Category Archives: Dyeing

New warp

The new warp is a 2-ply natural wool worsted from Weaving Southwest. I’ve never used a color warp before, so it’s an experiment that I hope turns out well. Thirty yards of well. So far I’m loving it. When I sat down and started weaving on this warp, it felt like coming home. It’s been years since I’ve used a wool warp, but it’s great!

New warp

What’s on the loom?

I’m working on a gradations piece that goes from turquoise to violet to blue. Below is a simulation of it, but it looks so much better than this. What kind of a gradation could go with this one to make a diptych? Or a triptych? Thoughts anyone? So far I’m considering turquoise to magenta to blue. They need to have some commonality to go together. 

Gradations in progress

While I’ve been working, these small skeins of mohair were hanging out. I love how they look, warts and all! Mohair has such a sheen and dyes beautifully, at least when the skeins don’t twist back on themselves.

Mohair hanging


This is the latest effort to try and organize balls of yarn. I’ve never used these type of barrettes, so had no idea how to actually work them! Saw this idea from a knitting group on Facebook. I’d credit them if I could, but things just disappear on Facebook. See a post, lose a post.

Once I decide on the next project, the dyeing will begin again. Right now, I’m weaving at least 15 inches or so, in order to get the piece on the loom off and start again. Gosh, it feels good!

The results are in

Piece that I cut off

First of all, if I EVER think about weaving two things at once, hit me over the head! Hard!

I cut off one of the pieces I was weaving, even though it was intended to be longer, much longer. Here it is in all its un-steamed glory.

Now, for the results of the ikat experiment 

As a reminder, I dyed the tied ikat section and then put it back on the board. You can see how it’s uneven where the two colors come together. That’s a problem to be solved for next time. I’m pretty sure how to do that.

Back on the board

second dyeing

This is where you can see the consequences of that unevenness on the board.

Two different colors

When I dyed the second time around, I didn’t tie all the green sections. The darker areas are where it was dyed over the green.

What will I do differently next time?

The main thing is to maintain the order of the threads more carefully. And if that doesn’t happen, to err on the side of overdyeing the green, so that there won’t be areas of white between the color sections.

I always twine the section with a warp thread on each side to maintain order, but that will need to be done more carefully from now on.


Color changes and walks


Morning musings

I hate to even say this out loud, so to speak, but I’ve started doing some walking–don’t want to jinx it. Many years ago, I walked 5 miles a day, and it was wonderful. All kinds of inspiration and problem solving happened during those walks. I have used the excuse that my knee hurts not to walk, but after the trip to London, where we walked for miles and went up and down stairs in the Underground, that can’t be an excuse anymore. Now, it’s time to increase distance.

Stops for snapping pics with my phone is also happening. These street repairs always fascinate me. Surely I can figure out some way to use those. Street writing. The coreopsis above are one of my favorite wildflowers. Of course, the fact that these have yellow and red might be a factor. The balled up yarns from last week?

Street art

Back to the weaving

I’m trying to finish up the piece on the loom by the end of the month, and I’m ahead of schedule. However, I still haven’t dyed the yarn for next month’s project. That has to get done this week.

The beginning of this piece was posted last week, and here’s another part. 

Another section

With all the color changes, there are ends to weave in. I prefer to do them while on the loom.


Walking elsewhere

Purple Clover

These beauties are at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and Botanical Research Institute of Texas. The beds may be shared by the two organization, but I’m not sure. BRIT has a prairie planted on one side of its building, and these are native plants.

Having a great time!

On the loom

Love the colors!

The colors on the loom are really exciting to me! Even though it’s just throwing a shuttle (which has the ability to be boring), the colors are fun. Here’s a picture of some of the yarns I dyed and balled up lately.

All balled up

The reddish violet one was originally a reddish magenta, which I overdyed with violet and polar red. Not only do I like the color, it turned out as expected. The yellows are dyed with Sabraset Mustard Yellow at 1.5%.

