Tag Archive: cochineal

Mordanting 101

Through a turn of events I had today off from my usual work, so I decided to go ahead and pre-mordant the merino yarn in preparation for Saturday’s cochineal adventure. This is harder than it sounds because during my research into the field of natural dyeing I discovered that there were hundreds of “perfect, never-fail” recipes—all of them slightly different and some even contradicting each other.

My conclusion is this: get over it and jump in.

Juggling Act

Maybe I should just break down and buy a few more pots. Big ones. But then storage would be a real issue. I thought two good-sized pots would be enough! But when both of them are full of dirty wool, you can’t fill one of them up with the rinse water. Which obviously creates certain difficulties.

Still Spinning Away

Norwegian is finished! All thirteen ounces of it spun up into six nice skeins. Don’t ask me about the yardage; I don’t know. This yarn is destined for Kool-Aid dyeing (assuming nothing goes wrong), and hopefully it will find a happy home.

It is now sitting on the drying rack, along with as many other yarns as I could fit. The New Year’s Dash worked great, but I wound up with tons of yarn to set the twist in.

And I’ve started on the merino roving. I’m spinning it into a two-ply sport weight, which I will dye a deep shade of red (using cochineal!) and then crochet into a sweater type thing.

Thin Merino

Thin Merino

Strauch Carders and Dyes by the Ounce

SAFF purchase details: Post #6

My dad and I stopped to talk to a gentlemen who was demonstrating the Strauch Drum Carders. He was a very nice man, and he explained the drum carding process very clearly. I came away from that knowing that if I ever get a drum carder, I’m getting a Strauch. The biggest reason is the “licker in” part. His is designed so the fiber won’t get caught in it. Now I just need an excuse to get it. Hmm.

Anyway, then we went to the Earth Guild place, and I bought some natural dye stuffs! A couple ounces of Cochineals, Indigo, and Cutch. (And, of course, a mordant and some stuff to make the indigo do its thing.) I can hardly wait to use them.