Hello there, orange...

So as I mentioned in the previous post, I have a natural-dye project in mind just now - I really want to knit myself a Wildflowers Cap by Mary Jane Mucklestone. I'm still not sure if the bracken yarn is going to work for it after all, but I knew I wanted to try for a really rich, rusty orange. I almost I got it.

This started with my favourite, rhubarb root. Just as lovely as before...

Next up - madder. Now, I fully intend to dye with own madder plants one day. Rushing out to my little seedling nursery to check to see whether the seeds have germinated yet is pretty much the first thing I do in the morning. But even when that happens, I'm about two years away from harvesting my own madder roots. And so in the meantime, I used a little extract to get the colour I really wanted. Somehow this feels like cheating, which is really, really silly.

I started out with 1 tsp of madder extract but instinct was telling it wasn't nearly enough, so I added another 1 tsp, and yay! The yarn soaked up pretty much all the colour. I could probably have gone with 3 tsp in total to get a deeper colour, but I'm delighted with the finished skein. Though it was a reminder to make sure my skeins aren't tied too tightly, I have a few yellow spots.

The details:

100g of frozen rhubarb root, simmered for one hour then left overnight to cool
115g of wool yarn, pre-mordanted with alum and cream of tartar
held below a simmer in the dyebath for an hour, then left overnight to cool

yarn back in the pot with 2 tsps of madder extract and water to cover, held below a simmer for one hour then left overnight to cool