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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
a tiger in my sweater?
Hi! No, I haven’t died, but I’ve been dyeing! Well, sort of...
I started off making ‘Side Steps’, my newest pattern. I did the shaped version (Mulberry) and I used Yeoman Yarns Silk Bourette on purpose. Silk Bourette is a 4 ply weight fingering yarn of pure silk that only comes in the natural shade. It just begs to be experimented with. In the past, I have done some painting and dyeing experiments using this yarn - most recently, see ‘Woodstock’ from June. I finished the garment, only leaving the underarm seam open because I figured it would be easier to work with it still flat.
For this project, I wanted to make a ‘print’ fabric and what could be easier than an animal print - I’ve always liked them and have seen sweaters in the shops lately, but never anything that I totally loved, enough to buy anyway!
Here in Thunder Bay, we are kind of limited for supplies - Michael’s is about the only craft supply store left and I was through with the Tie-dye phase. I wanted to retain some of the original natural shade, add 2 or three more colours and have the colour to soak into the fabric - not harden it like fabric paints will. After reading labels and directions in the store, I came home with 3 shades of my old standby, RIT. I had camel, cocoa and dark brown. The instruction sheet had a short blurb at the end:
‘To dye-stain unfinished wicker, rattan, baskets, wreaths, wood accessories and natural craft materials: Dissolve 1 pkg RIT in 2 cups very hot water; apply 1-3 coats with sponge or brush....’
That was enough for me!
I found that to completely dissolve the package of dye I had to boil the water in a saucepan and stir for a bit with the heat on to get it to dissolve completely.
Practising a bit with a sponge brush, it was hard to control spots and dabs while letting the dye soak into the fabric. Changed to a 1 inch angled paintbrush worked better.
After applying a base of the camel shade - unevenly on purpose, of course ;-) and letting it almost dry - I was anxious to get on with it - I brewed up the dark brown - and quickly began making strokes and convincing myself that I had planned to make a tiger print all along. Let it dry completely, took some photos along the way and all is good. I finished the underarm sleeves, held my breath and put it in to wash! I'll let you know what happened soon, I promise!