Workshop Ecodyeing techniques at Wolop!

Yesterday I had a wonderful workshop at Wolop: three techniques of ecodyeing. I went home with a skein in a jaar, with numerous printed fabrics and with a printed shawl still in a bundle.

Outside the studio the plants are growing, this is “Stinking Goldy” (Stinkende Gouwe in Dutch and Greater Celandine or tetterwort, nipplewort or swallowwort in English), a plant which doesn’t stink in particular but has bright yellow sap that will stain your clothes (but not your wool). Gouda, the name of the city, has two canals called Gouwe ūüôā
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
It gives beautiful prints when hammered:
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
These are some hammered prints I made, from violets:
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
I tried hammering plants before but I didn’t know what I was doing. Now I do. I’d love to do this more. Embellish shirts and skirts or use fabric for WIPbags. Anja Schik had some beautiful examples in her studio when she presented her book about Eco Dyes.¬†Her example showed how the colours faded in time:

Lieneke was very liberating in her remark that you can always hammer a new flower on. And pre-mordanting makes a difference. As does fixating the print. All things she taught us.

The second technique we learned was about printing. These are some printing examples from Wolop:
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeingworkshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing

After explanation and examples we got to work ourselves. Lieneke had a multitude of various plants to chose from. The one in front is mine:
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing

Our “bundles” in the make:
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
Eco-printing is all about bundles.

Lieneke showed us how various you can make use of bundles. How about taking little pieces of cloth with you on a hiking trip and taking some leafs and earth from a friendly space and making a bundle right then and there? Or what about making some on holiday?
India Flint, queen of eco-printing, even brings a small cooker with her on holiday, to steam the bundles in her holiday homes. But Lieneke says: why not bring your bundle home in a ziplock and cure it there?
So many possibilities! A lovely experience to have the world open up like this.
This is the bundle that I took home:
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
and I’m supposed to leave it alone for a few days. Weeks if I can muster. I’m not that patient! This looks so promising.

Thirdly here is some solar dyeing in progress. The ball on top is dyed with red onion skins:
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
All natural plant materials: onion skin, madder, dandelion flowers, more onion skins and woad.
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
The dandelion is my favourite. It’s an experiment but it seems to be going well. And the yarn has sparkles!
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing
We made a vessel of our own. Lieneke taught us how you can determine whether a plant shows promise for dyeing. It was a really good workshop!

Just when we thought we were done we got a fourth, extra technique. It was a special bundle that we have to bury in the garden and leave there for months. Months!

It was a really good workshop. I recommend it. There will be a second one in June, in Gouda, in the second studio Lieneke uses. June 17th, 45 euros all in.

workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing

You may skip this last bit, it’s about my health:
I was meant to do this workshop last year but something went wrong on the trainride to Gouda. The train broke down and we stranded in the middle of the country on a very hot day (May 28 2016). I dehydrated while trying to make it to Gouda in time, by bus. Dehydration is a danger when dealing with adrenal problems. A danger I’m prone to, I learned that day. Luckily my parents live near one of the busstops and I avoided an adrenal crisis¬†by ringing their doorbell, heaving and shaking and crying uncontrollable, unable to speak.

Luckily my mother is not easily spooked, she put me on a day bed and brought me salted tea. Later on my husband came by car to get me and take me home. No workshop for me and it has stung for many months. Stupid health. Stupid trains!!

But now I’ve done the workshop and it was wonderful! I learned so many things! And grew so confident by seeing the examples and seeing how Lieneke does things and approaches eco dyeing.

I did get reminders that my health is not optimum. I had trouble concentrating and needed to eat Wolop’s chocolate chip cookies all the time. It is weird, not being in full control of your mind. It got a bit better when I took more and more¬†of Hydrocortisone (which scares me because it depletes the bones of Calcium).

Still. It’s not easy not being well. It is weird, first and foremost. I suspect it gets weirder with age.

It forces me to often take stock of all the things I want to do and then choose the most important to do firstly. Because there’s not enough vitality and time to do all the things. (The stock taking itself takes energy too so got to keep that in mind too. And then there’s the need to stop doing the fun thing halfway through because there’s vitality and time needed to clean up too.)

