Getting there: Carding

Had I known how many years it would take to completion, I might never have accepted those first 5 dorset/suffolk fleeces, but here we are closer to completion than not, at last.

Every time I do a post about these, I also look for the original post, the very beginning of the project, and once again realize that it’s nonexistent. I got the first 3 fleeces before the blog began in 2012, so I never recorded the scouring etc. in here, the next two landed the year after, where I probably thought I’d already recorded it so thought nothing of it. Continue reading “Getting there: Carding”

The wool tree

You’ve probably seen my pix of yarn drying in the sumac tree in the front garden, it’s so easy to use, good branches. Today it’s really been put to work! It’s my montly headache day, but I felt perky enough to do some “dumb work” as we call it here.

On Sunday I put out the rest of my Gotland fleeces to soak in a tub before scouring, today they are promising a quiet sunny day so I filled my carrot bags and hung them up to drip dry the dirty water before getting the soapy baths ready.


I’ve also started mordanting my tapestry yarn, I’m going to keep a “regular” batch as well as some of the other forms of mordanting I’ve been contemplating.

Some cotton yarn that has been scoured, waiting for the next step.


And some small test skeins for a test tapestry. I had a bunch of purples and blues already from a colour blending test session, I wanted some black as well and as an afterthought did some greens and yellows on some strands that had already been cut for more testing which never happened. Only plan is to use a lot of white (remember my dream?) and then wing it row by row. Will probably end up needing more black. 😉

Next batch of fleece soaking: Wensleydale
A tiny bit of colour is finally happening outside


MÃ¥nedens hovedpinedag i dag, men ikke værre end at jeg fÃ¥r lavet lidt “dum i arbejde”. Vinde garn op, binde snore pÃ¥, bejse uldgarn og vaske bomuld i soda, sÃ¥ det hele er klart til plantefarvning. Puh, det er kedeligt, men det skal jo gøres hvis man vil have lov til at lege.

Uldtørretræet blev også lige læsset med gulerodssække med gotlandsham, som har ligget i blød siden i søndags, det kan lige få lov at dryppe det snavsede vand af inden det skal i et varmt sæbebad.

Og så smed jeg for sjov et par garnstumper i syrefarve, til evt. brug i mit nye eksperiment gobelinvævning. Har nogen andre stumper fra testfarvning jeg også kan bruge bare til at øve mig med.

More witchy brews – all done!

Finally got the last of the Dorsets coloured up with madder and weld. Some of the chunks had previously been dyed with other plants, but I wanted to see what happened if they had another dip – without any kind of plan or registration of which is what. Some dyed at 50 C, then a new batch in the same bath at 80 C for both plants.

dorset01 dorset02 dorset03

Now to flick and then wait until I can card it. There’s a total of 1400 g so it’s going to take a while, since I also have that Suffolk fleece from the same source. I know I should practice using my handcarders, but argh!


And that’ll be all for a while, off to work on other stuff.



Endelig har jeg fået plantefarvet al min Dorset uld, så skal det bare renses for planterester og kartes en gang. Der er i alt 1400 g, så det kommer til at tage tid. Jeg har også en Suffolk ham som jeg har pletfarvet med syrefarver, den skal have samme behandling før jeg kan spinde.

Jeg har brugt kraprod og hjemmedyrket vau, første bad ved 50 grader, blandet bejset og ikke, derefter mere blandet og før-farvet uld i samme bad og op på 80 grader

Ikke mere plantefarvning i denne omgang, nu er der fokus på andre projekter.

Hollyhock 3

This post will be a collection of my last experiments this time round. Nothing special, just to wrap it up as, well as being the only kind of documentation I seem motivated to do for my dyeing…

* * *

I took the very acid jar, strained the flowers, crammed the jar with fleece undtil it was all soaked up, then I filled the jar until it was full and topped it up with the “no longer alkaline” liquid from the blue skein. Since that was already done from exhausts, there was not much juice left, but I wanted to see if I could create a “rainbow” jar or if it would all eventually intermingle to one shade. And this did indeed happen. On the last night the jar was still variegated in looks, red, purple, brown, but in the morning when I wanted to empty it, all purple. The biggest surprise came when I put half of it into ammonia. It didn’t change AT ALL!? No green. WTF? So despite having measured the water to pH 10, I held my breath and added another glug of ammonia. And got grey…. Leaves me wondering if the tin mordant makes the purple more stable?

hhock22 hhock27

Then I put the very sour flowers from above into a new jar and topped with rain water to see how much juice they had left. Start pH 3 just from the acid in the soaked flowers. Put it on stove shelf, they did indeed contain more dyestuff. pH 3 while hot. Added too much fleece so topped with rainwater, pH 4, very pale pink. Back on the shelf because I had trouble with the set below and wanted to heat test the fleece in dye, even a weak one, before adding the rest of the fleece to a new bath in the canner.

As I mentioned in connection with the pink skein, the heat in itself seems to alter the dye to purple despite the pH. When it was done, it ended up silver grey and it’s the first time I’ve seen a plant dyebath exhause completely. Absolutely clear water left when I took the fleece out! The flowers themselves were also done for, 1st image below is flowers after the last extraction.

hhock21 hhock20 hhock19 hhock28

* * *

The Teaser jars: I emptied them after 3 days instead of weeks, as it looked like they were as dark as they could get and just beginning to alter their shade. Turns out, the fleece wasn’t really taking the dye. Whether due to my previously unresolved issues with Dorset or the cold method, hard to tell since no yarn was in there with it. I put it back.

hhock24 hhock23 hhock31

Wait 10 days, still in the window, temps 15-20 C. Very dark liquid, fleece rinsing out nearly white. Mould on top of the rainwater jar, the vinegar jar keeping fine. Time for a quickie on the shelf. That helped, so while cold water does extract the dyestuff, I don’t seem able to make the wool take it at low temps. Also, the flowers didn’t exhaust, they were still dark as ever. (more water might be the solution to that)


They were so close in colour at the end, even though one was in pure vinegar, that I poured some ammonia directly onto the rainwater batch as it was sitting in the sink, then immediately hosed it with water. And, well, green again, even though there was tin in there. So I still have no clue what happened with the other batch refusing!

* * *

I used a total of 150 g flowers for all experiments, 280 g yarn and 195 g fleece.

* * *

Polled Dorset. Scoured, dyed at pH 7,  ammonia pH 9, vinegar pH 2. Iron afters for all. Mordant tin/alum/CoT. Temperature: 60. Well, that was my plan for the remaining fleece. But then I suddenly couldn’t be bothered. So there. I still have some undyed Dorset. And no drumcarder. Spacebags? Fir cones? (yes) Madder? (yes)

Hollyhock 1
Hollyhock 2
Hollyhock 2½

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Stokroser 3

Et par smÃ¥ resteprojekter med stokroserne pÃ¥ tin-bejset dorset uld, noget af det farvet “lunkent” pÃ¥ brændeovnen, noget forsøgt koldt i vindueskarmen, men selvom det sidste trækker farve ud af blomsterne, sÃ¥ sætter det sig ikke pÃ¥ ulden.

Jeg kunne ikke få den grønne farve frem denne gang, ved ikke om det evt. er tinnet der holder på det blå-lilla.