Well, ...., what?!
Story goes like this: I was offered a leftover lot of the magnificent Hunters of Brora Tweed on cones - about 18 kilos of it, and in unspecified colors. I couldn´t wait to get my hands on it.
And even though it is REALLY lovely tweedy yarn, 3.5 kilos of yellow was a bit more than I expected to use for the rest of never.
So, asking around for advice for dyeing large batches of wool into solid colors I decided on the Lanasyn (acid dye) method, as it could be done in your well aired kitchen, and in managable batches.
Purchasing the few ingredients proved fun and very affordable. Dye, vinager, ammonium sulfate and a surfactant (I think) called Lyogen. And an old battered camp-site soup pot with a spigot for emptying (as it contained 30L easily).
And I was ready to go.
By the way, the oven underneath contains the worlds first eco-pilot light. As the mice had moved into the insulation of the oven when we took over the house, I decided to clean it all out due to the smell, including the oven door and all. We now light candles in there in the evenings to bring a cosy feeling to the kitchen.
Back to the dyeing:
The wool had been washed and dried in huge hanks. 100-250g a piece. Here is the first try with a fuchsia on 700g of yellow in a 20L batch.
And things got heated:
But fun! And with that huge amount of water you have plenty of time to control the process and knit in between. Dyeing, cooling, rinsing, spinning, drying, washing and drying again gave this wonderful rich and full color:
I think my mom will love this.
Then onto the greens. First I did a batch with a 2% turquoise on the brightest 900g of the yellow, this time in 25L.
Note the almost empty dishwasher in the back! Yes, house chores were also done while the dye process was ongoing. This batch turned out an iridescent green with yellow tweed effects. My favorite! Then I decided to throw caution to the winds and try a 30L batch, 1kg of wool, 0.5% green, 0.5% bright yellow.
And here we go:
This little mortar brought back almost fond memories from organic chemistry lab classes.....almost. Then into the pot:
And the colors darkened:
So, after two full days of staring into a huge pot of near to boiling water and a lot of anxiety I ended up with this:
And I can´t wait to dye some more! I would say: 112% succes.
For all non-danish readers: this is NOT how we danes live, this is what our old house on Bornholm looks like inside: primitive, downtrodden, and totally perfect for messy dyeing and yarn fun. The house is undergoing a total restoration, but we love it As Is in the Now. Functionality over looks any time!
Next post should be about the knitting, right?