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2015 Third Quarter Challenge

2015 Third Quarter Challenge

In keeping with our color theme for the year, this third quarter challenge is related to dyeing and blending from a picture using a color generator, then use the colors in a project.

We’ve had a very wet, cool spring so I chose a picture of a sunset at a Poipu beach on the island of Kauai where it was perfect summer weather. Thinking Spring/Summer!

I tried a few color generators  but settled on these two:  https://color.adobe.com/create/image/ and http://www.palettefx.com/

Here is the original picture:

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Then with the Adobe file:

Sunset Adobe

And the Palettefx view:

Hawaii sunset

I decided to dye some Icelandic roving with the three primary yellow oranges in the Adobe picture.   The colors at each end and in the middle. Let the mixing begin!

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Using a printout of the Adobe pic, I used my acid dyes which were already prepared and mixed each color using what I thought would come closest.  It’s really hard to tell from the color of the mix so I used coffee filters to write my formula and drop a sample at each stage.  It still wasn’t showing a huge difference.  I had already prepared the fiber, soaking it in vinegar water so I was ready to dye and hoped it worked.

I started with the middle color which the generator marked as base, then the color on the right, then the left.

Since I only have an induction stovetop in my work area, I wanted to do all the dyeing at once. So, I used zip bags and steamed them together in a large pot.

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After steaming them for 30 minutes, I left the bags overnight to cool. The next morning I opened each one and was surprised that the roving was mottled.

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Once the roving was rinsed and dried, I ran each through the drum carder.

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The blended batts weren’t exactly the colors I had wanted, so I took it once step further and started blending the batts with more roving to try to get the colors I needed.

2015-06-28 15.46.44Much better.

2015-06-28 15.49.17You can see the  blended colors were closer to the samples I had made with the dye.  Go figure.  I guess the white filter paper may have lightened them up.

Here is the progression:

2015-06-17 14.30.03 2015-06-17 15.31.14Number 1 (in the center) the formula was one tablespoon each red and orange, one drop blue and 2 drops black in one cup water.

Number 2 (on the right) –3 tablespoons red, 1 yellow, 1 drop black and 15 drops blue.

Number 3 (on the left) 3 tablespoons yellow, 1 red.

When I carded them I added white , black or blue to lighten or darken or mute the color.  I just adding until I thought the color was close enough.  There is no contest here, just satisfy yourself the color is close enough.

I really liked the purple and gray in the PaletteX picture.  I had some merino close to the colors so I carded the purple with white to lighten and black to darken and yellow to mute.  Then I had some steel gray merino that matched the gray.

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Now, what to make?  After a lot of thought, I decided to make an Ipad cover.  I didn’t want to replicate the picture just use these colors to to give the impression of a sunset.

I made the resist using a 30% shrinkage rate, then covered the resist with hand dyed silk habatoi added a later of gold merino I had dyed a couple of weeks ago.  The next layer was white Corriedale.

2015-06-26 11.33.14 2015-06-26 11.55.20 The final layer was the design using the colors I had just dyed and carded.

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Front
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Back
Inside
Inside

The inside ruched nicely and even mirrored the design on the outside.

Then in went the Ipad.

2015-06-28 15.56.05It is slightly larger than the Ipad.  When I calculated the shrinkage, I based it on Merino shrinkage not Icelandic.  But its okay since I can put in a pen and stylus.

So, for the challenge you can pick a picture and decide which colors you’d like to use, then dye/and or blend roving to get your colors.  There is no set number. I just got carried away. Then use them in a project of your choice – wet felting, needle felting, spinning, etc. Whatever, you’re comfortable doing.

This was challenging for me, but I learned  about color mixing and blending and just what the eye sees.  Of course, the printed version and screen version may also be different.  Just have fun with it!

I look forward to seeing your challenge pieces on the forum.

 

Carding My Green Leftovers Together

Carding My Green Leftovers Together

When I have a lot of little bits I like to card them together. First I pull them all into small lengths. This pictures make the wool look very blue. I think maybe because the table is very yellow.

wool ready to card

I mixed up the colours in a big tub

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Next I feed it through the carder

first time trough the carder

This is what it looks like as it comes off onto the storage drum. This is what the batt looks like. It is about 7 feet long and 18 inches wide.

IMG_2409 web I want to blend it more so I peel of thin layers of the batt and feed it back through the carder.

IMG_2410 weband at the other end

second time through the carder You can see, at the top of the picture, how thin the web of wool is as comes off the carder to form the batt.

IMG_2424 web This is probably the closes to the real colour. It is more green but it is very blue green.

IMG_2420 webHere is a close up you can see some of the different colours. and how the wool is not as aligned as top but not as mixed as a bat made from wool that hasn’t been processed.

There is always some wool left on the drum take off drum and I let the carder run to clean out the last of the colour and get what looks like a rolag  as well. I ran it through the carder in a narrow stip.

IMG_2414 we IMG_2415 web

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I think I like the first time through the carder better than the second time through. I think it will make a nice hat. The small amount I will probably spin at a demo this summer.

A Day in the Life of a Fiber Mill

A Day in the Life of a Fiber Mill

Last Friday, Cathy (Luvswool) and I took a lovely drive out to Belvidere, Illinois to tour the Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill.

Nestled in the midst of farmland, we were surprised to turn into a  homestead driveway. I guess we were expecting a huge factory, but it was a quaint store and small facility crammed with custom made machinery.  The idea for the mill started when Jane Zeien’s family purchased two ewes  for a 4 H project.  The family enjoyed working with the sheep and began raising Cheviot, Hampshire, Shetland and Cotswold sheep. They decided to expand their services to help promote the industry.

The Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill can handle everything from washing fiber, blending, picking, carding, pin drafting, custom dyeing, preparing batts and spinning.  All types of natural fiber are welcome  unwashed or washed.  And no order is too small and each fleece is processed individually.

Jane greeted us and led us into her workspace and into wool heaven.

We were surrounded by fleece waiting to be processed in a variety of  breeds and blends and piles of roving in a potpourri of colors and blends.

The picker has a big enclosed space behind it where the fleece piles up ready for the next step.

PickerThe carder dominated the center of the room.

front of carder carder back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Batts can be made on the carder by changing out the parts on the back of this machine shown here making roving.

This is the pin drafting machine.

pin draftingDepending on the job finishing the wool can be done on the spinning machine, then the skeining machine.

Spinning Skeining machineWhen the tour was over we visited the shop where everything is related to sheep from skins to finished good by Pendleton and Woolrich along with handmade items, books, roving and yarn. If you want to learn more about the mill visit their website http://www.ilwoolfibermill.com/

Of course, we both bought some new wools to play with. One of my treasures was an English Merino wool batt.

Eng Merino batt

Here are Cathy’s new treasures —

Cathy treasures

 

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