Last weekend, I was having a hard time getting back into the swing of dyeing after the holidays. I have a bunch of ideas simmering on the back burner, but none of them was quite ready to go. And then, Linda asked if I ever dyed semisolids to coordinate with my more variegated colors.

That seemed like a manageable goal for the first dyeing session of 2012, so I set to work mixing up multiple dilutions of single colors, and then began painting them onto the fiber in layers, mixing and blending as I went. Most of my semisolids have just one main color, with occasional highlights here and there.

Using the base dyes that make up a majority of my color mixes, I have a rainbow of semisolids that will pair well with a lot of the fibers that I dye. In order, that’s Semisolid Red, Orange, Jade, Teal, Spruce, Sapphire, Navy, Berry, and Brown. These colors are deeply saturated, and often mixed with a touch of black to deepen the shadows even further.

(They are also nearly impossible to photograph, because they are so saturated and have a similar set of hues, so there’s nothing for the camera to use to color balance them. If I dye many more of these, I  might have to start worrying that Branden will quit as my photographer. This really is too bad, because I really like them.)

I also dyed a few tinted grays:

That’s Blue silver, Storm Gray (more of a gunmetal than a silver color), and Silver Rose. All made using a couple of low-saturation grays, with tiny bits of color added here and there as highlights.

And now, for the fun part:

1) Semisolid brown and Fallow Fields

2) Semisolid brown, Fallow Fields, and Alaska Mountain

3) Semisolid brown, Fallow Fields, and Cocoa Berry

4) Semisolid brown, Fallow Fields, and Semisolid Jade (I like the Brown and Fallow Fields together, can you tell?)

5) Semisolid Jade and Cocoa Berry

6) Semisolid Jade and Storm Green

7) Fall Reflections and Semisolid Sapphire

8 ) Fair Winds Peacock and Semisolid Spruce

9) Fair Winds Peacock and Semisolid Sapphire

Both Sapphire and Spruce are used in the Peacock colorway, and it’s interesting to see how mixing with the semisolid brings out those different aspects of the color.

10) Fall Reflections, Semisolid Orange, and Navy

11) Semisolid Spruce and Sapphire

12) Semisolid Sapphire, Sea and Sky, and Whitecaps

13) Semisolid Sapphire and Blue Silver

14) Silver Rose and Semisolid Berry

15) Semisolid Berry and Alaska mountain

That last one wins hands down as my favorite of this group, with the Jade and Storm Green following close behind. Despite strong temptation to keep a few aside, they are all available on Etsy.

And, just like that, I’m back in the swing of things. I don’t know if I’ll get to dye this weekend, but I have at least one and probably two sessions plotted out. I’ve been collecting photos on Pinterest like crazy, and I’m sure there will be lots more colors coming soon. Sometimes all it takes is returning to basics to get that jump start.