Winding needs improvement

Now, back to that throwing the shuttle thing. For whatever reason, no matter what I do differently, the two strand of yarns are not rolling off the bobbin correctly. You can see the problem below. That’s how much slack there is between one strand versus the other.

Extra weft

Then I remembered the new shuttle that I had, the one that uses quills. Tah dah! 

When I first started to weave, many centuries ago, I used quills. However, I’ve slept since then, so winding the weft onto the quill takes a bit of practice. I’m using a 1/4 inch dowel to hold the quill, and dug this driver up from a long lost box. Wonder if I can also find the charger? 

And all is working now! I have not wound a huge amount onto the quill, although the shuttle-maker (High Desert Weaving) says that it will hold over 45 yards of a bulky yarn.

Quill in shuttle

Winding weft onto the quill

So, I’m a happy weaver again. Nevertheless, I’ll have to solve the winding problem at some point. It’s funny how sometimes there is no problem, but now there’s a huge problem.

Now, what are you working on? Do tell!

Running in place


Maybe I’m a bit out of control with the red right now. This was done on the small 5-inch Mirrix Lani loom.

I learned some lessons here, but I’m don’t think I will ever apply them because I didn’t really enjoy weaving this very much. You can tell by the ribs of the warp the direction this was woven. Curves are a bit wonky, as is size.

One of the most important lesson I learned from this is to not mark the warp with the design until the first element is finished. I ended up with so many marks I couldn’t tell what was what.

When I decided on doing this little piece, I was thinking maybe a color word for each color, or the same word in different fonts. Now I know that the idea of weaving words is better than the actually weaving words is–for me.

What’s going on?

Do you ever feel like you’re not getting anything done until you look back at the week? That’s my place right now.

I’m always trying to figure out where I put my reading glasses. They’re usually on my head or hanging from my shirt. I’m trying to get rid of the carpenter bees, but they keep multiplying. Whack-a-mole, anyone?

Interruption after interruption, but then I look back over my bullet journal and see how many things I got done and how many items are no longer on my to-do list. (That’s kind of useless, since more things are added to the list all the time.)


Here’s what I dyed last week

Red dyeing

And here’s what I’m dyeing right now.

Mustard yellow

Both of these are two of my favorite colors to dye and use. The mustard, at 1.5% is at a slightly higher percentage than my usual 1%. The red is 2%. I use Sabraset acid dyes from ProChemical.

Mustard Yellow and Deep Red

I think the next up will be a purple of some kind, and finally some black. I do still have that black and white piece to weave!

Inktense colors

And last …

Because I was going to do some design work, I got out the Inktense pencils, but then when I looked at them all, I decided a color chart might be helpful. Here you see the fruits of my labor. They still need a wet brush going-over, but that’ll come later. Maybe something like paint chips would be better? At least they’re in color groups!



Razzle Dazzle

Overdyed greens


One of the tasks on my list last week was to overdye the greens below. You can see the results above. I’m not thrilled, as I was hoping there would be a bigger difference in the colors. Yes, they are nice greens (and a blue), but now what? No matter, I’m overdyeing the next batch, which is very similar in color with turquoise. The blue one is the second from bottom in the picture below.

Green yarn

Another goal

… was to get this off the loom. It’s done, although it hasn’t been steamed or anything, but here it is. Makes me dizzy, so the working title for now is Razzle Dazzle.

Razzle Dazzle (horizontal)

And here it is flipped. 

Razzle Dazzle (vertical)

Warp, 36.5 inches

My next two pieces have been planned, one black and white and the other a bright stripe. I’ve increased the warp to 36.5 inches, a real pain. The back beam has 48 inches of warp beamed, but I never let loose the extra inches. So, I had two unwind three inches on each side to get the extra inches needed. It is now tied on with the header woven, ready to go. Now I need to do some dyeing of reds and 3 more skeins of black. Woo hoo! I’m excited to get started! I’ve also got a bitty project going on the Mirrix.

What’s everyone working on?

