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Topic: Ongoing spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!)  (Read 21428 times)
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I love looms.
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just spin the yarn.

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« Reply #170 on: April 02, 2011 07:19:13 AM »

post pictures when it's done. I guess the mordant would be the issue, there, I swear, though, the book I had said it wasn't necessary.  Roll Eyes

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'darn kids, they were pesky from the start' D. Lee

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« Reply #171 on: April 02, 2011 08:18:01 AM »

I'm looking forward to the dandelion root yarn!!  I'll be saving all the ones we dig up this year!

« Reply #172 on: April 02, 2011 10:34:18 AM »

Congrats, Belladune!

k_cat, that sounds fun! I'm eager to see what color you end up with.

It's a beautiful sunny day here. I'm dyeing today, but going for wacky colors and more immediate gratification. I laid out a bunch of hunks of Sheep Shed grab bag white wool, soaked them in vinegar and water, then dropped neon food coloring on them. In progress(click-able):

The finished wool in my new salad spinner, which works really well!

I separated the wool into small chunks, and tied them up in lengths of tulle, so I could hang them outside to dry. I can't wait until I can spin this. We will be getting rain in a couple of days, but I will have crazy bright wool to cheer me up.


« Reply #173 on: April 02, 2011 11:40:03 AM »

I don't have good news for you. I tried the dandelion roots, I cooked that stuff for several hours, but it turned out beige (if you can even call it that)! Maybe I didn't use enough either, and/or I threw in too much wool, but... I did not even see a tendency of pink or something like that. Mmmmmmpfmmmmmmpfmmmmmmpf!!!!
Because this was NOT satisfactory, I threw in dandelion leaves a few minutes ago. At least one bucket full. This will surely be another colour than pink or purple, but I did not like the thought of "nothing" as a colour after I put all my energy into this. Might turn into a greenish yellow this way.
Now I wonder whether all those people who say that dandelion roots make a nice purple or pink have ever tried their own recipes.  Grin Or if there's some kind of special trick to do this...

edit: took some pictures.
the canning pot with the dye bath. (left: bag full of wool!!)

MMMMMPF. This will simmer till it gets colour. ANY colour. And if it doesn't, I'll throw in some tansy. Or I'll leave it to sit for the night, without heat. DYE, stuff, DYE!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011 11:59:23 AM by k_cat » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #174 on: April 02, 2011 12:40:16 PM »

booooo!!!!!!!  I was truly hoping for dandelion to work!  That stuff is crazy abundant around here once it warms up!

« Reply #175 on: April 02, 2011 12:59:21 PM »

Oh my... The yarn totally looks like cooked spaghetti right now. That's not the colour I hoped for.  Grin
MAYBE it's still too early to use the dandelions - MAYBE they need to get more sun to develop some special "ingredients" that colour the yarn pink or purple. MAYBE there is another kind of dandelion nobody of us got. MAYBE there really is a wrong recipe. Or a right recipe, somewhere. Cheesy
I added some ascorbic acid, because I ran out of vinegar - and besides, acid is acid... If the dandelion needs an acidic environment to develop a nice colour, it will probably not care about the kind of acid used.  Roll Eyes And I turned off the electricity; I'll let the dye bath cool down till tomorrow and maybe I'll put in another dyeing plant around that time.
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« Reply #176 on: April 02, 2011 01:01:57 PM »

congrats bella!

....thinking out loud here. . .  Do sheep get infested with moths?

Laughinglark i love the bright colors.

« Reply #177 on: April 02, 2011 02:17:53 PM »

This is a VERY chemistry-focussed post. And it mentions rabbit urine. Excuse me. Grin I'm simply testing my way through with the dandelion dye bath.

I tried something different. Yesterday, while looking through a book about natural dyes, I saw several examples of the same plant material used with different mordants and modifiers- e.g. acidic and alkaline. The alkaline dye bath gave the sample a different colour, somehow red. Not really red, but a bit.
So I thought to myself: Maybe this works with dandelion, too. But noooooooooooo, they all say it's vinegar... Vinegar is an acid and not alkaline. But what if........
Being frustrated and thinking it can't get really worse, I looked through my stash of chemicals (lalalalala....) and took out the soda ash. I put a lot of it into my dye bath, but because I used so much acid it probably only worked on neutralizing the ph value. At that point I wasn't really convinced of what I was doing...

