Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dyeing to Knit!

"Dyeing to Knit" ....... was the name of the program tonight at the Beaver Area Memorial Library. Wild Rose Farm presented an indigo dyeing demonstration to a group of 21 members of the BAML Knitting Club, "Chicks with STIX", and other friends of the library. Thanks to everyone for coming!

We started off with a talk about our Rambouillet & Dorset sheep and the wool products that we produce from their fleeces. After discussing the 3 types of natural dyes; substantive, adjective, and vat dyes, we demonstrated indigo dyeing. The indigo vat dye makes a dramatic presentation! The white yarn goes into a greenish yellow dyebath ..... it emerges from the dyebath as a yellow color ..... and as the air (oxygen) hits it, the yarn turns blue right before your eyes. Tonight we got a nice deep blue from the the dyebath. We also put in a skein of gold yarn that had been dyed last fall with goldenrod after a tin pre-mordant preparation. The result was a fantastic olive green! I'll have to post pictures after the yarn is neutralized with a vinegar bath and washed.
Now that it's warming up, the natural dyeing will start again in earnest. We've got to get ready for the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival and the Wild Rose Farm Annual Spring Open House --- both are coming up in May!

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