Jul 16, 2014

How to ruin a yard of linen

Good day folks.  Today we are going to learn how to ruin linen with dyeing.  We first start off with a yard of beautiful soft yellow called Golden Steak.  If you are a dull stitcher that likes the unbleached monotony, or muted dirty colors, you may not be happy with this.  Sitting in a drawer for years, it is time for action. 
Sally Fiske is a big girl and after counting the graph many times, I came up 340 x 317 approximate.  On 30 count, 21 x 23 stitched.  I have an unhealthy fear of cutting into a yard of linen, but this color didn't bother me as much.  So I did.  My unbleached rolls are saved from slashing once again. 
I cut a small piece off the yard for a Santa and tested it in a purplish bath.  Violet removes yellow but it's tricky.  It was good.  So I cut the 28 x 26 piece and dunked it.  This is how the linen mottled from dyeing, which has happened before, depending on the color and company.  I never figured out why, but think I have an answer now. 
This yard was pressed and without creases, yet the original fold lines dyed darker, even though they were not visible before dyeing.  I'm assuming that any prior crumpling may somehow break the fibers of the stiffer linens and they grab more dye.  Sound reasonable?  This dye bath was very concentrated and I think this definitely contributes.  A soak in less color may yield a better result than someone (who me?) who is always in a rush and wants a 1 second dip. 
 Regardless, the color is good, no longer yellow, and the mottling is barely noticeable when dried.  It will not be an issue because this design has little background showing, most is filled with letters.  Would it really matter if it showed?  Some linens are purposely mottled and irregular and this very slight pattern is insignificant in comparison.  It kind of looks like my legs.  You know, veins?  The more I peer above the laptop screen, I like it.  And every time I pass for another slice of salami wrapped in provolone, it's appealing.  So I have my fabric for Sally and I'm hesitating the start because of her size.  I plan on working up a simple small heart design to work on in an effort to stall Sally even longer. If it looks good, I will share it with you. 
I also need to ask you about selvage edges and which way is up, down, sideways, correct, and how to tell.  Next time. 
  I need to get back to the cupboards now.
Until then, Bud and I have a question.

Thanks for visiting!!


diamondc said...

Well Bud: I have the same question, only it is in the form of will it ever be summer, like warmer weather, nights are in the middle 50s brrrr.
Tell mom I love the dye job, she did a splendid job.
She has encouraged me to try dying some fabric sometime.

Blondie the Cat says hello Bud.



Rugs and Pugs said...

The linen looks great!
Oh, I wish you'd send some of that rain to northern Ohio. We desperately need it. Every storm dissipates or heads over Lake Erie before giving us any precip.
Hugs :)

Barb said...

Your fabric looks great! That's a really big sampler, I bet it will be very pretty!

Penny said...

Sally Fiske is a lovely sampler. And the fabric looks like a good match for it. I'm interested in seeing the answers about the selvage edges. It's good to see Bud ~ hope it dries out for him. :)

Sandra said...

I'm never sure about which is the right side of linen, I just use the size I think looks the smoothest. As for selvedges, I think you should have those to the side, rather then top or bottom - if that was your query?

gracie said...

Love the fabric.....waiting for the salvage edge answer too...

cucki said...

Your fabric is looking so lovely :)
Enjoy my dear..sending you African sunshine xx

C. M. Designs said...

The rain has stopped here in Virginia and we're going to have temps in the low 60s for a few days..
The "Budman" looks like he's feeling good.. I hope Squeak is too.
Being a novice at cross stitch, I would never attempt to do what you do with the linen or colors.. I enjoy reading about your adventures though.
I hope the sun will shine for you today.

Margaret said...

Came out nice! But so weird that the crease lines came out despite being ironed out. Very interesting. I'm never sure about the whole which side is the right side thing. Don't think it really matters. I tend to put my selvage on the side, but I also put it up top sometimes. :D Thank goodness it's a nice day today! Supposed to last for a couple days too!

Vickie said...

HA! I have the same question as Catherine. Will it EVER become summer here?!

annieL said...

I like what you did to that fabric. I didn't know violet would dull the yellow. Good to know. I just looked at the Scarlet Letter site and read about Sally Fiske. I love Sturbridge Village. I should work that sampler but it looks like a lot of over one thread stitches- maybe if the sampler came with new eyes? And in answer to Bud-no rain today in MA. Annie

Maggee said...

More Adventures in Dyeing, eh? As long as YOU like it, that is all that matters. Here in Tidewater Virginia area have temps in the mid 80's for a few days... nice! But we had a few pretty intense rainy days!!

Rita said...

Interesting about the warp/weft. I was aware that one should stitch with the selvages on the sides but, like you, I don't really care especially on small projects.

I think your dyed linen looks great. Think of those lines as character lines or some such. ;-)

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

I think your dye job is much much better! And Bud...he has the same dry as dust look on his puss that my kitties have on their's most of the day ;) Makes me laugh!!

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