100g bark was peeled off cut branches and left soaking in a bucket of water for over a week, then simmered for an hour in a pot. As seems usual with bark, fermentation made the resulting orange dyebath acidic, testing at pH 5 with indicator paper. Adding soda ash to bring the pH up to neutral then alkaline deepened the colour almost to black. Three 25g skeins of unmordanted Shetland wool yarn were simmered for an hour with the bark and left overnight. One was taken out and soda ash was added to the pot before reheating the remaining skeins at neutral pH, then the secomd skein was taken out and the last was reheated with more soda ash added to give it an alkaline pH.
After curing for a few days, the three skeins were rinsed, dried and inspected.
"Creating beige again, Beaut?"
"Three shades of beige, Elinor. The pale one is from the acid dye bath, the middle one is from the neutral and the darker one was heated in the alkali bath."
"Only another 47 shades of beige and you might be onto something."
A whole bucket full of leaves soaked for ages before I got round to giving them a simmer. Even so, they all had to be sieved out through a colander before I could discern whether the dye bath had developed any colour at all. Just a tinge of yellow in the sample, more convincing once I had added soda ash to the dye in a couple of extra jam jars. Putting a good teaspoon of soda ash in the pot, I simmered three small skeins of wool yarn, previously mordanted with 10% alum. The larger skein came out to dry then I divided the dye bath into two, added copper solution to one half and iron to the other and heated the two smaller skeins for twenty minutes, one in each pot, before rinsing them.
A lot of hazel leaves on a little wool dyed it an orangey beige, copper modification shifted the colour toward green. My companion leaped upon the iron modified skein.
"Woo-hoo, beat me on the bottom with The Garden magazine, at last, a shade of grey."
"Good job you enjoy seeing me suffer. This isn't a range of colours I'm on fire to dye again, next time the hazel needs pruning."
"Never mind, Beaut. You love an exercise in masochism."
"I do not."
I might get into Sadism, though.