I've been having too much fun experimenting with dyeing different types of yarn with indigo! If you've never tried dyeing with it before, it's an easy entry into the addicting world of dyeing. See this past post here. This time we used Jacquard's pre-measured kit with pre-reduced indigo crystals. Super easy! You just need a 5 gallon bucket with lid, water, something to stir with, and lots of things to dye. We soaked the yarn and shirts we wanted to dye for about an hour, mixed everything up, waited about 45 minutes and were ready to go!
In my past indigo adventures, I just dyed silk and cotton. They don't need mordants - the indigo binds well with the fibers. From everything I read, wool was also supposed to do the same .... it didn't. We rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, and rinsed some more and still had lots of blue coming off and blue hands. So on the off chance it would work, we tried soaking one of the worst offending skeins in white vinegar for about 10 minutes and then rinsing well - it worked! No more dye came off.
Because of all the rinsing before we discovered this trick, most of the skeins are on the lighter side of blues. I'm anxious to try this again and do a vinegar soak sooner to see if I can get some really dark shades.
So we had a whole drying rack filled with wet wool - a lovely smell! Charlie actually liked it .... she says it "smells like life." Awesome!
And for her very first indigo dye session, she helped make a swirled shirt. See here for swirl tie dye instructions.
I've been getting side tracked on all these summer projects, so it looks like "Christmas in July" will be "Christmas in August" again this year! Hopefully not in September .....
Happy Creating! Deborah