Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dyeing



I was trying for pink, so dug up a bunch of dandelion roots, washed them, ground them up in the food processor, steeped them in simmering water (very pleasant aroma), mordanted the yarn with alum, then dyed the yarn on the bottom with the strained dandelion root tea. Although the resulting color is quite lovely, it is more of a cocoa brown than a pink.

Since I was disappointed by the dandelion roots , I took some Earth Guild dyes off the shelf and mixed teal and yellow, and actually got the lovely spring green in the middle. I did five skeins in this color

Last weekend I tried the dandelion flowers. First I picked about a quarter-bushel of flowers, then boiled them (smelly house resulted) and strained off the cooked flowers. Again, I mordanted a skein of yarn in alum, but this time I left the alum in the dye pot. It was a horrible shade of baby-poop brown after cooking for an hour. I was really bummed. I poured off the liqid and was miserable for a minute or two. But, miracle of miracles, I was inspired to add a cup of ammonia at the end as a post-mordant. Like magic, the brown went away, and left a beautiful dandelion yellow. Rinsed the yarn and happy again!