"we're fools whether we knit or not, so we may's well knit"

- old southern saying

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekend. And, an orange dyepot.

What a great weekend! Spent a festive afternoon at a farm down the road on Saturday, then came home a started knitting a Monkey out of skacel Tiger. This morning, Tom wanted to mow, so I picked about 15 or 20 coreopsis stems that were volunteers in the grass. These are wildflowers, the seeds of which were snitched from the side of the road last year. Someone, the county, I guess, plants wildflowers along the sides of the county roads. Phlox in spring. These little yellow flowers in the summer. If I had known what color I would get...I'd have picked an acre's worth!

little old coreopsis

I chopped the handful of flowers and stems, and covered them with water. We're talking about 2 inches of water in a pot. When I saw that the liquid in the dyepot was dark orange, I dug through my stash to find some mordanted roving or locks. I found a couple little pieces of alum mordanted roving. Didn't seem like a substantial offering to the dyepot. So, I washed a big gob of Gulf Coast fleece - about 6 oz, threw it into a pot with some alum, and soaked that for awhile while I simmered the mordanted rovings. The roving grabbed that dye but good. When I pulled it out for a rinse, I threw the Gulf Coast into the pot. I thought the dye solution was pretty well spent, but I got a nice apricot.

just dyed oranges
wet alum mordanted rovings and fleece dyed with coreopsis

dry alum mordanted rovings and fleece

My husband, who is so used to seeing me pull yellow fiber out of the dyepot, couldn't believe his eyes. He actually offered to go for a drive to see if we could find a field of these flowers. I took him up on that offer. Within 10 minutes, we filled a 5 gallon bucket!

I plan on overdyeing that apricot fleece, and mordanting some more. I'm lucky, I guess, that I love orange. Even my KA mixer and blender are orange. We're in gator territory here...and orange is one of those "appropriate" colors!


barbara said...

the colours are very nice. another orange lover hee. one question: what is mordanted and what is the difference between fleese and roving? i don't have a clue about such things and your answer would be a big help. maybe you could explain to me what that big bag of furry stuff is that i have in my front porch. came from a sheep i was told, but now what do i do with it. is it what you are talking about i wonder. wouldn't it be nice if i could get some of the same great colour that you have.

Brenda said...

this is absolutely stunning, love the color...and it looks like so much fun cooking up a pot of die for your fleece...awesome!