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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: and

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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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.


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