Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Purple Soup

I decided, for one reason or another, that Saturday would be the day to dye. There's a pretty cotton knit I made a while ago, and I wanted to breathe new life into it. Note the very slight smudge of blue on the cream (argh!) in the photograph below, which I did by accident... I hoped that dyeing it a darker shade would redeem the wrap.

So I of course realised I didn't have enough salt in the house, which meant a trip to the shop. I walked and as it was a lovely day and wandered through the beautiful grounds of Lauriston Castle, an Edwardian stately home, as a little detour. Which turned out to be well worth it as the cherry trees in the Japanese garden are in blossom, and when the wind blows it looks like pink-tinged snow falling. Very pretty!

After having weighed the fabric dry, washed it and left it damp, I prepared to dye. First I had to get a bucket, filled with enough cold water to comfortably cover the fabric and be able to agitate.

Next, I pricked the little pot of dye and dissolved that in hot tap water and added it to the dye bath. Then I dissolved the salt and dye fix in hot tap water and mixed it into the dye bath contents.

At this point the damp fabric gets added. I just loved the inky deep purple colour I got in the bucket, it looked like some kind of odd purple soup stuff.

For the next 10 minutes I donned rubber gloves in order to "swish" the fabric around in the dye bath, aka bucket. Sore arms!!

The knitted fabric was in the dye mix for around an hour, with regular swishing intervals. I rinsed out the dye with cold water and then stuck it in the wash (separately!) to get rid of any excess dye remaining.

I'm really happy with the result, as the dye took really well and it's a nice saturated purple now :)

Colour is one of those things that makes life worth living, don't you think?

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