Monday, May 10, 2010

Chugging Along

I'm chugging along on the queue, having finished the BSJ for Maryanne's grandbaby. It's been soaked and blocked and both sweaters are folded in a pretty spring green bag ready for delivery to Maryanne, to be included in the next box to be sent across the pond.

I'm working on another set of the !@ #*% Golf Club Covers for niece Jane, in eggplant and cream. I've four of them done, except for embroidering the symbols which I'll probably do at Westside Wednesday. And I'm waiting to hear whether she wants pompoms on them or connecting them with an I-cord.

I did a little cooking this weekend, too. Doesn't that just look yummy?

It's the peels of 20 avocados, six pennies, lots of water, a glug or two (that's a highly technical term) of vinegar, and some sea salt. No; it's not for eating; it's for dying wool, silly! I found a couple of forums on Ravelry devoted to natural dyeing. I don't think I'd ever go into dyeing as much as knitting or spinning, but we do eat a LOT of avocados and when I saw that they produce a warm pink/peach dye, it seemed a shame to keep throwing them out.

I had to wait for the pits to thaw before I could chop them up for adding to the pot. You think those things are hard when they're fresh? Frozen, they're like giant marbles; and just as hard to hang onto. A kitchen accident waiting to happen if ever there was one!

I wish I could describe how this smells; I think it smells like a woodpile in the late fall, right after it rains but the weather hasn't really turned cold yet. OK, maybe you had to have grown up in the country to know that smell. Anyway, it's earthy and woodsy but not really heavy or offensive. Although ToolMan claimed it stunk so badly that he could smell it downstairs in the garage when it was simmering, so he made me put it out on the deck when I wasn't simmering it.
It's amazing how much color came out so quickly. I simmered the pot, drained off the liquid, and repeated with fresh water three times and each pot is still as dark as the first one. I've been simmering it down to concentrate the color, mainly because I don't have enough large pans. I'm using two big stainless steel pasta pots; one with the peels/pits and one with the reduced liquid.

I picked up some cream of tartar and alum to mordant the yarn, which I'll have to do in my big water bath canner. I pulled out a few skeins of reclaimed yarn from my stash; a couple of off white lambswool and a skein of wool/nylon blend which is a khaki/off white marl.

I'm toying with the idea of doing an after bath of ammonia on one of the off white skeins to see how, or if, it changes the color. Stay tuned for the second act next weekend!


  1. The BSJ is squeeful!

    Much curious about the avacado dye. Good luck!

  2. Good for you on Baby Surprise: so pretty. Few years ago, realized that reading Zimmerman was lots of fun, not so much following her patterns.

    So the pink you show is not your pit-dyeing? Will return for sequel. Had minor success with tea dyeing but will stick to watching yours for now.

  3. interesting! I haven't tried any natural dyeing but it's fun to see what colors come from different plants. Avocados eh? J might want me to try that--he loves guacamole!

  4. I love your BSJ! It's restored my faith in doing another. The first one I did, I didn't all.


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