Dyeing with mushrooms: results

In the warm lamp light yesterday:

In the cool day light this morning:


My skeins all ended up a bit muted, a bit light. One of my fellow students had intense coloured skeins:

Beautiful combination! Just lying there on the table while we had tea and chocolates. Beautiful! And so very inspiring.

Another inspiration on the table:

A strange things happened with one of my skeins, it changed colour midway:

This skein was made from two skeins of the original cone. One of these skeins must have been treated differently than the other. Perhaps washed more thoroughly or put last in the mordanting bath. I mordanted with alum.
We made fresh skeins yesterday morning for the hostess, so she could participate in the dyeing too. These skeins were not mordanted and took up way less colour than mordanted skeins. So perhaps my lighter part was also mordanted less than the darker part.

Again, it was a wonderful course. Chiel Noordeloos is so knowledgable! And he’s so good in running the course, keeping track of the time while everything is relaxed.
The venue, De Schapekop, is also very nice. It’s a wool and yarn shop with lots of workshops and textile day trips and holidays. The owner, Carina, has a flock of Zwartbles and Shetland sheep and the Zwartbles have been lambing just this week! She hasn’t slept much and had to run out for a bit, every day after lunch, to go and feed the ewes. This on top of providing us with homemade breads and jams and soup and trifle, just for lunch!

Today I’m going to leave the skeins out so I can look at them. Already plans are forming. I’m rereading the plans that I got from last year’s dyeing, about using typical Dutch cultural and heritage shapes. Last year I took a close look at snowdrops in Art Nouveau tiles and translated that in one cuff:

Finding out that good contrast is extremely important when knitting with these mushroom yarns. I will frog this cuff to salvage the yarns and use them with this year’s batch.

I may pick up snowdrops again… or a more industrial design inspiration from the 20th century… or the shapes of the typical Dutch canal houses…. Yesterday, driving to the venue, I passed through typical Dutch landscape of flat grassland with straight sleats and raised canals and old willows and dark silhouettes of windmills against sweeping skies. Doesn’t get much more “Holland” than this.
Kinderdijk, Starling flockpic by Frans de Wit

But would I want to wear a tourist snack on my body?
And is that the best use of these soft, lovely colours?

The project is definitely going to be a stranded vest with swirly, vertical lines.

Hello Poekie:

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dyeing with mushrooms Day 1

Today we dyed with Pagemantel (Cortinarius semisanguineus). All colours like meekrap/ madder (Rubia tinctorum). Salmon and coral colours. Workshop at De Schapekop in the province of South Holland.

Our instructor, Chiel Noordeloos, was wearing his pullover all dyed with mushrooms:

I brought my spencer:
pics by DeSchapekop

It is not so pretty on the inside:

But very functional and sewn over with the machine 3 or 4 times, just to make sure things stay were they should stay.

We were well taken care for during the day. De Schapekop has a fun felted pincushion:

And a handy tea cosy for anyone who is not afraid to cut into a fraying wool fabric:
This makes me want to make things.

Tomorrow day 2, with all the yellows and iron greens that were used in my spencer.

day three of course Ecodyeing (Tuingeheimen) at Viltwerkplaats Odijk

So this is that we did on the third and final day of the course Garden Secrets, which is all about extracting colours from plants and fixing it on cloth.

We made mordants in various strengths from alum, iron and a mix of the two. We worked very precise. With drug dealer scales and mililiter injection syringes.

We made technical reference pieces with dots in every mordant which we hung in various dye pots. We had five pots on the boil. In Dutch: gele ui, duizendblad, rabarberwortel, guldenroede en blauwhout. (Yellow onion, Achillea millefolium, Rhubarb root, Solidago and Campeche)
We had prepared the dye pots earlier that day or the day before. (So that’s a skill I now also have, yay!)

Then we chose various mordants within one colour bath and painted with that. We fixated the mordant on the cloth. Then the cloth could be put into the dyebath and the dye grabbed onto the cloth but only where the mordant was. We were painting with mordants. The results are the flower paintings below.

In the afternoon I did one classic eco print (just plain old iron water, with an unknown strength, probably STRONK, and some Rhus leaves) because I want to master making clear contoured leaves in heavy iron. The Rhus coloured purple which was a surprise.

I also worked with the various strength mordants and painted them all on one piece of cloth, in narrow stripes. I chose to add colour from leaves, not from a dye bath, and arranged various leaved. The result is stripy with leave prints. Very interesting.

My course mate did the same but with broader stripes and one, big leave, again Rhus, and her print is amazing. It’s the last picture.

