Sunday, April 01, 2007

Dandelion - Daffodil Blend

In my last post, I wrote about picking dandelions for another attempt on dyeing my wool. I think the reason of failure when I tried to dye with the Black-Eyed Susans was that the ratio of the flowers (dye matter) and the wool was not right. For most natural dyes, especially flowers, the ratio should be 1 - 1. It was more like 1 flowers - 2 wool. The result was pretty miserable.

So, I pondered -- Should I go with very little wool to make sure it will turn out yellow, or shall I go pick more dandelions in the neighbors' yards? Then I looked at our dinner table -- a large vase full of golden daffodils, 50 of them! They were for American Cancer Society's fundraiser called Daffodil Days. My employer sponsors it every year, and I've been buying for as long as I can remember.

This year's flowers were large and gorgeous, but they were fading fast... So, I decided to make a Dandelion - Daffodil Golden Blend. I simmered the flowers for two one-hour long sessions. It smelled like chamomile tea, but it looked shockingly disgusting, so I won't post the picture.

One thing I really like about dyeing with natural dyes is that most of the time it's safe to leave it in the kitchen -- it doesn't smell bad, and no chemical fumes. I can't dedicate hours at a time to do things like this, so it's very convenient. Anyway, about 150 dandelions, 50 daffodils and a few days later, I got 15 grams of lemony yellow roving.

The wool is corriedale, and it was pre-mordanted with alum and cream of tartar. I did go very conservative this time on the dye matter - wool ratio.

This is the carded wool, blended with about 3 grams of soy silk.

Sigh. The colors in the pictures never come out right. It's really a pretty lemony yellow. It's just so little that I don't know what to do with it....

You pretty daffodils, what great lives you had! Raised money for great cause, gave joy to me for a few days, then helped me to create pretty and sweet smelling yarn. You will never be forgotten!

This weekend, we spent some time cheering at Erin's sons' baseball games. I picked some dandelions at the field (well, not in the baseball field where they were playing!). I think I'll try a second batch without daffodils.

My Boogie vest is progressing well. I'm done with the back, and I started on the front after the game this afternoon. Oh, by the way, Josh was awesome in the game today -- I'm a big fan!


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