Showing posts with label Dye Pot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dye Pot. Show all posts

Tuesday 16 January 2018

First proper make of 2018

Well to be fair I did most of the work on it over the Christmas holidays. I wanted something that I could work on whilst watching the usual marathon of festive television. It had to be a pattern that didn't require too much stitch counting or demand a huge amount of attention. What I was after was something dead easy that I could do after a few glasses of wine with half my brain following a box set.

And this is what I came up with:


Friday 5 January 2018

Golden yellow and honey saffron to dispel January grey

I've just boiled up my first dye pot of 2018. In the cold grey of January I find myself craving fire colours: warm reds, golden yellows and glowing oranges. You can keep all those cold blues for a warmer season. Maybe I'll be in the mood for them come the mellow days May.

To satisfy my immediate craving, I've just cooked up a spectrum of golden saffrons that's making me feel sunnier already.

I started off with an unpromising collection of dried avocado skins and stones, the outer leaves of a whole pile of brown onions that I'd been hoarding and some turmeric for good measure.

I boiled up the ingredients and then strained them through a sieve and some muslin to get a clear dye solution in which I treated my wool. Given that I'd got loads of avocado pits in the recipe I relied upon the tannin in the avocado to mordant the wool, and make the dye adhere.

My favourite part of the dyeing process comes at the very end when I soak the fibres in fresh water to rinse away any surplus dye that hasn't adhered to the wool. Watching your colours emerge as the wool unfurls like some exotic seaweed in a coral sea is a very sweet moment.

That's not a bad spectrum of sunshine colours on a cold, grey morning!

All the best for the weekend,

Bonny x

Thursday 30 November 2017

Succumbing to the C-Word ...

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ... We've even had five flakes of snow in London today!

I know. I know. It's still November. But if I can just hold my nerve for another day we'll be there: December with Christmas (almost) the next stop.

December is a busy month for me. I've got our wedding anniversary, Emi, my son's birthday and my husband's birthday as well as Christmas and trips back to the family in Ireland to fit in. And, of course, I've not done nearly enough preparation for any of it. Crazy days.

To distract me from the madness that is almost upon me I've worked up a new pattern for a mid-sized project bag. I've got one made up, and a few more cut out and ready to sew.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Ivy Leaves

My friends, after beavering around in my garden, and brandishing my garden secateurs with malice, I give you Ivy Leaf Yellow, which is really a muted, slightly acid-green. It's an odd colour, but I like it.

Friday 17 November 2017

All the purples ...

This week I've had a lot of fun using logwood chips to create a dye-bath that's given me a lush spectrum running from inky purples to airy lavenders as it has gradually lost its strength. I've been playing with it for several days now, allowing each hank of wool time to absorb its fill of the dye before mordanting another hank, and dropping it into the bath.
Costa Brava Botanicals: Logwood Dye
Logwood Dye

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Channelling your inner avocado ...

Remember back in the day when anyone mentioned avocado in the context of colour and it summoned up images of drab, sludge-green bathrooms from the 1970s? Well, for me, those days are very firmly yesterdays. Now when anyone mentions avocado I start to channel visions of warm apricots, dusty salmon pinks and rose-tinted light browns.

No, I'm not dropping acid. Honest, guvnor.

This is what happens when you use your discarded avocado skins and stones to make a dye bath. And let's face it, with the current vogue for mashed avocado on toast with optional chilli flakes for heat, most of us have plenty of skins and stones that are destined for nothing loftier than the compost bin.

Well, hold onto your re-cycling for just a moment: you've got the makings of the very easiest and most environmentally friendly dye bath since the invention of the colour wheel. The thing is there's enough tannin in them there stones to act as a natural mordant to make the colour attach to the fibre so you don't need to go messing with any nasty chemicals that might go on to pollute the water table.