Monday, December 24, 2012

Results post.

This is the post many have asked for.  This is a all-in-one post for the different test batches I have done.  The wool for these experiments was from a cone of sport weight super wash wool.  Each group is sorted into 4 skeins. 
  1. Straight off the cone.
  2. Scored in a wool soap, in cold water.
  3. Put into a cold alum soak.
  4. Both Scored and put in Alum.
Pine Cones

Eucalyptus Bark

Elm Bark (got washed with the iron batch, so iron influenced the color)
Elm Bark with Iron
Yellow Onion Skins
Yellow Onion Skins with Iron
Second batch of Elm Bark
Black Rice
Black Rice with the Rice left with the Dye

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Walnuts and Red Onion

My next experiments have started.  The first is walnut shells.  I bought 3 bags of walnuts, then after cracking the shells open, I put them in a bag, then into the dye pot.  The reason that this looks a little empty, is because I removed many of the hulls, and put more liquid into a second bottle.

I am separating the dye into two separate dyes to compare colors again, just as was done with the black rice.

Here is my batch of red onion skins.  The best source of onion skins are the grocery store.  The clerk at the register might look at you funny.  If you have a farmer's market, they are more than willing to give you their skins.  This batch was also split into two batches.

Here are all four dyes that will sit in their containers will sit for about 5 days.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pure vs. Superwash & VM

Still no pictures, but I pulled the elm bark, the black rice and the 2nd batch bottles.

I would like to know who has dyed with both pure and SW wool in the same dye pot.  There is a real difference, since all of the wool was scoured and mortared together.  One took a lot more dye than the other one.

Is there a difference between removing the VM (Vegetable Matter) and leaving it in?  Yes!  There is a difference, at least when it black rice the dye material.  The filtered wool is blue/violet, while the unfiltered medium purple.  While you are dyeing with rice, stir often, otherwise you will get a tonal effect.

I have the skeins of the fingering weight prepped.  The elm was transferred to a bottle.  A second bottle was filtered from the rice and a third was filled with rice put into the bottle.  I look forward to the color variation. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Progress and Iron

I keep forgetting to take pictures of the iron dye batch.  I started a second batch of elm bark.  I also started a batch of black rice as well.

Soaking Elm Bark Wool

Two batches of black rice wool soaking.  Two batches you ask?  I started reading more, and reading on Ravelry.  Do you strain the vegetable matter (VM) from dye first, or leave the VM in the pot?  The top was just liquid, the bottom is wool and rice together.
I started another experiment as well.  These are the elm & iron, onion skins & iron, and just onion skins.  This time I changed the fiber.  Each bottle has two skeins, both fingering weight.  One is 100% wool.  (I have been using sport weight Superwash wool.)  The other is a Wool/Bamboo (rayon) 65% / 35% blend.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Next Experiment

This is part of my next experiment.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


Iron (Ferrous Sulfate).  Iron will darken and sadden depending on the amount of iron used.  Because iron can weaken, it is added after the fiber is soaked. 

These are two jars, Elm Bark and Red Onion with 10% per the weight of the wool (3/4 tsp of iron each).


The problem I had was Soaking the wool.  I'm worried the iron batch bled onto the unmodified batch.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Yellow Onions/Elm Bark

This is the Elm Bark and The Yellow Onions drying after about 5 days.

 This is the same batch after a Soak and drying.

I may be dyeing a second batch of Elm bark, because I'm not sure if this batch was contaminated.  See further posts about Iron.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ready to Dye again

Here is the elm bark ready to take on wool.

8 hanks are going in this time.  Same 4, plus I will be adding iron to the dye after all 8 soak, then 4 go back in.

 The will be doing the same process for the yellow onion skins.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Second Batch

Almost ready to start the next batch, with Elm bark.  Soaked for two weeks.  I think I would be better soaking for one week, or add an anti-baterial into the water.