Man. Living ain’t easy. And it’s weird. But the workshop was lovely!
workshop Ecoprinting Wolop Gouda wol ecodyeing

“Just add a little green….”

I wanted to dye a skein of soft fingering yarn cornflower blue.

Because I’ve won the Make-A-Wish-Swap in the Dutch Karma Swap Group again and my wish was for someone to knit me a blue shawlette ūüôā because my eyes looks smashing when I wear blue next to my face but I myself don’t like to knit with blue (???).

Easy plan, easy dye. I went to the cabin yesterday, one day before my husband, and pulled the pots and pans from the wool room. Lillepoes was giving directions.

And I ended up with green instead of blue:

It won’t photograph properly. It’s a deeply saturated dark green with blue semi solid. It was a green variegated yarn to begin with and when adding blue it became VERY BLUEGREEN. The kind I don’t like at all.

Then, while trying to make it a proper green instead of a teal, I mixed too much green dye and then had to find extra things to dye green.

By then it was already¬†getting really late. The cat kept nagging me, demanding food and attention and bed routine. But I knew I had to finish it all before bed (rinsing and spinning it all dry and putting it on the drying rack in the middle of the room) and clean everything¬†up too because things had to be tidy for this morning¬†or my husband and Poekie wouldn’t fit in the room.
dyeing wool
dyeing wooldyeing wool
Oh man, why do I do this to myself? Again and again? (I must secretly love it, that’s the only explanation for it. Alright, alright, the only sane explanation for it.)

Dyeing on the evening of a busy day in which I drove all the way to the cabin, by myself, with Lillepoes loudly giving directions for the full 75 minutes it takes me to drive there and with all the mad people on the road, clearly all letting their blind cats hold the wheel.

Sigh. Stuck with a cup full of extra strong green dye I found myself digging through the stashroom, late at night, frantically looking for more stuff to dye.

Here I am chucking dry fleece and dry silk into the pot with the dark skein from the first pictures:
dyeing wool
The fleece is Swifter that I had dyed too “Autumny” and too blue-green back in the Autumn. It’s such great fleece! Great staple, nice touch, nice smell. When I rooted through the stash-room I had real difficulty not to dismiss all plans I have for the next few days and start carding it right away. Lovely fleece!
This:

became that:

Now card it in with the rest of the white and I’ll spin for a lovely jumper!

Make haste! make haste! I cannot wait to spin this! No. Wait. Noooo. We are knitting the Sock Madness sock while we are at the cabin. We are also casting on for a new vest if we need to do something on bigger needles. And we have the Music Maker sock with us for easy knitting. We have an all day birthday visit on Saturday and an all morning spinning group on Tuesday and we will be travelling back on Wednesday and there were a thousand things you wanted to paint while here. Also shower. So: no. No carding.

The silk skein I threw in is the lovely mulberry silk fingering yarn. But I kept it in short because I want my silk to be lightly coloured. Like willow wisps:

Yes, succes!

Silk soaks up colour like nobody’s business, I could actually use it as “a mop” to drain the dye from the water and dye the fleece evenly and not too dark. I was lucky though, the water had not had vinegar yet which makes dye soak into silk even faster. Too fast would have been a problem here because silk needs to be presoaked for quite a while to become thoroughly saturated. Only thoroughly saturated yarn will take up dye evenly.

Otherwise it will stay on the surface and only in the places that are wet. Which is a desirable effect on its own when dyeing speckles or for a sprayed look. But not for me, this night.

I was also lucky in not overdoing it and dye¬†the silk too intense. It’s hard to gauge a shade when the yarn is wet and when you’re dyeing in the evening. The lamp over my dyepot is a daylight lamp but still… better to dye during the daytime.

I then started the pot again. This time dyeing with just Ashford blue, on an undyed base. But I had no sheep¬†yarn left. I did have more silk though…. not sure my well-wisher wants to knit with it. Silk is slippery, especially this mulberry silk (my favourite!). But the colour is s*m*a*s*h*i*n*g*l*y blue:

I would LOVE to wear this colour near my face.

Again I had to take care to not leave the silk in too long. It is a bit more intense than I wanted. I remember thinking: “O yes, this is just right! Or maybe a little too light?…. I’ll just leave it in the water, the water is nearly clear anyway.”

