Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dyeing Naturally

Trtgrl and family took me along for a ride to Pico-Accuardi Dyeworks headquarters in North Portland. Debby and Stevanie along with Michelle were doing a day of mini-classes. You could learn how to spin on a drop spindle, do some natural dyeing and how to do entrelac in the round. We were interested in the natural dyeing so that's what we headed over for in the afternoon.

Arriving early, we of course pulled out our knitting and chatted with Debby and Michelle. We couldn't help adding in our spinning tidbits and we all learned. A few rows on our shawls were knitted and then it was our turn with Stevanie.

Stevanie had some pots with black walnut, cochineal, logwood, pomegranate (forgot to try), logwood-grey (forgot to try), madder, onion skins - yellow and red in separate pots and indigo. We also ended up mixing up a batch of madder-walnut and baking soda for a nice dark red. We were given mini-skeins of cream colored sock yarn and a light grey columbia wool. Both had been pre-mordanted, and dry so we were ready to go.

Our work area:

Sock yarn: logwood-baking soda| cochineal-logwood-baking soda| walnut-cochineal| walnut-madder-baking soda| cochineal-indigo|indigo:

Columbia wool: yellow onion| cochineal-logwood-indigo| indigo| madder-red onion-indigo| indigo

I have need to do some natural dyeing of some cotton fabric for SCA garb for Brandon and I. I have a source that I can try out woad and a kit that has madder, cochineal, walnut and a couple of others. 

Nessa came home on Friday. We are definitely going to replace the tin her ashes are in. They clipped a nice amount and a variety of her hair for me and did a nice casting of her paws. Brandon is going to build a nice box with a picture frame front for her and has some wood in mind. 


  1. Your yarn is very pretty! Great to see you today.

  2. I'm glad you had a fun time away from home. Your picture box for Nessa will be a wonderful tribute of her.

  3. Beautiful yarn! I took a natural dye class at SAFF one year and it was a LOT of work! I have a new respect for natural dyers.

  4. Yeah, that is weird that we made the same colors of yarn, with a few different dyes. I like yours better because it has more blue/indigo in it.