Sunday, June 06, 2010

Process Pledge: Mixing Dyes

So much has NOT happened since last we spoke, except I went grocery shopping at my local Wal-Mart (not the big city Chattanooga version) and lo and behold they had Deer Park bottled water, 6 for $2 with the flip caps I wanted!!! The big city Smart Water was $1 each and had to be drunk up as it had chemicals in it that could possibly have interferred with the dye, or not. So who was the Smart one? Not Mel, but at least I got lots more usable dye bottles. Today it is raining AGAIN and chilly but they promise tomorrow will be sunny and warm and I will start dyeing for sure then. It will all be over in less time than it has taken me to procrastinate prepare all this.
I haven't balked this much since my first dye session over 21 years ago.
To begin, I am breaking all the rules and doing this in my cleaned up kitchen (miracle!!) since there really isn't any other place with accessible water. I will clean it back up to hospital standards, I promise.
My plastic tablespoon has disappeared so I am instead using a funny coffee measure I found in the utensil drawer, and a pyrex measure which was in the laundry room. I tossed out all my dye stuff or gave it away before we moved, because I was NEVER going to dye again, and so here I am, making do. The water in the bottles gets mixed with the dyes (3 cups of water per bottle, I measured) and two scoops of whatever that scoop holds, ABOUT.  I remembered to buy a funnel. That was a second miracle. The remembering part.

I did spill after mixing about eight bottles of dye. I cleaned the red dye up immediately after preserving the crime scene. I am reading a lot of murder mysteries this week. Blood spatters. Eeoouuww.

Ta da! The finished product...sort of.  I'll be storing these in the porch refrigerator until dye time tomorrow.
I mixed three greens: lime, grass and a dirty dark foresty green plus an aqua which is between turquoise and green. I know I need more of those colors in my stash. I didn't mix black yet. I'll do all the brights first and then get down to the darks after those. It's best to separate them for the later wash out.


  1. Oh so yummy! Looking forward to seeing the results. I am doing a bit more dyeing today, hoping for sunshine tomorrow, so that I can lay the pretties in the grass to dry. (Also, it makes such pretty photos)

  2. I can't wait!!! It's so exciting to know we'll be able to see your dyeing again!

    With the weather out here in Las Vegas I should be able to dye like mad. But first I have to unpack the 2 1/2 million boxes in the casita so I can get to my fabric and dyes. May be a while!

  3. I love the reflections in the last photos of your dye bottles! Glad you found those nifty bottles and that you get a nice dry and sunny day tomorrow to perform your magic.

  4. Anonymous2:39 PM

    How did you mix the dyes in the bottles? Did you put all of the water in to start with, then the dye? I am looking for an easy, fast way to mix my dyes.

  5. So excited to see you back in the saddle with dying! Hi Ho Melody! I took your class many many years ago (prior to 2004) in New Hampshire because your class didn't require a sewing machine and you got me interested and started in dying! I've never been the same since! I think once you're hooked, you're hooked, even if you do make proclamations to stop! Thanks for your willingness to share, we're all eager to see your new juicy fabrics!

  6. Wooo-La-La... I can't wait to see what you are going to dye. Fabric or yarn? or Both? I dyed some yarn outside in the sun today, hope to post over the next few days. Drying in the sun now....

    Take lots of pictures,
    Kate - The Garden Bell

  7. Hi Mel,
    I'm SO looking forward to seeing the results! I know you've forgotten more than I'll ever know, but others might find this tip useful... I lay layers and layers of newspapers on the bench before I mix dyes, and then I use a damp sponge to wet the top layer of paper . . . that way the dye sticks to it... in theory at least there's less messy clean up.
    I'm reduced to dyeing in my garage in my new house, and at this time of year, it's freezing down there. Then I have to cart it all inside to batch in the hot water cupboard. You've got to be desperately in need of fabric to dye in those conditions!

  8. Looks like fun to me. I continue to avoid dying my own fabric.

  9. Would love to try dyeing fabric. What brand of dye do you use?


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