Monday, July 16, 2012

Cochineal, Logwood, and Tin

 The craze of natural dyeing continues.  I started with a skein made out of flick-carded Romney locks that I spun into a lace weight 2-ply.  I dyed it with cochineal but there was a problem.  The dye didn't take up where I had the ties in the skein.  Also, there was a few dark gray spots on the yarn from me not cleaning the pot well.  To fix the situation I dipped half of the skein in a tin mordant and heated it.  (I had to tie up half the skein so it didn't fall in the dye bath.) Then I added some left over logwood dye liquid to the tin water.  After a little time in the heat, the yarn turned bright purple magenta.
Now I have to decide what to make with it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dyeing with Logwood

Last weekend I ventured into a dyeing project. Here's a photo of my adventure. The first dye was with Logwood which I soaked and heated for a half hour and then poured the liquid off.  The darkest purple yarn was achieved with a tin mordant and the first pass through the Logwood dye bath.   Next I took some locks and poured some of the dye bath over them and added a little heat for a short while.  Then I added the roving to the rest of Logwood dye bath.  I didn't mordant the roving, but I assume a little tin residue was probably in the dye bath by that time.  (Or does the mordant always stay on the wool that was previously in the dye bath?) The roving was heating and then it sat over night before I rinsed it out.  The fourth dyeing project was with cochineal.  I used only a heaping tablespoon of the dried bugs, ground them in a coffee grinder (the one that's for dying only), and didn't use a mordant.  The skein was submerged, heated, and left overnight. The result was a nice rosy-pink color.  As you can tell my my description of my dyeing project, I am not a precise dyer.  I don't keep records, I don't measure much, and I don't expect to impress other natural dyers by my techniques.  However, I do enjoy throwing wool in a pot and seeing what happens. If I don't like it, there's always over-dyeing.  ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Au Naturale

 When I was down at the Black Sheep Gathering I pick up a few items from the vendors. One item was a pound of mixed natural colored fiber roving from Fantasy Fibers.
 It just caught my eye because I loved the blend of colors. I think it's a blend of wool and alpaca, but I'm not really sure--it seems to be "left overs" from the mill. At $1/oz it was a steal.
This was the first time I spun pencil roving. It spun up fast because there was no fiber prep involved. I spun it up in to a 2-ply. Here's 8 ounces of finished yarn.