There's a bit of a sale at the shop!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Experimenting Naturally

The new issue of Knit 1 has an article on natural dyeing by Shannon Okey. It inspired me to get in the kitchen and try some natural dyeing. She mentioned dyeing with blueberries and I happened to have a couple bags of frozen blueberries in the freezer AND the bodega up the street was have a sale on fresh blueberries (2 pints for $2!) so I bought a bunch and threw them in the pot. 

The blueberry dyeing was so successful that I decided to poke around the kitchen to find other things I could dye with. I found some paprika in the cupboard and thought I'd try it out. I think I used too much because some of the granules didn't dissolve but the color I got was great! It took a lot of rinsing to get all the extra paprika off the yarn and I couldn't get the smell out of my nose for a few hours. I didn't know what paprika smelled like before this and I never thought it was a really powerful smell but after hours of smelling it I was starting to feel sick. So I guess I won't be dyeing with paprika again anytime soon. But the color is really nice.

I love the colors I got and today I think I'm going to head to the grocery store to see what I else I can use to dye with. I have one more skein of superwash-bamboo blend sock yarn that I can dye and I'm thinking maybe some cranberries or cherries. They should give me a nice pinky-red color. We'll see what happens.

I was so inspired by the natural dyeing that I ordered The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use by J. N. Liles I can't wait for it to come so I can find out more about this dye process. If I get good at this I think you might be seeing more natural dyeing in the shop. Of course I still love my acid dyes so they won't be going away anytime soon. Now I'm off to do my Wii Fit for the day and  the grocery store. Happy Sunday!


Eliza said...

that book is really great, though somewhat overwhelming. there is a great section on arsenic, which I guess was used to make yellow. Of course, anyone who came in contact with the dyed item was poisoned, and even Napoleon (who slept in room arsenic colored wallpaper) died of it. crazy!

Your wool looks great!

choo choo knits said...

Hmmm...first of all, you're welcome :o)

Second of all, my husband has been asking about the warping board...lie to me and tell me you've used it a hundred times (please please please) :o)

J.Fo said...

I'd bet you'd get some good color from stawberries or raspberries.

Also, the obvious choice...beets.

Have you considered the color fastness of food-based dyes?

Lin said...

I like the colours that have come from your natural dying, lovely.