And then the silk went and soaked every bit of dye it could find and became two or three shades darker than I had wanted. Still beautiful.

For a while I had the silk parked outside the pot and threw in two bits of sparkly sock ¬†yarn to “mop up” the extra dye in the water. When they had done so (but apparently not to the maximum extend) I put the silk back in and heated everything to dyeing temperature and added vinegar

It’s happily blue glitter yarn now ūüôā
The light one used to be light green, the dark one was a multicolour. They now go well together. Perhaps for a crocheted hat?

Aw, the sparkle doesn’t show one bit in the picture. It’s very pronounced in real life though and will look great in crocheted fabric. I have 25 grams of the dark, 45 grams of the light. Enough for a pair of knitted socks for me. Enough for a crocheted hat?

workshop Dyeing with Mushrooms, Day two results.

we did the greys, blues and reds and the light yellow in the lower left. I opted out of the beige that comes from the abundant native mushroom Aardappelbovist (Scleroderma citrinum)

Lots of drab, smurrie and sludge again:

Sorry, very tired. Two night with 5 hours of sleep total. Talk staccato, mkay?

Sitting now with colours all around me. Thinking stranded projects, shapes, combinations.
Knitsonik is very much on my mind.

Also this book: Poetry in Stitches. Old. 1997. Wish I had it. Very much so. De Schapekop had one in Norwegian, I was delighted ūüôā Looking for one like this for me: Dikt i masker.

Rukt i Masker Poetry in Stitches boek Solveig
Solveig takes heartfelt landscapes, historic textiles and cultural identities and translates them into stranded patterns.

Rukt i Masker Poetry in Stitches boek SolveigRukt i Masker Poetry in Stitches boek Solveig

Want too. This way of designing. Dutch things.

Thinking about these:

Puttertje by Carel Fabritius uit 1654:

Dutch tiles. Art nouveau. Snowdrops. (these are lilies, couldn’t find snowdrops. Don’t like lilies):

Winter almost gonepic by Atze Dijkstra

There are tiles on many buildings in my city and other cities I hold dear. There are also typical Dutch tiles in my house, behind the fire place. Won’t do blue and white though.

Would love to do a “pimpelmees” but don’t have the right blues. Another time, little friend:

Dutch traditional clothes. Colourful. Practical.
from Marken:
marken vrouw pic by Gwen the Monster
from Volendam (wouldn’t do Volendam though, it’s too iconical):
2011 Markenpic by Jose Gonzalvo Vivas
from Friesland:
pic by Theun
Nice colours.

For now I’m thinking light coloured vest with snowdrops, wrens and the checkered pattern of the “Kievitsbloem”. All early spring, end of winter symbols. Art Nouveau shapes. First time steeking.

Another project to use the warm yellows, the ochres, with the steel blue I bought to go with it. Perhaps wristwarmers, not a vest.

Another with the colours of the painting Puttertje. Those are the ones we dyed yesterday: the red, the blues, the greys both warm and cool. They don’t flatter the colours of my face but they are beautiful.

I wouldn’t depict the bird itself. I would only use its colours. Or it’s essential shape or combinations. It’s face mask for example. The streak on its wings. I found another painting, using the same colours as the Puttertje:

It’s not Dutch though, it’s French:¬†Fleur de lande by Jacques Wely. “Flower of the land.” But I think it’s a Dutch girl. It’s from the Art Nouveau era.

I want one vest finished half way May, when there’s a Knitting and Crochet festival in the old town nearby De Schapekop and the mushroom instructor will be there again.

But first: rest rest rest. Got nice things to watch on the inside of my eyelids though. Knitwear designer things. ūüôā

Workshop Mushroom Dyeing Day 1

Results of day 1, made with two species of mushrooms:

The one that dyes yellow was then modified¬†with iron and gave the greens (“modifying” is fancy for “add a bunch of rusty nails”).

The colours are so¬†beautiful! The whole workshop is fantastic. It’s really relaxed yet well organized. There’s no rush but everything gets done. The instructor has soooo much knowledge. He’s name is Chiel Noordeloos and he was a mushroom professor at the University of Leiden. Now he’s retired. On thursday he’s off to Oslo to give two lectures on mushroom dyeing. In Norwegian! I told him I speak Norwegian too, on account of having spent six months in Bergen. He said: “But then you won’t speak Norwegian, you speak Bergensk.” He’s so right haha!