The onion soaked for a weak.  Two great sources of onion skins are the Farmer's Market and the Grocery Store.  I just wish the Farmer's Market had red onions.  The top container is my Alum soak.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Results from the first dyeing project

Here are all eight hanks of yarn:

The left is the Eucalyptus Bark, and the right is Pine Cone.  From left to right in each picture, 1. Unprocessed, 2. Scoured only, 3. Alum only, 4. Scoured and Alum.

A friend asked about color fading, so each hank has been washed in soak.  There is a slight variation between each, but it is very slight color differences.

In the Process

Here is what is being worked on next.

The top is a container of used loose tea.  It will be a while before that one starts.

The bottom is elm bark.  It has been soak for a week so far.

This is a container of yellow onion skins.  Last time I was at the store, I had one onion, plus lots of loose skins.  I gathered up loose skins from Slow Cook Friday, so I have a good start.

Friday, November 09, 2012


Here is my hanks getting dried.

and closer views:

But which is which?

Opened the dye pots

I opened each of the dye pots. Here is what each looked like when I opened them.

The Pine Cones:

Yes that is a little mold at the top. The second is the Eucalyptus:

It is dark, but it is deceiving.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

What is next?

What do I want to try next? I figured out that I have elm trees on my property. You can dye with both elm bark and leaves. I already have a broken branch, I was able to trim the bark easily.

Hank Tags

For those that wondered how I tagged all of my hanks to keep them separated, I found a nice solution. The USPS (US Postal Service) makes a nice plastic paper envelope for Priority Mailing. It also makes nice tags. I cut small tags, write on them (once in pen, and a second in Sharpie), then tie a piece of cotton string that I used to tie hank together.

Dye Pots 2

Here are my two dye pots after 3 weeks of sitting outside.

9 hanks of wool

These are my 9 hanks of super wash Merino.

Here is the list of all nine

2 - Scoured

2 - Alum

2 - Neither

1 - Undyed

Scoured means the hanks were washed in a wool soap to clean any dirt or chemicals from the wool. Alum, (Aluminum Sulfate), is used to help Brighten the color and allows the color to not fade from natural light and washing. I want to know how each of these affect the color, so each of the three goes and soaks in the dye.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

New Dye Pots

Started two dye pots (containers) today. The top one is pine cones from the Lee Canyon side of Mount Charleston. The bottom one is Eucalyptus Bark. One of the staff from my local knit shop, Wooly Wonders, brought me a bag off bark from some of her plants.

The eucalyptus bark was broken into smaller pieces that fit into into the container. The pine cones were put into the container moved around to get them all in. Both containers were then filled with water.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dying Supplies

I received my box of dyeing material from Botanical Colors.

Reading the book, I just found out many materials can be cold dyed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

After talking to Kathy, she recommended the book "Wild Color" by Jenny Dean.

Great book!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Misc and Dying

I took a break from working on my Hexi Puffs because I found WestKnits.

Labor Day Weekend, I attended the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat. The one class I did take was "Boys, Bugs and Blenders". It was a dyeing class where we learned the process of Natural Dyeing. The class was taught by Kathy Hattori from Botanical Colors. I have dyed wool before, but this was much more detailed. Now I do want to try dyeing at home.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fiber for HP13

Here are my skeins for the thirteenth set of Hexi-puffs.  These are small samplers that I spun on my small Turkish Spindle.

HP 12

These are the twelth set of my Hexi-Puffs.  These are from Filzwoole Ombre Kamm (Skacel). 
I tried a second picture is the now later sunlight.
I had help taking pictures

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

HP 11

These are the eleventh set of my Hexi-Puffs.  These are Decadent Chocolate Trio from Fiber Fancy

Saturday, February 25, 2012

HP 10

These are the tenth set of my Hexi-Puffs.  These are Blues from Filzwoole Ombre Kamm (Skacel).  I was a little worried about the last two puffs.  I had only a few yards left of yarn.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Build Update 2

Here is my update as of Saturday.  This is still just one of each, as there are 5 to 7 more of each.  Almost done with another set.