As it turns out, I plucked a jar of leaves, worried about the possibility of frost, and my fear was unfounded. No frost. Temps dipped to about 38. But, I’m glad I didn’t take a chance.
Last night, after my pluck session, I weighed the leaves at just about 5 ounces. Timin’ was perfect – the plants are in bloom, only one settin’ seed. All I could think was, “What a shame. I’m not even going to get seed for next year.”
Since I was makin’ a thiox or spectralite pot of dye, I had to work fast. Hot water to cover the leaves. Double boiler til 160. Then, strain, raise the pH and oxygenate. And finally add the thioureadioxide which turns the fluid from dark greeny blue to light yellow over the course of an hour.
Finally, I soaked a couple special skeins – one of a worsted weight 2-ply spun from Curly and Bing fiber. And a fine 2-ply fingering from Holly. These are all memorial skeins. I knew the weight of the fiber was more than the pigment would cover, but, hell, I really wanted to dye both skeins. So, one at a time, they got a 20 minute soak, followed by a 20 minute hang, then a wash and a rinse. I overdyed some yellow silk/merino top as well, to see what green I could get.
Here’s the result:
gawjus blues of homegrown indigo