours on my skeins, all silk yarn. Each skein should be a new project for either a warp or weft. I left 3 skeins undyed for me to do at home so that I can produce a matching colour for the yarns already dyed. And it will give me the incentive to do more dyeing soon now that I have learned so much about acid dyes. I had taken some yarn with me to Summer School that was a mix of cotton & silk and that has come out ok, despite cotton not to be dyed with acid dyes. Nice to see as I have more of this yarn.

Next Summer School (in 2011) will be in Scotland, probably near Edinburgh. Looking forward to going there already!

I'm staying on in the UK until next Sunday having a lovely time out in the country. When I get back home I will post some photos.