All natural, baby

Published on Wednesday November 15th, 2006


Here’s the result of all my plant dyeing. And this was the best I could do for natural light between rain showers this week, folks. Sorry the pictures are so dark. From left to right:

– self-striping sock yarn (KnitPicks Color-Your-Own): madder, cochineal, and lac (more on this fiasco later)

– Henry’s Attic Kona merino: osage overdyed with indigo, then dipped quickly in madder to make the green more loden and less Christmas

– Kona: “wasabi”, 4 parts osage to 1 part logwood grey (This yarn refused to show its actual color in any of the photos. It is not a mildewy E.T. color at all, but a pale green like the underside of new leaves.)

– Kona: lac, darkened with soda ash

– Kona: cochineal

– Kona: madder (the batch of madder we mixed up came out very orange, not the rusty red I expected)

– Kona: logwood purple (the purplest logwood purple ever seen – we mixed it strong, but this midnight blue was quite a surprise)

– Kona: handpainted cochineal, madder, logwood grey, and indigo

Here’s what I’m planning for the Elizabeth Zimmermann fair isle yoke sweater:

sweater_cakes.jpg sweater_cakes2.jpg sweater_cakes3.jpg

Loden green for the body, the other colors for the yoke. The loden has the most variation in shade – indigo just doesn’t come out very even when you’re dyeing this much of it, especially when it’s an overdye. Some areas are definitely more orange and some are more blue. But hey, this is natural dyeing. If it doesn’t look commercial, I can accept that. Hopefully the end effect will be sort of earthy and rustic, and not just ugly.

Say hello to Mingus the cat, who hasn’t made an appearance on the blog for a while. He got in a whopping big fight with his arch-nemesis Felix yesterday, and today half of his face is all puffed up from a puncture among his whiskers, so we’re having a quiet inside day and he’s keeping my lap warm while I blog. Send him good wishes for healing and not having to go to the vet, won’t you? We do hate to go to the vet.

20 Comments to “All natural, baby”

  1. laura b Comment Says:

    Those came out so nicely! The colors are so vibrant. I love HA, but I’ve never tried dyeing it myself. Maybe I should give it a try…

  2. gleek Comment Says:

    awwwww.. poor mingus. i’m sending good healing vibes his way.

    i love how all these colors turned out. it’s so hard to get good even result with natural dyes but i really like the way that they turn out. unique, you know? they’ll make the perfect sweater.

  3. Stephanie Comment Says:

    I love the colors. My thoughts go out to your kitty. I am a cat person and am sorry to hear he had a fight and got hurt.

  4. Lisa Comment Says:

    Pooooor ‘Gus! I hope he’s feeling better soon. I think the colors will be beautiful together in fair isle. Can’t wait to see it in progress!

  5. brooke Comment Says:

    Your natural dyeing results are lovely-can’t wait to see how they knit up. Hugs to Mingus.

  6. Sandra Comment Says:

    your yarn is so lovely. fabulous job! your sweater is gonna be kick ass.

    and poor kitty. hope he gets well real soon. 🙂

  7. Katherine Comment Says:

    Those are simply gorgeous! I love the color palette of natural dyes. Good luck with Mingus–great name, by the way!

  8. Karma Comment Says:

    The thing with the natural dyes (as I, with very little knowledge, understand) is that the colors all go so well together. You could combine just about any of those hanks and have a lovely complement.

    I’m heading to PDX for a very quickie overnight stay with a couple of girlfriends this weekend. I don’t even know if there will be time for yarn shopping. The next time you and I are in one another’s hometowns we should really get together!

    Lennon sends licks to Mingus. We hope he can avoid the vet… it’s not our favorite place, either. xoxo

  9. Emily Comment Says:

    I love your natural dyed yarn! I would love to learn how to dye my own. I think your EZ sweater is going to be awesome. I’ve made one myself, with whatever leftovers I had, but I’d like to make one with colors I actually “planned” not just grabbed. I love the earthy tones you’ve chosen.

  10. Katie Comment Says:

    Little Mingus really needs to be more careful who he fights, it appears! I hope his nemesis sports a few matching wounds as well. Not that I’m a fan of hurt kitties, but fair’s fair. Sending anti-vet vibes your way. We hate the vet too.

  11. j a r e d Comment Says:

    i love the variation in the green. Its gonna look great. Awesome job!

  12. Schrodinger Comment Says:

    Oooooh, they look lovely – so, um, natural.

  13. Nonnahs Comment Says:

    What gorgeous colors you achieved! I’d love to learn how to do that at some point! I think the shades you chose for your EZ sweater are going to look beautiful together. Great job!

  14. Kirsten Comment Says:

    Ooooh, that yarn is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see the EZ fair isle knitted in those colors.
    I hope Mingus is feeling better soon.

  15. Debby Comment Says:

    I hope that Mingus heals soon, and in the meantime, enjoys some lap time with you. Beautiful dyeing!

  16. Molly Comment Says:

    The plant-dyed yarns are inspiring! lovely. I recently visited La Lana wools in Taos. It is a feast of glorious, plant-dyed fibers. Have you been?
    I’ll be eagerly awaiting progress of the fair isle.
    I hate to hear about a suffering kitty. Whisker kisses to him.

  17. Jessica Comment Says:

    Beautiful! I love your color choices. The natural dyes are so… naturally pretty. 🙂
    Best wishes to Mingus. We hate to go to the vet over here too–it’s accompanied by much trembling and crying, always a sight to see in a pit bull.

  18. Kristen Comment Says:

    Lovely! I didn’t know you could get such rich colors from plant dyes. The colors for the EZ sweater look very nice together, and I’m excited to see the end result of their union. I hope Mingus feels better soon. He’s a well named animal – no real surprise, that.

  19. Craptina Comment Says:

    I’m going to look up lac and madder, have never heard of these before. They obviously have wonderful dying ability, your work looks stunning. Can’t wait to see progress on the EZ yoke with these colors.

  20. Rebecca Comment Says:

    Aw – feel better soon Mingus! Monk is sending good kitty vibes your way. (Oh and the yarn is amazing!)