Snow Dyeing Tutorial and Grannyland…

Well I haven’t posted much over the last week or so as I’ve been off in grannyland. After organizing the closet and seeing all of the leftover bits of yarn I decided that I’d whip up a couple of granny square afghans. Did I say whip up? Make that a slow and steady slog and maybe it’ll only be one afghan at present. I must admit though I have finished off several of the left-over balls of yarn.

A work in progress, 127 squares shown finished and in the process of being finished. Not sure how many more I’ll need, I’ll have to lay them out on the bed.

I went to see AC/DC in November at the Rogers Centre. I ‘d only gotten one ticket for that show but they put on another show January 9th and I managed to get six tickets for that one – two single floor seats and four together up in the 500 nosebleed level. I won’t go into describing this show as it was the same as I the one I blogged last time except to say there was a comment left in my blog about the cartoon at the opening of the act being a bit racy. I hadn’t noticed because I was too busy trying to operate my cell phone. LOL, whatcha talking about? Yes to whomever blogged, you’re right it was a bit cheeky. Fantastic show made only better by the fact that I was eleven rows back dead centre this time. Hey I could actually see the expressions on the band’s faces this time around.

Anyhow I did sneak in my camera – said camera not being as good as some of the new iphones but I did catch two (yes count two) pictures that weren’t a disaster and some fairly good movie clips which I won’t show as I’m too chicken to risk copyright infringement but I will show you this picture

Rosie! If you’re a fan you’ll know who she is, enough said.

Well I got a little stir crazy from sitting around crocheting all the granny squares so I took a break and decided to do some snow-dyeing for an upcoming swap I’m hosting for my fabric dyeing forum. I’ve done a series of photos like a tutorial which I’ll post below.

Snow and dye ready to go.

Arranging soda-soaked material onto a rack in laundry tub.

Layering snow on top of material.

Adding the first dye – Boysenberry from ProChem.

Adding the second dye – Golden Yellow from ProChem.

Adding the third dye – Cerulean Blue from Dharma.

Dye starting to melt.

And melting…

And melted.

Washed and ironed piece of fabric. This was a left-over piece of fabric that I had sitting around. I can’t remember but it’s either P&B’s 108″ dyer’s cloth or it’s the PFD 108″ from Marshall. Nothing wrong with the fabric but the extra-wides don’t produce quite the same sharpness as the 45″ material.

This picture shows a corner of the fabric where the material was more exposed and had less snow on it so less blending of colours.

This is the second piece of fabric that I did for the swap using the standard 45″ wide P&B. I used more dye on this especially the Boysenberry and it’s reflected by having a more purple-red cast to it. This was done the next day and we’d had warmer tempratures and the snow was starting to melt and compact. It was very hard to work with the snow (fluffy is easiest) so what I did was to take a plastic lid and press the snow into the lid and then flip it over on top of the material. I didn’t layer as much snow because I was trying to get a more intense colour. I think that is the reason I had globs of colour throughout the piece. I’m thinking the dye broke through the thinner areas of snow. All in all I actually like the colours on the first piece of material better.

I also did an experiment with a jar and smaller pieces of fabric I had. I took the snow and fabric and layered them in the jar but I’ll post that another day as the pieces really weren’t that big and the whole thing didn’t work out as well but I feel it’s worth showing if only to show what you get from a failed experiment.


17 responses to “Snow Dyeing Tutorial and Grannyland…

  1. Lovely fabric Karen!

  2. Very lovely fabric Karen!!

  3. Great fabric!!!

  4. I love the results you got and thanks so so much for posting this to your blog. It really gave me a terrific fisual for how you do the snow dye process.

  5. Ohhhhhhhh that is stunning fabric and I really like the very blended colours even better than the bits that aren’t as blended. Does that make me weird I wonder….dont’ answer that……lol. Darn I wish it snowed here….sigh. Love the granny squares. My grandmother used to make heaps of them too – as you say they are a great way of using up scraps.

  6. I’ve never heard of snow dyeing – how did you ever think of this? It almost – ALMOST, but not quite – makes me think happy thoughts about all our (&(*%$ snow!!

    Love the results!

  7. Love the results and I am amased about this technique. Pitty that the snow here just started to melt off.

  8. Gorgeous! The whole process just amazes me.

  9. Beautiful pieces Karen
    Just wondering which part Ill get in the swap!!!!!!!!

  10. What great looking fabrics!

  11. Thanks for the tutorial! Wish I’d seen it last week, when there was enough snow here in the UK to give it a go!

  12. Pingback: Dyeing for Snow | DreamWeaver’s Quilts Quilt Epiphany Blog

  13. Karen, Your fabric is just beautiful!! Do you do anything to prepare your fabric, such as soaking it in soda ash? I would really like to try this. Can you use any kind of dye (or paint)? Do you think some left over air brush paint would work as long as it is water soluble?

    • Thank you. Yes I pre-soak the fabric in soda ash solution. The dye I use is procion MX (coldwater dyes). I think dyes that need heat to set wouldn’t work as well. I know you can use acid dyes with soda ash but I’m not sure how vivid the results would be. Would you be able to apply heat after the snow has melted and set the dye? Most of the soda ash will probably have washed out at that point (snow melting and carrying it away) so I’m not sure applying heat will bond the leftover dye with the fabric – maybe. My experience with the MX dye has been once the snow has melt the dye has bonded.

      It’s a good question about the dyes because I never thought the MX dye would give as good results as it does at freezing temperatures. If I were going to write a book I’d probably experiment with the different dyes/paints/tempratures/types of snow but I’m too lazy (sad but true) so I haven’t tried different media as it cost money to experiment and I only use this fabric for personal use.

      I’m not familiar with air brush paint so I don’t know, you’d have to give it a try. You have to keep in mind that the snow melts so would air brush paint cling to the fabric as well after coming in contact with that much water? It might work, might not, give it a try on a small piece of fabric that way you won’t have invested that much in materials if it goes wrong. I think it would work to some extent at least you wouldn’t have to pre-soak the fabric in the soda ash.

  14. I would love to try this before all of our snow melts I have every thing needed but I have a question

    my dyes are all powdered. do i need to make them liquid or just sprinkle the dry dye over the top of the snow?
    thank you in advance

    • Hi Gloria,

      I make my dyes up liquid before I use them. I have hear of others using powdered but I don’t know how that method will turn out. Also think about the health risk of sprinkling dye powder and what it might do if you inhale it if you’re not using a mask. Also I’m thinking that you’d use more dye powder sprinkling than you would if you used it in solution (expensive).

      It could be using powdered dye gives a neat effect but I haven’t seen it so can’t tell you sorry.

  15. Pingback: Snow Dyeing! | DippyDyes Blog

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