For a while I’ve been recording facts about each yarn I’ve plant dyed, I’ve made solar and indirect light exposure tests (more about that when I have the energy to make a list), the pH values, the modifiers.
Well, I felt it was time to lose that for a while.
Firstly, I wanted to weave a blanket with my earliest yarns (before I switched to another type that would not fit in the same project). When assessing the little bundles, I had a handful which were simply too dull for me, for this project, so I decided they were due for overdyeing, even if I have to unwind them all again.
When I do that, overdye, I know I’m going to lose the labels. Yes, I could make knotted threads to identify each, but the way things have been going for me, it just seemed like too much fuss. I’m tired and I’ll just take what I get – or keep muddling until it makes me happy.
Secondly the little collection of yellow hanks I’d put aside for woad = greens did not take any colour. So while they were soaked anyway, I got out some jars, plopped a different dried plant into each and topped with boiling water, steeped a little, one skein each. Left for the next day. And one undyed btw for the safflowers I grew and dried 3 years ago but never tried! Which landed me with a new yellow, but whatever…
The other jars contained madder, cochineal, dried walnut shells (left out of the photo because I need to go look up the proper procedure), red onion skins, black hollyhock.
Easy peasy dyeing, 6 pots at once and no temperature worries, nice un-yellow variation. I’m going to do the same with my blanket yarns. Although as I was winding quills with my more colourful yarns, I couldn’t help wonder what my muted skeins would look like in a project with for instance slate or white!
I may even mix plants in the jar next time round. And to complete the amateurish approach, I did not take any before shots of my test skeins. But at least I did something.