Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dye Pot Day North Country Spinners, September 7, 2007

These are the skeins I dyed at Dye Pot Day, an eagerly anticipated annual event at North Country Spinners, my spinning guild. Here are the skeins hung up to drip and dry at home. Please pardon the funny white splotches on the photograph -- I believe it's water spots from the skeins.
My osage orange pot produced the deep golden skeins, to the right of the trunk. The four skeins are lace weight, unidentified wool, 1 oz/c.1400 yards. I soaked 4 oz of osage orange chips overnight in a recycled stocking and brewed it for about an hour. It went a very long way, successfully dyeing a huge skein of cotton and many skeins and scarves. The dye was not even exhausted by the end of the dyeing session.

Jean brewed up goldenrod which makes a beautiful yellow, especially on my skeins mordanted in alum the night before. (I mean the 3 skeins towards the middle and left of the tree trunk.) The middle one of these skeins is a greenish yellow, as it had been in the pot with Greta's skein, inadvertently mordanted in her iron-rich tap water. It's always fun and a wonderful experience dyeing with Jean. She' s a genius with dye and colors.

The guild provided the indigo vat and the cochineal dye pot, along with an alum mordanting pot, with Jenny in charge. Each member also received a silk scarf. It took some time for Jenny to prepare guild's pots and vat as the indigo turned out to be trickier than expected. But as three of us had brought dye pots to share the delay wasn't wasted time. I wish I'd been able to get to May McCay's osage orange which was dyeing a deep, almost olive green.

I used the cochineal pot for the magenta skein, which came out a pale, almost pastel shade. The problem was that it wasn't allowed to stay in the pot long enough to attain the richer shade that my silk scarf had. (no photo of the scarf yet.)

The indigo was fun, as usual, as it seems like magic turning wool from green to blue, merely by waving it in air. Two of my skeins were Norwegian yarn I'd originally dyed at Peter's Valley. They'd had some logwood blotches which looked like spilled grape jam on the pale blue. Now, the indigo has made the purple richer and the blue a good dark medium -- sort like Copenhagen blue. Now I can seriously plan a sweater.

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