Yesterday it was warm and sunny, it has been all week, so I thought I would do some solar dyeing. I decided to dye wool before carding or spinning. I am not sure if this is going to give me good results, because the wool may still be greasy and there are bits of vegetable matter.
I put the dye material in first; avacado peels, onion skins, ivy and eucalyptus leaves. These are all things I have in abundance. We eat a lot of avocados, as do most Chileans, so I have been saving the peels in the freezer.
Then I stuffed some wool on top. Most dyeing books recommend plenty of space and water when dyeing, but because I am going to leave the jars for a couple of days I think it will be okay all squashed in.
By yesterday afternoon there was a little colour starting to show.
And this afternoon a bit more colour.
I will leave the jars in the oven for another day and see how the colour develops.
Of course this morning there were mists rolling in from the ocean and there was not a lot of sun. This is normal weather for La Serena, misty mornings, winter and summer. Because our farm is outside of the city we get more sun than in town, but the further up the valley you go the more sun and drier it gets.
I have also been spinning some wool that I bought a couple of years ago, already dyed, (and felted). I am not sure what the wool was meant for, it was too matted to spin, (I put it in my wool picker, then through my drum carder), and too thick to use in a weaving. I think someone saw pretty roving on the internet and said “I can do that, who cares what it is for!” It was cheap and at the time the first roving I had seen on sale in La Serena. So the spinning is bumpy and full of lumps, but the colours are pretty.
And Sheldon quite liked it!