|Indigo dye and fermentation vats in Japan|
Creating indigo dye from the actual plants is something on my to-do list, but it's a very complicated and long process so I just used pre-reduced indigo crystals! Jacquard's kit works very nicely. I had 5 mini-skeins already wound from KnitPick's Bare Swish fingering and decided to make a gradient set of 5 indigo blues.
I draped them over a short length of PVC pipe so I could easily slip each skein off at its proper time without having to bring the other skeins out of the vat. I lowered the pipe into the vat and gently swished it around without making any bubbles - you don't want to introduce oxygen into the vat or you won't get those nice deep blues. At the 1 minute mark, I took off the first skein and draped it on my rack. At the 2 1/2 minute mark the second one came out, 4 minutes for the third, 5 1/2 minutes for the fourth, and 7 minutes for the fifth.
Here you can see the green on the last skein out that hadn't oxidized to blue yet.
When they dried I decided the darkest color wasn't dark enough, so I redyed it for an additional 2 minutes. And here are the finished skeins! I think they're going to become a gradient shawl, but I'm not sure which one yet.
Now I have a vat of indigo dye, so I'm off to look for more textiles to turn various shades of blue.
Happy Creating! Deborah