Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What A Difference A Dye Makes

This is a tale of 5 skeins of 90/10 mohair/wool yarn that were dyed in a varigated colorway that no one seemed to want to buy. To be honest, I did not like it much either. Pale red and bright yellow blending into oranges, just really are not my colors.
I was debating whether to simply offer these skeins up at our guild Christmas swap, when a friend suggested that I over-dye them. We debated on colors and I ended up going with a bright turquoise (Jacquard).
And Wow! - what a difference. I may even keep these for me if I can find a pattern that suits them.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dyeing with mushrooms ... first fruits

To start the process, I just emptied the gallon jug with the mushroom liquid into the dyepot, added another gallon of water, heated it up and added some wool roving, a skein of yarn and some cotton. Nothing seemed to be happening in terms of color strike and it smelled strongly of ammonia. Remembering that one usually dyes protein fibers with acid dye and ignoring the fact that I had stuck some cotton in there as well, I acidified the bath with vinegar until I couldn't smell the ammonia any longer - not precise, but it seemed to work because the fiber and yarn did visibly begin to take up color. I kept the temperature of the bath below boiling, but steaming and let it stay heated for about 45 minutes. Then I let it cool in the pot overnight and rinsed and washed it out the next day. The color is a light tan.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dyeing with Mushrooms ... the saga begins

I had never considered this idea until one of the ladies at a 2nd Saturday spinning meeting and dye party mentioned that one of our mutual friends said you could extract some kind of color from virtually any mushroom. There are lots of mushrooms popping up all over the place so I decided to give it a try. I'm using gallon plastic jugs (that used to contain vinegar) that I fill about 1/4 full with mushrooms and then add a mixture of 3 parts water to 1 part household ammonia. I am on my 3rd jug at this point (set one last week, another this Friday and one today) and the pattern has been the same with all three. First the liquid starts out translucent tan in color and is very dark within a few hours. This is what is shown in the pictures below. I can literally see the liquid turning darker as something is extracted out of the mushrooms; I am hoping that it is color. Tomorrow I hope to dye with the one that has been sitting for about a week. Stay tuned for developments...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hooded Scarf

This is a hooded scarf I finished last March knitted on size 13 straight needles. The yarn is a bulky merino superwash (Viking Balder) that came from The Twisted Knitter in downtown Mebane. This yarn is wonderfully soft and fun to knit.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Hat I Will Never Wear

Sometimes there are things you make just because you can - wearables that you will never wear
, unplanned flights of fantasy of unknown origin. I completed this knitted hat,tassels and all, last winter while waiting for the radiator on the truck to be repaired. The yarn is a bulky wool blend feels very soft. It looks almost cute on the manniquin head, which has turned out to be a very handy item.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dyeing Angora Rabbit Fiber with Indigo

This is the story of a pot of indigo ("instant" variety) that was left to sit for a couple of weeks. Since it looked regenerated (metallic sheen on the surface). I decided to see if I could dye some angora. At first things didn't look too hopeful.
But then once out of the pot and sitting on a screen, color began to develop.
The final blue looks quite nice and once dry it was a lovely shade of denim blue, no crocking and it feels soft and nice.