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Coreopsis, indigo and onion skin on Merino wool

Coreopsis, indigo and onion skin on Merino wool

How do you choose colours for a project?  I’ve become more and more interested in colour and I decided to use this space to note down the things I know and new things I find out about colour and dyeing.

The woolly skeins in the picture are from a couple of dyeing sessions earlier this summer.  I collected onion skins at the supermarket and after soaking for a couple of days in a bucket of water, I had enough dye for miles of yarn.  It provided a rich nutty, warm ginger colour and the dyeing was easy.

Coreopsis flowers provided the apricot colour.  The flowers came from the Armley Mills Industrial Museum dye garden.  I had about 20 flower heads and after soaking for a couple of days and heating gently with the wool the flowers gave up a lovely yellow colour.  I dyed a full hank of 100g of wool and a piece of white silk, which I took out and then  used an alkali modifier to change the pH of the dye bath which resulted in the lovely apricot shade.

Ah, and the indigo.  Hours of fun dipping yarn in the smelly vat of greeny yellow and then watching the magic as the blue develops when you pull it out.  The colour develops like a photograph in the dark room.  It can keep developing in colour for several days.

Am I starting in the middle of the story?  Of course.