Aika mahtava väri! Pretty nice blue!
Osa tiukimmin mytyssä olleesta villasta jäi valkoiseksi, eli olisi pitänyt tehdä niitä pienempiä yksiköitä. Mutta kun meni se ilta siellä sairaalassa...
* * *
The project sheep proceeds. We visited Marko, who is going to take care of our sheeps, when we really have them. We also saw the co-sheeps, that is Marko´s own ålandsheeps. Funny individuals; they were curious ones and for example opened my shoe laces several times.
Marko gave me some wool, some white, some a bit darker, because I wanted to do something completely new to me; to dye raw wool before spinning.
We were supposed to work with our viking era boat Sotka during the weekend, but accidents do happen and Riku broke his achilleus tenditis and spend weekend in hospital waiting for surgery. I needen a colour therapy at home and dyed with woad and mushrooms, Cortinarius sanguineus.
Dyeing wool was very interresting, since I have never done that before. That is why I did a survey aka asked others have they done it and how they do it. I asked for example Elina, who is at the spinning course, I asked Maikki, who is teaching that, I asked lovely wonderful multi-skilled Jenni and I asked Hannele Köngäs, who teaches people how to weave with vertical loom.
I had one question: "How do you wash the wool". And I got several different answers.
- I don´t wash
- I wash it after spinnig using marseille-soap
- make the wool to a small bundles and dye them for example in metal basket
- soak it in warm water about half an hour
So.. I made a combination of all the good advices.
I put the wool in a washbasin, added some warm water over and padded carefully a bit. I made this few times.
Meanwhile: I had harvested the woad in the morning. We had minus degrees that morning, so the woad leaves were frozen. I collected mostly firts years leaves and then some very big ones, of which I do not know if they are first years leaves of second years which had not bloomed.
I had about one kilo of leaves.
I made the vat basically same way I have done it before, but with some small changes. Hannele, who has a woad mission, gave me some hints and I tested it.
The leaves were in small pieces, I added boiling hot water over them and let them stay for 30 minutes, not 45 minutes as I usually do.
Then I strained it, added soda so that pH was 10. And then I did not whisk it, but poured the liquid from one bucket to another. Oh heavens, what a foam. I bet all the baristas would have been jealous of that crema!
When the foam did not turn blue (the foam did not go away) I added sodium dithionite. I usually add according to weight of the leaves, but now I measured the amount of the vat. I added 2 tablespoons per 3 litras of water. Well.. opps... might have been even more.
I let the vat stand for 45 minutes, so that all the oxygen was gone and it was time to dip the wool
Jenni adviced to put it in a small washing bag.
And then I waited for 30 minutes. I moved the wool carefully a bit, I wanted to make sure that as much as possible would dye.
Gosh I was exited when I lifted the bag from pot. It was ..plain white. And then in front of my eyes it started to turn blue. And turn blue. And turn blue!
I let it dry quite a while before rinsing.
So: some of wool is still white. But most of it is very nice darkish blue.
Hmm... I have wool. I also have more woad. Time... have to fix it and try this again!
I also made incredible reds with the mushrooms, but that story I will share in dyers blog, Pyhä Lyyti.
The result of one sunday.