With a little luck…

Ah, so the plan today is to clear off all the work on my desk so that I can go home and dye all weekend, guilt-free. Wish me luck. The dye plan tomorrow is tons of sock yarn, some new soft and silky kid mohair yarns and some BFL… plus more Gotland.

2006-03-17_dyedsockyarn.jpg
All new sock yarn. Let this 66 qt container be filled with sock yarn.

Here’s the sock yarn I’m working on now… It’s a new base yarn that is 100% superwash merino and comes in 50 g skeins of about 175 yards. So that would be two skeins for a pair of socks. I’m dyeing a few of my original colourways, a few random colourways and a handful of mostly solid colours. With any luck, I’ll be able to post these all in the shop next week (these will be $11 per skein). Again, wish me some of that good ol’ Irish luck.

The Gotland that I’m dyeing tomorrow was mordanted last night in 15% alum at about 175-180F for about an hour (I don’t remember… I was watching The O.C.). I’m letting it sit for a bit (sort of a wool spa) so that the mordant has more time to work. Reasoning? I want to get a good mid-value, vibrant purple using Logwood.

Logwood can be used as wood shavings from the _Hematoxylon Campechianum_ tree, but you have to extract the dye from the wood by soaking the wood chips overnight and boiling (over and over). Alternatively, Maiwa sells an extract that you can use directly in the dye pot. Easy peasy.

2006-03-17_logwood.jpg
Logwood Extract, $4.75 CAD for 30 g from Maiwa

On Wednesday, March 1, our spinning/dyeing class at [Place des Arts](http://www.placedesarts.ca/) (in Coquitlam, and by the way is taking registrations for spring session now…) mordanted about a pound of wool. My contribution was a big lump of Border Leicester from Willowcrest Farm on Salt Spring Island. I took the mordanted wool home and let it sit, unrinsed in the fridge for a week until the next class. Then on March 8, we dropped the mordanted wool in a pot of Logwood extract. I don’t know if we used too much dye powder or if this was the mordant being super effective, but we got “almost black”.

2006-03-17_logwoodinpot.jpg
1% Logwood dye pot (using extract) with 1 lb of Gotland fleece

On Saturday, March 10, for my own blanket project, I took about a pound of raw Gotland and washed and mordanted it quickly. Since I’m too impatient for two-step processes, I basically mordanted first thing in the morning and let it cool 20 minutes before plunging the fleece into a 1% Logwood extract bath. So, there wasn’t too much time for the wool to “cure” before the dyebath. What’s that saying, “good things come to people who wait” or something? Yeah, don’t know that one.

2006-03-17_logwoodfleece.jpg
This is the colour I got

You can see the colour is quite a light lilac/lavender purple colour. Nicely varied through the wool. I quite like it, but take a look at the photo below for comparison…

2006-03-17_logwoodcomparison.jpg
Side-by-side comparison of class results vs. my results

On the left is the “almost black” purple that I got from the Border Leicester in class (one week curing with mordant, unknown amount of Logwood extract). On the right is the pale lavender purple that I got on the Gotland. Big, huge difference, no? Well, it’s nice to know the wide range of tones you can get from a simple sawdust!

So, tomorrow morning, the next batch of Gotland will go in a dyepot with the leftover Logwood dye bath plus the leftover Cochineal dye bath with an additional 2% Logwood dye powder. I’m aiming to get something quite at bit darker but also slightly shifted off this purple. Even though it’s a natural dye, this purple is so strangely vibrant that it _looks_ synthetic. I think I can understand how purple became the colour of royalty… it seems so foreign and _electric_.

Happy, lucky Friday!

  • Erin

    Okay, I am dying to buy some of your sock yarn. I wish you lots of time this weekend to get plenty of dying done. Gorgeous colors!!!

  • Pioggia

    I believe your hurried up fiber is prettier than the class sample anyway. Can’t wait to see your weekend dyeing!

  • http://bumblebeeknits.blogspot.com Carin

    Have fun with all the dyeing this weekend!

  • http://bumblebeeknits.blogspot.com Carin

    Have fun with all the dyeing this weekend!

  • http://www.catduck.com/clog li

    Such DELICIOUS colors. Your yarns look edible.

  • http://www.catduck.com/clog li

    Such DELICIOUS colors. Your yarns look edible.

  • http://www.vegasandvenice.com vegasandvenice

    I am a long time reader, maybe a first time poster. Be aware that it is not for a lack of love, simply a lack of time. Your beautiful photographs always make my heart flutter. There is consistently an awe inspiring combination of color, texture, and lighting. Thank you for sharing them!

    Best Wishes.

  • http://www.vegasandvenice.com vegasandvenice

    I am a long time reader, maybe a first time poster. Be aware that it is not for a lack of love, simply a lack of time. Your beautiful photographs always make my heart flutter. There is consistently an awe inspiring combination of color, texture, and lighting. Thank you for sharing them!

    Best Wishes.

  • http://knittyjenn.blogspot.com Jenn (knittyJenn)

    umm..so I am in love with the baby blue/brown/white sock yarn. those are the colors of my apartment and colors I am constantly obsessed with! must…have… lol.

    the other colors look equally as fabulous, but my obsession turns toward the blues & browns…beautiful!

    not sure if I have posted to you yet or not, but hello! :) I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all the wonderful dyeing progress! jealous..I want to learn to do that one day….along with spinning. hmm…too many options, too little time.

    .♥.

