Friday, October 23, 2009

Dyer's Addendum

So I dyed my last skein of prepped yarn. It was a large skein: 7.4 oz of yarn. I almost split it in two because it was so big, but trying to reskein wet wool is a drag, so I ran with it.

As I said in my previous post, I planned to use Mexican marigold (Tagetes spp.) leaves. I showed a picture of yarn dyed with the flowers--2 skeins of buttery yellow, one slightly darker because it sat in the dyebath longer.

My previous experience with leaves includes horsetail and fennel. The horsetail yielded a soft buffy yellow, and the fennel, a greenish yellow--both colors subtle and gentle. I used both young and old leaves of the Tagetes, cutting off whole canes, since the plant needs serious pruning, and stripping off all the leaves from the stems until I had a decent potful. I covered them with water and simmered for a good while (at least an hour), until the leaves looked dull and the water was very green. As a test, I dunked a bit of white paper towel in to test. It came out green, so I thought, "OK. The yarn will likely be greeny yellow.". I was hesitant because I wasn't sure about a big skein of nondescript color, but decided to go with it. What the heck, right?

Well, wow. The yarn hit the dyebath and WHOOSH!! The water turned BRIGHT yellow and went from clear to opaque. I simmer for about an hour and a half and then let it sit covered overnight with the heat off. It wasn't green, it was YELLOW, yellow, bordering on orange. Would it stay that way after rinsing? Well...'

electric yellow orange--yeehaw!

P's comment when he saw it was, 'Wow. It looks like the color of Kraft macaroni and cheese.". And it does, really. The skein you see has been not only rinsed thoroughly, but washed with mild soap. It could do with a little more rinsing, but it was pretty much stay that color. What a knockout. After the subtle tans, peaches, greens and yellows I have gotten of late to get this INTENSE yellow-orange was a treat. I wouldn't have predicted this color outcome, but I love it!

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