April 2015 Meeting–Serendipity Dyeing

One of Mary Stichter’s favorite things about dyeing is serendipity, the occurence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Even though the result of Mary’s dyeing is sometimes a happy surprise, she begins each project with a plan based on solid color theory.

Mary suggests Gail Callahan’s book, Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece, as a great resource for your adventures in dyeing. The book includes a color grid tool to guide color choices and add a pop of zing.

How does one approach a new dyeing project? Mary suggests starting with a picture whose colors speak to you. Pick the main colors that complement each other, and then find the color which gives the picture its spark. Use those colors in your dyeing.

Mary makes dyeing accessible to all by using common kitchen items such as roaster pans, basters, and sponges, with amazing results. (Items used for dyeing should not be used later in food preparation.)

Serendipity may occur when combining two fibers which take the dye differently, such as wool and silk, or combining organic and man-made fibers like wool and tencil. Dyed fibers may also be combined using a drum carder or combs for spectacular results.

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When spinning your dyed fiber or knitting, crocheting, or weaving your yarn, be prepared for serendipitious results. Mary helped us understand something very important. Although our projects may not turn out the way we had envisioned, if we take another look, they just may be even better!


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