It took nearly 24 hours of work over the three-day weekend, but the warp and weft are dyed now! The warp alone took 12 hours to dye – mixing dye stocks, then stretching out four warp bouts, and mixing 48 colors for the sixteen sections of three colors each. I started before sunrise and finished just before sunset.
The weft, oddly, was easier – no fiddly painting, just mix up 45 colored dyebaths, dunk each skein in, and put into the electric roaster water bath to maintain the appropriate temperature. (I was using Cibacron F dyes, which like to be kept at 140 degrees for immersion dyeing.) Of course, I had to add the soda ash after 15 minutes and then rearrange the skeins every 10-15 minutes for an hour afterwards, but I could do 10-12 skeins at once, so it went fairly quickly.
And both warp and weft are gorgeous!
Here are the skeins hung up to dry:
Because the photo really doesn’t capture the beauty of the skeins in motion, here is a short video of the skeins swaying in the wind:
The warp was harder to capture because of its length, but I took photos of each section and arranged them together. Here is a composite showing each section, along with the color combination it’s meant to explore. (If you’re having trouble reading the labels, click to view the full size photo.)
There were a few sections where the color didn’t come out as expected, and one section where the dyes ran into each other, but I’m basically happy with it. In most cases the color change is crisp – the ties did a good job of resisting the dye – and it covers the color combinations that I wanted. If I were to do it again, I would mix up more concentrated dyestocks – I used dyestock at 1% strength, and really needed 2% to get deep dark colors. Nonetheless, I really like the way it came out!
I’m under a short deadline on two other projects right now (both due Thursday), so I probably won’t make much progress until next weekend. I also need to get my new-to-me rolling temples on the loom, and maybe weave some samples on the previous warp before cutting it off. But I expect to start getting the warp onto the loom before the end of next weekend. Stay tuned!
And, Tigress has been complaining that Fritz is getting all the attention, so here is a picture of Tigress playing peekaboo. (Both she and Fritz like crawling under the bed covers when they can – it’s very cute watching the lumps move around under the covers, especially with the other kitten pouncing on top.)