Sunday, 4 September 2011

Saturday Dye Party

I was so ready for this weekend to arrive. Three whole days off, meaning a chance to catch up on things at home, and Saturday spent playing with fiber and eating good food with the Fleece Spa gang. I haven't had a chance this summer to go play in the dyepots as often as last year, and it was a great day for it - hot, but the predicted rain and thunder held off until night. We went picking berries and plants down the trail nearby first off, so we could get things simmering, and then move out of the heat and into the cool of the house. It's always an adventure, seeing what the results will be. Some failures, some successes, and yesterday we had both. I rather like the palette I came home with, though. I had very little in the stash to dye, so I grabbed some of the roving I had from Meredith, a coarser, tweeded wool. It dyed up pretty well, and didn't felt much in the process, so a good choice.

What's in there? Well, center is the original undyed color, for reference. Top left: berries with alum/CoT. They're probably either buckthorn or serviceberry, based on the hunting we did last year to find out what they were. Something related to wild cherry, anyway. Black berries that stain your hand purple, dyebath looks purple but rinses green, tests showed it shifts more olive with light exposure, but a definite success and a gorgeous color anyway. On Julie's cotton it was doing pretty well also, only coming out a bit greyer. Top right: red cabbage, alum/CoT, pomegranate powder added later. We were hoping to get something out of the red cabbage Deb had in the fridge, but even though the bath was a lovely purple, none of it stuck. So we added the pomegranate powder to see if it would help, and the result was as you see. Beige, a bit greeny, not very impressive, but it works well with the rest. Bottom right: Jewelweed (wild impatien) plants, alum and CoT. A lovely strong bath, we had a pretty good amount of wool in there, and the color on all of it was bright. My roving was uniformly gold, but some of the fleece dyed had peachier and yellower variegation which was gorgeous. I think I am going to have to take a run down at the parents' to where I know we used to have some jewelweed and see about more dyeing with it. Bottom left: Ice blue Kool-Aid. It and the gold are a little brighter in real life. Not precisely natural, I agree, but a pretty result. It was made up to test on some cotton Julie brought, and when it didn't want to stick to that, rather than waste it, I put my roving in.  This meant I didn't have anything left for the ivy bath which got done later, but since that came out as a pale clear yellow rather than the green described in the book, I don't feel too bad about that.
I'm looking at the colors now and thinking that colorwork of some kind is definitely called for. Mittens? Sweater with colored yoke? I've tons of the undyed roving left...and plenty of time to think about it, I suspect, before I catch up with everything else I should do first!

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