This will be a happier new year. That's my resolution!
There are still a few days of holiday left and time for me to do some dyeing with my special Christmas present. It's a natural dye extract kit from Maiwa in British Columbia. The Indigo kit was part of the present, too, but it will have to wait until summer.
Years and years ago - yes, years! - I remember reading about Maiwa on Sweet Georgia's blog. The dyes, the workshops, and the Maiwa Foundation were amazing. I remember thinking that this was one of those places to visit on my 'someday list'. My brother stumbled upon Maiwa this fall and although he didn't know what he'd found, he knew enough to bring back a present.
The kit contains some dyes I've used before and some new ones for me.
I started with the new ones! I pre-mordanted all the fiber with alum and all are dyed with our Double Down yarn.
These lovely pinks are all from Lac. Lac is a scale insect found in Southeast Asia. I've dyed with Cochineal before so I thought this would be similar. It is, but the colours are softer and warmer I think.
The red/orange skeins are dyed with Madder. The madder I've previously dyed with was the roots, which I ground. This extract yielded a darker, richer colour.
Yellow is so easy to achieve with so many of our local plants but I've never found Dyer's Broom. This yarn is very clear yellow with no undertones of greens or browns like the yellows I've dyed with our local plants.
Quebracho comes from a South American tree and yielded a soft, warm brown. Next time, I'll use more of the extract with this one to see if I can achieve a darker brown.
The kit contains 12 different dye extracts. These are only four small samples! I may run out of holiday time before I try them all!