Thursday, October 28, 2010

And The Beat Goes On

I'm back to finish up my lengthy update. I don't have pictures of the sewing or spinning that I mentioned earlier, but I do have pictures of the dyeing. The following skeins are all Knit Picks bare, 100% merino fingering. I recently ordered 17 skeins to take advantage of a really good sale. It was quite impressive to open the box.

For the first skein I dyed, I used three colors of Wilton's food coloring (brown, teal, and delphinium blue) and mason jars. I baked the whole shebang in the oven. For my first time using this method I think it turned out rather well. I haven't named this color yet. Anyone have suggestions?

The second Wilton's skein was done with a mix of the leftover teal from above and a whopping dose of royal blue, which apparently didn't dissolve all the way, which led to some very pretty results. I can't get the camera to pick up on the full range of colors. :-(

Within the dark blue spots there's actually some very pretty dark purple. It really is quite stunning in person, and I can't wait to knit something lovely with it.

Finally, I've begun experimenting with natural dyes, using only food safe mordants and dyes. I decided to start easy with onion skins.

I brought the skins and water up to a simmer, then covered it, turned off the heat, and let it steep overnight. I mordanted the yarn with 10g pickling alum and 7g cream of tartar, also overnight. The steeped skins produced the most gorgeous amber colored liquid.

I exhausted dyed this yarn (as I do with most all my dyes) and the resulting skein is beautiful.

It came out with fantastic depth of color. It's not a color I can wear, but I'm sure I can find someone who wants it.

That's all I've got for today. I'm going to keep dyeing (there's no shortage of yarn here), and my goal is to get all of the pieces for my tote blocked out so I can start the sewing process. I'm also going to work on my sewing project and get some photos of it, so keep watching.

1 comment:

  1. Wiltons blue seems to always split like that, but it gives a gorgeous result anyway. Are you going to sell your yarn or just hoard it? Very pretty stuff, I have been meaning to try some natural dyes myself. My mom gave me an old book of traditional Scottish dye recipes. FUN!