Last year I was inspired to sow bronze fennel, even though I thought I was through with food dyeing. Rita Buchanan also mentions it in her book. This year my plants are really growing, so I decided to give it a go. One wool skein, two silk, all alum mordanted.
Since I really have nothing much to show yet of all my ideas (and sometimes they stay ideas because I get a new one for the same yarn), MotherOwl suggested that I just share some of my design ideas. Today, then, will be yarn. Another day perhaps something more painterly? And some plants are brewing…
So here’s a collection of things that you could get to see more of in the coming months, or a look into my brain. It may seem like a lot, but in fact it’s just a fraction of what I’ve planned and there is no deadline, things may get erased or changed along the way. I have a tendency to just write down my ideas rather than draw them, but if you find it interesting I may be persuaded to change that habit actually, because I think it would be a good practice. Perhaps working more on each project idea will help me weed some out?
I’m planning to make a small bag with this handspun yarn practising a specific tapestry technique for joins. Homemade bobbins! I just hope there’s enough yarn for the strap too, I’ve calculated and calculated, but since this is a new thing for me, you can’t really be sure to get it right.
Semi-solid skeins are to be dyed to go with each of these two snow dyed yarns. A dark red/rust (or a dark green – I’ll have to sample) for the one on the left and blue/marine for the right. The third skein I gave to a friend of mine who knitted herself an awesome hat and mitts!
Trying to make a fun design for the yarn below. Actually I’m not going to use the model shown, but I couldn’t find the other sketches. Still debating the basket weave however, to break up the stripes I’d get if I knitted the yarn. Possibly I’d get really horrible pooling instead. And in fact, after some sampling, this yarn frays way too much to be woven, it’s no good as warp at any rate, very sticky. So now I’m contemplating a linen stitch on large needles, alternating 2 skeins every other row, which is doable even if you work flat. I don’t like to knit the body in the round, then the yoke flat, because that makes the rows half as long = twice as wide when it comes to the width of the stripes = no look good. (imho) Or I could double the strands and mix it with a heavier solid, but I don’t want stripes at all, I also don’t want to have to do stranded colourwork, because then I’ll never finish. In fact this could have been a blog post all on its own…
A lot of readers come here while searching for posts on plant dyeing and some of you probably subscribed for that only. I realize that it’s been quiet on that front during the winter months, so I just wanted to make a service announcement that there will indeed be more posts about dyeing eventually. In fact I have several half done drafts I could begin with…
Soon I’ll be ordering seeds, this year I’m going to replace the coreopsis with orange cosmos to try out. There won’t be as many different plants as last year, rather new experiments with old ones. And I hope to be making things with my older dyed yarns to show. The first yarn I used felts really well but is very scratchy, so I’m looking for ideas for non-clothing. Baskets, bags, cushion covers, knit, crochet, woven, felted, pictures or pattern suggestions are welcome!
Some acid dyeing adventures are also likely to happen. I hope you’ll forgive me for skipping around between various topics, but that’s what real life is like here at the cottage.
I’ll try to make it easily accessible via the menu up top.
Farvning i 2014
Plantefarvningsindlæg har jo været lidt sparsomme her i vinter, men jeg kan se at de gamle stadig bliver læst ganske ofte, så jeg syntes lige jeg ville udsende en servicemeddelelse i den anledning. Der kommer helt sikkert mere farveri på programmet i år, ikke kun planter, men også pulverfarve.
Jeg bestiller snart frø og regner med at erstatte skønhedsøje med orange cosmos. Der bliver ikke så mange nye eller forskellige eksperimenter, jeg gentager heller ikke dem fra sidste år, men snarere nye eksperimenter med gamle kendinge.
Der skulle også være en chance for at få lavet lidt færdige ting med det plantefarvede garn, som jeg kan vise frem. Det garn jeg har brugt filter rigtig godt, men er ret krads, så hvis I har gode ideer til ting, frem for tøj, som man kan strikke, hækle, væve, filte, fx. tasker, puder, kurve osv, så del meget gerne billeder eller opskrifter! 🙂
Selvom jeg har opgivet at oversætte alle mine indlæg her på bloggen, vil jeg dog fortsætte med det når det gælder plantefarvningen, som minimum, evt. også andre garnrelaterede emner. Jeg håber I vil bære over med mig at jeg sådan springer i diverse emner hen over året, men det er sådan der ser ud her i farvehytten, både virtuelt og i virkeligheden.
