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.


onion socks: Tears of Laughter

I got a beautifully dyed skein of sock yarn from Wolop:

It’s dyed with onion peels. From red onions. Because they give green.
(White onions dye yellow. Obviously)

They were dyed in a jar in the window sill. With water, peels and a bit of alum. Just leave it for a bit, like a few weeks, occasionally turning the jar. It’s called solar dyeing. Whodathunk? So easy!

Wolop brought one of her jars to the fair and it was a great conversation piece. Here it is, on the right:

Midwinterwol 2015

This one has regular white onion peels in it and is dyeing yellow. Obviously.

The colour of my skein is marvellous! So intens and so happy.
It’s the very reason I bought sock pattern Blattwerk by Stephanie van der Linden:

I’ve casted on and am having a blast knitting it. The colour, the pattern, the memories of the fair:

This is where I am this morning:

I’m even wearing a matching longsleeve! For someone who proclaims to be in a silvery grey phase I sure do enjoy my intense ochres…

PS I’ve written about it before but plant dyes may not be light fast? That’s when I’ll dunk my socks in a fresh jar and put them in the window sill for a bit.

Image a window sill filled with jars with all different colours, sun light sparkling through. Knitters are awesome home decorators.