Friday, January 22, 2010

Over-dyeing floss

Last night, I did something that I've wanted to do for the past year. I finally attempted over dyeing my own floss! I love the look of Weeks Dye Works and Valandi floss, but for as much punching that I do, I just can't afford it. I've experimented with combining threads when punching, and then aging. But it still doesn't quite give the look of a variegated over-dyed floss. So, I started with some skeins of DMC floss. Colors ranging from yellow, light blue, ecru, cranberry, tan, and black. I used Rit tan dye in a liquid. The ecru and light blue really dyed quickly. I couldn't tell what color they were, and thought that I had dyed them too much. But, when they dried and I started punching, I really like the effect. The tans dyed fairly well, too. It gives just a slight variation to the browns, and give the needle punch some depth. The tan dye doesn't work on black. I have an idea of a variegated black and dark brown floss for backgrounds. I will have to try starting with a dark brown floss, and using some black dye to achieve the look. The dye has to be darker than the floss.

Here's the light blue floss that's over-dyed. I tied each skein of floss into a loose knot, and once the knot is untied, and the skein dries, this is what it looks like. Some sections of blue, and some sections of tan. I already started punching with the background, and it's working up beautifully!
This is the punch piece that I'm experimenting with. I wanted to use a design that I've already used, and know color combinations that work. I'm hoping the green floss that I dyed will work for the grass area. I'm punching this using a #2 setting on my Cameo needle. I usually use a longer loop on a #3 setting, but am trying a shorter loop for something different. The tail will be a longer loop, and then cut to create a fuzzy cotton tail. I just need to decide if I use a plain ecru, or if I use an over-dyed ecru.

Tomorrow is the Cub Scout pinewood derby. James REALLY wants to win, so that he can advance to the regionals. His older brothers won when they were in Cub Scouts, and it really bugs James that he hasn't won. I'm hoping this will be his year!

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