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Friday, 25 May 2018

Wee Dye Test

That's "wee" as in little, not "wee" as in . . . well, you know what I mean!

The other day I cooked some globe artichokes from the garden for our lunch and was amazed at the colour of the water after I removed them.  Normally I just drain the pan and then take out the artichokes, but this time I took them out and left the water in the pan.  I really couldn't capture the colour with my camera, but it was a vivid, translucent, deep green, almost iridescent.

Not having any yarn pre-mordanted, I poured some of the liquid into a large jam jar, sprinkled in about a teaspoon of alum, mixed well, and then added a little knitted sample of my latest Pickwick Cotswold fleece.  Over the next couple of days it was heated occasionally (when I remembered!)  in the microwave and the sample came out a really pretty pale grey.  I still had another jam jar full of liquid, so I repeated the test (no extra mordant added as I thought the sample would be nicely mordanted by now) with the new liquid.  Here's what came out :-

I've been looking for something natural to give a grey dye for a while, so this looks like it might just do.  I think I'd need quite a number of artichokes to do any significant amount though.  I wonder if the leaves would give the same colour?  I have lots of leaves, so maybe that'll be my next dye project.

In the meantime, I have no idea how light-fast this is going to be, so I think I need to expose part of this to the sunlight and see what happens.

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