Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monet's Greens

This past couple of weeks I have been spending a lot of time holding my newborn grandson while his mother shops, sleeps, eats, or just gets dressed.  Some days, all I could do to comfort him was to sit outside in the garden swing and talk to him.  My son is away in military training for awhile so his wife and baby are staying with us and her family while he is away.

Simon Josiah Hall
Simon Josiah Hall

I have not been able to do much color theory but the following is what I did get done this past week.

 One of my favourite colors is green.  I have more green fabric in my stash than any other color and the largest Walmart plastic bin full of green wool that I have collected or dyed.  Believe it or not, sometimes I don't have the greens I need when I'm working on a painting.  The merino and other smooth wools are not the best choice for creating textured foliage and shrubbery in a landscape.  Below are pictures of the foliage made from the type of wool that is best for foliage.  I get it from Peace Fleece in lovely blended colors but I have seen it elsewhere called just plain "fleece."  I have a lot of it in different colors but, again, I seem to be short on greens.  So I decided to dye some from a bag of white fleece I got from a woolen store going out of business a few years ago.

Autumn Tree

Morning Mist

I have been looking for more of it to purchase for dyeing and I wonder if any of you can help me find it?  Below is a picture of it.  It is very rare, I think because it looks like a by-product of the wool industry and is considered poor qualtiy for spinning or knitting.  It looks like a mixture of short wools with chunky nepps and fluffyness that would not stay together for spinning.  It is probably discarded.  I would like to find some in bulk to purchase at a reasonable price.  Here is a picture of what it looks like before it is dyed.

Chunky Short-Fiber Fleece

Close-up of Chunky Fleece
If anyone knows what this is and where to get it, I would greatly appreciate it.  I am running low and want to dye some more soon.

I did some research on Monet paintings and what kind of greens he used for his lovely landscapes. 

These are just two of many paintings I studied but I assembled some fabric swatches of the green colors I was seeing in his paintings, as best as I could make out on my computer screen.  I have a collection of  6 inch swatches I have taken from my fabric stash that I use to color-match when I am dyeing wool in the basement. 

Swatch Color Collection
I pulled out all the greens I thought were in the paintings and created a color spread to reproduce using the chunky white wool to dye with acid dyes.

Monet's Greens2

Monet's Greens1

Monet's Greens3
Monet's Greens4
Here is a photo of some of  the finished greens dyed the colors of the fabric swatches tucked inside them. 

Dyed Fleece in Monet Colors
To see more of my wool dyeing process, visit my earlier blog from May 21, 2011 entitled,"Dyeing Roving for Felting." 

I also was able to dye more alpaca fibers from my neighbor in cloud colors both muddy and bright.

Alpaca Clouds
I will be dyeing yarn for hand sewing grasses and stalks as well as nepps for foliage in the near future.  Tomorrow, I will by dyeing more chunky fleece in the spring flowering tree colors I am seeing all over my neighborhood.
Flowering Tree

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