Saturday, 3 September 2011

a bit of colour in a grey summer

the dyeing workshop in our textile group took place at the end of july - and I still didn't finish all the dyeing of the leftovers! I am nearly through though, just yellows to come, with chamomile and st john's wort. I had planned to wait until I have finished it all to take pix, but given the fact that the forecast is for more rain to come, I took the opportunity of some sunshine today. well, I tried at least! we had a cup of tea outside, I put out a cloth, arranged all my skeins of sockwool - and a shower came.... it's like someone is sitting on a cloud, watching me and just opening a valve as soon as they see me outside!:))

anyway, after a bit of running about and repeating the same, here are the results so far:
this is all sockwool, which I pre-mordanted with alum.  the colours are (from left) tea, tea 2nd bath, several brazilwood and madder baths, some overdyeing on yellows and beiges with madder, goldenrod (yellow)  goldenrod with iron, black hollyhock flowers, cochenille and cochenille with iron. the small skeins in the middle are naturally beige tussah silk.... there is definitely a lack of blue and real green, but there was no time to plan for indigo dyeing as well.... and some of the very dark cochenille dyes were snatched up by members at the meeting! dito for the first two madder baths and the alkanet....
I also had some small skeins of a rather scratchy pure wool, but only a few were left: brazilwood, madder, tea and the darker brown is henna. the dark grey is alkanet, but there was apparently no purple pigment left:(  the brown skeins on the right are a weird stuff: it's the same tussah silk as above, but for some reason the yarn doesn't take some of the colours at all (the only ones that really took were cochenille and brazilwood). there is no colour on those skeins from the henna - they should look like the brown skein on the left! and no, I didn't forget to mordant them.
 I also bought some fibres for the spinners in the group, there are leftover (from commercial spinning)  tops of half wool (soft)/ half silk.
the lilacs on the left are from leftover cochenille, the grey/green is black hollyhock (I showed that one before), the yellow and green above are goldenrod and goldenrod with iron, the strong red is brazilwood and the rest below is one of the last madder dye baths.....
more spinning fodder, this time on south american top: dyes as above, the dark brown in the middle is henna, the bluish bottom right is black hollyhock on mohair (my own) and the darker pink on the left is cochenille on mohair. if I had know years back that you can get such a lovely squirrel colour with hair dye (henna) I wouldn't have had to ask my MIL to run from wool shop to wool shop to find a suitable yarn for a baby sweater I made at the time:))  
the small batches on the bottom right are silk briks, one with madder, the pink/purple with cochenille (I have more of that, but started spinning this one already)... and on the bottom left side you can see, why dyeing veggie fibres with natural dyes just with alum as mordant - isn't terribly successful. the colours stay pastel, even strong brazilwood or cochenille baths end up this light! on the other hand you can get lovely effects, when you put both wool/silks and ramie like this into the same bath and spin them together.... I love spinning ramie!
this stuff has been dyed years back! the light beige is done with dried walnut skins, but it wasn't the first batch in the dye bath. the darker skeins are dyed with tea. the yarn is a lambswool singles I bought 10 kg of years back,when I started dyeing in earnest. I have dyed pretty much all colours on this, knitted I don't know how many sweaters with it - and still have skeins left. it's reasonably soft, dyes well, knits well and even felts well - and this is why I chose to use it!
I must suffer from acute boredom, because when I saw this: 
and read that the designer is looking for a few test knitters, I couldn't resist and volunteered... there are 3 different wheels on it, but the one in this pic looks like my lendrum:))  well, ok, could be my louet, too - but I like the pattern and look forward to the stranded knitting! I need a bit of a lift from the green and yellow blanket, I think.... it's not a gigantic project anyway. I was tempted to use sockwool for this, but I think I'll go for a chunkier yarn for the first batch, and one that felts, too! I might make a second one - to hang from the wheel, for nostepinne, fibres, inchgauge etc... I just have to remember to use fairly chunky needles as this yarn shrinks quite a lot in the wash... the weird thing: I have so much wool, but had quite a hard time to find two suitable yarns in the right colours (with some contrast!) and enough of it! the only other natural (and felting) yarn I found was my merino/possum blend - and I didn't really want to use such an expensive stuff for a bag....
it's not all fibres here though - yesterday I saw buffalo mozzarella for the first time in the shop - and just had to snatch up one for our lunch today: the classic tomato/mozzarella basil with some nice sourdough bread, yumm!!

have fun over the weekend - I will:))


Delighted Hands said...

Beautiful post! I love the variety you got-I think a sample of each on an artist's canvas would make a great piece of wall art! The test knitting is stunning-you have made an incredible piece! Bravo!
(The colors would look great used in some fair isle knitting-I am still on that kick!)

Anonymous said...

freue dich über deine farben!! und blau grün ist nächstes jahr dann dran..

der beutel sieht wirklich sehr gut aus. gruß wiebke

Sabine said...

Herrliche Farben, Bettina! Es ist schön, die Vielfalt versammelt zu sehen.

Nina said...

The colours are spectacular. What fabulous results from your dye day. It must have been lots of fun. That bag is great!

Woolly Bits said...

Cindy - the photo of the bag is the original, I am still only at the beginning of the wheel chart. great fun though - I can't wait to see it felted....
Wiebke - noe, ich hab lieber doch mal noch blauholz eingeweicht, damit noch ein bisschen blau (oder lila?) einzieht in die sammlung? gruen - mit indigo, ok, das wird vermutlich noch warten muessen. die zeit reicht einfach nicht fuer alles:((
Sabine - es macht auch spass, sie auszubreiten, wenn auch leider der groesste teil wieder davonzieht in einer weile. ich freu mich auch schon aufs spinnen und stricken - und der naechste faerbetopf steht auch schon wieder auf dem ofen:))
Nina - thanks - though I have to say that doing the workshop was slightly more stressful than the peaceful dyeing at home. if you can do it in your own time and without having to answer questions while trying to do a proper job with the pots - it makes for a far more relaxed atmosphere:)) I just hope that I infected some of the members with the dyeing bug*eg*

Leigh said...

What a feast for the eyes, the colors, the yarns, the fibers, the bag, and lunch!

Anonymous said...

oh ganz toll wieder mal.
Hmmm ... Büffelmozarella, der schmeckt echt lecker. Ist schon ewig her als ich den mal gegessen habe. Hier hab ich ihn noch nicht gesehen.
Die Tasse gefällt mir sehr gut.