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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Spinning a Rainbow

I think I can call my rainbow finished.  On Monday I picked every woad leaf I could find in the garden (even from previous years' plants - which are only supposed to give colour in their first year) and made up a dyebath.  I didn't have a huge amount of leaves and knew I wouldn't be able to dye much wool with it.  But actually, it gave me the deepest blue I've ever achieved with woad.  I was pretty sure there was still colour in the dyepot after the first wool was removed, so I put in another piece, plus some of the yellow I dyed with dyers chamomile.

The second dip of blue is quite light, but still a gorgeous colour, more like a baby blue. The yellow came out very patchy - I think most of the colour had gone into the other wool before I put the yellow in - but it still carded up into a really nice yellowy green.

So, here's the finished rainbow :-

I didn't get an actual red, but the one next to the end at the right will do.

So, which plants did I use for these colours?  From the left-hand side : Logwood chips, 2 shades from woad leaves, dyers chamomile overdyed with woad, comfrey (whole plant), fennel leaves, 2 shades from yellow onion skins, madder root, Brazilwood (exhaust bath).

I'm planning to spin these into a gradient yarn, i.e. one colour following another and hopefully merging a bit where they meet.  Then I'll probably make a shawl, but I haven't decided on a pattern yet.  Any ideas?

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