Friday, December 14, 2012

A New Hobby!

A couple of weeks ago when Craftsy had most of their classes at 50% off, I bought a couple of ones that interested me. I love the Craftsy platform, a class is about the same price as a book, but because questions are constantly being asked and answered, and people are posting their projects from the class, it is always evolving and expanding unlike a book. I am a visual learner, and it is wonderful actually having someone demonstrate what to do. Plus with Craftsy you have access forever, unlike some other online classes. (I am not paid or compensated to express my opinion!) 
I bought The Art of Cloth Dyeing and Artisan Bread Making.


You will not notice any delicious baking bread smells from my kitchen, but almost 8 metres of fabric, plus cotton yarn and pearl cotton, have been dyed since Saturday! This is the result of 3 different dyeing days this week. I used Procion MX dyes.


For the above group, except for the yellow, I mixed different colours and poured them onto the fabric, which was loosely scrunched into an old plastic container. Some of them I poured one colour on one side of the container and another on the other side. Except for one of the fabrics, all were dry when I put them in the container.


The above two are made from yellow and red, poured on opposite sides of the container, but for the top one the fabric was dry, and for the bottom one the fabric was wet, and had been soaked in a solution of water, salt and soda ash.


This group of fabrics were dyed using Melody Johnson's Lazy Dyer Solids method - I love the results, and can't wait to try a few projects with these. I did wring out most of the dye solution before placing the fabric in the bag, because I wanted the fabric to be more even.


This group were snow dyed (one is missing because I couldn't wait to try it out). I learned pretty quickly that I can't snow dye the same way I have seen others on the web doing it, by pouring the dye solution right on the snow (the liquid just made a hole right through the snow). We have dry, fluffy snow, that doesn't really pack (no snowmen here) -


but it is great for shovelling, which I have been doing a lot of lately! So it is nice to be able to put the snow to good use.
Kathy (Tamarack Shack) had the best advice for snow dyeing for our climate, she told me to mix the dye directly with the snow (she has an example here) - thanks Kathy! I also sprinkled the dye powder onto the snow - both methods worked well. The fabrics were soaked in the water/salt/soda ash solution first.


The dye mixed into the snow resulted in brighter colours - the top three in the above photo of all the snow dyed fabric were created that way (I used the dyes straight from the container for the top three because I wanted to see if the colours separated - the colours from the top are carmine red, fuchsia and deep purple - the red and purple separated into other colours).


This is an area of the purple to show the colours that came out.


This one is fuchsia and yellow sprinkled on the snow. Snow dyeing creates a beautiful "blossoming" effect.


Pouring dye solutions on dry fabric also results in beautiful effects - this one was made from orange and fuchsia poured separately. It is so interesting to see how the colours separate and settle.


I also dyed some white pearl cotton #5 (the bottom one was made from yellow, black and purple - I recently learned that yellow and black make olive green - who knew!),


 and some leftover white knitting cotton.


To dye the thread and yarn, I soaked small hanks in a hot water, salt and soda ash solution for an hour, and then place them on an old plastic lid with some of the solution. I added a tiny bit of dye powder directly on the cotton, and mixed it with my finger, pressing it into the cotton. I covered the lid with plastic wrap (making sure that the wrap was within the sides of the lid, so that the liquid wouldn't wick out).


The hardest part of dyeing was waiting 24 hours for everything to "batch" (everything was in the warmest room in my house - luckily my laundry room with a sink, with a seed germinating mat underneath, and covered with an old towel).

My opinion of The Art of Cloth Dyeing Craftsy Class - Jane Dunnewold is a fabulous teacher! I really came away with the feeling that I knew why I had to do all the steps, and what all the dyeing chemicals were about. She also talked about different manipulations of the fabric, and had lots of examples of the results. Now when I look at other dyeing sources on the web, I know I can adapt them to use the method that Jane taught.
I didn't really try different manipulations this time, because I wanted to experiment with colours.
In the late 80's I tie -dyed clothes, and dyeing seems to be much easier now. I am so pleased that I bought the class.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

12 comments:

Lori S said...

Oh Joanne, watch out - dyeing is highly addictive! Glad you had some great results. Can't wait to see the next ones!

jill said...

Oh thanks for sharing this. I have so wanted to learn how to dye fabrics. Getting bored with what is out there. Your results look stunning.

blessings, jill

Kathy said...

Great results Joanne!!
You'll never be sad to see the first snowfall of the year again because you'll be thinking ...'yay I can snow dye again" :)

Sheila said...

Oh I so want to do this , wish I had bought the class , one of these days I will :-) Beautiful job Joanne your fabrics looks yummy!!

Terri said...

Love your results! I especially love the orange and yellow picture (third pic down). The ice crystal look of the print will make a lovely quilt.
Hugs

Terry said...

Glad you got so much out of the class. Looks like you have done a lot with it. Really neat.

Linda said...

Wow!!!! Your dyed fabric and pearl cotton came out gorgeous. Beautiful colors!!!! I love that you give an an honest review of the classes you take as well. I cannot wait to see what you create!!!

corina said...

I'm glad you found such a wonderful new hobby. I was beginning to wonder what you were doing with all your spare time Ha Ha. Can't wait to see your fmq on these fabrics!

Needled Mom said...

The dying results are gorgeous - especially the snow dying. It almost makes me wish I lived in snow country - ALMOST!!!

DonaleeK said...

Holy beautifully dyed fabric!!! Wow I'm so inspired by your work... Can't wait to try.

Quilt Rat said...

FABULOUS! You certainly obtained some gorgeous results......and now I just want to go play with dyes.
And yes.....that 24 hours IS a long wait isn't it?

Donna DeCourcy said...

Hi Joanne, I came to your blog from the Craftsy project page, after reading your question to Joen in the Color Play class. I was struck by how beautifully your dyed fabrics looked, and that you had a range of gradations. I also live in Canada, and am wondering where you got your dyes, as well as where you source soda ash. I have the dye class on my wishlist, and will buy it when it goes on sale. Your colours are an inspiration! I have been looking for ways to increase my stash effectively, and I think that dyeing is the way to go.