April's challenge on my dye calendar is dandelion dyeing. So, where's the March project gone? Well, March was daffodils, so I collected all the flowers as they died back and put them in a tub in the freezer, at the end of which I didn't have a lot. Then the dandelions happened - big time! They went in the freezer too, until the main flush of flowers was finishing, then I picked the rest and put them all in the dyepot. I knew I had to have quite a high proportion of flowers to yarn, and when I weighed them I had at least 750g. My skein of handspun Cotswold :-
was 125g, so no worries hopefully.
After simmering the flowers for an hour or so, the dye didn't look as promising as I'd hoped,
but was more green than yellow, so fingers crossed it would give me a decent shade on my alum-mordanted yarn.
I strained the flowers and squeezed as much dye as I could out of them, then added the wool. After simmering I left the skein soaking overnight. The resulting colour (unphotographed!) was yellow, but very pale. I tried altering it with vinegar, but that did absolutely nothing. A dollop of ammonia in the rinsing water, however, deepened and intensified the colour to what I'd hoped I'd get.
This photo doesn't actually do it justice, the colour is much brighter. So, roll on May when the next project is . . .