Tuesday, 10 April 2012

shenanigans for easter

Easter is already over again - I wonder what the shops will offer next? in germany mother's day is still to come, but over here that day has been and gone! no special holidays until .... halloween???
of course one of my usual jobs for easter is to produce coloured eggs. I sometimes use natural dyes, bind herbs on eggs into tights and dye them etc... but to be honest I don't really like cold boiled eggs, I prefer them fresh and warm! that's why this time I dyed them early on sunday morning. there wasn't enough time to pick fresh herbs, tie them in etc... so I just used some food dyes in small bottles, which are available in every supermarket over here. I don't really use them often, because I prefer my food in its natural colours, but they are quite practical for easter eggs. this is how I did it:
 I boiled some (a lot:) of eggs.....
 while they were boiling, I put 2 tbsp each of vinegar into tea mugs, added about 2 tbsp of dye, yellow, red, blue and green - and a mix of blue and red for purple. one spoon for each mug, to avoid messing about. I put the boiled eggs into the liquid, while still hot, left them for about 2 minutes each....

...and this is the result. the yellow is more orange, because I cannot buy white eggs here! and the brown shells do change the colours slightly - but I like it, because on white eggs the red would probably look like a traffic light:) the purple looked more like dark brown, but still nice.
and yes - the eggs were still warm for breakfast:)

and this is a batch of mordanted wool top from last week. if you think I put it here by mistake  - I didn't! I don't like to waste the colours, and because the eggs should be covered, there's always quite a lot of dye left. I mordanted this top with alum...
and painted the lot with the leftover dyes after breakfast on sunday. after a quick rinse (the dye is fast, nothing came out in the rinse) I managed to dry it over night.

and spun the first bit - the "sun" - during monday afternoon, while watching tv. now I just have to think about what to do next. use it as it is (thick and thin singles), ply it with something - or with itself? I don't think it'll be the latter, because I'd most likely end up with a parrot coloured barber pole! and navajo would result in a very chunky yarn, not really my first choice either. on the other hand, what to ply with? black? white? grey? not sure - for now I'll just finish the other colours:)

of course the most urgent next project is the sample sock for my "picture sock project". this is done mostly with commercially dyed sockwool. the "thatched" roof is naturally dyed (knitted tbl, to give a bit of texture). and the green on the left will be the fuchsia bush for my "fuchsia cottage" sock. I'll add the beads once the sock is done. I will also add flowers to the darker green area on the right and a garden gate in the middle. the provisional cast-on will be finished with an i-cord, and a fuchsia dangling from it.

I worked the leg part in rows instead of rounds, to work the intarsia a bit faster. not sure if I'll do the proper sock the same - or maybe with intarsia in the round. anyway the foot is done in rounds, because there's only a bit of a path knitted in intarsia, nothing too complicated. I would be nearly finished, if I hadn't done some frogging! at first I knitted the whole heel flap in "wall colours", but that would have meant that a large part of the foot would have to look like that - which I didn't want. nothing for it but to rip it out...to replace most of that colour by a blend of greens! I think most of the colours will be dyed similarly, but I might just add less grey to the sky! the odd thing about this sock is that darker blues came in the yarn, when I was nearly at the horizon! not the way the sky looks in nature at all:( I have to change that once I card the colour blend for the next sock!!

the second sock will have similar colours, but a different motive. close to the museum, where our group meets and the exhibition will take place, there's a famous round tower. this is it, the round tower of Turlough. it used to be a safe place monks retreated to if attacked! there was only one entry, quite high up in the wall. during an attack the monks were able to retreat into this tower, pull up the ladder - and defend themselves up there against intruders. the good thing for me is that it's quite a distinctive motive, but easily knitted into the sock. it's close to the lake beside the museum, so maybe I'll add a bit of lake and some greenery to the sock as well. I already sleep and dream socks - high time that I get that project off my to-do list!!

this morning I started dyeing by collecting gorse flowers for yellow. I tried out the easier method of just snipping off the tips into a bucket, instead of picking only the flowers by hand (which is quite painful and slow!) - and it worked just the same. fine - saves me a lot of work in the future:)
the yellow is fresh and lemony - but half of this will be overdyed with chlorophyll extract to give another green. when this is done I'll blend it with some greens I already dyed, with reed flowers etc. to spin the main colour of the sock from that. I also managed to dye the straw colour for the roof - though more by accident than design (the rhamnus berries in vinegar gave a straw colour instead of pinks or bluish tones:(). getting there... I hope!


Delighted Hands said...

Beautiful eggs-we used to color our brown eggs, too-they turned out just right!

The picture sock is amazing!!! I don't think I have ever seen such a sock! You are doing a great job of designing and knitting-your new plan for the tower will be something to see!

Nina said...

You've been busy! I love the spring colours in the dyeing project. It's a great way to use up those dyes. The sock project is spectacular. I'm really looking forward to seeing them both finished. They'll be awesome.

Bea said...

Möönsch, mein Kommentar ist weg - also nochmal:

Da sind sie ja, die Cottage-Bildersocken! Und wie ich mir das schon gut vorstellen kann mit Gartentor und aufgestickten Perlenblüten.

Wieso beizt du Wolle mit Alaun, wenn du mit Ostereierfarben färbst? Müssten die nicht mit Essig schon halten, ganz ohne Beize?

Grüßle, die Bea

wiebke said...

genau so habe ich auch gefärbt...die farbreste verwertet..gruß wiebke

Sprotte said...

Hi Bettina,

was sind denn gorse flowers auf deutsch? Ich brauche nämlich gerade ein klares Gelb.

Liebe Grüße,

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - thanks, I already did the drawing for the tower - but today I saw it "live" again:) pity, that I can't show the lichen and moss that grows on the old stones....

Nina - I managed to spin two of the easter egg dye jobs. I plied both of them, found something suitable in my handspun stash.

Bea - ich hab im letzten jahr auch ungebeizt nur mit essig benutzt. aber ich habe festgestellt, dass die lm farben auf mit alaun gebeizter wolle "echter" bleiben! zuerst bluten sie beim ausspuelen nicht so lange und dann bleiben die farben schoener.

Wiebke - ja, ich werfe sowas auch nicht gern weg. und fuer andere lebensmittel brauche ich normalerweise keine farben, wo ich das angesetzte (mit essig drin!) benutzen koennte... aber es macht auch mal spass, knallefarben zu spinnen:)

Britta - gorse flowers sind blueten vom stechginster, der hier grad ueberall in voller bluete steht. ich weiss nicht, ob der bei euch so waechst, sonst koenntest du auch mal normale ginsterblueten versuchen? ich glaube, die faerben auch gelb.....

Elke said...

Ohhhh, dein Strickhaus ist ja fantastisch geworden!!!

Leigh said...

A picture sock! Sounds like a lot of fun. I agree with the others that the eggs are pretty no matter what kind of dye you used. So is the yarn!