Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Dyeing the yarn for Shetland Wool Week 3

This was relatively easy to dye as I had samples in my stash already and the source material growing in my garden - marjoram. So once the plant was picked, chopped & stewed up it was just a matter of straining it and using it to dye the wool. After the wool was dyed I needed to modify the colour with iron to get the correct shade. I actually did this shade of DARK OLIVE first as I knew I could obtain a lovely rich hue. On drying I was pleased with it.

I was intending to use the natural yarn as the background. I have left a skein of this in with the yarns. It is the 3rd on the left skein of blog post of 19 th of August. It looks far too pale with the other yarns. Earlier in the summer I set up some solar dyeing - reported on fb. One of these jars contained an extract of red clover, the red clover being collected on South Uist during a glorious holiday in 2005. Since then it had been stored in the garage. It had dyed the yarn what I judged from my photo a suitable background beach colour so scaling up the volume of the jar to the mass of the yarn used in the jar, I used the same ratio to dye the yarn for the beach for this hat! Hence the colour of the skein which in the photo is 4 th from the right and looks much better with the other colours than the starker natural white of the fleece. I love using natural colours so I am still wondering about trying to work some natural colour into the hat somewhere!

Obtaining this shade of purple took much experimenting and even when I had obtained the correct hue on commercial yarn the hue on the handspun was more 'heathery' but I actually liked it better ( fortunately). So to obtain this hue, I dipped the skein in an indigo vat 3 times to get a medium blue; then over dyed it with a 5% cochineal overdye. After that I dipped it in the indigo vat briefly to get a more bluer as opposed to pinker purple. This was tricky as I was judging wet colours !

GOLD ( see previous post)

This hue was worked in the same way as the purple on a separate occasion - too much for me in the same dye bath at the same time - but with one dip in the indigo initially. It took up the indigo far better than the commercial yarn so there was a moment of sheer panic, thinking I was going to get a lilac that was too close to the purple- ugh! But all was OK.

Anyway all the colours are done and now to see if they work in the hat. The dyeing has been fun. It doesn't matter how long you have been natural dyeing there is still so much to learn. If you have never tried natural dyeing do have a try you can get great colours.

The finished hat from the side

PS . I found more details for the recipe for the grey, it was 10% logwood.

I have another hat project planned, to knit a hat in the colours of Horsey beach (Norfolk) but the dyeing is done for that!