Thursday, April 23, 2015

Coffee Dying - #2

If this second experiment with coffee-grinds wool dying does not give the results I desire, I'm done with coffee-dying.

I saved up a lot of grinds. This is all espresso or french press grinds, so the 'remains' often came with some dark liquid ready for dying.
Here's the bowl of them after I strained them out from the dye pot using our reusable coffee filter (and 'straining' into the coffee maker. Sometimes I am smart.)

It looks nice and dark... but so did the last experiment (with the grinds in... not doing that again)

Since I was experimenting, I thought I'd grab a variety of yarns to dye, including some small handspun bits in white(ish).

I wasn't satisfied with the caramel colour of my last coffee experiment yarn, but I went ahead and knit the Java cowl anyhow. Now I'm going to try and darken the bottom half. That's the item on the right. On the top is some core spun alpaca - with some mystery wool-ish single as the core.  In the middle is some Fisherman's Wool. On the bottom is handspun alpaca plied with handspun Shetland wool. I want to see how the different fibres dye in one pot.

We'll see in a few hours...



The cowl did not get darker. No change at all - which would be evident from different colours in the yarn because I did not immerse the entire item.
I think the problem is the Fisherman's wool. It is the yarn that came out too 'caramel' in colour. The handspun alpaca and wool yielded a nicer, but still subtle colour. At least it's not yellow/caramel.

However, I'm also disappointed that, despite the gross volume of coffee grinds used, the colour is still weak. It's actually WEAKER than last time. Maybe I should have left the grinds in again!  A friend dyed her yarn with dye made from fresh grinds (i.e., not used for drinking first, but coffee was out of date or cheap stuff) and her yarn was a much richer brown.  I'm not willing to use my good coffee beans for that.

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