Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

January 18, 2009

Act 1: Add Color

Now that the dye baths are done and the mordanting is done, it's time for color. In addition to the dye book (containing samples from 10 different natural dye materials) I have to spin and dye enough yarn for a small individual project.

I filled four bobbins with Bluefaced Leicester wool from my sheep for my individual project. I think I'm going to attempt (FOR THE 5TH TIME) a pair of socks. I know, I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I never made it through a pair of socks. But by the mere fact that I'm committing here will get me through to completion.

So, the four bobbins produced two 8 oz skeins of two ply, sport weight yarn (14 wpi). One 344 yard skein went in the marigold dye pot because I had enough dye for a skein that size. At first I wasn't crazy about the color, but I let it simmer in the pot for a good couple of hours. After I took the pot off the heat, I let it cool in the dye bath all night. The color seemed to solidify and came out a much richer shade. I like it.
I was amazed, though, at the amount of dye that kept bleeding out of the yarn during the rinse baths. I must have rinsed the marigold skein about 10 times. Yet, it didn't take away from the yarn's shade...didn't lighten it up. I thought with so many rinses that it would.
And then there was walnut. The second 8 oz skein made the walnut dye bath. I didn't get a chance to pick up walnuts in the fall so I ordered some walnut crystals. Because alum was used as a mordant, the walnut came out a lighter shade than it would have with no mordant. I like the fact that you don't need a mordant with walnut.

For my project I was thinking of the marigold and a much darker walnut, but since it didn't come out as dark as I thought I'll have to rethink my project. I'm on some tight deadlines here too so to spin and dye more to produce the exact color I want is not an option. So I'll work with what I have.
And now the sampling starts. I have ten groups of sample skeins. Each group has samples with different mordants. I'll spend this week stirring the dye pots of dahlias, cosmos, eucalyptus, logwood, osage orange, madder, and cochineal (bugs).

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Alpaca Granny said...

Carol, I'm so glad that I found your blog.