He brought lots of examples, both of mushrooms and of dyed skeins and of knitted items. Lots of books too. It was wonderful.

The location is at woolstudio De Schapekop (The Sheepshead) which is also wonderful. Very hospitable. We are taken care off really well.

Here are some pictures:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

De Schapekop is a wonderful place. I’m not even showing you half of it:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

There was time to explore and to knit while doing so:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.
First course of a wonderful lunch.

Examples Chiel brought with him:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

Some of the books:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.
Heehee, mushrooms are called “svamp” in Swedish.

Knitted clothing all dyed with swamps:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

Look, he buys some of his dried mushrooms at Riihivilla in Finland:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.
I don’t know which colour these give. Mushrooms are plenty in Finland, not so much in the Netherlands. Love Riihivilla. Leena keeps a blog about natural dyeing, it features mushrooms too. I recognize the smell of the purple dyes from a mitten kit I knitted.

In the afternoon we dyed purples and greens. This purple mushroom is toxic and it needs it’s pH value monitored to give purple:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

Adding iron to the dyebath before dunking in the skeins:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

Then dipping various skeins for various periods of time. It’s how I got the lighter colours. I was the only one doing that, the workshop provides three colourways for green. The first, most intense one pictured here and two lighter ones. I put in two additional skeins, the last one only for a couple of seconds. They are bottom right. As soon as it had the colour I wanted I took it out and rinsed it:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.
I used two skeins I’m supposed to use tomorrow. This means I won’t be dyeing all the colours tomorrow. That’s ok, I don’t mind skipping out on corals or light oranges. We’ll see.

Results of today are drying. Wool for tomorrow is already sorted. We’ll dye¬†greys, brown, blues and reds.
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

It’s wonderful to be able to participate a whole day. I’m not even that tired. How far I’ve come ūüôā

On the way back the landscape inspired me to think about colours and stranded knitting:
wol verven met paddestoelen olv Chiel Noordeloos bij wolstudio De Schapekop. Dyeing Wool with mushrooms.

I made some yarns.

One more silk ball spun into yarn:

74 meters out of 20 grams, fingering weight. Worsted spun.

The “bunny batts” that Gwen the Random Knitter gave me at the Knit&Knot Wool fair:
¬†Two skeins of 68 meters, each in a gradi√ęnt.

I dyed 500 grams of a Merino sport in a nice cool light grey:

(Cake for white value.)

It’s for a¬†Pumpkin Ale¬†cardigan which will have a different cable motif on the back panel, I’m leaning towards the cables from A Floral Affair, by Hanna Maciejewska:

The dyed yarn is beautifully soft and bouncy. And round plied. Very good for cables. I dyed it in my big pot. 5 skeins of 100 grams can be swished around in it comfortably, ensuring a reasonably even dye.

The skeins for the workshop Mushroom Dyeing are properly mordanted now:

The wool bloomed beautifully. No spinoil residu. But they do feel a bit sticky because of the alum.

And I just finished plying this Merino Silk blend:

Dyed by Passe-Partout, spun into aran weight, 80 grams, 180 meters

This roving was fractal spun:

I took out some of the bright pink and also some of the bordeaux on the single with the short colour repeats. Because I wanted a yarn with a little less contrast.

The idea is to knit another Rikke hat, in a more greenish colourway:

Right, I’m off to set some twist.

 

Preparing to dye with mushrooms.

Just before the sun hits the snow this morning:

I’m at the cabin for six days of rest and crafting. Yesterday I arrived here¬†with Lillepoes and about 19 projects to work on. Knitting, sewing, spinning, embroidery.

Instead I’ve been doing some homework for a workshop Dyeing with Mushrooms I’ll attend at the beginning of February. This is Shetland Lambswool from LYS and wool studio De Schapekop:

I need to make these into 14 skeins of 25 grams and 5 of 10 grams. Then they need to be mordanted with alum. It has to happen this week because I won’t be seeing my dyeing pan or the alum after that. So here I was last night, skeining up the cakes, counting the rotations of my Louet winder.

