Sunday, 3 October 2010

Really Blue weekend..

'Cause I was dyeing with Dyer's Knotweed again!   They are calling for frost this weekend, so I did another Knotweed harvest yesterday.   This time I had enough to pack 4 jars full- all about 1 litre sizes.   I was a tad worried that because it was late in the season, and some were new growth from one of the earlier harvests, that there wouldn't be very much pigment in them.  

 I tried something a tad different after reading about processing woad leaves in a slightly acidic waterbath. I added  a 1/2 teaspoon of plain old acetic acid ( white vinegar) to each jar of leaves.   I set them to soak in the bain marie - much nicer name than double boiler, although it is the same thing and followed the same method I have used before.  If this dye vat didn't work because I was fiddling too much or the pigment levels were low, due to the fact that it is October, I wasn't too worried, because, well, it really is October and any plants I'm harvesting now are a bonus.

I had to run some errands, so I got the dye vat ready to reduce and ran to town.   I did have to add a wee bit more Thiox when I got home, as it wasn't reduced to my satisfaction, but about 15 minutes later, I was able to add my rovings..  I had 250 grams of Bluefaced Leicester rovings, purchased at the K-W Knitter's Fair, just for this purpose.   I also found 9 balls of Patons classic wool which I picked up for $1 a ball.   It is a grey and white barberpole stripe, which I bought because I thought it would give interesting dyeing results.

 Awesome blues ... one was really too dark, but it's my own fault for not checking it quickly enough.  I'll cover the knotweed tonight just in case it will help it survive the frost and I can work on getting the rest of the balls of wool dyed as well.


Sharon said...

Great color!

suzibee said...

Fantastic results this time.