01 March 2013

Back to the dye pot...

I apologise for those folks who came to visit last week and found the house empty, there was nothing wrong with me except being extremely disorganised. In fact I seem to have scattered my brain in the last couple weeks... I turned up at my spinning group Wednesday evening only to realise that it wasn't on (I'd seen the notice on Facebook but didn't really register), burnt the pot dry while cooking some yarn on the stove (dyeing in coffee), planned to catch some rainwater to soak eucalyptus barks but forgot to put the bucket out... It's just one of those silly phases I tell myself, it'll pass and I shall have my full faculty back sharp as a tack, surely!

So I did some dyeing and here are the results:

This is the skein cooked in leftover coffee (from the percolator not my cup!) and the pot burnt dry, luckily I caught it just in time that the yarn was not ruined. The colour is much lighter than I imagined - I'd seen other people's results that's a real rich coffee brown, maybe my coffee was not strong, a bit like latte ;-)
The next one was solar dyed in the eucalyptus dye stock from a few weeks ago, last time the colour was a very light lemony yellow. I'd let the dye stock brewing in the sun for a bit, and you can see the result is much darker. So definitely no red, the search for red dye producing eucalyptus continues.
Both yarns came from a white wool base, it was first soaked in a vinegar and washing liquid solution and mordanted with potassium alum plus COT or creme of tartar. I am pleased with the results yet can't help feeling a tad disappointed, I had hoped that by brewing the eucalyptus it would produce a richer still shade but it was not to be. But that's part of the fun of natural dyeing, it's all about experimenting and keeping records. I'll have a post on record keeping another time, it's an art in itself which I am still learning.

For DH's jumper I have spun up 11 skeins of yarn, but they are of a variety of shades and thickness, as you can see from the photo below. It's going to be interesting to see how it turns out ;-)
I'm not sure if I have enough but I do have another brown/black fleece, naturally it will be a different shade...

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!


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  2. Oops! I said, the dyed colors look so warm and soft. The sweater batch is beautiful! I love deep, rich colors.

  3. I really like both your dyed colors....very soft and natural. Kudos for even trying to spin enough yarn for DH....I can't imagine getting it all spun uniformly.

  4. Well I love those hand dyeing efforts! I am most intrigued with the eucalyptus dyeing -I would never have looked to that source for "red." :)

    And on DH's spun yarn - I love all those muted shade and thickness variations. Working with two skeins at a time and alternating in each row might help with uniformity. :)

  5. I love the colors of your yarns...very soothing.

  6. It is interesting to see what colors the natural dyes produce...

    and you asked if it really was like that in New England about the Bread and Milk video....yes it really is like that when a storm is coming...people seem to think they'll be stuck inside forever and run out of milk and bread...but in the past 2 years we have also had 2 major snowstorms that have caused cities/states to practically shut down for about a week...so while it is funny..there is a touch of truth to it...