Tag Archives | dyes

Lots of dyeing!

Well, the skeins dyed so far look gorgeous – totally different to the colours you get with chemical dyes. The blackberry leaves came out a mid brown colour with the wool mordanted with copper and a gorgeous golden yellow in the exhaust bath with a skein mordanted with alum and cream of tartar. The skein dyed with some unidentified plant which has been soaking over winter in a black bin outside came out a sort of browny cream colour. Okay but not very exciting. This morning I cooked up some forsythia leaves which Jill Goodwin says ought to come out a nice green colour (A Dyer’s Manual). Though she reckoned the brown skein above ought to have been blue green and the alum skein pink so I don’t know what to believe! I will dye some wool with it tomorrow anyway.

I also had a busy afternoon dyeing with some Kool Aid which someone sent me in a swap ages ago. I did it in the microwave following these instructions. They were pretty effective too, but I don’t much like the sickly smell, which refused to go away despite about 5 rinsings… After seeing the natural dyed yarn I really don’t like the look of these chemical dyes very much – goodness knows what it does to kids’ stomachs!

So the washing line is pretty full at the moment!

If my camera doesn’t arrive soon I’ll dig out my old one, which now belongs to DS2, and take some photos with it…

Dyeing and other activities

Well, I’ve been quiet but not inactive.  Still no camera but I’ve dug a few out of Picasa which I haven’t put on my blog yet….

The weather is absolutely glorious.    The garden is lovely.  We have two red tulips which I thought I’d killed off by planting my herb garden where they were, but they seem to have come up this year, the first time for three years.    Here’s a photo of them in previous years:


close up of tulip

I bought a couple of blueberry plants in the last two farmers’ markets in town (one at a time, all I could carry up the hill to my house!).  Here is one of them waiting on the patio to be planted out.    Our soil is very acid and apparently they like acid soils so they should do well.

Blueberry plant waiting to be planted out

Because the weather has been warm, I have been doing some natural dyeing (or at least preparing for it) over the last couple of days, so I could boil stuff up while leaving the kitchen door open.

I bought this gorgeous pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms via a yarn coop I am in.  I want to dye it and then knit it into a bag and felt it. 

pencil roving in skeins

Here it is wound into skeins ready for dyeing.  Yesterday I washed it and mordanted some in alum and some in copper and picked a lot (A LOT!!) of blackberry brambles which were running wild in our front garden.  I was attacked in the forehead by a rampaging yukka plant and have lots of scratches to show for the battles with the brambles but now they have been safely boiled up and I am just waiting for the water to cool sufficiently to put one of the skeins in.  I’ve got some madder to dye some more skeins … photos when Nikon duly releases my camera!  Hopefully…. 

No camera:(

We went to the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea on Saturday. DS2 went on a rugby tour with the school to Brussels for the weekend so it was quiet! The museum is pretty new – it has only been open for a couple of years. The thing which I noticed first are some huge wallhangings which look as though they have been rust dyed with industrial machinery parts. It is nice to know that this method of dyeing is actually being used for commissioned art. So, of course, I wanted to take a photo of it. Problem! I turned my camera on and the screen was all black, apart from the computer information display. All the menus and everything were working fine but I couldn’t take a photo….

The man in Jessops reckoned the chip had come away from the lens so it has gone back to Nikon for repair… so the blog won’t have many photos for a while, unless I borrow my old camera from DS2.

That wasn’t the only thing which happened on Saturday. I also broke one of my wooden double ended sock needles … so I’m now finishing off the cashmere yarn socks using one metal needle and three wooden ones! Not a good day…

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