Many dandelions were gathered yesterday - about 1/2 lb of flowers. I boiled them for about 1/2 hour then simmered for another 1/2 hour. The smell was not for those with allergies - just a word of warning. I strained out the flowers and added about 20 pennies to the pot. I had heard that the copper in pennies could serve as a mordant if you just drop them in the dye pot, so I took my chances. Then, a quick scan of our cupboards revealed some alum, so I put in about 2 TB, maybe a little more than that. It was all a bit hit or miss. While I admire those who can take on their dyeing with a scientific attention to detail, for me it is like drawing a straight line. I just can't do it, even when it is what I set out to do.
Anyhoo, I simmered 1/2 lb of BFL fleece and some mohair locks for about 1/2 hour, then let the pot cool off the stove. Voila! (The colour is actually much more intensely yellow than this photograph indicates - for some reason yellow is so difficult to photograph accurately).
The colour is especially welcome because all my dyed fleece is still in transit and I have had only white, morrit and black to work with as I prepare some yarns for the first ever Farmer's Market in Corner Brook this Saturday. The West Coast Craft Collective, as we are unofficially called, will have a table of wares. Islandsweet will be there, as will Knix Hand Knits, along with some others as well. Stop by any time from 10 am to 2 p.m. and say hello!
But back to the limited palette....it did inspire a very late entry to the etsyFAST team's May Challenge (is this a weekday?). The challenge was to make something based on a movie. One of my all-time, #1 favourite movies is The Big Lebowski. Pure genius, every minute of it. I made a yarn based on the Dude's sweater. If you are not familiar with the movie, I urge you to see it, but do not let a first viewing put you off. It often takes about three times to really understand the many layers of subtle nuance. My brother-in-law, who is completing his Ph.D. dissertation in education as we speak, has compared it to Shakespeare with a straight face.
What in God's holy name am I blathering about? Well, I'll tell you what I am blathering about...man...sir...
I also made a super twisty yarn using a Border Leicester/Alpaca blend. Both are in my etsy shop, or stop by the Farmer's Market on Saturday.
This is a yarn that is made from two bobbins of singles that Lucy spun and never did anything with. After making a couple skeins of my limited palette, I was jonesing for some colour (where my kool aid at?) and I found these two bobbins. Desperate, I asked Lucy if I could ply them together, come what may. She agreed, although I am not sure if she is selling this skein or not. It was actually very inspiring to take more chances with colour - the random plying experience worked out so beautifully.
I happily await my packages of dyed wool. Please come soon!