Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dying for Hydrangeas

I have to say, Hydrangeas are my favorite flower without a doubt.  They play a major role in this rug--14 large clusters of them.  I played around with the colors on my favorite photo and pulled out some of the major colors on Adobe's Kuhler website.  It pulls out the major colors in a photo and is a great jumping off place for deciding which dyes to use.

From that, I realized I needed something rosy, tan, green, lavender and pinkish-purple.  I started out with Pro-Chem WashFast Acid dyes and mixed up 1/4 tsp in 1 cup boiling water of each:  Pink Sand (509), Mauve (313), Lobster Bisque (339), and Lavender (812).

I scrunched up the wool and then sprinkled out with tablespoon rows of each color, starting with Pink Sand and ending with a row of Lavender.  I smooshed it with a potato masher to spread the colors and then picked through the wool looking for any areas left undyed, adding dye as necessary.

Rows of color I put down -- before tweaking -- Doesn't look like Hydrangeas does it?

Again, I felt it was missing something, so I put spoonfuls of each color randomly around pan, smashing with masher again to spread color. Again feeling it was missing something, I spooned randomly a bit of very weak solution of Cushing's Forest Green I had left over from a previous rug.  It was getting close, but still missing something.

One of my daughters examined the pot and my photo and said -- blue.  She was right.  I rummaged around in my box and came up with only one pot of blue dye, Brilliant Blue (490).  I thinned it way down and then very carefully added a few spoonfuls here and there until it pleased my eye.  I liked it so well, I scrunched everything to one side and then,  threw in a couple more quarter yards of natural wool and dyed more purple/blue right alongside what was simmering.

Unfortunately, this is very much how I end up dying for my rugs.  I dye like I'm making a pot of spaghetti sauce--I start with a basic recipe and then add bits of this and that until I am happy with the results.  The unfortunate part is that it is difficult to replicate.  I figure with the Hydrangeas that shouldn't be a problem.  At least with the bread crumbs of knowledge I have stored here on this blog I might come close.

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