Dyeing with beans, black beans. There has been a long thread on a dyeing group on Ravelry about dyeing with black beans so I thought I'd have a go.
Sooooo.. here's what I did. I had about 50g of aran-weight wool, mordanted with alum and cream of tartar. So far, so normal.
Dyeing with beans is quite different from what I usually do because there is no heating involved at all as apparently heat kills the colour. So instead there's a huge amount of soaking. I soaked the beans in cold water in a jar in the garage for several days, topping up the water from time to time as the beans seemed to absorb a fair bit. Then I drained the liquid into my usual dye-pan and added the wool and left it to soak in the garage again. Various people in the Ravelry thread talked about letting the beans/wool soak in the fridge but I didn't have space in the fridge so chose the garage as it's cool. Meanwhile I put the drained beans back into the jar and added more water to see if I got any more colour out of it.
This is what looked like shortly after I added the wool - absolutely gorgeous!
After a couple of days I added the second lot of bean water and left for another two nights.
And here's the result:
And I am so happy with it! Mostly blue with hints of green. I really should have taken note, but this was my slowest dye ever having taken well over a week what with all the soaking, but it was very much worth the wait.
And in a ball:
From what I gather it's not particularly light-fast so it's one to use with caution I think, but that's fine with me. It's blue! Bluuuuueeee!
Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum here's what I'm knitting at the moment - my mitts. Although it's quite a small project it's pushing me quite a bit because it contains cables and lace, sometimes in the same row (with increases for the thumb on some rows too), both of which I've done a bit of but not at the same time, plus following a chart which isn't my forte.