Saturday, June 09, 2007

What's a Henway?**

I'm quite excited-- my new dye scale arrived today! No, this isn't it...but I haven't had the opportunity to take it out and photograph it with dye in place.

Why would I even want a scale, you ask? Well, in last week's workshop with Carol Soderlund I learned why dyeing with dye measured out by teaspoons and tablespoons yields such wildly unpredictable results (and usually paler than I wanted). It's not, as I had thought, that the measuring is so imprecise (which of course it can be). Instead (or maybe besides) it's the fact that dye manufacturers add diluents to the powdered pigment, and depending on what batch you have and which diluent substances were cheapest at that moment, dye mixed with different diluents has different volume. So, one cannister of dye powder can yield one particular depth of shade when measured by teaspoon, while another cannister of the very same company's dye powder in the very same color can contain a different amount of pigment in the very same teaspoon.

And since the dye manufacturers carefully adjust the dye pigment so the weight is consistent for the amount of pigment, weighing the dye will get you relatively consistent results. Measuring by volume will not.

Hearing this explanation caused a big lightbulb to go on for me. I ventured over to and ordered my scale, and I'm getting ready for a dyeing session this week.

Now that I've had lots and lots of sleep (thank you, Dr. Tooth Extractor, for the great sedation) I'm feeling more energetic than I've felt in weeks. I'm putting binding on a quilt today, doing laundry, and finishing making the leaders so I can get my Juki on the new quilting frame and try it all out!

** Ah, c'mon, you know that old joke... "About 5 pounds."


  1. I will be ever so thrilled when she publishes a book on dyeing!!!

  2. Nup. 'Fraid I don't know that joke!

    But I do know that you're dying to do some dyeing!

    Well done on your lightbulb moment. Sounds like a whole lotta fun Diane :)