Sunday, September 27, 2009

To Dye For --

Recently a spinning group I belong to decided to try something a little different. Instead of our usual spinning sessions, we thought we'd try out some natural dyeing. The original intent was to use solar power to heat the dyebaths (this was in the height of summer), but that didn't work out so well when I gave it a go. Not to be denied, we turned instead to a grill, and a hotplate. We met at a member's home (thanks Susan!) and proceeded.

Some of us used our own handspun, some chose unspun fiber, and I, being unwilling to give up my handspun to possible disaster, used Lamb's Pride worsted -- a blend of 85% wool/15% mohair, color - creme.

Herewith, for your viewing pleasure, are my results -- (as always, you can click for bigger)

One of the books we used for how-to information was "Wild Color" by Jenny Dean. With one exception our mordanting was done with alum, which is fairly safe (just don't inhale!). I did try making my own copper mordant solution, however this is a toxic substance so you need to exert great care.

It's been fun so far -- you just never know exactly what you'll get from any dyepot. We still have some lichen "brewing", and hopefully some other plants will catch our eyes before we're done!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

And I'm Back...

There now, that was a nice, relaxing break, but prime knitting/crocheting weather is approaching and it's time to get serious.

While away, I discovered a fun new yarn -- Color Changing Cotton from Wolle . Want to see what I made? Sure you do! First up, is a cute little shawlette -- Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante.

And then, with the leftover yarn -- a decorative little scarf from a Japanese accessory crochet book.

See how the yarn slowly changes color? (As always, click on the photos for bigger.) It's four strands of cotton that has one strand changing color at regular intervals, for a mesmerizing effect. Well, possibly I'm easily mesmerized (!) but it is fun to watch the changes happen.

The original scarf went off to the big city with one of the daughters, but I liked the effect so much that I'm now working on one for myself. Normally I hate to repeat patterns, so you can understand just how much I've enjoyed working with this yarn.

There's more to come -- including Adventures in Natural Dyeing -- whereby I tear up my yard looking for good candidates for the dye pot, so y'all come back!