Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dyeing Days

I was lucky enough to have yesterday off from MPOW and headed out to Lara's with a bag of frozen blackberries, some roving and some yarn. The plan was to do 2 natural dye pots (blackberry and alkanet for toning purples). What is it that they say about the plans of mice and men? We ended up doing 4 pots in all, with one pot being a rescue-pot.

As you can see, the alkanet came out a very unsatisfactory beige/grey/green. The iron modifier did not help matters and we are a long way from the attractive dark purple of our reference book. Cochineal has always been a reliable natural dyestuff for both of us and so we decide to use that as the over-dye.

Since we are not out of the kitchen yet, why not start a fourth pot? Madder seemed like just the colour lift we needed in the afternoon.

The results are much improved. Left to right, roving and sock yarn in blackberry (iron modifier). A beautiful, wearable orange on lovely soft corriedale. Iron-modified alkanet and cochineal gave a gorgeous black plum. I'll try and get pictures of the blackberry and alkanet/cochineal together. I think it will make beautiful socks.

Natural dyeing is completely different from my acid-dyeing on the weekend to fulfill a request for a rainbow and co-ordinating solids in merino-tencel for socks. It would be interesting to try and do something similar with natural dyes. Here are the combed rovings wound together to simulate the final yarn.

A truer representation of the colours.

Melanie, your merino is coming!


Anonymous Denise said...

great colors! I really like the lime/chartreuse color. What acid dyes do you use?

8:55 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

oh my, those colors are just gorgeous!!

9:07 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Oh, be still my heart! Gorgeous colours all around. Your cooking talents do not only apply to food.

7:56 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

i am not going to start dyeing. i am not going to start dyeing. i am not going to start dyeing....

3:48 PM  

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