Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sage hand spun

A friend gave me dried flower heads labeld Rittersporn Buuten (thanks Lindy) - about 6 ounces. These are Larkspur and I found a site that lists the colors you can expect from different plants : It indicates I should get a green if using the Alum mordant.

I mordanted 8 oz of fleece with Alum and simmered the Larkspur for 2 hours in water then cooled overnight.
I thought 6 oz dry weight would have coe from about 12- 18 oz of fresh flowers but I didn't know how much fiber it would dye. I gave a very dark liquid which when tested on white kitchen paper showed a faint light green.
I decided to add 4 oz of the fiber, simmered for an hour after which it seemed virtually unchanged :(. I left ot overnight and next day the fleece seemed barely dyed with a very light green hue.
After it dried it appeared a more definite green. When spun it looks like this:
Sage 3
A Sage green. At first I was disappointed as I thought I would get a dark green, then I was annoyed that I had put so much fiber in (perhaps 2 oz would have been better) but now it's growing on me, so to speak - and I've come to really like it's subtle gentle green.

Helebors and Woad Extra color yarn

The four Heleborus plants are up and the 2 older ones are giving a good display while the new ones (from last year) seem to be coming on.
two helebors
helebor feb 2011 4
helebor Feb 1 2011 1
They like being under deciduous trees.
The "Fondant" fleece (dyed with the Woad leaves left over from Indigo dying) spun up into fairly interesting colored yarn:
woad extra skein 1
woad extra skein 2