Saturday, September 02, 2006

....And Yet More Dyeing

I am having so much fun with the natural dyeing process that I am finding it hard to do any thing else these days. I got a nice pale yellow last night with the goldenrod and vinegar. Goldenrod does not smell nice when simmered for an hour on top of the stove. John came down to make a pot of coffee and he commented on the smell. It wasn't a heavy strong smell that went all through the house, but if you were standing within 5 or 6 feet of the pot then it was definitly noticeable. I simmered the piece of wool in vinegar and water first, and then simmered it in the dye bath til it took on a light yellow hue. I think leaving it longer or letting it cool down and soak overnight would probably give a deeper hue. I have been throwing the dye bath out, but I've read on a couple of sites that it can be stored and used again and again til the water is almost clear. I don't have any real big jars, but I am going up to the store to get alum and cream of tarter, and I'll stop at Salvation Army and pick up some big jars. I also want to stop in at work and get a skein of Lion's Fisherman wool.
Joan at work asked me if I could teach a class on dyeing, and I said I might. The problem is that most dyes require some sort of heat, even the cold water dyes work a bit better with warm to hot (not boiling) water. Plus we have Dylon dyes at work which are not my favorite, although I got some satisfactory results with them last year when I was playing around with mixing powdered dyes and salt in a salt shaker , sprinkling them on wool that had been soaked in a saltwater bath, and then baking them on low heat in the oven. I used them in the hit and miss rug I made for Carla. I'm wondering if they could be set in a low wattage microwave. There's also Kool-Aid dyeing in the microwave, which I've never done, but Melissa has. Apparently there is no mordanting done with Kool-Aid, it's colorfast all by itself. Actually, that's a little bit scary; it makes me wonder what we're giving our kids to drink!
Anyway, I have a fun day ahead of me turning things different colors. I'll post pictures later on.

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