Logwood Adventures

I have to first state that I love logwood dye. It comes as wood chips that you soak overnight before heating for a while before straining out the bits and the dye is ready to go. You can achieve the deepest purples, through lavenders to the loveliest pale purples. So this time I used it I was obviously not paying attention (tired, too many distractions) and I made some awesome mistakes! First I added boiled water to the chips and stirred. Then came back and added 2 miniskeins. And after 20 minutes checked the yarn and it was brown. Totally confused, I could not understand what I’d done wrong. So I took the yarn out, and realised it was covered with logwood chips. I hung it outside to dry and went for a cup of tea and to consult my notes. I quickly realised I hadn’t let the chips soak overnight, or heated them up for long enough, or strained out the bits. Ghahh! Taking a deep breath, I left the dyepot alone for the day. I dried the miniskeins and painstakingly picked out every fragment of logwood. The next day, somewhat more refreshed, I heated the dyepot up and added 5g of soda ash (making the mix more alkali) and strained out the bits. This did the trick and I soon had a super dyepot full of purple dye. But I learned a valuable lesson about always using my notes and not making potions when I’m tired!


The picture shows (left to right) immediate soaking in logwood dyepot with brown results, overnight soaking of logwood chips and a little soda ash resulting in beautiful dark blue/purples, a full skein of 4 ply yarn tie-dyed in logwood dye, the last two miniskeins dyed in a fairly exhausted dyepot resulting in a pale lavender purple.


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