Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's not easy being green

I'm after green sock wool. I can't seem to find what I want with out paying a fortune, or importing something from the US or UK and in that case the item might not cost a fortune but postage certainly seems to.

So when I met Mum in Canberra last weekend she kindly brought me some wool from the Mill at Wangaratta.
I bought some dye at the markets in Canberra and I couldn't wait.

I spent the week trying to hunt down a mordent for my wool. One of the dyes I am using is actually a blue colour and I was warned that it often leeches for many washes afterwards so I wanted to try and avoid that.

Who would have thought it would be that hard to hunt down some alum? Anyway I managed and I was eternally greatful. (I did actually a dye some with out using alum and I'll post photos of the water tomorrow!)

So it's Sunday and I have 4 lots of wool pre-mordanted.
I would like a nice bright lime green, chartreuse and maybe a nice middle of the road green.

I'm sure there's some scientific way to get the green that I want. I have lots of equipment - scales to weigh the dye, cups, measures, boiling water, pots, plastic, rubber gloves and anything else I think I might need.

Here is some crepe wool that I spent hours winding in a special way so I could have three columns of green - one light, one middle and one dark. Well that was the plan.
Gaywool dyes.
They produce nice colours and are safe to use with out industrial safety equipment.
I didn't get round to the red ones today... another time perhaps!
I bought some Earth Palette dyes, which are cold water dyes. No cooking required - you just leave the parcel in a warm spot for 24 hours. Be interesting to see how they come out.
Ok, so my strategic plan went down the drain.
I should have added the blue to a yellow base.. not a yellow to the blue base! (I ended up with more dye than I knew what to do with.)

So... umm.. yeah, this is what it looked like before I cooked it (it was too dark after cooking it for photos, but I'll get some in the new light of day)... it looks different after, mainly I think due to the uptake of the blue in the green.
I don't mind this colour green.

Here are a second lot of parcels waiting to go into the pot.
The top and bottom one didn't go into any mordant.

The first lot cooking in the pot.

Here is one of the many disasters I seemed to have today -
I thought using good quality plastic bags would work. Think again. I don't know why I thought Glad Wrap would melt when you can use the stuff for cooking, but I did. Well I'll share this secret, these bags melt very easily and the dye in them leeches.

Left over dye. You can really see the blue in these pots.One batch cooked.
Nice. I don't mind the colours. They're not like they started are they? Quite a bit of yellow in there.

The second lot in the pot.

All skeins have been washed now and the ones with out mordant really let out a lot of blue.
I might have to do a little over dyeing.

More photos later.

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