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So first of all, it must be admitted that I am very much an amateur dyer- I enjoy it, it’s fulfilling and fun, and there is such satisfaction to be had in dyeing some superwash merino blue with black beans.

But dudes…I’ve elected to become far more serious about my dyeing this month, and it’s not exactly going the way I’d planned…

Eating humble pie right now; the crust is difficult to chew and the filling tastes like regret and self-hate. It’s rough.

I bought some logwood extract last week, and sat down to make a nice purple- maybe even a purply-grey, I wasn’t concerned at all. I mordanted the wool with potash alum, rinsed and prepared the logwood in the dyepot, and at first I had achieved a really lovely rich dark plum purple…but it went grey randomly? It’s beautiful, but grey…

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So I had another shot; figured I wasn’t using the right percentage of alum, and maybe some CoT would help, and I’d do a cold dyebath; cold dyebaths work for black beans, why not for logwood? DUDES. That pie; still eating it.

Turns out our good friend ol’ cream of tartar is acidic…and PH levels never being something I was particularly interested in, I whacked 400 grams of acidic PH yarn into a dyepot full of dye which turns brown if it gets acidic.

Yup.

I now have really nicely dyeing wool turning a parchment colour in my enormous dyepot on my kitchen bench, and what I do not have is a hold on my temper/patience, and a nicely dyeing pot full of purple wool.

I’m going to give it another go in a few days; I’ll let the stupid brown sit and absorb dye, and then I’ll mordant another 400 grams, this time without our good friend CoT, and try another cold dyebath, because putting it on the stove made grey, and friends, I’m not here to re-enact our least favourite movie trilogy about 50 shades of a certain colour, ‘mkay? Purple is what I want, and purple is what I’ll get!

In other news, I have annatto seeds winging my way in the mail later this week, and I have 10 grams of red hibiscus blossoms happily doing their fluoro thing in a jar; I’m keen to see if their vibrancy translates to actually dyeing a skein of wool in a meaningful manner.

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Also it’s spring here in the Antipodes, the jacarandas are blooming, and I’m seriously wondering if the trumpet-shaped flowers can make a nice purple… -evil grin-

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