I thought about dandelions. I thought about rabbits peeing red urine after eating dandelions.  Grin Via google I found out that rabbit urine is alkaline! Yay!

At that point I ran out of soda ash. And I thought to myself: Girl, you've got sodium hydroxide! Why not try that? It has a higher ph value than soda ash.....
Because you NEVER put water on alkali (always stirr alkali in water carefully!), I put some of the dye bath into a plastic bottle and added the sodium hydroxide. The dye bath in the bottle turned darker. I put the diluted sodium hydroxide into the canning pot.... Again, the dye bath changed colour when "touching" the s.h. - but it wasn't enough to change the colour of the whole dye bath. I put in some more alkali, the colour changed a bit more.

Sadly I'm too tired now to continue this experiment. Besides, I want to let this cool down over night- and I'll probably have to wear gloves when taking out the yarn. I'll probably re-heat the dye bath tomorrow and add some more alkali. AND I'll hang the yarn outside for a while to let it have contact with oxigen. (I read somewhere that the stuff that turns the rabbit urine red - porphyrin - reacts with oxigen. But I'm not sure... Tired, like I said. Might give it a try, though.)

I'm not ready yet to give up on the dandelion, you see.  Grin If I succeed with something, I will tell you. If I don't, I'll tell you anyway. 
(But I must advise you to not try the sodium hydroxide stuff unless you know what you're doing. And even if you do, you should use protective gloves and maybe also goggles. Soda ash is not as harsh as sodium hydroxide, but it's still alkaline. And alkali can give terrible burns to your skin and especially your eyes!)
And no, I don't study chemistry. Though I was always good at it.  Grin
« Reply #178 on: April 02, 2011 03:01:18 PM »

k_cat, following your progress on the dyeing is fascinating. Good luck with the sodium hydroxide. I hope you end up with a nice color.

A few of my chunks of wool are dry. I would like to spin them as they are, but these are grab bag wool and they are a tangled mess when they arrive. Lovely fiber, just very messy. Some grab bag is ready to spin, but not this stuff. I kind of have to card it. I carded up a few of the dry bits to see what I would get. I like the way the colors blended, but I think I will be more selective on some of the bits I choose for the rolags so I will end up with interesting color changes. The rest of the wool is a tiny bit damp, so I will wait till tomorrow to card more. So far, I'm happy with what I'm getting. Maybe this will end up being one of my plied yarns for my goal this month.  Smiley


« Reply #179 on: April 03, 2011 03:17:32 AM »

LaughingLark, I love the colours. Smiley

When I woke up this morning, I thought about dandelions. Grin And I had an idea that I should have BEFORE I threw in the yarn with the acid. Why not test it without yarn first?
I almost ran outside, grabbed a hand full of dandelion leaves, cooked them in water (lalala, microwave) for a few minutes and put them in three different glass dishes. Pure, acidic, alkaline - I did not use any urine for this, sorry. Grin I also skipped the alum. This was just to illustrate the colour changes.

The pure dandelion "tea" is yellow-greenish. Adding an acid turns it into an almost colourless, only SLIGHTLY red thing. And YES, I said "EUREKA!" after I had put the first alkaline powder into the third dish.
So my thoughts a few days ago where right, after all. I GUESS you could get a soft pink with the acid, BUT it would take tons of dandelion. Using the alkali works better, BUT it can harden and/or affect your yarn, so it should be best to be careful and follow directions for alkaline dye baths based on a book or something, or just use it as a modifier...

I tested the ph value of my dye bath using litmus paper- it's STILL acidic! And I'm not going to add half a ton of sodium hydroxide to turn it around. So I'll probably get the yarn out of it and give it a dip in an alkaline solution...

AFK - need to play with the yarn. Grin Hope it works. And if it doesn't, I still have a lot of other plants that are waiting for the dye bath.
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