04 September, 2022

The First Three

This summer I took a much needed break from drafting fiction, and in between copyedits on Windscar and writing a textbook chapter, and getting on a plane and visiting my parents, I mostly painted the collection of D&D minis I'd accrued in the last year. (As I type this, I realize I should be posting them, but I'm not, so...later? I will post them.) 

I also acquired some acid dyes. I have a box of undyed handspun hanks in various types of wool (and maybe silk?--the fiber was a gift, and I just spun it.) I don't have a dedicated sink or studio, but I had always planned on using an old slow cooker to dye, rather than a burner, because I just don't have that much fiber and the slow cooker seemed neater and maybe a little easier. 

Then I started painting, and promised myself no dyeing until the painting is done, because I suspected it was going to be A Thing and I was almost a little sorry I'd bought the dyes at all, because acid dyes are toxic and fraught and why hadn't I just done Kool-aid dyes and woe, wah, at least there's a dragon and a beholder left to paint and I can put off the new hard thing.

And then the dragon and the beholder were finished. 

three hanks of homespun, hand-dyed yarn: one a deep, vibrant blue-purple, one a medium purple with tonal variations, and one a darker purple tonal variations leaking into the blue range.
Honestly the hardest part was prepping the first hank, because I managed to give it a 3-hour tangle. Making the dye stock was a little dangerous--it had to happen outside, and very carefully so that the very toxic powder did not get off the plastic-and-damp-paper-towel-covered work surface--but not actually difficult

My first attempt was mostly blue, with a shot of purple thrown in for depth. I was trying for the kettle-dyed tonal look, so I immersed, but did not stir at all. My second batch was two hanks at once, in purple, but one of the hanks was an overdye of a bright turquoise blue/white yarn. I was expecting a less saturated color because the dye stock was less concentrated, and indeed, that is what happened. The overdye hank was more saturated on the whole, but also has bleed-through of the base color (an effect I like). Nous wants the lighter purple for a cephalopod dice bag I have promised him. 

Next up: a less saturated green, if I can manage it.

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