Saturday, May 17, 2008

Natural Dyeing

The other day I finished up yet another batch of dyed yarn. This time I used Brazilwood and I absolutely love the color I achieved. I am really pleased this time around.I kept everything at a very low simmer, really not even a simmer, and I think that is why I managed to get such clear colors. I added a small amount of baking soda to the dyebath to make it more alkaline which would help me in getting the pinkish purple colors I was after. The pictures I took really do not give the yarn any justice. They are so pretty and the camera just sort of muted them.

I ended up using the dyebath 3 times. Brazilwood is so strong that you can use one dyebath several times. Also you can remove the chips from the pot once you have your dyebath and allow them to dry out. Then the chips (or sawdust as it is sometimes sold) can be used a few more times. The first skein in my dyebath turned out a beautiful magenta. The second skein was considerably lighter, a sort of pink with a very light magenta to it. The third skein was definitely lighter. It turned out a very soft pink.

The first two skeins are a blend of merino wool and silk in a fingering weight and I just love how the silk gives them a little bit of a shine. The light catches them and it is very pretty. The third skein I am rather disappointed with. Not because of the color which is nice, but because of the yarn itself. It is a yarn I have never dyed with before and thought I would try out. I bought a whole pound of it and am very unsatisfied with how it performed while being dyed. As I previously mentioned, I never really brought the dyebath to a simmer and yet this yarn wanted to start felting! Take that aside and the third skein is also a very nice color.

I can not wait to get these wound into balls and cast-on something with them! I already know what I plan on doing with skein #2. It is destined to be turned into a pair of lace socks.

Oh, and in case anyone is interested here is a picure of the brazilwood chips themselves. Looks kinda like something you might mulch your flower bed with right?

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