How Do You Pronounce “Turquoise”?

Da Blues
Da Blues

I have been at it again and for some reason turquoise was the dominant color.  I have great intentions of adjusting my palette, but it did not happen this go ’round.    I love multicolored spirals, but even then that blue color dominated the scene.

rainbow spirals
Corporate colors
Corporate colors

I did get away from the blue to try out some corporate colors for a local business.


Flower fold
Origami with cotton

And then there was practicing origami folds.

Black ice
Trying out a new black dye with ice.

A new black dye.  I like this one a lot.  The black is deeper and richer.  It still breaks at the edges into gray and purple but when I am not deliberately causing it to break, it looks like it will be a true, deep black.


Experimenting again

And the final set of experiments.  Another origami like fold, although I refuse to make cute little animals out of t-shirts, but I like the black.  I was trying for a Barney purple and got pokeberry instead.

Dying When in a “Mood”

blue experimentpurple experimentpink experiment

These are the result of dying when one is in what is euphemistically called “a mood” here in the small town South.  I went into the garage, starting yanking shirts off the rack, and splattering dye around,  I was mostly using the drip and squeeze method of dying for this go ’round.  I think because there were a few necks I wanted to put my hands around and squeeze.  Looking back on it now, it all seems silly.  But I do remember steam coming out of my ears at the time.

In spite of my “mood” there was a little bit of method to this madness.  I am thinking of toning down the palette and wanted to see what the colors looked like and how they acted on the fabric, so their was more dilution, more single or two color dying, and less time wasted on folding and tying.  I spent more time fiddling with dye concentrations and color mixing.  The leftmost shirt in the middle row is done with black dye which bleeds into blues and purples and washes out as grey unless it is very, very concentrated.  The same dye was used on the left shirt on the bottom row.  The pink shirt with the bull’s eye on the bottom row is the same red dye used on the shirt next to it but diluted.  The purple and green shirt is custom mixed colors done from basic primary pigments.

The bull’s eye pattern, by the way, is my first attempt at tying a mandala and I think it would be cute on a pregnant woman.

Dye fascinates me in that it acts much like watercolors do when painting.  No matter how much I try to control it, it does it’s own thing and always surprises me.  When I get my colors figured out I will spend more time on the very tedious and fussy process of folding and tying, which I will have to figure out as I go along because so far following instructions from books and videos has not worked well for me.  I have had some interesting adventures with dental floss, fake sinew, and rubber bands.

Figuring out equipment is another adventure.  Books and videos don’t work with my  idiosyncrisities, which is sort of the story of my life.   For one thing, I absolutely hate and despise my washing machine.  It is too idiot-proof (my big complaint about a lot of electronics and software) and not flexible enough for me to fill first, add detergent, and then toss in the shirts while it agitates. (Believe me, it matters. The yellow spots on the top left shirt were not supposed to be there.)  So when my sugar daddy comes along the first thing I am going to do is replace the washer for one that does what I want it to do.  I don’t care if I end up with a 1968 Kenmore as long as it is can do what I need it to do. (Like agitate with the lid open, anyone?)

I have put out a call to all my friends to save me their empty dishwashing liquid bottles.  It turns out that I have better control with those than I do with the fancy lab wash bottles one video suggests I use or the pointy topped condiment dispensers I have been using.

Don’t get me started on the instruction to use kelp to thicken the dye, either.  That was a major mess.

At least I am using gloves now.  The days of zombie hands are (mostly) over.

If anyone is interested in any of these shirts, get in touch.  I will make you a good deal.  I would (and do) wear these kind of experiments for grubbing in the garden or painting, etc. They are mostly women’s JMS 5x with a few other odd’s and end’s tossed in there.