Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A nice dish of . . .

Pumpkin? Tangerines? Rhubarb?

I spent Tuesday with GFMelissa playing around with some madder roots she dug up from her garden last fall. First, I washed them and laid them out to dry.

Youngest Daughter said, "What is that, the Narada?" as she passed by the sink. (We're Star Trek geeks, around here!)

I put the mess outside to dry on the patio.

I ended up chopping the roots in my blender and putting them to soak on low heat in an old canning pot that I use for dyeing. In the meantime, GFMelissa and I put together an alum mordant bath and put the wool in to soak.

I had six skeins of Fat Fairy Hare - a lovely natural cream color in 40% angora and 60% merino from Kimmet Croft Fibers - that I decided to use for this experiment. The second two skeins I mordanted in a rhubarb leaf solution and the third set of skeins, I mordanted in an alum solution again - but for much longer. Tonight's photos are only of the first batch.

We ended up straining the dye solution a few times - lots of little bits and twigs remain - and put the more solid bits in a netting bag along with the mordanted wool. After it was good and hot (but not above a simmer!), I put the covered pot outside on an old rug and wrapped in a heating pad. I left it there for the rest of the day and some of the night.

The yarn looked a little drab when I pulled it out today so I dipped it into the rhubarb leaf mordant that I made up for today's dye experiment. This is supposed to pull out a "pinker" tone but I don't think it did much.

It's a nice color but - not much different from some of the orange colors I'd made before. I'm also not excited about the amount of vegetable matter left behind from the dyeing.

Hmm. Maybe tomorrow's wool will knock our socks off?

Today's Cool Wednesday links have to do with great color:

Check out Jenny Dean's great Wild Colour. I'm using her book, Wild Colour, as the basis for my work.

Also, this little video about natural dyeing - it was great to see dyeing in real life.



Knittymama said...

Lovely color!! You're brave to experiment with such nice yarn. All my attempts w/ dyes have been w/ Knitpicks so far!

Guinifer said...

It looks like a lovely serving of squash on my monitor!