Ok, I used filtered water to wash and mordant the yarn. I used distilled water for the dyebath. I used brand new pots to process the yarn in and a brand new thermometer to monitor the temperature with. My results, drum roll please.....purple yarn!
Well, not quite as purple as the first two batches but pretty darn close. If you want to see how cochineal is supposed to look like on cellulose fibers, go to my Fiber Links box and click on Dana's blog. She did a lovely batch of napkins that is closer to the color I am looking for. I must admit, I had planned to use distilled water to mordant the yarns but I was multitasking a bit too much and stuck the yarns in a mordant using the filtered water that I buy. That is the only factor left that I can put my finger on. I am going to toss in the towel here on the cochineal. If it wants to be the color that keeps coming up under these conditions, then I will let it. It is a lovely color, definitely on the red side of purple. I will confess I made more than one mistake here. My scale doesn't weigh tenths of grams very well so I thought I would try the measuring spoon equivalents in the book. I forgot they were for dyeing one pound of fiber and that I needed to calculate using my WOG*. I had some pretty deep shades but you can see the light, medium, and dark. I decided to use the leftover dyebath in another experiment. I have a bit of fleece that I thought I would try it out on. I want to see how the fleece handles the dye process. I bundled the fleece in mesh laundry bags to dye and washed, mordanted, and popped them into the combined cochineal dyebath. We shall see tomorrow. In the meantime, I am leaving the Cochineal extract behind and moving on. I have completed one category, the "Modifiers"! A few more dyebaths will see the "Single Category" completed too. Can't wait. -Renee