The workshop at De Schapekop will be fun and interesting. This is the picture they show:
screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-10-54-27
Lots of colours possible with mushrooms!

It’s a two day workshop, with mycologist (= professional mushroom-o-logist) Chiel Noordeloos. A mushroom expert who happens to love knitting and has brought these two fields together.

The first day we’ll dye yellow, green and orange-reds. The second day greys, purple and browns. At the end I’ll have 350 grams of dyed yarns. That’s a stranded vest!

I knew of dyeing yarn with mushrooms from Finnish dyer¬†Leena Riihel√§¬†from webshop Riihivilla. They have locally spun Finnsheep yarns, all dyed with plants and mushrooms. Their mitten kitts are excellence! I’ve knitted three (and a half) of them.
 pic by Riihivilla

In Summer time they sell them on the market Kauppatori of Helsinki:
Willow Herb Mittens

My mittens, the first I ever knit:

They put so many yarn in one kit that I knit three mittens. The first one was too tight, you can see the difference in the first picture. There was enough yarn to knit two extra mittens. It was my first stranded project.

Here are some pictures of the finished product, I only took these last year, after 7 years of wear:

Still look good eh? I wear them often. When I made them I put the year on it, as it was the year I learned to knit. ¬†Since then I wanted to date a knit each year but it’s only now that I did it again: the Wolop Advent-shawl has “2016” on it.

These are the Finsheep mittens I knit for my husband and my mother. All Riihivilla kits and they both still use them too.
robertmittsroz mitts

And here’s the kit I bought in 2011 and have knitted a bit on since then:

The light orange is mushroom dyed for sure! Since I bought this kit my colour preference has switched away from orange and I don’t think I’ll ever finish it. Which is something I feel guilty over because I’d really like another pair of Riihivilla mittens.¬†Wonderful company, wonderful yarn. Finnsheep is in my top 3 of favourite breeds.

I wish I had bought the kit for this colourway instead:

Shipping costs are preventing me from ordering them now and have done so for years…
Instead I’m dreaming of visiting¬†Finland one day. Buy the kit in person, on the market. Also¬†see Finnish wool people. And try to find an old Finnish spinning wheel to take home, restore and use. I already have a¬†Finnish slanty wheel and would love to have an old one. One used by a Finnish wool woman.

Back to dyeing with mushrooms. All colours above are done with plants and mushroom. The grey-green in my rose mitts is from mushroom. And the orange and pink in my mother’s mitts too, if I remember correctly.

Leena of Riihivilla keeps a very interesting blog about her dyeing: Riihivilla.blogspot.fi

Annakika is a dyer in Sweden with a beautiful Flickr account:

dagens skördResultat av svampfärgningen / Mushroom dyeing 16 juli 2012
Pics by AnnaKika who dyed these skeins with mushrooms (notes in Swedish)

Now I’m off to tie up some more skeins. Tea is gone, cake is gone. Let’s get to it.
The tying needs to be done in a certain way, so the dye fluid can reach every part of the yarn. For this dyers tie a string in a repeated figure 8 across the strands of the skeins.

Every skein has to be marked too, so I’ve put a wooden bead on them. And tied two knots in a string, should the bead break and go missing.

Lastly I’ve used a knot that is more easily loosened than a straight forward knot. Before putting the ends through the loop I run them once behind the “root”.

Here’s everything together: bead, figure 8 across the skein and a slightly modified knot at the end:

Also: this yarn contains spinning oil and I must be careful not to rub it on my face. I think I did it anyway because I had insomnia last night and I’ve not yet shaken off the brackish feeling that comes with that. A little walk outside first, I think. Than a snort of cat tummy. And then wool homework. Then wash hands and yarn and hopefully tonight peaceful dreaming of mushrooms.

Mushroom Garden pic by Nelo Hotsuma

Enjoying and dyeing colour in Winter.

Hello!
colour winter 2016 2017

Last week I watched two friends dye colourful yarn:
colour winter 2016 2017

Both are knitters who particularly use colours to enjoy themselves and to enhance life.

