Dyeing a Color Wheel

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 πŸ™‚

About ruthlane

When I discovered felting in 2007, I finally found the creative outlet for which I had been searching. I love that the versatility of fiber allows me to β€œplay” with a wide variety of materials including wool, silk, fabrics, yarns and threads. Creating one of a kind fiber art pieces to share with the world fulfills my creative passion.
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19 Responses to Dyeing a Color Wheel

  1. great color wheel, so pretty

  2. zedster66 says:

    They look gorgeous, Ruth πŸ™‚
    Lovely colours and so shiny

  3. Lyn says:

    Good day’s work!
    If they were mine I would spend a long time just looking at them and I think I would be miserly with their use.

    • zedster66 says:

      Ruth sent me some she dyed not so long ago and I haven’t wanted to use them because they are so nice πŸ™‚

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Lyn – I am trying not to feel miserly πŸ™‚ I can always dye more. Perhaps if I keep saying that…

  4. ruthlane says:

    Zed – I’ll just have to send you more πŸ™‚

    • zedster66 says:

      Aaw, I’m afraid I’d save those too πŸ™‚ When I get better at stitching I’ll use them for something nice.

  5. shepherdessann says:

    They are really pretty. The solution is to get more cotton an dye more.

  6. ruthlane says:

    Ann – I’m not sure how many I would need to not hoard them πŸ™‚

  7. Karen says:

    They look gorgeous Ruth so now you’ll have to used half and save half to keep your wheel πŸ™‚

  8. ruthlane says:

    Good idea Karen. I was going to cut a piece to put in my Color notebook and I couldn’t even do that. LOL

  9. Karen says:

    Actually i dont blame you, there is no way i could cut into them lol

  10. Carole says:

    Really enjoyed,I to would have trouble using them,would have them hanging up where I could see them! I crochet and was looking at colour wheels,thinking out a blanket of many colours…

  11. Jo says:

    Hello Ruth, I LOVE the yarn color wheel. I found it while searching google images for a color wheel. I added your pic to my blog http://www.knit1purl2chat.com, and added a link to your site. Just in case anyone would like to see how you created this beautiful project.

  12. Pingback: My photo class from Craftsy, and a knitting color wheel | knit1purl2chat

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