July 18, 2010

The charm of HDT

One of the wonderful and addictive qualities of HDT (hand dyed thread), is the unique and sometimes unpredictable results. The waiting is the worst part- you mix and wind and sort and soak and paint and wrap..... and don't forget the cleanup......and then you relegate yourself to 24 hours of curing time before you can start to see the results! And THEN you have to wait for it to dry! You'd think the nice summery weather would help that, but I usually dye at night before bed, which means I rinse (and that's a painstaking process too!) at night, so the thread hangs overnight in the cooler temps and sometimes is not dry the next morning. So it's really a two day process. And I spend the whole time fighting the urge to peek and mess with it or rinse it early. Painful I tell you.
But, the results are worth it. Sometimes they are heartbreaking, like the recent rounds of Oops threads, but sometimes the results are better than you'd hope. I've come to accept that there will be a small failure rate, inevitably there will probably be one skein of thread where there is a white spot left, but after much practice there are fewer and fewer.
My favorite results are the intermediate tones of color that happen in the overlap of different dye colors.... they mix in the threads in the most interesting ways. In this last batch of Vineyard at Dusk for instance, i used this color of dye that I got on clearance. It is called "gunmetal" and I tell ya, no matter how long or hard you mix it, it separates a little and does different things. It's unpredictable, a little like me :-) And in this batch, somehow a bit of dusky sky blue snuck in there, and I absolutely love it. (you can see it in the top right corner of the above picture. Inconsistincies are what make Hand dyed thread unique and desireable in my opinion, and I now consider them a welcome part of the process. and commercially available varigated and multicolor threads lack that sort of organic and alive quality. I have balls of lizbeth that I'll probably never use now that I am dyeing, and I still regularly purchase from other dyers. You can see personalities in our color combinations and I prize the threads that others have done.
So, here I am, thread and color and dye addicted. Dr. Vonthreadmore is pleased with my HDT propensities of course, and she thanks you all kindly for your encouragement and praise. She has become more humble as of late, and nothing pleases her more to see her work used and appreciated. We would both love to see the results of your use of our threads!


yarnplayer said...

I totally agree with your statement about HDT having that organic and alive quality. You've done a great job of describing the amount of work and care involved in hand dyeing.

It's curious how that blue got in there, if you were working with neutrals. My guess is that the dye itself consisted of primaries mixed together to create the brown shade, and the blue somehow separated itself out. I've noticed blue specks in my Antique Gold when I've been stirring, but it never appeared on the finished thread. The thing is, you like the effect, so I hope it will do it for you again next time :-)
Sometimes these dyes seem to have a "mind of their own", LOL.

Elizabeth said...

I love this "Vineyard at Dusk" colorway (love the name too!) and can't wait to try it. I'm searching right now for the perfect pattern. I'll try to blog about it when it's complete :-)