Right or Left, Which Is It?

I did a little quiz on Facebook about being right brain dominant, (the creative side) or left brain dominant, (logical thinking) and I wasn't surprised that I came out at 50/50 with equal parts of each. I see that every day in the things I do. I sometimes have to fight the urge to control the outcome of my creative projects.

Well I found the perfect thing for that this winter, snow dyeing. You see what you do is put the material you want to dye, cloth, yarn, or even a t-shirt in a tub, pile on 4" of snow, and drizzle on the dye. Then you let the whole thing sit for 24 hours before you find out what it looks like. This is similar to tie dyeing in that you don't know the outcome until you undo the rubber bands, or in this case until the snow melts.  Perfect because there is really not a whole lot I can even try and control with this project.

Fresh Utah powder!

With this process you can only control a few things, the way the fabric is placed in the tub, pleated or scrunched. The only other control you have is the color of the dye you drizzle on your snow covered fabric. The dyes sometimes mix together and creates a totally new color. Occasionally the dyes crack, that is where the colors used in making up the color break out or separate such as teal making a blue spot and a green spot or even a little yellow coming out of that. This is what I find so fascinating about doing this type of dyeing and really dyeing fiber in general. I'm not really in control if I don't want to be. I just let the colors happen.

Dye covered snow, looks like a snow cone but not good to eat. 

In these tubs I decided to just try a few different color combinations and a few different pleating/ scrunching techniques. At this point the whole process was new and I really didn't know what things I would like and how the fabric would take the dye. I had to wait 24 hours to find out.

Covered for the night, now we wait 24 hours. 

Covered up tightly so they stay warm and the snow melts away to let the "magic" happen. Now to be patient and wait 24 hours and not peek. Ok I did look before I went to bed. The snow what still melting and the colors very really vibrant. Oh now I was really excited.

One of the finished pieces after it was rinsed out.
This is from the last tub with the blue, green and red dye.

This was a piece of 100% linen I put in the just to see how this worked on other fibers besides cotton. I loved the fabric and the way it dyed I went back to the store and bought the last 2 yards on the bolt.
Here is a close up of section of the linen. I love how the red and blue stayed bright, but created the dark areas where the colors overlapped. I see a table runner in it's future.

A close up of the patterning that took place with the colors overlapping to make new ones. 

To show how different things work out, this next piece is 100% cotton and this is the same red but brown was the only other color added. The brown must have broke and with the red created this more coral and lavender colored fabric. I plan to keep trying new things and dyeing more linen and cotton. As long as the Utah snow holds out. By the looks of our front yard I have a least another couple of weeks. 

This is from the first tub. Brown and red dye was applied to this piece.

This has been a good right brain activity for me and I have enjoyed the trial and error process of it. I would say I had a lot more successes the failures and even those can be over dyed to create something new. Off to bury more fabric in snow.


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