This last week I've been busy, very busy! A friend came to visit and she asked if we could do some yarn dyeing together. She'd never done any dyeing before, so I saw this as a nice chance to experiment a little.
We had 100% merino hand spun yarn to play with and over the course of the week this is what we managed to produce!
Most of the plants we used as dyes were collected in hedgerows around my home, literally less than 50m from my house. We used just two packets of dried natural dyes to widen our colour range. These are some of the plants we collected...
We produced many buckets of yarn with a range of colours by experimenting with 1st and 2nd die baths to produce lighter and darker shades. The photo on the left is a 1st dye of cochineal, the photo on the right is the same dye, but a second bath to produce a paler colour.
Then, the real excitement started when we were able to vary our colours and shades further by adding modifiers. We stuck to just two; wood ash and vinegar. These two hanks of yarn were dyed in the same dye bath, using the same plants but had different modifiers added to slightly change the colours.
By the end of the week this was what my washing line looked like!
The final job was to cake the yarns and tag them up so that we could remember which plants had produced each colour.
Now I have to think about how to use these beautiful hand dyed yarns. I think a little crochet may be in order!