One of the great things I have learned from living with an artist hubby and working with professional artists is that they are constantly learning: attending workshops & courses and gathering reference materials to expand their skillset.
So, when an opportunity for me to expand my skills as an indie dyer, I decided to take it! This fall I enrolled in the “Dimensional Dyeing” online course with Brenda Lavell of Phydeaux Designs. Brenda’s dye style is ‘immersion dyeing’ which is a different from mine, so what a great way to expand my dyeing knowledge. I have always wanted to try immersion dyeing and now can add that to my wheelhouse.
I have to admit, I was a bit timid and anxious at first since I’ve been so comfortable with my own style. But Brenda was very supportive with all of us and it was wonderful to watch everyone’s creations come to life. We all shared our works-in-progress as well as our final yarn for each session.
Here are my final pieces from the class. Some of these will be available in January 2017 on www.AlohaBlu.com.
The 3 on the left use Brenda’s formulas, the far right green is my own.
I wanted to dye up a military fatigue green and was quite pleased with the outcome. I love how it actually pairs well with the skein next to it.
For the second dye, I used Brenda’s formulas to create these. Love how they pair so well with each other. The blue tonal was recently used for a woven scarf for a Christmas gift.
For the third dye, I tried my hand at speckled yarn as well. Speckling is quite challenging but I had an epiphany one day and ended up using a simple tool that really helped to get the speckling more controllable (at least to my liking). The gray tonal on the left was used for my hubby’s woven scarf which turned out lovely and he really liked it!
Our fourth dye was quite fun. The far right skein is a rainbow colorway using Brenda’s formula. For this session, I had my own colorways in mind that I wanted to try out and was so excited to see how it would look using the immersion dye method. I’ll go into more detail in the following photos.
The far left skein is my STUDIO CITY SUNSET AT VENTURA BLVD colorway. I took this photo in my hometown during the summer and had it earmarked for use as a colorway. I loved the outcome and have since re-created it using the same method. This might also be the longest colorway name I’ve come up with thus far – LOL!
The second and third skeins of the five pictured were inspired by a photo I took while on Maui back in November 2016. Hubby and I were at a gourmet grocery store with a collection of pastries and pies in a display case and I was immediately drawn to these colors! This colorway is HAWAIIAN MACARONS and the flavors listed on the display were Cookies & Creme, Guava, Melona, Mango, Toasted Coconut & Lilikoi (gasp!).
The big skein is a sparkle lace weight and I decided not to use black dye in this one. For the smaller skein, I tried the speckle technique using the same colors but adding some black speckles this time.
The next skein I dyed up was super fun and a bit challenging. Brenda asked us to go “Mad Scientist” (meaning, go experiment!) with this session so I did! I took the undyed DK weight yarn and separated it into a self-striping skein on my warping board. I dyed 1/2 using Brenda’s formula as a tonal dye, and the other 1/2 as a speckled dye. These are two very different techniques so it was a bit more time consuming. The tonal dye originally came out too red for my taste, so I tweaked it a bit and it came out a dark gingerbread color! Once I put the skein back together, it looked like a GINGERBREAD HOUSE colorway, and so it was named.
The students in the class are wonderfully talented and it’s been great interacting with them. Please visit their shops and check out their amazing creations:
Happy Holidays to all! See you in 2017!