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.