Their x-mas trees illustrate this beautifully ūüôā
One friend always has seven peaks in her tree. And glass robots:
colour winter 2016 2017colour winter 2016 2017colour winter 2016 2017
The tree of the other friend, The Random Knitter, has miniskeins in it, the Wolop Advent Calendar:
colour winter 2016 2017

They both wanted a yarn that knits up a certain way: a basic colour with little bursts of multicolour. If you knit those multicolours purl wise you get something like this:

The Lemonade Shop Sparkle Sock (Stormy Day; no DL)

Yarn dyed by independent dyer Lemonade Shop yarn on etsy, colour Stormy Day.

Here are the results of our dyeing day, still wet:

dyeing Yarn party

And dry with better lighting:

 pic by Spectre120

They really knew what they were doing!

I’m going to just post the photos and let those do the talking.
I was just sitting there anyway, spinning and eating all the sweets and pastry. I’d brought some Bossche Bollen and I had two! At one time I needed a little lie down (possible bol-related) and the lovely old genteman cat Guus spotted the opportunity immediately.
Colour, knitters, pastries and cat cuddles? Perfect day.
dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn party

dyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partydyeing Yarn partyUntitleddyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn party
dyeing Yarn partyUntitleddyeing Yarn party

And a hike in the woods yesterday, wearing my red Bleuet dress and Wolop Advent shawl. This too was with a knitter and there was beautiful sunlight and we did knitting and pastry afterwards ūüôā

colour winter 2016 2017

Failed in getting pigment from indigo leafs

Today I tried the recipe from the book Eco-verf, page 196. It’s for extracting pigment from woad but Anja Schrik said it’s the same for indigo.

indigo plant extracting pigment book Eco-verf by Anja Schrik recipe p 196

50 grams of fresh leaves
about 1200 ml boiling water
following the recipe step by step. It is well explained and also has pictures so you know what to look for and why you are asked to do certain things.
indigo plant extracting pigment book Eco-verf by Anja Schrik recipe p 196indigo plant extracting pigment book Eco-verf by Anja Schrik recipe p 196extracting pigment from indigo leafsextracting pigment from indigo leafsextracting pigment from indigo leafstoo much CaHO2?too much CaHO2?sediment :( failedUntitled

Unfortunately it failed. It turned bright yellow when I added the lime/ Calciumhydroxide/ CaHO2. It was supposed to turn into green tea.

I probably added way too much CaHO2 as the recipe made me uncertain at that point by talking about “a cup of CaHO2” instead of grams. I’m also not sure whether I was to add a certain volume in regard to the volume of indigo-tea or in regard to the calcium-hydroxide-solution.

What do you think, did I interpret this correct?
translation p 202:
“The indigo fluid needs to be mixed with a CaHO2 solution. You need 1 part CaHO2 solution for 4 parts indigo fluid. For example: 1 liter indigo fluid requires 250 ml CaHO2 solution.
Prepare the CaHO2 solution: one cup of CaHO2 per 500 ml water. Add the CaHO2 solution to the indigo fluid. It should turn green.”

I had 900 ml indigo fluid so thought I needed just under 250 ml CaHO2 solution. I took 250 ml of water and added “half a cup” which I took to be 2 levelled diner spoons of CaHO2. I don’t know how big the cups of the writer are. It’s not a standard measurement of volume outside of the UK or USA. I was thinking coffee cups (not mugs).

I did a lot of trying to add oxygen but nothing changed, not in the colour, not in the consistency. It smells strongly of cement. When I put it aside there formed a sediment at the bottom (see last picture) and the tell tale “skin” appeared on top of the fluid. But it never got a hint of green or blue.

Now I am blue. I’d really loved this to go right today as I’m having a horrible brain chemistry/PMS day. I have not enough knowledge to know what I did wrong or what I could tweak to make it better. If it’s too much CaHO2 I could perhaps try to make it more acid with some vinegar. But I don’t know. I’m taking a break now. Please let me know if you have advice and I can try some things tomorrow morning.

Such pretty flowers:
indigo plant extracting pigment book Eco-verf by Anja Schrik recipe p 196
I gathered the seeds (and dropped half of them on the ground). Perhaps I can get them through the Winter and sow them coming Spring.

my overdyed gloves

I overdyed a beautiful pair of gloves I own. They are purple now:

overdyed handknit gloves purpleoverdyed handknit gloves purple

The pattern is Glacier by Julia Mueller.

