Today was a productive day. I finished one complete set of dye samples (gold/red/brilliant blue), wove two placemats, and did some on-the-side dye tests that have given me a glorious range of red/orange/gold/yellow colors to use in the jacket.
Today started out frustrating – the red I got from Prochemical turned out to be a bluish red, which frustrated me because what I really wanted was a bright cherry red. After a few more tests, I finally resorted to “cheating” – looked up Deb Menz’s formulas in Color in Spinning and mixed 25% fuchsia to 75% scarlet to get a nice cherry red. I then mixed it with gold in varying proportions to get the oranges and reds I was looking for, and mixed gold with sun yellow to get the golds and yellows. Perfect.
While I was waiting for the dye samples to finish, I wound the indigo linen yarn (which came out a beautiful shade of deep indigo – exactly what I was looking for) into balls, wound them onto pirns, popped the pirns into the shuttle, and presto! started weaving. I finished off the last of the tan-and-white placemats and wove about 1.5 indigo placemats with the new yarn:
I like this pattern – the scales stand out cleanly in white against the indigo background, giving a sashiko (Japanese quilting) look. The reverse side (second thumbnail) is quite pretty as well – I won’t decide what’s front and what’s back until I see the final piece after wet-finishing (i.e. washing).
So, all, in all, not bad progress for one day.
Tomorrow I will start dyeing the yarns for the tiger jacket. 20 skeins of 50g apiece, plus one 300g skein of black. I still need to pick out 20 shades of red/orange/gold/yellow to dye (picking them to make as smooth a color transition as possible) and figure out how many threads of each get wound into the warp, etc. It will be a largish task but not gargantuan. I plan to dye them in quart jars in my canning kettle, with the heat set on low to keep it at about 120 degrees. I’m hoping that will work – I don’t want to do 20 individual batches! If I can do them in groups of six or seven it will be much more manageable.
The other option is to handpaint them and cold batch the results, but I think I’ll have more precise control over the color by using a dyebath, so I’m going to start there.
Tomorrow I also plan to weave more of the indigo placemats, and (if time allows) do another set of dye samples. But mostly, it’s about getting the skeins of yarn dyed.