Sunday, 28 June 2009

From bloodroot to madder

From bloodroot to Madder
Originally uploaded by cob_web

This photo shows the journey of the poor experimental skein.

Bloodroot, then Cherry Bark, then Madder.

Out of the dye-pot

Originally uploaded by cob_web

So the madder experiment was a success! The skeins were left in the dye pot overnight. When we got up this morning I removed the bags of madder, but we had to dash out to the farmers market. So rinsing was done after we got back.

As with the log wood there is still some dye washing out after many rinses, but I have acid dyed yarn from other people that is still bleeding even after knitting and repeated wearing/washing! Unlike the logwood there was still dye in the bath, so I could have got a paler batch, but I think 3 skeins is enough red yarn for me!

The colouring is slightly uneven. There are darker patches where the yarn sat on the bags of madder for too long at the start, and paler patches where I tied it a bit tight, but not into the variegated league. To be honest I like a slight variation, especially in something hand-dyed. You can get perfectly solid colour from factories.

Once again I am blown away by the vibrancy from natural dyes! When the madder skeins are fully dry (didn't want to leave them out in the sun TOO long) I will have to do a photo shoot with the logwood.

The yarn is 75% new wool, 25% nylon sock yarn, 100g/400m, just in case you are interested in obtaining one of these ;-)

Saturday, 27 June 2009


Originally uploaded by cob_web

I couldn't wait to show you the results of my latest natural dye experiment. Behold madder red! Isn't it lovely? I think the colour will be slightly uneven due to having to put the bark in musin bags, but I think I like that. I tossed in the poo-coloured yarn (which on rational appraisal was more gold coloured, but not my thing) and it is going a lovely dark red.

fun, fun fun :-)

Thursday, 25 June 2009


I guess I shouldn't really post from work, hey? I shall leave the disclaimer there for comedy value.


Things are improving on the lace front. For some reason I hadn’t thought of spit splicing – thanks Christina! It worked like a charm and no ends to weave in.


I also managed to fix the mistake. It was so simple to do in the end. I just needed to take a step back and have a break before the fog would lift! Just in case I ever go back and read these in future – Jess, DON’T KNIT LACE WHEN ILL!!


So although I didn’t get much done, I fixed the mistake and got back to where I had been before – so I am now two repeats into the basket weave section (of 7 repeats). This means I am 14% through the whole shawl. That sounds a bit high to me, but that’s what the maths says!


I should get on with my work now (I can’t access blogger from work, but you can update by email – handy!). Problem is my brain is still not fully used to the new drugs, and I’m having to do some complex stuff using GIS, excel and my brain. For once its not the IT that is letting me down… still, its after 10:30 now so I can have my first diet coke of the day…

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Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Thanks to Ravelry (and here!) I think I know that I can fix my lace knitting, but I set it aside for the day as today was clearly not a lace day. 

However, as I was putting it all away, I realised I have somehow snapped the yarn! Argh! I can join new yarn and weave in ends of course, but that never works as well on lacy things, and I could have completed the whole thing without needed to do this. How on EARTH did I manage that? I am a moron.

Lesson well and truly learnt, world!


I now know exactly where the mistake is, but I don't know how to fix it. I missed a YO out 2 rows down.


Lesson learnt today - don't knit lace while ill. I Can't even work out what has gone wrong :-(


Originally uploaded by cob_web

The lovely Clare (one of the many people who live in my computer - at Ravelry) pointed me in the direction of Knit n'Caboodle ( who are closing down. While it is always sad to see yarn shops closing, it did mean I could get these lovelies for less-than-normal prices. I couldn't resist! I am now drowning in sock yarn however!

Too bad I'm feeling too ill to knit today. Off work ill and not even getting knitting down. There is something particularly mean about that.

Sunday, 14 June 2009


Originally uploaded by cob_web

Well, I've just started the second repeat of Hanami. I have made a huge mistake though! I missed 2 rows out in the middle of the 2nd lot of diamonds. If you look closely you can see that they are squat :-(

I didn't notice till I was quite a few rows past. So I've left it. Not sure if I'll regret that, but Matt thinks people won't notice...

Thursday, 4 June 2009


Originally uploaded by cob_web

hmm... bloodroot is supposed to give you red. This is more poo-coloured! The variations in colour are my own fault. I put the roots in muslin so I wouldn't have to strain the dye... but I left them in the dye pot with the yarn. Doh!

My first disaster.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Originally uploaded by cob_web

My first attempt at natural dyeing! 10% alum mordant followed by logwood. I used 18g logwood chips for 200g yarn. I was expecting a mid purpe but got very very dark! I love it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009


Well, my first natural dyeing experiment is, erm, interesting. Instead of purple I pretty much have BLACK. Not really what I was after! 

I used the right percentage solution and everything. Ah well, isn't that the joy of natural dyeing?

Yarn washed

Yay! I got into a groove with the yarn winding and got it all done. The grease in the water was impressive! 2 washes with a tiny bit of washing up liquid, a clear rinse, then a rinse with hair conditioner. It is looking lovely now.

Have some logwood dye simmering on the (new) hob now :-)


Originally uploaded by cob_web

Anyone know what this is? It is one of the unidentified dye-stuffs I was given. Closeup on Flickr.

The office...

The office...
Originally uploaded by cob_web

Haha! I'm working from home today as we have a new oven being delivered and fitted, I AM working, but at the same time my garden is looking rather like I'm not!

The blue is my lace weight, that I am slowly winding onto the swift so I can wash it before using it (2,300m is a LOT of yarn).

The white are three skeins of sock yarn that I mordanted last night ready for some natural dye experiments. I have such a lot of dyes to play with I don't know what to try first! I might be predictable and see if I can get anything resembling purple from the logwood.

For anyone who knows, I used an aluminium (alum) mordant, as that seems to be the safest, easiest and most commonly used.

First lace yarn

Originally uploaded by cob_web

So I bought some lace yarn from ColourMart (yesterday as it happens, super service!) and look how perfectly it matches the dress the shawl is for!

I'm now trying to wind it from the cone onto my swift as the yarn is oiled. You can knit with it and THEN wash obviously, but I thought it would be easier to wash it first. I might be wrong...

I'm very very very bored.