  • http://knittyjenn.blogspot.com Jenn (knittyJenn)

    umm..so I am in love with the baby blue/brown/white sock yarn. those are the colors of my apartment and colors I am constantly obsessed with! must…have… lol.

    the other colors look equally as fabulous, but my obsession turns toward the blues & browns…beautiful!

    not sure if I have posted to you yet or not, but hello! :) I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing all the wonderful dyeing progress! jealous..I want to learn to do that one day….along with spinning. hmm…too many options, too little time.

    .♥.

  • http://fidget.prettyposies.com Ann

    Damn. And here I had resolved to not buy more sock yarn. Your colors are phenomenal. (And I love reading about the process. One of these days I’ll dye!)

  • http://fidget.prettyposies.com Ann

    Damn. And here I had resolved to not buy more sock yarn. Your colors are phenomenal. (And I love reading about the process. One of these days I’ll dye!)

  • http://www.unwindknitting.net Stephanie

    Gorgeous! I love purple!

  • http://www.unwindknitting.net Stephanie

    Gorgeous! I love purple!

  • Erin

    Okay, I am dying to buy some of your sock yarn. I wish you lots of time this weekend to get plenty of dying done. Gorgeous colors!!!

  • http://errantry.typepad.com Janice in GA

    Holy cow, amazing colors, and amazing differences in color. That looks hella fun!

  • http://errantry.typepad.com Janice in GA

    Holy cow, amazing colors, and amazing differences in color. That looks hella fun!

  • Pioggia

    I believe your hurried up fiber is prettier than the class sample anyway. Can’t wait to see your weekend dyeing!

  • http://www.twosheep.com/blog June

    I had some email correspondence with one of the dyers at Earthues (don’t know how similar/different their products are compared with what you have), but she said logwood purple is not particularly lightfast. She said:

    “Logwood purple color seems most susceptible to direct sunlight – within a matter of a few months, you will see noticeable fading. It’s fine in an environment protected from direct light. Our solution is to use cochineal with a touch of logwood grey, and that is much more lightfast, and a very nice purple to overcome the limitations of logwood purple.”

  • http://www.twosheep.com/blog June

    I had some email correspondence with one of the dyers at Earthues (don’t know how similar/different their products are compared with what you have), but she said logwood purple is not particularly lightfast. She said:

    “Logwood purple color seems most susceptible to direct sunlight – within a matter of a few months, you will see noticeable fading. It’s fine in an environment protected from direct light. Our solution is to use cochineal with a touch of logwood grey, and that is much more lightfast, and a very nice purple to overcome the limitations of logwood purple.”

  • http://twoleftneedles.com Monica

    Sock yarn looks fab. I see what you mean about electric, the purple looks energetic, even on the Gotland, very interesting. I hope to spend quality dyeing time this weekend too so I’ll send positive vibes your way.

  • http://twoleftneedles.com Monica

    Sock yarn looks fab. I see what you mean about electric, the purple looks energetic, even on the Gotland, very interesting. I hope to spend quality dyeing time this weekend too so I’ll send positive vibes your way.

  • http://www.yarnsosweet.blogspot.com Keli

    I was plying and my ply broke..what do I do?

  • http://www.yarnsosweet.blogspot.com Keli

    I was plying and my ply broke..what do I do?

  • debbie

    gorgeous sock yarn – my favorite is river – i hope i get to order in time! i’m not a purple person – but i must say, i love those shades of purple! good luck with your dyes this weekend….

  • http://spinningflower.canalblog.com fleur

    I don’t know if it’s me exagerating, but I truely think natural dyies are different. It’s like perfume, it’s different from synthetic. What do you think?

  • http://spinningflower.canalblog.com fleur

    I don’t know if it’s me exagerating, but I truely think natural dyies are different. It’s like perfume, it’s different from synthetic. What do you think?

  • http://numenna.blogspot.com Elemmaciltur

    Lawdy! Those yarns are just pure YUMMINESS!

  • http://numenna.blogspot.com Elemmaciltur

    Lawdy! Those yarns are just pure YUMMINESS!

  • debbie

    gorgeous sock yarn – my favorite is river – i hope i get to order in time! i’m not a purple person – but i must say, i love those shades of purple! good luck with your dyes this weekend….

  • Iris

    Hi

    Iam wondering if we didn’t quite have a pound of wool on the night of dying the logwood in class. If I remember correctly a couple of people where not able to make it that night. I am not sure that we totalled the final amount that went into the pot.

    Hope to see you at Fibre Fest at the end of the month.
    Iris.

  • Iris

    Hi

    Iam wondering if we didn’t quite have a pound of wool on the night of dying the logwood in class. If I remember correctly a couple of people where not able to make it that night. I am not sure that we totalled the final amount that went into the pot.

    Hope to see you at Fibre Fest at the end of the month.
    Iris.

  • Lorraine The Knitting Hammy

    Oh my, I’ve just had the weirdest compulsion to throw myself right into the middle of that fleece!

  • Lorraine The Knitting Hammy

    Oh my, I’ve just had the weirdest compulsion to throw myself right into the middle of that fleece!

  • Jess

    That purple colour is amazing – and the tree that it comes from is called “Hematoxylon Campechianum ” you say? That’s really interesting because there’s a dye used to colour histology (read: the microscopic study of cells and tissues) slides called “Hematoxylin”, and it’s a blue colour. I wonder if it’s the same as you’re using on your wool?

  • Jess

    That purple colour is amazing – and the tree that it comes from is called “Hematoxylon Campechianum ” you say? That’s really interesting because there’s a dye used to colour histology (read: the microscopic study of cells and tissues) slides called “Hematoxylin”, and it’s a blue colour. I wonder if it’s the same as you’re using on your wool?

  • http://pugknits.blogspot.com pugknits

    yummy, yummy! :)

  • http://pugknits.blogspot.com pugknits

    yummy, yummy! :)