I've collected a number of old canning pots from local thrift stores to use for crafting, so I chopped up my cabbage, covered it with water and simmered it for an hour.
I had read someone else's blog about dyeing with red cabbage and she changed the pH of the dye by adding baking soda and vinegar to get two totally different colours and I really wanted to try that. She didn't give measurements so I randomly added 2 tsp of baking soda to one half of my dye, and 3 Tbsp of vinegar to the other. The first instantly turned a lovely teal green and the other a fuchsia pink.
I added one skein of the mordanted yarn to each and simmered for 20 minutes.
They looked gorgeous soaking in the dye
Unfortunately, when I rinsed them a lot of the colour came out, particularly of the pink one.
Mulling it over, I think there were a couple of things I did that may have affected the uptake of dye (although I'm not sure why the green stuck and the pink didn't - maybe the vinegar affected it?).
- Although I soaked the yarn before I mordanted it, I didn't actually wash it. I noticed when I rinsed it after dyeing that it felt kind of "soapy" so it may have had something on it that interfered with the dye absorption.
- I took both skeins out when they looked the colour I wanted and then chucked the dye before I rinsed them. There was quite a bit of colour left in the dye baths so I should have kept it anyway and tried dyeing something else, but I certainly should have kept them until I was sure the colour was going to stick. If I had, I could have put the pink back in to simmer longer or even sit in the dye pot overnight. Well, live and learn.