Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dye Pot [Attempt One]

Well another week has gone by and more creative things are happening in my tiny apartment.  How I manage to fit so many creative things into such a small space without going insane is truly a miracle.

The past couple of weeks I've been working on my dye skills.  After talking to a few friends about career goals and life and all that jazz I realized that something I really want to try while I have the time is making a go at becoming an "indie dyer".  I know it's a tough market, so I'm starting small and just focusing on the local market for now.  I also know that it's really hard to make it without having some sort of very creative idea.  Luckily I majored in Creative Ideas (ok, I majored in Art, but you get the point.)  I'll explain said idea at the end of this post, for now I want to show you some process pictures.

A couple of years back I was gifted a ton of stash yarn from a retired knitter.  Among other things there were several skeins of pure white wool.  Not super high quality, but good enough to experiment with dying on.  Above it my first go at dying after having not done it in ages.  I use all food dyes (for now) and for these two I put them in mason jars in the microwave.  They both had more than just the base color on them, but somehow it all disappears after it was heated.  Still, nice colors right?

Attempt two was with more of that wool, this time laying it out on a pan and pouring color in random places.  These turned out much nicer and gave me some ideas for how I want to apply my dye.  I like the idea of having the whole skein in spread out to play on.  

After the dye was applied I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and nuked them for two 2-min intervals.  Thankfully that was all it needed.

And now onto that "Creative Idea".

Hopefully by now you all know that I am also an oil painter.  My subject is "Surrealistic worlds inhabited by knitted forms".  I will always be a painter first, it's truly my passion.  But why not take those paintings and make something equally beautiful? 

The above paintings are from my first series, back in 2013/early 2014.  While my style and landscape type has changed a bit, these four still hold a place in my heart as being my "Signature works".   So when my idea came about, I figured I'd start with these.

The idea? I want to dye skeins of yarn to match my paintings! While I'm sure it's not a new idea - I've seen people do it with Van Gogh and Monet - I think it's a great idea for someone like me who is so multi-talented.  Once this operation gets up and going the plan is to include a wallet sized, professionally printed image of the painting that goes with the yarn.  

This was my first attempt at making matching skeins.  I picked up some minis at my LYS and decided to give it a try.  I solid dyed each skein with a base color first, and then did a second layer of the accent colors.  While I like these skeins, the result isn't quite what I wanted.  The second layer colors didn't hold well.  So for my next try I plan to do all the colors at the same time.  Hopefully it won't get muddy.

I've already gotten more good quality yarn to experiment on and am talking to my LYS about getting large quantities.  I am really serious about this right now. I don't know why, I just know it's something I need to do.

Do you ever feel like there's just something you need to do? Professionally, creatively or just for fun? 

Thanks for reading my rambles today friends, it means so much to know that I can post something and have someone read it.



  1. Follow the leadings of your heart, skipping all the way :) it is how you lead an extraordinary life...the one not planned

  2. Your paintings are incredible, and what a great idea to dye skeins to match them! I think you nailed it, way to go!

  3. When it feels right, you should go for it, no matter what!!! I love the idea of matching your original paintings and yarns! You are also smart to start locally and grow step by step, organically. Looking forward to this new adventure of yours!


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