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Monday, February 05, 2007

Dyed in the Wool

Hoo boy, I haven't touched a dye pot since the 70's; I wonder if I still know how. But if I want pretty, marbled colors on my wool I will have to dye it or buy it. Since I am too impatient to wait for something to be shipped I have decided to jump in and do it myself. I have to move while the spirit is upon me. This first photo is of 3 pieces of wool in a pot of boiling water. I am "marrying" the colors here so that the bright pink will settle down to something more subtle.

This next shot is of the swatches I have washed in detergent, soaked in soda ash and squirted with the Dichlorotriazine Reactive (MX) Dye. Each swatch is then squeezed out and put into its own plastic bag for cooking in the microwave oven.

Here is the leaky, dangerous, second hand store $4.95 microwave that John wont let me bring into the house. I throw a bag in the microwave and punch four minutes, then run for my life so that my molecules dont get rearranged. Who says art isn't reckless?

Here are 2 swatches of wool waiting to be cut into strips. After sitting for 6 hours after their time in the microwave I spun them in the washer on spin cycle and then dried them in the clothes dryer. Now it is time to cut them into strips.

This is my crude set up for cutting into strips. I chose to cut 1/4" strips but after trying to pull one through the backing realized I may be sorry I didnt cut them thinner. They are hard to get through the cloth! Oh well, soldier on.


Here are the strips all cut and ready to be hooked. Tomorrow I still have to re-dye the periwinkle swatch which turned out too pale; then I will be ready for the fun part. I ordered a hook over the weekend so when that arrives I will begin hooking in earnest.

So many puns. So little time.

7 comments:

Catherine said...

Now I am truly impressed. This is going to be even better than I imagined. Go, go, go!

katie said...

now i'm HOOKED!!!
i'm so inspired by your last couple entries that i want to make a hooked rug too, right this minute - it sounds like so much fun. i love your design, and that you're using hemp canvas. i dye my fabrics with an old microwave too. oooohhhh, this rug is going to be SO wonderful - i can't wait to see it on your floor!

Paulette said...

Ooo...can't wait to see this finished Judy! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!

Carla Sonheim said...

Judy... can't wait to see this as you work on it... how fun!

Abby Creek Art said...

How cool, Judy...love the colors. I also love the painting of the dark haired woman behind the strips!

Diane Duda said...

wow! you are like some kinda pioneer woman doing all that! i can't wait to see how it turns out!

DJ said...

Judy, this is so amazing to me. I have no knowledge of fabric dying or rug hooking, and am on the edge of my seat with anticipation! I can't wait to see the progress.