Today I dyed a full batch of samples for the new shawl. I’m not going to go too far into the gory details because I may decide to write it up for Weavezine, but I have been taking photos with the intent of writing up the process either for Weavezine or for my website. It’s too cool a technique not to share!
Anyway, I dyed 33 samples in 2 batches for the project, ranging from bright fuschia to turquoise. I used my electric frying pan for this, filled with pint canning jars and equipped with a waterproof temperature controller. It does 17 samples at once, so these went in two batches. After they came out of the dyebath, I dried them in the oven (being too impatient to wait a day for them to dry naturally), printed out labels for them, and wound them onto cardboard bobbins. Then I took the 33 samples, rearranged them, and (the hard part) removed 9 carefully chosen bobbins to create a 24-sample, smooth color progression from fuchsia through purple to turquoise.
Tomorrow morning I’ll check my color progression again in daylight, and then start work on dyeing the yarn (24 skeins, 60g each). Small batches, curiously, are easier for me to handle than large batches, because I only have the one kettle and a bucket to dye large batches in, BUT I can fit six or seven quart canning jars into my canning kettle at once, making it easy to dye small amounts. So twenty-four 60-gram skeins will only be four dyebaths – easy as pie.
Of course, the complicating factor is the 60-mile ride that Mike and I are planning for Saturday, and other stuff going on on Sunday (two conference calls for Weavolution, a trip to Albany to see Nancy Roberts of machine-knitting-for-weaving fame, and probably another 30-40 mile bike ride). So I may not get everything done until mid next week. But I figure that gives me more time to look at structures. I am now leaning towards network drafting on 24 shafts – but again, nothing’s certain until it goes on the loom. I’m definitely going to use a twill or satin structure, though – that much I do know.