I tried four formulas for red and finally came up with a bright cherry red by using Polar Red, a dye that I don’t like as much as the others because it is considerably less wash/lightfast. But it appears the only way to get a true cherry/fire-engine red.
I then dyed a set of samples:
What is interesting is the incredible nonlinearity of the colors. Here is a listing of the proportions involved (skein #1 is gold, far right; skein #22 is red, far left):
|Amt Mustard||Amt Polar Red||Diifference from previous skein:|
Notice that the first 9 (!) samples – in other words, all the golds and oranges – are 90+% mustard yellow. That’s how powerful Polar Red is, and how weak yellow is.
I’m now ready to dye the actual skeins. I’ve swapped around the dye proportions a bit because I needed to add a few skeins to the color sequence, particularly in the yellows. It’s hard to believe that adding 0.28% Polar Red at the beginning should produce a noticeable jump in color, but it does; and there are a few other places in the golds where there are visible differences, too. That brings me up to 25-26 skeins, with the three extra added in the yellows – that will produce a better visual balance, as the first set of samples is rather heavy in the reds.
All this, however, will have to wait a day or two. Mike and I are throwing a party tomorrow, and in addition to cleaning up the house (which is an incredible mess), I need to make 10 lbs of apricot jam today to clear out the refrigerator. (The apricots are macerating in sugar and honey to draw out the juices, and are thus in the fridge.) I also need to reboil the syrup for my candied cherries, which will need about another week’s worth of candying before they’re ready to be put into jars.
Goals for this holiday weekend:
- Clean house for party, have party
- Dye the first two batches of skeins in the color sequence (1 batch = 8 skeins)
- Finish warping the loom (700 threads left to thread, 1200 to sley)
- Make 2nd batch of apricot jam, continue working on cherries
That is aggressive, but I think it is probably do-able. My goal is to have one of the shawls done in time to wear it to the Complex Weavers Fashion Show. (But if I can’t do it, I’m not gonna stress!)