Sunday, 4 October 2015

Even more natural dyeing

What I love most about rhubarb is definitely eating it, but the colour the leaves give is nice as well. I'm looking forward to using the whole plant when the time for rhubarb jam and cobbler comes next year. 

I've taken to calling this project "fifty shades of yellow". (Because I am a little bitter about it, I like neither the book series or yellows, at all.) But the strong colours that the turmeric dye gave, are nice enough that it's hard to completely hate them. 

I am planning to try carrot dye once more. This is the result of dyeing with the water used to boil five-six carrots. Next time I'm using a lot of carrot shavings, and I will let the dye sit on the heat for an hour, like I normally do. (But seeing as the yarn was snow white before I put it in the dye, it's not a total loss.) 

How do I explain this colour without sounding crazy? I boil my taters with some rosemary, because that turns into noms. One day I forgot about it and would have ended up with fried potatoes if I hadn't remembered in time. The taters were saved, but when I took them out of the water I noticed that the water was really brown. So I put in some alun and a small skein of yarn. For science. Of course it ended up... yellowish.

And some cheating.  I found another bottle of food dye. But not yellow, yay! 

I set up a rule, that I was not to use foodstuffs that could be consumed, for dye. And even so, I wanted to use coffee for dyeing. So this is coffee that's already been used, and collected over a few days in the freezer before being made into dye. Since the coffee bean is technically a berry, I set the colour with salt and not alun. 

I found some curry that should have been used before 2009 in the back of a cupboard, and instead of throwing it away I used it as dye. 

When I was younger, I used visit my grandparents a lot. We'd go up in the mountains and pick berries in fall. One of the things I'd insist on making was blueberry ... Since I was the only one who liked it, the bottles would just collect over the years, and we still have some left, so I took a bottle from 2005, and used it as dye. 

I've been told that blueberry dye isn't very colourfast, so I've hung up one of the skeins in a window to see if it fades. After a week it holds up quite well - but then again, we haven't had much sun either! (Oh, the joys of living above the polar circle.)

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