17 January 2019

Muted Rainbow

I was playing with a rose in Photoshop a while back when I decided it would be really cool to dye a muted rainbow. My idea at the time was to mix up my favorite rainbow hues, and add a touch of gray to each one.

Playing with my first amaryllis of the holiday season also inspired visions of shades of gray.

I finally got a chance back in November to experiment. And I'm just now writing about it. How's that for timely?

I mixed up six of my favorite rainbow colors, and tainted each with a touch of charcoal gray.

The colors were not exactly what I was hoping for, but they aren't bad for starters. I was very surprised the yellow and orange turned out nearly identical shades of the best olive green I've achieved to date. (Now I know how to make olive green!)

I also tried a new way of drying on this batch. It took about twice as long (I threw the thread-filled socks in with other laundry – twice), but it did keep the thread from getting linty, and even better, tangled.

Another of my ideas was to create a muted, striped rainbow mandala. While I was working up this plain jane mug rug, I wondered how it would look with a surface snowflake from the same eggshell neutral in the stripes. None of my 3D ideas panned out, so I stiffened it and decided to try again another day. I might even try gray for the neutral stripes instead of the eggshell.

After the first round of muted dyeing, I thought perhaps I should start with gray thread instead of white. I went through my stash and found only pale gray thread. I looked at both Hobby Lobby and Joanne's, but both had only pale gray. The colors achieved with those gray threads will be not as bright as on white thread, but it won't be the gray rainbow I could picture in my head.

So now I'm thinking about dyeing six hanks of thread to charcoal gray, then redipping into bright rainbow colors, just to see what happens. Stay tuned!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIF Friday at Kathy's Kwilts and More.


  1. Good golly, those are magnificent colors!

    1. Thank you, Leslie! I’m certainly enjoying working with them!

  2. Never know what could occur when we just see what happens. November wasn't too far back haha

    1. Well, for a weekday blog, November feels a bit like centuries ago, Pat!

  3. The colors are scrumptious! Is it crochet cotton from JoAnn's? What size please?

    1. Thank you, GrandmaJudyB! Yes, size 10 cotton, either Red Heart or Aunt Lydia, wherever I can get it the cheapest.

  4. Interesting process to get the colors you're after.

    1. Thank you, Myra! It’s fun to keep trying!


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