Monday, November 16, 2015

More Madder

Oy! We've just begun a major revamp of the living/dining room and it (of course) all has to be finished before Christmas. It's been put off for far too long so it's an even bigger job than expected. The dining room floor needs to be partially refinished, the walls need washing and repainting, and we need to get a new rug. Also nothing, NOTHING!! is going back in unless it's been sorted, cleaned and we really want to keep it. The latter is the biggest reason we haven't tackled this years ago. It's so hard! I hope I'm getting better at letting things go. We are by no means minimalists but sometimes your priorities and tastes change, right? I need to simplify both visually and to make cleaning easier. Too much useless junk is driving me crazy! That's what you get for living in the same house for 37 years. No easy excuse to purge. No we can't weasel out of it.

Moving on to the subject of this post. I was a little surprised at how the Corriedale roving came out of the second extraction madder pot. Remember I was going to try 3 different modifiers? The results were visible but not dramatic:

The light isn't ideal so I hope you can distinguish them! Clockwise from top left: unmodified, citric acid, soda ash and iron. The most obvious is the way the acid brought out the orange. The iron didn't sadden as much as I had thought. It's just slightly duller than the alkaline red. It was a fun experiment though. And I have half a kilo of pretty wool to spin up.

I also dyed one of the skeins of Plymouth alpaca/tencel/bamboo in the exhaust bath and got a peachy pink. However I decided to wind off a couple of smaller skeins and overdye them for a selection of contrast colours to knit stripes with the Autumn Bonfires yarn. I found the perfect cardigan sweater pattern. More on this project when there's something to tell.

Meanwhile I'm still chopping up madder roots. I've got less than half the bucket to go. Not like I've had a lot of time to work on it! I'm trying for at least a short session a day and seem to be making some headway. The roots have a lot of good red in them judging by the results of my first dyepot. All it cost me is time and effort. I find it so exciting to take a plant that was growing in my garden and apply it to fibres and get such amazing colour! Alchemy.

Well off to start washing dirty walls. It's been so long since we've painted last that we can't remember exactly when that was. Yuck. If posts here are a little rare in the next while you'll know why, right?

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