(We both opted to play with mordants and leaves. Other course mates chose to explore batik techniques and prevent either mordant or dye to touch the cloth. This way you can work in layers.)

workshop Tuingeheimen Viltwerkplaats Odijk natural dyeing Eco verf

workshop Tuingeheimen Viltwerkplaats Odijk natural dyeing Eco verf


workshop Tuingeheimen Viltwerkplaats Odijk natural dyeing Eco verf

workshop Tuingeheimen Viltwerkplaats Odijk natural dyeing Eco verf

CONCLUSION:

We learned to extract colour from plants and we learned about mordants to fixate the colour to cloth (cotton, linen, silk) and also shift the colours with these mordants.

on Day 1 we did Ecoprinting and Hapazone. Ecoprinting takes colours from leaves and puts them on premordanted cloth. Hapazone is hammering colour from flowers directly onto cloth or paper. This is without mordant and the colours are fleeting.

on Day 2 we made dye or paint from plant materials. Chop them up, soak them overnight, boil them, extract the colour and put it into little viles. Thicken them, add mordant to them. Can be kept for a long time. We painted with them on cloth and paper and we thickened them to use them for stamps.

In the afternoon we learned to shift the colours with iron and lemon. I’m looking forward to making my own paints and using them for water colour/ aquarel.

on Day 3 we prepared sophisticated mordants. They are used first and then colour is applied (either by dye bath or leaf printing). This way the colour can be determined far more precisely.

In the afternoon batik pastas were taught (but not the wax ones! Clay or flour batik paste instead, the African batiks). I opted for exploring sophisticated mordants with leaf printing instead.

All in all it was a very good course. Anja Schrik from Viltwerkplaats Odijk knows her stuff. She’s also a good course instructor who keeps impeccable timing so no one stands around being bored but also no one misses out on information just because they had to take a little rest. Also: the course doesn’t run late. That’s quite unique, isn’t it.

And it’s filled to the brim with information! Just like I hoped when I visited the studio for the presentation of the book and saw the sophisticated mordants for the first time being done.

It’s also all in the book, Eco Verven (39 euros). Which is being translated in German at the moment.

I’m very glad to have the book. I’m looking forward to work with my new knowledge. I bought some cochinelle because the colours that can be obtained from that are marvelous! They would be such a nice complementary parter to the indigo dyed linen I have at the sewing machine at the moment.

Lastly: the location of the course. A studio near three houses surrounded with one great garden filled with trees and green houses and crops and fruit and chickens and cats 🙂

The kitten is called Sjakie and the adult cat is Obelix 🙂
Obelix was adopted from the shelter and handed over in a bundle of towels because it was supposed to be “such an aggressive, hostile cat. Best to be kept outdoors. Pray you never have to take him to the vet because he will fight you nail and tooth.”

He’s the sweetest thing you ever saw! Basking in the sunlit garden, comes trotting when called because he LOVES the cuddles. Interested in what you’re doing. Turns out some cats just can’t stand the shelter. They want peace and freedom and then they their love for humans flourishes.
obelix the catobelix the cat

Weird Wool Wednesday: overdyeing a vest

Overdyeing those socks made me feel good! I’m good at dyeing! I’m the bestest!

So let me just go ahead and overdye that handspun vest!
From rust orange to dark steel blue:

😦
It’s really difficult to dye an existing fabric consistently.

Those dark spots are not shadows, they are stains of darker dye.

(don’t know what to do with it yet. Overdye with an aggressive commercial dye? The vest cannot be put through the washer like is custom for those dye jobs.)

overdyeing socks

As part of a swap I offered to overdye some knee socks that had uneven colouring from a previous dye attempt.

As usual my keenness to solve a problem made me overlook all the practical obstacles. And there were some!

  1. these socks are already knitted. It’s very difficult to dye knitwear evenly. You need a big pan and lots of water and careful pacing of dye and acid to avoid spots or felting. My previous attempt failed horribly.
  2. it has previous stains. These will always show up in any overdye job. Luckily they are dye stains and not grease or anything. Still. It would be best to dye very dark and visually drain out the stain.
  3. this yarn is part acrylic. Acrylic doesn’t take acid dye. I will not be able to dye dark.
  4. these are not my socks. If I ruin these socks it’ll be terrible. Extra stress.

Luckily the knitter is a knitter and very lovely. She assured me again and again that whatever I do it will be ok. She’s open to surprises.

So I pulled out my dye pot and Ashford dyes and set about.

First: thoroughly wet the knitwear. I put it in water the day before. Squeezed out all the air. Kneaded it repeatedly. Every fibre needs to be wet.

This is how the socks look on the day of the dyeing:

overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye

The now thoroughly wetted socks display uneven colouring in a dramatic fashion, it’s not as bad as this in real life. But bad enough for the owner not to want to wear them. Which is a shame.

Second: make the dye bath. The owner had requested a half-blue colour as her favourite so that’s what I start with.

I take precautions so I can dye the fabric slowely, making adjustments along the way. For this I make the dye bath without the acid and I use lukewarm water, not hot.

