Saturday, March 31, 2007

Make Me Cry

So yes, the onions are for dying! I saw some lovely wool on Knitty that was a spectacular earthy orange/saffron shade. I'm not dying my rental fleece though. That's not due in until the summer.

Methods
I used this document as a guide and got to it. I decided to be a bit more careful weighing ingredients and such, since my last year's dandelion experiment was a complete bust.

I dissolved 8 grams of alum and 7 grams of cream of tartar in a pan of water. I threw in a skein of Knitpicks bare fingering (100 grams wool). I brought it up to 180F degrees for 45 minutes, turned it off and left it in the pot of liquid to cool overnight. The next day I rinsed it off.

I bought 2 bags of Spanish onions and peeled the outer skins off.

I'll tell you what I did with them in the next post. I'm too cheapass to throw them out and too impatient to collect them as I use them.

They gave me over 40 grams of skins which almost filled my pot.


I filled it with just enough water to cover and brought the skins to a boil. I then turned them down and let them cook for about an hour at 180F degrees, stirring them now and then. I let it cool with the skins in the liquid for a couple hours, and later strained off the skins with the mesh bags the onions conveniently came in. I got this:


It sure the heck looked pink to me. Oh well.

So I re-wetted the yarn and dumped it in the dye liquor. The orange was suddenly apparent. Crazy!


I brought it just to boiling and turned it down to the magic 180F again. I flipped the skein over once and resisted the urge to poke it too much. I left it there until the pink water had turned a faint yellow, about an hour. I then turned off the heat and left the yarn in the dyebath until it had cooled. I rinsed it and gave it a wool wash bath. It never smelled like onions! I guess all the oils are in the onion flesh.

Tomorrow, the results!
(and some April 1st Stash Flashing!)

4 Comments:

At 10:28 PM, Blogger aija said...

Awesome! I love naturally dyed wool...

I'm doing fys too! :)

 
At 1:14 AM, Blogger Zonda said...

That is amazing! I had no idea what color you would get!

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger maris said...

You're the coolest, Sherry! What a lovely color, and the soup sounds delicious!

 
At 6:17 PM, Blogger tapmouse said...

VERY cool! Makes me want to go dye up my KP yarn using some red onion skins!

 

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