Posts filed under ‘Dye’

While You Were Out…

…I sneaked in some dying. :-)

The remainder of No Name, the mystery Shetland went gold and raspberry, got carded together and spun up into this yummy, summery color I call “bowl of fresh peaches”:

And then it went on Etsy and sold. Just like that. How cool!

Here are some pics from the dying process.


The dyes used were Waratah and Broome from the Australia Landscapes brand, ordered in small sample bags from Wind Rose on Etsy. I really loved working with the Landscapes dyes. They are simple to use and Wind Rose’s sampler bags makes it easy to try out different colors.

With No Name pretty much used up, I’ve moved on to my next dirty Shetland half-fleece, Angel. You’d think with a name like Angel, she’d be pure white, right? Wrong. Apparently this ovine is a fallen angel. Her fleece is white, all shades a gray, and a touch of rust. Here’s how she looks spun up in a two-ply.

I’m thinking of giving this a dip in some pink or maroon dye, what do you think?

The PVC niddy-noddy in the pic came from another Etsy seller, Whispering Acres. I love my fellow Etsians, and I LOVE my niddy-noddy. It came with 3 sizes of center bar so I can make 1, 1.5 or 2 yard skeins. Plus it comes apart for storage.

I swear, none of these Etsy sellers asked me to advertise for them!

• t •

June 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm 4 comments

Dandelion Dye Day

I know I was going to try the dandelion dye on No-name’s fleece, but I couldn’t wait any longer. After all, the neighbors on both sides had mowed their yards days ago. We were looking pretty shaggy.

So, I found a skein of almost-white homespun wool yarn that had been ravaged by Newton and was considered, by me, to be unsellable. Friday became D-day.

First, I went out to pick the dandelions–no stems, please, only heads. I felt like a grazing beast, hunkered over my lawn, snapping off the sappy, saffron flowers. Purposely did I wait until the employed neighbors had left for the day. I can only imagine what the retirees thought when they gazed out of their windows.

“There’s that crazy woman out there thinking she can get rid of her dandelions by taking off the heads. And what’s that she’s putting them in? A stock pot?”

dandelion_harvest

Dandelion Harvest

Yes, I took the pot outside with me. Here is the harvest. Note the effect on my gardening gloves. To the pot I added enough water so that they floated easily and could be submerged with a spoon. In hindsight, I think less water would have made for a better dye.

I then cooked said mixture for approximately 1 hour. The result looked brownish and smelled like weed stew. I strained the stew to remove the solids and kept the liquid.

Meanwhile, I had been simmering my skein of mixed Corriedale handspun wool yarn in another pot along with 2 quarts water and 2 cups white vinegar, which would function as my fixative, or mordant. I let it simmer for about an hour, while the dandelion stew cooked. After draining the yarn, I put it into the dyebath and continued to cook at just below a simmer for another hour.

I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture of this stage. I was convinced that I had just invented brown yarn, not the yellow I wanted. Since it seemed I had nothing more to lose, I left the yarn in the dye overnight.

Saturday I drained the yarn, rinsed it in cold water, squeezed out the excess and hung it to dry. It was not brown, but there was a definite light-brown-ness about it.

Dandelion Dyed Yarn

Dandelion Yarn in its Natural Habitat

Then it dried and a tiny miracle occurred.

Today I have a shade that is more yellow than tan. It’s rather nice if you like a subdued, natural shade of dark yellow. Take a look!

“Yes,” you say, “But all that green gives a misleading color in the photo.”

You’re right, you know. (How’d you get to be so smart?)  So here are two more shots.

Dandelion dyed yarn

Dandelion Yarn on a Sleepy White Cat

One on a very obliging (and white) Gizmo,

and another on a white-ish blanket.

Dandelion dyed yarn

Dandelion Yarn on Blanket

Lessons Learned:

I probably should have removed the green hulls from the flowers for a more yellowy yellow.

Dandelion dye leaves wool smelling like cooked weeds.

May 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm 10 comments

I’m Dying to Try Natural Dye

The yard is bursting with dandelions and guess what? I found a very nice list of natural dyes on the web. But wait. There’s more!

I also found a great dye pot at Goodwill just yesterday. Price: $2.99. Someone must have given up on canning tomatoes. :-) Of course, I put it down to take a pic and immediately the inspection team showed up. Well, at least the younger members of the inspection team.

Newton in dyepot

Newton in the Dye Pot

Basted in dyepot

Bastet in the Dye Pot

Now if I could just send them both outside to pick the dandelions.

Oh wait, that’s what kids are for, right? ;-)

In fact, I remember my 2nd grade teacher announcing one Spring day that we were all going lion hunting that afternoon. Imagine the excitement! Imagine the trepidation!

Imagine the disappointment when we were all given bags and taken out to the school yard to pull the heads off the dandelions. Well, it wasn’t total disappointment. After all, we all got outside on a sunny spring day instead of being cooped up in the stuffy classroom.

April 28, 2010 at 8:59 am 3 comments


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