Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Gettin' Ma Hippy on - Dyeing in Muscat

There might be some knitting going on here in Oman that needs the odd bit of colour....  I just might have picked up some of Chris Robertson's white hand spun from my Canberra stash....

The original hand spun

I want a nice brown.  I could spin the dark fleece that also came home with me or I could dye some of the white.  I want it now! Time to dye!!!!!!!!!!!

What to use...what to use....  I know!  To the kitchen!

Black lentils[1]::
1kg black (beluga) lentils covered with water and soaked overnight (all I have to do now is think what to do with many, many soaked black lentils.

The original amount was just a little mound in the steel bowl

I strained the water from the lentils and placed it in a smallish saucepan – there was less than a litre of liquid left and I wanted darkish wool.

The murky browny blurg

I dampened the wool and placed it in the dye stuff, raised the temperature to boiling and simmered for 1 hour.  Since there was not very much liquid I left the lid on the pot throughout this stage and made sure that the wool was covered. I also stirred it regularly and occasionally turned it over. 

I left the wool in the pot to cool,  then rinsed out the liquid and left it to dry.

Before and after.  The photograph really doesn't do it justice

The result is a gingery milk-chocolate colour that matches bits of the cat and apparently tastes quite good.  Now to sort out the next culinary dye adventure.

It's Button coloured and will be kept out of her reach....
 The next step is to learn to spin with an Omani drop spindle, although I've not seen them actually dropping them only sitting and using a short draw. Although this probably has more to do with the fact they're spinning goat and camel hair rather than wool.  The lady in the centre has a spindle and is teasing out the fibres prior to spinning.

From "fleece" to yarn to ropes
Three ladies at the Muscat Festival February 2013

The spindle itself is made completely of wood and is top weighted.  I've never played with a top weighted spindle before, so this should be interesting.......

An Omani spindle.  Wish me luck!

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