Saturday, 2 July 2011

the little dye mystery

As I've mentioned before, the unpredictability of natural dyeing is not a problem for me - I enjoy the air of anticipation. Sometimes the results are disappointing, sometimes they exceed anything I'd hoped for. Sometimes they're a bit bewildering - Thursday's red onion dyeing being an example. I'd left the skeins to soak overnight and when I drained them yesterday morning the 4-ply was a distinctly different colour from the aran. Sometimes the colour you get once the yarn is dry is different from when it's wet, so as the yarn was dripping wet I put it on the washing-line and.. pretty much forgot about it.

The kids and I were heading out for the day with my mother-in-law so the yarn went on the line in the middle of a a picnic-making, coaxing-son-into-wearing-clothing-suitable-for-the-weather, rounding-up-cats frenzy. We had a glorious day out - the weather was warm and sunny and we went fruit-picking at a pick-your-own farm right next to the runways of Glasgow airport so we got to watch 'planes take off and land as we had our picnic.

Then we went to Pollok Park and had a wander around.

I love the gardens at Pollok House - there are parts where you feel obliged to stroll in a stately Jane Austenish manner (I'm thinking Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam at Rosings Park). Well I feel obliged to stroll, the kids feel obliged to belt around like very small commandos on a secret but surprisingly noisy mission.

As it happened Georgian strolling was actually the order of the day as some location filming for Garrow's Law was going on (I hadn't actually heard of this programme before, I just found out from Googling 'pollok house filming') so there were weird lighting set-ups in odd places..

.. and men in breeches hanging about:

Apparently the programme is set in London but filmed mostly in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Bit like Cardiff really.

I've only been in Pollok House once, when I attended a day-long NTS conservation course held there (that's historic object conservation, i.e. 'kill the clothes moth', not save-the-whale!) and I keep meaning to go again. It's a lovely and fascinating house, but I suspect if I went with the kids I'd see nothing of it!

After all our adventures we headed home and I remembered the yarn. And if anything the colour difference between the two skeins was even more marked once they were dry:
Intriguing isn't it? Well, it is to me.. They were dyed in the same pot for the same length of time yet have turned out really different colours. Possibly wool from different breeds of sheep? I'm very happy with both colours, but I particularly like the uneven uptake of dye in the aran skein. I just need to mordant another skein to see what I get from the exhaust of this dye as there's still a lot of colour in the water...


Trekky said...

The red onion dyeing mystery gives quite a difference to the skeins. Both colours are lovely, but certainly intriguing! Does the aran feel like it has more lanolin? (as i wonder if that could work as a resist?).

I've never actually been in Pollock house, it is on the to-do list!

Peeriemoot said...

That's a thought - I'd have said the aran feels *less* lanolin-y if anything, but then again I'm no expert and when comparing a thick wool and a thinner one it's hard to tell!