More progress

10 more inches

I’m not going to take another photo until this sucker is off the loom. Right now, I have about 8 inches to go, and 20 butterflies going. Why? Who knows!

In other news

After working on a commission, I thought I would never use the color green again, but I have excavated for the excess yarns and overdyed part of them with blue. The “new” yarns aren’t washed yet, so that picture will have to wait. Next week. I did take a sample of each color so that I can compare, and there’s the picture below also.

Green yarn

Since I’m speaking about greens, how ’bout these pictures from Borough Market of green vegetables? I can’t remember what the swirly one in the second picture is called, but I love the pattern.

Although I’ll be dyeing some black yarns next, I’m thinking about overdyeing the rest of the green yarns with turquoise. Do you think those yarns would be able to play nice in a weaving?

Looking at these greens reminds me of Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery. If you go to the Greenery page, scroll down to look at their suggested color combinations.



Then there’s the sunflowers. I took a photo of sunflowers and used Waterlogue on it, thinking that some sort of blurry “painting” might make a good weaving. Hmmm….. maybe I should try the vegetable pictures with Waterlogue too.


Sunflowers 2

Thinking about color and green chili stew

Basket made in guild program

Color! Isn’t it wonderful?

The dyeing of yarn is almost as good for me as the weaving. Almost. There’s just something magical about pulling those yarns out of the water and seeing beautiful, glorious color!

The other day I read about Tien Chiu’s experiments in what she calls cube dyeing. She has quite the project going, something that I admire, but also know that I would never have the patience to conduct. Really, go check it out.

Quilters like color too

Tien mentions Carol Soderlund, who teaches what look like great workshops on dyeing. Some of my quilter friends have gone to Nancy Crow’s Art Retreats, and that’s where I first saw anything about her workshops.

Facebook strikes again!


Ever take one of those quizzes on Facebook? I succumbed the other day, and although I really don’t agree with the analysis of my personality, I like the color shown. A weaving of some sort? I’ve actually been thinking of a series of tapestries based on color. You can see what color you get here.

And then there’s the finishing

I’ve got these itty bitty 5-inch pieces that need to be finished, several of which are in shades of blue. As I was pinning them to a press cloth thingy for steaming, I thought about stars. So, I played around with pin heads.


And now for green, as in green chili stew 

My friend Claudia True publishes a calendar each year with copies of here paintings and recipes. If you sign up for her newsletter, you receive a free mini cookbook. At some point, I received a recipe from her for Green Chili Stew. My son and daughter-in-law have developed their own recipe for same, so I adapted parts of both recipes and made my own. Now it seems to be a small compulsion. I have two quart jars in the fridge, so that’s what I have each day for lunch. Maybe I’ll be sick of it soon and move on to other recipes. What’s your winter go-to recipe?

Two weeks in June, part 2

Shirt one

Shirt one

Shirt one results

Shirt one results

Last week was the week of tie dye. I had some Sabracon dyes, and that’s what we used. Maybe someone could tell me the difference between Sabracon and MX fiber reactive dyes–in practical terms, not chemical terms. The magenta looked great while wet, so the boys used a lot. Too bad it washed out to look pink. I think they were too thrilled with their results to care, but I have a thing about pink. I don’t like it. This was my first time to do tie dye, so it was all a grand experiment, including the socks they wanted to do.

Shirt two

Shirt two

Shirt two results

Shirt two results


Socks one



Socks two


Two weeks in June

Going to the movies

Going to the movies

I always seem to be behind when we go to the movies, that is, until we get to the box office. ;)) On our way to see X Men. I actually enjoyed it, but then there was Captain America. The younger of the two had not seen it, so we went. Waaay too long and really not good. The older one disagrees with me there. These are the kinds of things I’ll be doing until after the 20th.┬áToday is a tie dye day, something I’ve never done totally by myself. We’re even doing socks!

I made sure that all the ikat sections were labeled appropriately and laid them out in order. The one at the bottom is the first section. Somehow it got really tangled up and I can no longer get its parts in order, so I’m doing that section over again.