They were knit by the same friend who send me the TdF prize “Birch Batts” last week. It’s a pattern with lots of traveling stitches at a fairly tight gauge. Two aspects of knitting I can not accomplish myself anymore because of the RSI (shoulder impingement) that still troubles me.

The original colour was Kent by Zitron Trekking Hand Art, a warm red yellow colour:

pic by Lauramate who’s willing to sell this skein (USA)

I’m more of a purple girl myself and dyed them last Sunday¬†with acid dyes (food colouring plus Ashford Dyes):

Untitled

I got these gloves as part of a wonderful KARMA day we built together in January 2014 in the Dutch Karma Swap Group.

That particular day most of the group members were at a meet to celebrate one of the members. But a few of us could not attend, mostly because of health or family.

One of these members spontaneously proposed we could do a one day online swap for handmade things. Right there in the group. It grew into a wonderful online community hug, where everybody wanted to pamper the others. It was special!

The new colour turned out beautiful and it feels like I have a whole new pair of gloves again, with the sentiments of that KARMAday still in them:

overdyed handknit gloves purple

The Charm of a Sock Blank

A sock blank is a piece of (machine) knit sock yarn which is then hand dyed by an artisan. The resulting piece can be knitted into socks, straight out of the blank.

This is a sock blank:

I dyed it myself yesterday, in a workshop at Wolop.nl.

It is a single thread blank of a soft Merino/Nylon mix and it measures 25 x 125 cm. You start knitting at one end, frogging the blank as you knit. When you have one sock finished you’re somewhere in the middle of the blank, right where mine has spots. So my toe (or cuff) will have some dark stripes and spots.

The second sock will then begin with the spots and end with the evenly coloured bit of the blank.
I may have to knit one sock cuff down and the other toe up to get two matching socks.

A sock blank is a special kind of sock yarn stash, it’s a bit¬†of a present to yourself really. The stash “enhancement” itself is an item to be admired:

Mine is just a dabble but professional ones are dyed by the artisan, the artist, and takes hours. They are pieces of art. Here are some examples:

wolop-sock-blank-groen
Wolop and Strickgewand 


Yarn Over New York¬†and¬†Rosie’s Moments


MariegoldJen and AndreSueKnits

A sock blank a one of a kind piece of knit art¬†and you will “destroy” it as you use¬†it. I love to appreciate it for a while before do that. Just looking at the artist’s handywork for a while, studying her play with colours, her techniques of applying colour and dye. She really put a lot of work in this!

The socks themselves end up very differently from the blank, they are a whole new item, often stripey and pooling. This project by Jamiemacn shows this:

 Sock Blank created by AndreSueKnits.

It has the same atmosphere colourwise as the blank but otherwise it’s a very different. No echo of the kitten’s sentiments nor the giggles the artist shared with knitters when she offered this blank for sale. They are probably still in the socks when Jamiemacn wears them though.

As you can see she knits the sock straight from the blank. The yarn is all crinkly but that’s ok, it will smooth when the socks are blocked. I imagine keeping the tension right is a bit of a nuisance with crinkled yarn. But making the magic happen from the sock blank into socks, enjoying the colours, makes up for that.

Yes I think the sock blank itself is something to be savoured and enjoyed while you use it.
Enjoy it even before you use it! Have it laying around to admire. After all, it is the promise of some quality “me-time” and it’s a quality item in which a fellow human being put a ¬†lot of work and effort:

Ohh, this is so perfect for my colour palette, I couldn’t have executed it better if I had planned it!
The truth is I didn’t plan this colour. It was¬†meant to be greyish blue which was the colour the dye bath had but then some dye magic happened (because I was using left over dye? because I only applied very little dye?) and it became greyish purple. To which Lieneke of Wolop then mixed up the perfect dark purple to paint the stars with.¬†These will be perfect winter socks for me!

Right now I’m displaying the blank in¬†my own home. With me as its target audience.
I’m sure you agree that this¬†Sock Blank portrays¬†the inner beauty and tranquility of me as a knitter:

Ahh, a perfect internet life picture. Instagram worthy.

The internet, where we are all beautiful, collected and fabulous!

While you know how it is in the real life:

In the real life we learn to operate our blinders and focus on what’s pleasing. Such as sock blanks.