Yeah, that's what I did this summer at work! We dyed yarn using natural colours, mostly different plants. I already gave you a sneak peak in my previous post, but here comes some more pictures!
First we started with aluna salt to make the wool ready for the colours. Then, here's also a picture of our first "soup", i.e. onion.
During the summer we tried a lot of different plants etc. This was the first time I tried to dye wool, and I have to say I'm really amazed by the wonderful, beautiful colours I got. I mean, look at them!! Wow!
From the left to the right:
- cochineal, second round (kokenilli, jälkiliemi), on white Novita Wool
- cochineal + madder (kokenilli + krappi), on white Novita Wool
- madder (krappi), on beige DROPS Nepal
- onion (keltasipuli), on white DROPS Karisma
- onion, second round (keltasipuli, jälkiliemi), on white DROPS Karisma
- tansy (pietaryrtti), on white Novita Wool
- birch, second round + onion, third round (koivu, jälkiliemi + sipuli, kolmas liemi), on white DROPS Karisma
- birch (koivu), on white DROPS Karisma
- onion, second round (keltasipuli, jälkiliemi), on grey DROPS Alaska
- first birch + onion, third round (koivu + keltasipuli, kolmas liemi). Then later dipped in woad (morsinko), on white L.O.O.Y. Ekologsk ull
- red onion, second round (punasipuli, jälkiliemi), on white DROPS Karisma
- red onion, (punasipuli), on white DROPS Karisma
- first birch (koivu), then later in cochineal (kokenilli), and then a third round in woad (morsinko), on white L.O.O.Y. Ekologisk ull
- woad, very late dip (morsinko, hyvin myöhäinen kasto), on grey DROPS Alaska
- woad (morsinko), on grey DROPS Alaska
And here's a close up of what you can get by using mostly onions (easy to do at home): onion: first round, onion: second round, onion: on grey yarn, onion + birch: third round, red onion: first round, red onion: second round
I found it really interesting that the yellow from onion turned green when the yarn was grey. Then I also liked the woad very much, since it gave a blue colour, which you normally only get from indigo. It also was the magic key for my favourite dyed yarn from this summer: the bright green. First it had a rather dull yellow colour from the birch leaves, but then - voilà - dip it in blue and you have an almost sparkling, delicious green colour!
I only used superwash yarns, like DROPS Karisma and Novita Wool, so that of course also helped to make the colours really bright. But still, everyone told me I succeded very well with this for a first-timer. Maybe it was beginners luck? :)
However, I have one skein that didn't turn out that well. Or at least not as it was supposed to, but I guess it's quite funny like this too :) First it also had a dull yellow colour, then I tried to save it by adding cochineal to it, but something went wrong and the colour I got was an ugly violet-brownish shade of grey. With really dark violet spots. Then I tried to save it once more by dipping it into the blue woad, and this is the result:
I really hope I may continue experimenting with natural dyes next summer again at work, because this was really a lot of fun! The only problem is that now I have like 15 different coloured skeins, all of them only 50-100 g. But I'm sure I'll come up with something to do with all of them! :) One skein was actually already used for baby socks, but more about that later... ;)