A little bit more natural dyeing

I've had requests from a few people to share photos from some of my recent natural dyeing efforts, so here are a few.

First, in the same vein as what I was doing before, this yarn is dyed using an avocado skin bath and a little bit of madder root that Anne's father sent me:

There was just a tiny bit of madder, but it has inspired me to dig around in the weeds around here and see if I can find more, because it did cook into a nice reddish pink dye very quickly! A few more roots and I could have had a nice deep red, I think!

Next, I bought some natural dye materials from Paradise Fibers a little while ago, so I played with those recently.

I bought some Quebracho Red, which is a dye from the Quebracho tree in Paraguay. While the notes say that it works best on plant fibers, and that it tends to give a peachy-brown colour, I tried it on some wool and got this amazing red:

I also bought some indigo crystals. Those of you that know about dyeing may know that the traditional way of dyeing with indigo is time and labour intensive. I could have grown my own indigo plants, created a bath for it to ferment in, and then dyed my wool--but I didn't. These crystals allow you to skip straight to the dyeing step! I'm still playing with saturation levels and dyeing techniques, but I'm pretty happy with the colour I got:

In the last few days I've also started dyeing with the dye powders from Peru. The results of this are all still wet, so I don't have photos for you--but I'll try to remember to post some in a few days when they are. They're amazingly vivid! I do wish I knew more about what they were--most are just labeled with the name of the colour and "plant" or "mineral". A few have an actual plant name, and there are 2 different colours both labeled as cochineal (a very common red dye made from insects--I'm not sure if there are different varieties of them that give the different colours in these packets or what!). But they seem to be dyeing well, and so far they appear fairly washfast and lightfast. I'll keep you posted.


Unknown said…
I love the colour of the madder yarn as it's quite subtle. And the indigo is very pretty too.
Anniebeeknits said…
Oooh, I like the results of all three! We'll have to see if we can locate more madder for you next year... and I'll have to get the avocado pits/peels out of my freezer for you!

The indigo dye is fascinating, and such a lovely colour. Lovely!
Kate said…
The first yarn is just beautiful. I'd love to knit a sweater or cardigan in that yarn. It just "looks" warm. :-D