65+ yards and counting

I'm into my 3rd bolt of cloth and I'm building up a nice stash of solid color yardage for my class in Sept (Nancy Crow). I'm learning a lot from the exercise. If nothing else, I've gotten better about keeping lab records. I'm dyeing all of the solids with a full immersion processe. That means mixing and preparing dye and auxiliaries for about30 minutes then standing in front of a bucket for about an hour and a half. I've come up with a setup that lets me do 3 yards at a time. I manually agitate 2 buckets and let my Wonder Washer tend a 3rd yard (with a few quick checks along the way). What is a Wonder Washer you might ask? Well, basically it's like something straight out of an infomercial. It's a table top washing machine that looks just like an old school diaper pail crossbred with an ice cream maker. If you want to see one in action you might check out this slightly odd video of some straight guy doing his laundry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ4Nix460h4. Of course I bought the thing so who am I to talk about odd.

Anyway, I'm using the Soderlund method. My first family of colors (bright) was all dyed by overdyeing yellow, red, and blue to match samples from my (her) color book. This was really time consuming and I didn't realize that I should be using a different approach until I'd dyed about 30 yards of cloth various values of yellow. I had no choice but to continue with the overdye method to the bitter end. It was worth the work. I'm really pleased with the result.

Next I moved on to a more subdued color family (Earth) and switched to a value gradation method. Carol has a nice formula for creating a 10-step value gradation of a single hue from very light to almost black. I wanted a 6-step and didn't want really light or really dark, so I used the basic method, but came up with my own scale (a log10 progression) that's producing very nice results. It's 4 steps of pure color and 2 steps toned with complement.

This Earth family also produces some really excellent browns and blacks. I'd love to dye nothing but this for a while.

I've still got more solids to dye, but I'm also starting to move on to some prints. It's been a long time since I did any printing with the intent to create yardage (i.e., not art cloth). It's a bit confining not to be able to work big and do whatever I want. The repeating pattern, stripe, grid thing doesn't feel right. I want to discharge and go back into all of the pieces below, but I need to resist for now. I might still do something. I need to let these stew for now. I will probably supplement the stash with some commercial stripes and plaids (Nancy's request--I'm afraid to know what we're going to do with plaid).

Multiple printings with two values of two different colors.

Mono printing combined with batik. This piece and the one above were both overdyed with the same blue as the last step to help unify them.

Well, that's all for now. I'll certainly post more before the class (or at least I "plan" to).