Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ammonia Vat II

Well, it seems to be fermenting nicely, now! It's starting to smell very ripe and the colour of the liquor is beginning to change colour, towards a green. I have waited so long for this to happen, that I am beginning to get rather impatient. But I must not wreck the slow process by diving in with some yarn I want dyed blue! I must, I must be patient.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ammonia Vat update!

Well! What can I say!!

I have only just posted the last post, if you see what I mean. It's been a draft for several weeks! I made the vat as described, but it wouldn't ferment! (Lots of exclamation marks, going on you will see, that's how frustrated I've been!!!)

I tried stirring it every day, to move the sediment from the bottom. I have "fed" it more sugar, more yeast. Not to mention that it is sitting on a heat pad to keep the temperature constant, as it had been rather cold here in Derbyshire in the UK.

Jim Liles book, The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing - Traditional Recipes for Modern Use, suggested that if it hadn't become active in 2 - 3 days it may never do so! Well, I didn't want to abandon all the effort, not to mention, indigo and ammonia, I had put into it. So, I have given it another chance, adding more sugar every day and more yeast over the last two days and Hay Presto! it's started to ferment. I suspect it was because the temperature has risen, here, over the last few days, to be rather unseasonly warm at night. This despite the heat pad, has maintained the temperature a little more consistently.

Let hope this continues, as I have usually used a yeast and washing soda vat, and only used this one because some one said they liked it better! It has been a very good learning curve, though!
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