This week I have been in the dye pot. First I dyed the rest of the wool that I need to finish Transfiguration. I still had trouble with getting just the right shade of gray-blue to begin the top of the mountain. The batch I crock-potted on Monday was too white and bright when I hooked it in. So I added another 1/4 teaspoon of my liquid formula and I came out with the perfect color. I worked on rehooking the area last night (for the fifth and final time).
The rest of the week I worked on developing a series of new formulas. Here is a stack of my results. When I create a new dye, I dye a full 8-graduated swatch so that I know exactly how much dye per 6" by 16" piece of white wool will produce the color and value I want. Lesser amounts of the same dye will produce very different color value effects than greater amounts of the dye. I work in quart jars, stewing in the oven where I don't stir very often (if I want a more mottled look) or on the stove top where I stir constantly (if I need a smooth look). I track everything I do in a formula book, in snippets I attach to my recipes, and in one-inch swatches I keep on a ring.
This last year when creating my dyes for Transfiguration, I developed by accident a base formula that, when other colors are added to it, produce glowing colors, almost translucent. I am working on producing an entire collection of these dyes which I am calling the Red Jack Radiance dyes. Here are three examples that I created this week: citrine, fire topaz, and coral.