Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dye Lot #26, continued

The yarn has been soaking up dyestuff from the dye vat since I last wrote - 7 days ago.  I briefly brought the yarn up to a simmer on my camp stove in the garage, protected from the wind and snow, and let it simmer for about an hour, then allowed it to cool naturally. 

The color appeared to be a deep rich walnut brown, almost black. 
We were away the last two days visiting relatives for Thanksgiving.  It is good to be back home, and I couldn't wait to see how much more color had been absorbed.  After rinsing, though, it is a much lighter color, almost what I would describe as "chestnut".  I hung the skeins on the patio to dry in today's brisk breeze.  They should be dry by tomorrow. 

I really was expecting a darker color, but I do like the color that I got.  Since I am pleased with the color,  and the dye vat is far from exhausted, I will also wind some sock yarn off the cones and use more of the same dye vat - it will be dye lot #27.  I will not pre-mordant the sock yarn wool, to see if I achieve a different color.   For dye lot #26 I used 1 quart (1/3 of total) of leftover alum mordant from previous (goldenrod) dye lot as a pre-mordant.  Alum is supposed to "brighten" the color. Black walnut is not supposed to need a mordant for color-fastness.  If I get serious about this, I will need to start being more precise about these recipes.  Every book I have ever read on dyeing mentions record-keeping as very important in order to be able to achieve repeat colors. 

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