Combining colours


Dyepots! I finally have time to hover over my dyepots again! They sat more or less unused during the year leading up to the Symposium, and I’m sure they are just as happy as I am to be coaxing colour from my mushroom stash once again. This year I want to focus on combining several colours of wool, then spinning them into yarns, on the principle that mushroom hues all go together well.

Here, ready for carding, are the colours going into this set of batts:

Blue/green wool on the left, with a bit of angelina:  Mystery lichen (more about this later);
Gold, dark green: Phaeolus schweinitzii;
Warm yellow: Gymnopilus luteofolius;
Blue-green: Hydnellum aurantiacum.

Mikey approves
Mikey approves

I put bits of roving through my (new-to-me Louet!) drumcarder in no particular order, but rather divided all the colours into four roughly equal quantities in the hope of getting four roughly similar batts. Mikey seems to approve of the combination.

Now for the story of the mystery lichen.

Some ten years ago, when I learned of lichen dyeing but before I had heard about mushroom dyeing, I experimented with whatever lichens I could find, with varying results. One batch of unidentified lichen went into its ammonia soak, but the results didn’t appear very promising, and the jar got tucked away somewhere, to be neglected for the next ten years. Last year, in a fit of tidying, I found the jar and almost dumped the brown liquid, but decided I should first give it a test run. And here’s what resulted:

Mystery lichen
Mystery lichen

I should mention that the underside of the metal jar lid was seriously corroded, to the point I had to struggle to unscrew it. Might this corrosion have worked its way into the ammonia solution, to give this vibrant blue? The exhausts were a grey-green and pale green. The fibre at the bottom is silk noil, which went through the first dyepot.

These surprises are what make the dyepots magic . . .

5 thoughts on “Combining colours”

  1. It’s comforting to know that I am not the only one who doesn’t get around to using dyes (or fiber) as soon as one should. I have a couple of jars started a year and a half ago. By the time the wool is spun, ituey will be 2 years old. I wonder what the result will be.

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