Is it weird that looking at this stack of yarn cakes, makes me really happy?
From top to bottom, these were dyed with: coffee, roses, beets and tumeric.
Those of you who followed me on Twitter (or paid attention to the scroll on the RH column of this blog) over the weekend, know that I spent the majority of it, elbow deep in natural dye baths. I think it's fair to say, that I'm currently obsessed. I had so much fun experimenting that now, no color-bearing plant, fruit or vegetable is safe in my presence! ;)
I had varying degrees of success with different ingredients (tumeric=awesome, spinach=bomb). I'm assuming that the failures can be credited in part, to my ratios sometimes being off. It's likely though, that the quality of wool I was working will played a small part as well. All of the yarn you see pictured is from 1, thrifted sweater that I unraveled and washed. In it's former life, it was a mass-produced GAP number but in Eco-Stitch (due out Fall '09), it will be 3, unique baby items. I'm excited about the added element of stretching yardage in a creative way, that the dyeing/repurposing aspect will bring to the book. It makes creating beautiful, non-toxic garments for their children, accessible to mothers on a budget (and frankly during these times, who of us isn't?)
Speaking of children, I convinced my oldest to help with the process. THis is Tanner, prepping beets for steeping.
Here are the 4 phases of the dye process of the antique-looking peach color. From L-R: Yarn Ramen (post-unraveling, pre-soak), Simmer Down Now! (making the dye bath), Beet-le Juice (dyeing in progress) and, Ol' Softie (lovely, color has set in and it's ready to dry!)
We'll include at least one dye recipe in the book but in the meantime if you get the bug yourself, there are a ton of resources on the internet.
Alright, I still have a little bit of the plain wool left and a container of blueberries in my fridge. I'm off to perform my own version of the old Reese's commercial. It will go something like this:
"Your blueberries got on my yarn!"
"Your yarn got in my blueberries!"