I put the wet socks in the dye bath and manipulate them. I swirl them so the dye touches every part of the socks. I then stretch the knitted fabric, in all directions. I stop just short of pulling the socks inside out.
overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye

Stretching the fabric to make sure the dye reaches the inner part of the stitches:

I check and recheck the colour and the evenness. Pretty soon I put the wet socks aside and adjust the dye bath to a more intense colour:
overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye
Put sock back in. Swirl, knead, stretch stitches. Still no acid and no heat.

On the third bath I add a bit of red because the red stain will keep showing up. The rest of the sock will need a bit of red too. This time I keep the stained part of the sock out. It’s the rest of the sock that needs darkening. Dipping only part of the sock, keeping the stain out of the pot:
overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye

When I like the overal colouring I add vinegar. Pretty soon the colour drains completely from the bath. I’m pleased that the acrylic doesn’t pose a problem, it seems to be well blended into the yarn. I could probably go some shades darker too. But I don’t like the risk of heathered colouring or felting.

Now I put it on heat to fixate.
The pre-existing stain is still there. I’m hoping it will be less prominent once the sock is dry. Do that first, fixate and dry, and then assess. I can always give it another go.
overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye
This is right as I put the heat on. See how exhausted the dye bath is already?

Results:
overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye

The socks are nearly dry. They are not very blue, more of a jeansy blue.

The stain is still visible but acceptable:
overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye

Detail on the other side: dye right into the middle of the stitches:
overdyeing handknitted socks acid dye

but not through and through. I think this is as much as the acrylic content will allow. I hope the owner is happy with them and they get to see more wear.

 

Shibori dyeing as a birthday gift :)

shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
For my birthday, Lieneke from Wolop offered to come make me an indigo dye vat. I’ve never dyed with indigo before! (I tried, once.)

Today she traversed the width of our country, from the far West to the furthest East, as a mobile one woman indigo dye show. She brought everything with her on the train: a dye pot, all the chemicals, scales, gloves, the indigo. I have a little stove for outdoor dyeing and there are sticks in the woods here for lifting the cloth out of the pot. And off we went!

We dyed on the veranda of the cabin. It rained most of the day. The smell was terrible! But holy moly, what magic! Lieneke knows what she’s doing and I’m in awe: indigo is a diva! The temperature needs to be juuuust right. The pot cannot have chips and cannot be iron. The indigo cannot be old. You cannot stir, you cannot swish. You have to move slow. But have to replace the lid fast. You can’t let your cloth drip in the bath. You have to show the fresh dyed cloth a lot of fresh air, fast. A million little things need to be done just right…

….and then you get the absolute right thing:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
The results are spectacular!!! Colour by Lieneke, patterns by me.

I had never done shibori before, where you manipulate the fabric before you dye it. You fold it, you scrunch it, you tie it with string. There are many words for the different techniques. I surfed the web and found I have a preference for long, stripey patterns. So folding, pleating, stitching and clamping were the techniques I tried when I prepared the cloth in the last week.

Here are the pieces I prepared. Folding, pressing, twisting, tying, all in different sequence.
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
At the bottom is the last bit of stitching still in progress this afternoon: wood grain shibori/ mokume shibori.

Tightening the wood grain shibori:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats

Rrrrrrrresult!
wood grain shibori mokume indigo dyeing
Mokume shibori.

I had purchased 4 meters of bleached linen. Washed it twice at 90 degrees (as hot as the washing machine goes). I cut it in pieces of 50 x 70 cm because that’s a good size for clothing pieces such as a skirt panel or the left front panel of a top. I plan to sew with it. Garments. Little project bags. Left overs in a quilt. (a what now?! sshh. Let’s pretend I didn’t write that.) I’ve kept one piece behind, still white, it will combine nicely.

This is the result of the carefully pleated, ironed cloth with all the little multi coloured clasps:
itajimi shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
Itajimi shibori.

This is the result of the neatly pleated folds that were wound around a little piece of wood (a bamboo crochet hook). I had put a little bit of cling wrap around and tightened it with elastic band. This kept the main parts white and only the edges of the pleats received dye:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop
Suji shibori.

What is this magic of indigo anyway? It’s pale green in the pot and then you bring it out and it starts to breathe, in blue:
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleatsshibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats Amazing. And smelly.
How and why you need to charm indigo before it will act as a dye is nicely explained on the vlog of Dünkelgrun which is hosted by Anna who has an PhD in chemistry.

By the way, I’m a bit of a travelling one woman show myself. I arrived early at the train station this morning and got a bit more stitching done. Just started the “wood grain” stitch: Mokume shibori
shibori indigo dyeing Wolop pleats

As a first entry into the world of Shibori I found this tutorial from the smart women of Beyond Canvas superb: Beyond Canvas on shibori  

So both pleating and stitching shibori give results I love best. Randomness within a grid.

