Archive | October, 2009

Shades of autumn

16 Oct

I managed to do some late autumn dyeing despite nature’s insistance that it was too cold. Frozen fingers and mushrooms will not stop me, ha. Besides, it was nice to be out in the crispy air at 7 am by myself. I can’t take credit for picking these beauties, though.

apple harvest

I’d picked a couple of kilograms worth of cortinariius semisanguineus on a couple of occasions and even found some cortinarius sanguineus with the help of two foxes. People like to pick mushrooms with me because there’s no fighting over the loot: I just want the poisonous ones.

cortinarius semisanguineus

Here are the results, please excuse the fleeting light. All second dyebath skeins are missing as thosed were done way after sundown. From left to right:

  1. semisanguineus stems (feet) on wool, 10:1 mushroom:fiber ratio, pH 5
  2. semisanguineus stems (feet) on silk-wool, 10:1 mushroom:fiber ratio, pH 5
  3. semisanguineus caps on wool, 10:1 mushroom:fiber ratio, pH 5
  4. semisanguineus caps on silk-wool, simultaneously mordanted, 10:1 mushroom:fiber ratio, pH 5
  5. semisanguineus caps on silk-wool, premordanted, 10:1 mushroom:fiber ratio, pH 5
  6. semisanguineus caps on silk-wool, 10:1 mushroom:fiber ratio, pH 9
  7. sanguineus on silk-wool, 5:1 mushroom:fiber ratio, pH5

cortinarius dyeing october 2009

It was fun to see what difference resulted from different fibers, mordanting, mushrooms and their parts and dyebath pH. The best discovery, prompted by the amazing new mushroom dyeing book by Hjördis Lundmark and Hans Marklund, was the heightened pH in the semisanguineus dyebath. Not an expert in the chemistry but it seems that the yellow color agents don’t work in high pH baths. The result is a gorgeous cold pink with no yellow undertones.

While cooling my dyebaths I noticed one of the containers was a suprisingly good match for its new contents. My tastes in mushrooms surely have hanged over the years!