I have been so excited by my recent colour knitting success that I have been moved to dye more shades and spin with the intention of colour knitting. Not just spinning up all kinds of stuff and then deciding to use it in stranded colourwork on a whim. Though that turned out remarkably well, and the errant graph book with the knobby club rush design in it magically appeared on the weekend, nestled among sheet music (my filing clearly needs more work–I had been looking for it in the dyeing and knitting collections–what was I thinking)!
I’ve been cold mordanting Viola’s fleece with alum in preparation. She is a white/silver grey/dark grey sheep, and that will give me room for a bit of heathery loveliness, I think. These big jars were being thrown out at the Guild and this seems a decent use for them. Some BFL/silk sock yarn has been getting the same cold mordant treatment, because why not?
I had quite a lot of coreopsis flowers, because my mother is such a generous woman, she saves her dead flowers for me. And in case anyone ever wondered where my thrifty ways come from, these flowers were lovingly collected as they wilted and then dried–and then delivered in paper bags previously containing mushrooms and purchases from the newsagent, and in a reused cardboard box that was lined with two layers of pre-loved Christmas wrapping paper. Bless her heart, my Mum is a treasure.
There were also osage orange shavings that had been left at the Guild. Many years old, to judge by the packaging. At times such as this, Jenny Dean is my trusted Guide. So I followed her instructions from Wild Colour as best I could. It’s an interesting thing, this dyeing with only me there in body, but with a little posse of imaginary friends about me, some of whom I’ve never met! Jenny says osage orange can give more dye on a later extraction and India would no doubt agree on principle (I have been rereading Eco Colour)… so with the three of us in agreement on that, I planned an exhaust bath from the beginning and in due course, decided to honour Mum’s collection by tossing that in too…
After the first stage of heating, I filtered out the dyestuffs through an old nylon stocking (also deposited at the Guild in quantity–more of my imaginary friends present on this occasion in tangible and intangible ways!)
And in went the fibres. They had a nice long wait in the dye baths after the heating stage was over.
The sock yarn took the dye with alacrity–that golden yellow is rather lovely, I think–I am planning to overdye with indigo, but this yellow is glorious as it is. I thought I remembered the coreopsis being a more golden yellow and the osage orange being a colder shade, but not this time. They look remarkably similar.
The exhaust bath made use of the stocking too… and out came some paler but still yellow fleece. My fingers are itching but the day job calls… and there has been yet more knitting…