(From left to right: in the last of the madder dye bath, madder dye bath with iron added, madder dye bath with citric acid added, (gray in color to begin) madder dye bath with iron added. All were mordanted with allum, no cream of tartar.)
Everyone in the house is getting a bit suspicious about all the mystery jars of this and that. "Is this chicken stock, Mom?" "Why no, that's a rusty chain in a jar of vinegar." I jest. I assure you everything is properly labeled and most of these mystery jars live in my studio where I don't generally keep chicken stock, so all is well if one takes a minute to think (and ask). Besides, they have their own science experiments everywhere and anywhere, why shouldn't I? It's a very good thing Mama has a hearty supply of cute labeling stickers. Labeling may be the one and only thing I can say with gusto that I've passed on so far to my kids. Everyone loves a proper label.
This week I played with madder in the dye pot. I got my Madder from Mountain Rose Herbs. I think I ended up dyeing roughly 400g of wool, so I used as much madder (soaked for a few days, then blended, then held together in the dye pot in a cheese cloth - I'm not entirely sure all of those steps were necessary, but they were effective). I played a bit towards the end of the dyeing with adding iron and citric acid to the dye pots - so fun to see the color change slowly and to have such very different red/orange at the end.
I've been tossing in a little bit of cotton muslin at the end of each dye bath to exhaust it, and I'm excited about all these scraps of naturally colored goodness and what they might end up being when put together. A winter project to think about, for sure.
But for now....I'm watching the goldenrod outside my door closely (it's almost ready), and right now, I've got to stir my avocado and ammonia jars. I'll tell you more about that next time!