This week: we have posts that are outtakes from my project journal.

October 8, 2007

Curried Wool

Yesterday morning, I found this tutorial on dyeing fabric with turmeric and I couldn’t wait to try it on some yarn. In the first dyepot, the base was two hanks of the old version of The Knittery’s merino/cashmere sock yarn; once that finished, I put in some Knit Picks merino laceweight to use more of the dyebath.

curried wool

A few observations:

1. I only used 2 tbsp of turmeric in my big dutch oven and it was way more than enough. The tutorial suggests 4 tbsp, but that would be overkill.

2. The spice doesn’t dissolve in the water so–due to gravity–there is a noticeable difference between the dark saffron of the hank on the bottom of the pot and the lemony hank from the top. The lace weight came out more evenly colored, except it has a nice streak of orange in the yarn that rested on grains on the bottom of the pot.

3. The turmeric solids also remain in the yarn despite ten plain water rinses. [Thank goodness for superwash wool!] To compensate, I’ve snapped the dry hanks all morning until no more dust comes out. Next time, I’d simmer the spice to make the dyebath and then strain through a coffee filter before putting in the yarn. You could easily reuse the powder again and again once it dries in the filter.

4. The yarn does faintly smell like curry, which is just fine with me! In case of clashing aromas, I stuck with plain water rinses rather than using wool wash.

ETA: I probably did add some white vinegar to my dyebath just to be sure that the colors wouldn’t fade.