Stitching is called Nui. Stitching next to a fold is called Orinui:
orinui shibori indigo dyeing Wolop

Itajimi is folding and clamping. I used some pieces of cardbord as a resist and just tied it with thin string, I didn’t have clamps that could grip it. Here you see how the top part printed, with the shape of the carton and the string:
itajimi shibori indigo dyeing Wolop

Suji is pleating. And wood grain is mokume shibori.

There’s one other technique that I love but lacked the tools for today: pole wrapping. This is called Ashari Shibori.

I’m putting all the jargon in here so I can refer back to it next year, when I dye with indigo again. Because I surely will! This was such fun and the results are so beautiful! (I will have sewn this into garments before next year yeah? Yes. Definitely.) And then I’ll dye again. But not on my own. I prefer the guidance of an expert.

This is a wonderful birthday gift. With some highly original wrapping and a very sympathetic entertainer! 🙂

ecoprinted shirt (murdering flowers)

I’ve stamped flowers unto my mordanted shirt:
ecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nlecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nlecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nl
“Pull it straight.” my husband said:
ecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nl
I promise I’ve been wearing an extra shirt underneath since then…

Rosepetals and Robertskruid:

ecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nl

Printed in the evening, when the leafs and petals are not so moist anymore. Better to print in the morning. The front side was printed in the morning and has better prints (except for the fern which was another evening stamp):

ecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nl
This is the rose in my back yarn that the petals came from, a true red, stamping purper:
ecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nlecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nl
Pelargonium flower and some weed that grows between the tiles:
ecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nlecoprinting flowers on mordanted t-shirt. Bloemen stempelen op t-shirt, geleerd bij wolop.nl

After wearing for only a couple of hours: additional ecoprinting with a messily eaten strawberry.
Untitled

Curse this alum drenched shirt!

Dyeing swifter fleece with nettles (not)(nottles)

At the cabin this weekend I gathered a bunch of nettles and put them in a bucket with warm water to soak overnight. Woke up to a black tarry substance. Ew.

Added hot water and brought it to a boil, for about an hour:

In the same time I mordanted 300 grams of white, washed Swifter in warm water with alum. Then I did some more research on the net and read about someone who got nice green by using 6 times the weight of the wool in nettles. So I won’t use all the wool for this pot of nettles. I took about half.

I strained the liquid and used it to dye about 150 grams of prewashed fleece. Heated it for hours. But it wouldn’t take the colour:

At the end of the day I have greyish fleece…
. That’s what I was aiming for, that was what I was hoping to spin. I have no idea what went wrong. Perhaps the nettles I took were too mature? Or had grown too much in the shadow? Should I have added more alum?

I took the remainder of the white fleece and cooked it up with the leftover dye bath of the red onion skins:

Nice yellow 🙂 Not a trace of the green that dyed the sock yarn in the same dye bath. What a riddle this plant dyeing is!

We then had to leave nature behind and go back to the city, boohoo.
Here I have to prepare for an abdominal CT scan on Tuesday so today I can’t eat anything and I have to drink a litre of sweetened barium gooey and overall I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself. (but not as sorry as when this had been a colonoscopy, with a camera up the bum!)

To pick myself up I made some more photo’s of the onion dyed skein. The colour is beautiful and intense. And so hard to grasp! Even on these photo’s it looks a bit washed out but in reality it is not, not for one bit 🙂

Solar Dyeing by myself

Today it’s 30 degrees in the sun, a good prompt to do some solar dyeing.

I chose some duizendblad (= Cow’s Parsley) to see whether I could overdye some two toned blue Merino I’ve got. Mordanted with alum:

21-06-10 Cause I'd Rather Pretend I'll Still Be There At The End ~ Explored #1 pic by Bethan Phillips

This is the Merino I started with, a whole box full. It’s so soft! Two tones of blues, very similar to the Shetland I’m spinning at the moment.

The new and the old colour next to each other:

The darker blue only got a tinge of yellow. The light one is beautiful, really bright. But it’s all too bluegreen. I don’t enjoy spinning, knitting nor wearing greenblue at the moment. A good experiment. Now I know I won’t be overdyeing the Merino with Cow’s Parsley.

Here’s the experiment in a better colour photo:

When I tried to open the jar an hour ago it wouldn’t budge. I grew so frustrated that I decided to prick a whole in the lid. And I noticed I couldn’t open the other jar either….

It’s the red onion solar dyeing project I got at Wolop’s plant dyeing workshop a month ago! Might as well prick that one too. And since it then opened so easily I better take out the skein and look how it went, my first solar dyeing experiment.

Ooh! and Aaah!

It’s so hard to capture the colour! It’s golden green, through and through and it seems to come from the core of the yarn, not laying on the outer surface. It’s gorgeous.

I saved the dyebath and hope to cook it up later today and dye some fleece with it.