Mould in the dyepot?

Lifted the lid on the enamel dyepot holding a concoction of eucalyptus leaves, mahonia berries and yellow iris flowers, with a splash of alum added to help things along!

 A fine white film of mould covered the fibre and dye liquor – not too unpleasant, and really, what did I expect would happen with the above concoction with varying temperatures of 30 deg C one day down to 14 deg the next. Seriously, how can anyone solar dye in such conditions!

Removed the wool from the offending liquid to rinse and see if what I was hoping for, had in anyway succeeded.  It was tempting to leave the pot for longer, however, sunshine is predicted for next week,  so I needed to determine the outcome.

Ok, so this doesn’t look very exciting, but it has shown me that I can get colour without having to boil the plant material first (though, I think it would be preferable) and better still, patches of fleece/yarn can take up dye by direct contact.  Difficult to see on this sample, yellow from the iris, red/tan from the gum leaves and nothing from the mahonia berries – well there weren’t very many this year.

Next step, spin up some white fleece into yarn and try this experiment again with more determination and better planning.

Just in time for Halloween…..

These silks look like raw meat or intestines – they look much better in the flesh! Each of the silks took up the dye differently, the mulberry (top left) is a tomato red, the tussah (top right) similar but lighter and without the sheen and the silk waste is most definitely peachy.

Lastly, the black wool/alpaca blend from here, is gradually being turned into skeins of yarn with the aid of my Little Gem spinning wheel. They are considerably darker than these images show.


Happy Halloween to those who celebrate this event and Good Luck to those who are hoping for a win on the Melbourne Cup! Take care everyone.

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8 Responses to Mould in the dyepot?

  1. Joei says:

    More than once I skimmed off moldy gook then popped in silk or fleece. It usually gives a less brilliant color….more Fall-like than Spring. Love seeing your handspun. I have filled my bobbins with singles and they are getting better. Need to try my hand at plying now. Practice practice.

    • Ingrid says:

      The best handspun I made was my beginning spinning – so much texture, lumps and bumps everywhere and now like all spinners I want that back. Be relaxed, enjoy what you are doing and everything will fall into place for you. I bet your singles are gorgeous. Also, when you ply everything evens out. All the best.

  2. Nancy says:

    It’s always fun to see the colors folks are getting from the dye pot!

  3. mold is part of the matter, is it not? Most beautiful wool, hurrah. And, because it’s Hallow’een–some lightness to share–“It won’t be long now…”

  4. Ingrid says:

    Thank you Michelle. A few partake in Halloween down here, but we really do not know much about it.

  5. ...iph... says:

    Everything looks lush and wonderful! I want to bury my hands in the fleece in the second photo there. How marvelous. I think I would feel wonderfully witchy this time of year, going out to stir my pots. The mulberry and tussah are gorgeous.

    • Ingrid says:

      Really? I wasn’t so sure and the the silks look ghastly in the photo. I do spend a lot of time buried in fleece, it is an addiction! Thank you for your kind words.

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