While surfing the net for more informaion on gradient dyeing, I stumbled across the following that I am gonna try with purple, blue, and red.
For those of you who are interested, here are the instructions for the rainbow dyeing and casserole dyeing I talked about yesterday. They are basically the same thing: just different ways of "cooking" it.
1/2 cup vinegar
1 lb fleece
enough water to just cover the fleece
2 squirts of dish detergent (Ivory suggested)
(if you are doing one colour only, add 1 tbsp Glauber's salt)
Put this all in a roasting pan, and look at the fleece in the pot as a circle divided into three "pie-shaped" thirds. Sprinkle CIBA dyes over the fleece: 1 colour in one-third, 2nd colour in 2nd third, 3rd colour in last third. Make sure the colours mix with each other at their dividing lines. Of each colour, sprinkle enough dye to lightly cover that particular third.
Poke down gently with a wooden spoon, so that the dye powders get diluted by the water. Let simmer for 1/2 hour at medium heat (you don't want it to boil.) Rinse 'til clear with lukewarm water, put in your washing machine on the spin cycle (I use a salad spinner!) to spin most of the moisture out of it, and allow to air dry.
Then you can card the fleece together, to get a heathered type colouring, or separate the colours to get a variety of different colour fleece.
Casserole method (the precise instructions, which I usually modify...):
Put water in a roasting pan to 1 inch depth. Add 2 tbsp white vinegar. Add skeined yarn or fleece. Let sit 5 minutes in the water, to absorb it. Squeeze out the excess water and drain the remaining water. Put the wool back in the pot, and drizzle CIBA dyes dissolved in water over the wool, as above. Squeeze the yarn to distribute the dye. Add water at the sides of the pan, to 2 inches depth. Seal with foil, and bake for 350 degrees for 1 hour. Drain, soak in warm, soapy water, and then rinse til clear. Let the wool sit in the rinse for 1/2 hour, then spin it to get the excess water out, and hang to dry.
This isn't rocket science. Trial and error is best. Just make sure you're in a well-ventilated place, and don't use the roasting pan for anything except dyeing.
I found some interesting colour combinations:
blue - red - yellow
teal - blue - purple
green - blue - fuschia
Just avoid mixing too many colours, because it will get muddy-looking, and try to use colours that are more than just a few shades from each other.
Some color combinations I enjoy are
Blue-Purple-Red to produce a harvest berry look
Red-Yellow-Blue to produce a firey harvest look
Until next time...