Usually, when I dye, I don’t have the patience to dye the full color wheel. I end up picking colors at random and mixing a variety of colors, usually ones that I neutralize. Then I either end up with threads or fiber that’s all in the same color range or colors that I probably won’t use ever.
Recently, my friend Carole gave me 60 skeins of #5 Perle cotton threads. What an amazing gift, thanks Carole! When I was considering dyeing the threads, I decided that since I had so many threads, I would try dyeing a color wheel. I already had the Procion MX Dyes mixed up and had all 12 colors of the color wheel mixed from turquoise, magenta and lemon yellow.
So I finally did it! I dyed the full color wheel. I had 5 skeins for each of the 12 colors. So what I decided to do was do the full strength color for a dark value, a half strength color for mid range value and a very watered down color for a pale value. Then for the other two skeins I added black to one to make a shade and I made a neutral color for the last skein by adding that colors complement. You find the complement of a color by looking on the opposite side of the color wheel. It took me all day to dye these threads and a few pieces of fabric but I’m pleased with the outcome. If I mix colors again, I think I need to add more blue to the blue-violet and more blue to the blue-green. The blue is the slowest of the dyes to set and attach to the fiber. Therefore, it seems you need a bit more than you think because the other dyes mixed in will attach to the fiber before the blue even starts.
Here’s a close up of some of the threads. Aren’t they delicious? Now the only problem is that I am so enamored with all the colors that I’m hesitant to use any of the threads because then I won’t have my full color wheel. I’m sure I’ll use them but for now I just like to admire them 🙂