i'm not all that sure why... i kinda like doing it i guess, it lets me dye a small thing and it's a little more satisfying than dying a small swatch of fabric i suppose. also, i've managed to get a whole bunch of string for free or very cheap from random places, so that's always good.
i dont really keep notes when doing it, i have some skeins i've made up that i have mordanted (with alum) but i also often just use plain stuff too.
i recently took a bunch of fallen leaves from the purple cabbages at the grocery store so i could do a small jar of dye to experiment with. i've never done purple cabbage before, but i do know that it's very sensitive to pH. i do believe that knowing this i used distilled water for the dye bath since we have a distiller at my folks place so it's pretty easy to get. i dont have pictures, but the dye bath stayed very purple, much the same color as the cabbage leaves themselves. when i removed the string and squeezed it out it was purple-ish, but as soon as i started to rinse it it started to blue up.
the water at my house is slightly alkaline. the rinsed out string was a light blueish colour. i wanted to test the effects of pH, so i added some string to some dilluted vinegar and that turned it pink. i added some to some water with some washing soda dissolved to raise the pH and that blued it up a bit more. i have not tried, but i should and could try rinsing/washing in distilled water and seeing if it stays purple?
the 5 on the left are purple cabbage. the far left is some yarn with alkaline dip, then 2 pink acid strings, then 2 blue alkaline strings.
the 3 on the right are from a schubert chokecherry leaf exhaust dyebath. i like schubert chokecherry, it's a good dye, it turns a really pretty grey with rusty objects and the leaves make a lovely blueish print with ecodyes. i had never tried altering the pH though.. so i gave that a shot, the washing soda kinda lightened it a bit, nothing special, but the vinegar pinked it up quite a bit which was kinda neat.
so the 3rd from the right is with a vinegar dip and the other 2 are without anything.
i decided to dye some more with it and i got a different colour all together, a green! i just let it soak with no heat, which i think i've done before but i guess not? cause i've never got a green like this before... the cloth on the right is from the same dyeing as the strings above, the cloth on the left is the soak with no heat. (i think both had alum mordant)
i also dyed some string that time.. but i didnt really take a picture.. you can kinda see it in the far right of this picture below.
on the right of this picture, next to the schubert in the back, is some blueberry dyed polyester ribbon and some string. i dont know what is going on with the brownish one in the middle. it's a thin sorta string that was offwhite to begin with, but who knows.
the 3 pinkish ones on the left are plum! it's a creepy old plum dye that i made over a year ago and has been sitting in a jar on the shelf since then. i only used it once before and it resulted in a light greyish blueish color and this time that's what happened too. it came out pinkish but once rinsed it was a greyish bluish color, but then i stuck it in a vinegar dip and ta-da! back to pink! so thrilled.
all this green stuff is buckthorn berries that i went out and picked the other day! it made an amazing green soup that even dyed that polyester yarn a nice light greenish color. the one in the middle, 4th in, that's a little more beige in color is the one i tried modifying the pH. and now i kinda forget what i did? i think i first attempted the vinegar and it just lightened it a bit, so then i put it in the washing soda and it turned it kinda beige. ..but i'm loving this buckthorn stuff.
and that's good for now!