I have dyed two pounds of mohair in the last two days, for my friends in Arctic India. I used the color swatches from my dye samples to pick out some nice shades (they had requested dark red and maroon), calculated the amounts of dye, and tossed it in. I now have one pound of maroon mohair and one pound of a gorgeous garnet red. Later today I will dye some cashmere/silk gold to use as weft with the brown/tan warp for a shawl, and that will finish my immersion dyeing. I like dyeing – it’s relatively quick (in terms of the amount of time you have to spend over the dyepot – you do have to be in the house for an hour or two), you get a lot of control over the colors, and it’s always magical to see the finished yarns come out of the pot. Mohair in particular is easy to dye – silk is more of a pain because it clumps up and needs to be fiddled with to get level results. But I had a lot of fun with the mohair.
Thanks to everyone (especially Bonnie and Peg) who had suggestions for the skips. I’m going to try, in no particular order, raising the height of the back beam, inserting lease sticks, and Peg’s suggestions for managing the warp when beaming on etc. I’ll have to run out to the hardware store today or tomorrow to get sticks that are long enough (my warp sticks are all cut to match the back beam, and are a trifle too short for the purpose at hand), but I’m looking forward to trying new things.
Plans for today include a 1.5-2 hour ride (nothing fancy – just getting back into the saddle), re-sleying the loom to get rid of the skipped dent, winding the warp for the samples for Bonnie’s book, and maybe some more work on learning PHP. I may also finish sewing up the muslin for the jacket, and dye some yardage for the jacket lining. I think I have some silk charmeuse on hand that will work nicely.
Plans for tomorrow include another 1.5-hour ride (if my butt isn’t too sore from today’s ride), painting the warp for the samples, weaving some more on the brown and tan warp, and whatever stuff I didn’t get to today.
I haven’t decided on the colors for the painted warp yet. I was going to do bright green, bright blue, and purple, but have realized that this is harking back to my tie-dye days when one never used any colors *except* bright rainbow shades. The garnet I dyed the mohair yarn is so beautiful that I am tempted to use that and a dark blue or maybe purple/burgundy to complement. I will have to get out my dye samples again and see what appeals. It’s so nice having all these colors on hand! My options would be much more limited if I were purchasing colored yarns.
The other thing I might do (and this is a great idea if you are looking for color palettes) is go over to Kuler. It’s a communal palette creator – you can browse through other users’ palettes, create your own palettes, share them with other users, rate palettes, and so on. So far, nothing too exciting. However, Kuler also lets you create auto-generate palettes using “rules” – analogous colors, monochrome, complementary, triad – so you can enter one color, see what you think of the generated palette, tweak the colors, and so on. It’s a neat toy – I suggest going over and looking at it. Would that I could create all the shades available in Kuler!