Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hand-dyeing, continued: Madder

 

Fall is here. My thoughts turn, as usual, to gray cardigans, but also to yarn and wool in general, and color! This beautiful, burnt, and burnished armful of wooly wonderfulness was all hand-dyed by me right in my kitchen with madder.

I am a complete hand-dyeing novice, but my findings here are that madder is one of the perfect colors. This ancient dye is the source of Alizarin Crimson, the color of Persian rugs, and British Royal Navy uniforms. It gives all sorts of warm pink and red, ranging anywhere from pale peach to deep cherry crimson. Seriously, this color is so lush, I can't even. This is the pink I search for, coral and kind of complicated.

My yarns here are all 100% wool, mordanted with alum and cream of tartar, and then simmered for one hour in my dyepot with madder extract (I used this, because I am a total beginner, and it was sort of foolproof). On the left is 100 grams of wool + 1/2 tsp madder in 12 cups water, and on the right is 100 grams of wool + 1 tsp madder in 16 cups of water.

These are two skeins of single-ply sport weight, slightly different: on the left is 100g of wool + 2 tsp madder in 8 cups of water, and on the right is 100g of wool + 1 tsp madder in 12 cups of water.

I am just kind of experimenting. Everything that comes out of the pot is so pretty. I don't know what to make with any of this yet, but just looking at it is enough for now. (I just imagined a gray pullover with a madderful yoke and cuffs, swoon!) I am mad for madder!

Black Walnut hulls are next, and if that results in nothing but beige, it will be okay, because you know what? There is madder.

14 comments:

  1. These are gorgeous. And this explains too the name Rose madder, the colour, not the book. It must be so satisfying to produce these colours.

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  2. Wow, Kristen, madder certainly has many possibilities. I know how much I love watercolor or oil paint colors that contain the word Madder.

    It's that last photo that features shades that touch my heart...and make me wish to find yarns like those to use for something wonderful.

    Wow again. xo

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  3. I just started playing with dyeing, using plants from my garden and things like black beans and raspberries. And I just did little bits of yarn for my experiments. Next up is madder and indigo (maybe) and enough yarn to make a hat or something!

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  4. Love, love, LOVE those colors! What can one do with 100 grams of yarn? I have no frame of reference.

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  5. Stunning! I recently ordered several skeins of yarn in similar colors all because I saw one color in variegated skein that was the perfect pink-orange. So then I just had to try to create a gradient from them. You, OTOH, have dyed the perfect gradient. :)

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  6. Absolutely gorgeous colors Kristen. Your skills never cease to amaze me.
    Meredith

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  7. oh, gosh....this might be the inspiration I've needed to finally fill the dyepot!!! (have the books. have the undyed fiber. have the mordant. just lacking the nerve!!!!!)

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  8. That truly is a gorgeous colour, not that I am biased in any way but coral is a favourite of mine xx

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  9. These are all gorgeous!! Between this and your pickle batch, I'm almost convinced I need to dye yarn - and I can barely knit!! At the risk of sounding as ignorant as I am ~ I thought wool felted at high temperatures, so how can one simmer yarn and have it still be yarn??
    happy making ~ Tracy, the clueless one

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  10. Beautiful, they are all stunning shades. It must have been a thrilling experience, one of many I expect.

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  11. these are beautiful. it is amazing all the shades that you were able to get out of one dye product. I love it. It makes me want to get some. I really need to get some plain yarns to dye.

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  12. Those colours are simply stunning.

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