Mellow Yellow

I am finally working the last skein of the alpaca, silk and linen yarn that I bought over 6 month’s ago.  I dyed some using avocado and some more with safflower petals.  I had one more left and I wanted a paler yellow to add to a simple shawl that I’m making.  I had bought some turmeric roots a few weeks earlier – only to see how they worked compared to the powdered stuff.  They are odd looking things, resembling giant maggots. 

They are however bright orange inside and not yellow as you would imagine.  They also stain your hands very efficiently!  I did look like I had a 40 a day cigarette habit for a day or so after I first used them.  So I decided to use the last root to dye some wool a lemon yellow.  I peeled the root – this time wearing rubber gloves and due to the staining I decided to simply slice the root rather than use a grater.  While I left the yarn to ‘wet’ with very dilute detergent and a small amount of mordant I boiled up the turmeric root for a while.  It doesn’t soften a great deal but does produce a lovely deep orange dye pot. 

Not wanting a very deep dye I only left it for about 15 minutes and before straining it and adding a good amount of cold water.  I submerged the wool and slowly increased the temperature. I still have a sugar thermometer so I kept a close eye on it till it got to just over 60 degrees centigrade and then took it out.  It was yellow all right – probably slightly more than I had anticipated, but it knits well with the undyed version of the same yarn – so happy girl.

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