Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Ripley, West Virginia - Southern McGown Teacher Training, Day 2.

Well today was the dye class. I have skirted around dying since I started hooking, about 25 years ago. We learned to dye a swatch in my beginner class with Dorothy Crump. I dyed a little with Pam and Heather but there was much laughing at our lack of mathematical ability - "is 1/8th two times 1/16 or 2 times 1/4, or neither", and then of course there was also wine which didn't always help the process. We had some fun times at Pats dying outside but then I was happy to just let Pat direct the process as she was confident and competent. But there was no more avoiding it today.
The class was taught by Connie Bradley and she was a bundle of energy and information. She had prepared an extensive package with notes on all the different dying techniques and information about the various kinds of dyes. She wanted it to be a "hands on" experience, so we all got going on different projects.
It didn't take us long to fill the 10 burner gas stove with pots of simmering wool,

and a big electric roaster,

and an electric burner.
 That was just the first round of projects. It was all a little chaotic at first with everyone starting on the techniques and Connie moving around to respond to questions. One of the other students told me I kept getting this "deer in the headlights" look whenever Connie started into another technique but that by the end of the day it was more of a "Dr Frankenstein, lets experiment" look.
Connie was so relaxed and passionate. In this pan she threw some old dye packets and steamed them with the wool, just to use the last few grains of dye.
By mid morning we were already pulling apart the marbelized wool to rinse and dry
and letting the swatch cool outside.
A frisbee golf target hung with the results of a dip dye, spot dye and marrying
The results of scrunching, drying on a bench
The lighter ones were the result of the empty dye packet dying and the dark strips a variety of pieces, over dyed.
Ecru, Old Ivory and Champagne, spot dyed over natural wool.
During the course of the day we rarely sat down, we soaked wool, mixed dyes, put them on the wool and cooked them in various ways, rinsed them and hung them to dry. We had some wonderful results, though my camera (or computer?) has registered everything with more of a bluish tone than they have in reality.
Painting wool, maybe for birch trees.

At the end of the day we got to choose what wool we wanted to buy.
We learned how to dye a swatch, dip dye, casserole dye, marbalize, spot dye, transition dye, scrunching, rocker dye, paint , marry, over dye and abrash. (I think that was it, but it is a bit of a blur)
I lost my fear of dyeing!
I will end with some wool abstract art:

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