Der er et særligt menupunkt i toppen til emnet, så jeg håber det er rimelig nemt at finde rundt.
Green leaves picked September 11th. Dried some, frozen some, to dye on silk, cotton and a sample strip wool only. The rest dyed immediately. Test also early summer leaves 2014 as well as brown self-dried.
4:1 fresh, 2:1 dry – oak galls 2% if colour not strong.
Those are my notes in short form. 😉 What that means is, I’ve dyed some wool 4:1 ratio, with and without premordant, and same with an iron afterbath. Then I did it again with oak galls in there too. You don’t quite see it in the photo below, but the dark skeins are actually a deep, chocolate brown, and the ones with iron minus oak galls are greenish.
The oak galls don’t appear to do much to the oak colour itself, it works with the iron. Don’t leave your yarn in there too long unless you are aiming for black!!! Half an hour the old books say. First dye for an hour, add iron, simmer another half.
Technically people use oak to get grey, a wonderful smoky/silver shade. I got all sorts of brown and grey shades, but not that one!
So I’ve saved a few leaves in the freezer as well as dried some to test later. Perhaps the grey is more easily obtained on cotton?
Then I had a stroke of genious if I may say so. Especially since I had not bothered to actually check what other people do, I just followed the book. What if I did NOT dye the yarn first, but plunked it into the iron/oakgall/leaf bath when it was squeaky clean?!
But I’m kinda glad I did follow instructions first, or I would never have gotten all those other shades. Of course now I’m wondering what happens if you just use iron and oak galls…..
Oh – and if you rinse and rinse and the water still comes out black as night – make sure you don’t have a piece of oak gall trapped in your fiber. 😉
De gamle bøger siger: egeblade vægt 4:1 friske, 2:1 tørrede. 2% galæble for at få mørkere farve.
Så det prøvede jeg. Man skal passe på ikke at lade det ligge i gryden for længe efter tilsat jern, med mindre man går efter sort, en halv time er vist passende.
Galæblerne gjorde ikke rigtig noget ved selve farven, de virker først sammen med jern, her var der en tydelig forskel på de “grå” nuancer jeg fik. Måske de flotte sølvgrå jeg har set, har været på bomuld? Indtil det faldt mig ind at IKKE gøre som i bogen, nemlig farve i blade først, og så putte jern i til sidst. Og det virkede. Men jeg er da ret glad for, at jeg ikke checkede hvordan andre gør, for så havde jeg jo aldrig fået alle de fine brune!
Jeg farvede både ubejdset (det er det, de fleste bruger) samt alun- og kobberbejdset, her var også klar forskel, så man kan let skabe sig en gradueret skala til brug ved flerfarvearbejde.
I have long last concluded my first test of using rhubarb leaves as mordant instead of chemical ones. (even though they are in fact toxic, they are natural. Or, as MotherOwl points out below, even though they are natural, they are in fact toxic!)
And I have to say, it’s not really worth the effort. Not only does it not help the wool take up the dye any more than an unmordanted skein, in fact sometimes I could hardly see the difference. It also doesn’t add to lightfastness, both of which are the whole point of mordanting in the first place.
I tried both wool and cotton and none had better results than the other for me.
Top to bottom and left to right: Alum + rhubarb simmer not boil, boiled rhubarb + iron, boiled rhubarb, rhubarb + madder, rhubarb + weld, rhubarb + french marigold.
The alum mordanted, rhubarb dyed skein was also a handsome yellow in itself for sure, although it has faded a bit in just a month even without light. Without mordant they are a varying shade of beige depending on how hard you heat the dyebath. The madder is also quite alright, although not any kind of red exactly.
It did have one redeeming feature though: I really liked the shade I got from overdyeing with woad. From historical textiles we can see that some yellows fade away, leaving a once green section of fabric blue, but I’m not really expecting anything I make to live for 600 years. I’ll be forgotten and the line will die out when I do. It’s a patchy dye job because the vat had too little water and too much yarn, so I believe the darkest strands are the “truest” had it been done properly.
Check also under comments in my first post for additional info.
Ikke den helt store gevinst efter min mening, hvilket vi også debatterede under foregående indlæg. Garnet bliver ikke lysægte eller optager farve i samme grad som med alun, de gule farver kan knap nok ses ovenpå selve rabarberfarven som bliver mørk beige hvis man koger den. Det brunlige garn på billedet er krap, og den er vel ok, den grønne er overfarvet med vaid, og blev ret god, bortset fra jeg havde for lidt vand i gryden, så den er lidt skjoldet.