Monday, April 4, 2011

Naturally-Dyed Gallery

Hot on the heels of my recent natural-dyeing adventure posts, I thought I'd put up a gallery of things I've made from yarns that I've naturally dyed over the past few years. It was kind of like a treasure hunt, looking around the house, in the winter woolies basket, & on the bodies of my son & husband for things to photograph.

The photo at the top is of some Latvian-style mittens (patterns from Lizbeth Upitis' Latvian Mittens book) that I made about 7 years ago. Most of them were given as gifts or to charity knitting projects. They are a mix of indigo, cochenille, & yarrow-dyed yarns, & naturally brown & white yarns. (On a side note, I'm really glad that I have been photographing things on-and-off over the years, because I absolutely don't remember making these. I remember getting the book & getting all fired-up about making stuff, but have no real memory of making this many pairs of mittens...)

Another of the older photos that I found is this one, taken on a beach in California during a 2004 family trip to San Francisco. It's my version of the Mobi-Q Shawl, designed by Margo Carr, from Handwoven's Design Collection 19. I wove it on my Mighty Wolf loom from all handspun & naturally-dyed yarns & it's one of the crowning glories of my fibre-life. I had always wanted to weave something useful like this from my handspun, & the natural dyeing was just icing on the cake. I used all of my usual plant-based dyes and most of the wool is Corriedale spun on my Lendrum double-treadle wheel over a few years.  I took the shawl apart after a few years because it wasn't as functional as I'd hoped & is sitting in lavender-soaked cotton balls, waiting for an idea to strike for it's next incarnation.
This is the last of the real oldies, & the only photo I have of the Gansey sweater I designed & made for Brendan when he was 8 years old, specifically for this sailing vacation around Cape Cod. I indigo-dyed Lion Brand Fisherman Wool yarn & put Gansey patterns Brendan chose from a book on the front. When he outgrew it 3-4 years later, my mom wanted it (it fit her :) so she has it now.
Here's the vest I made for Charlie for our 20th anniversary in 2008. Many of the yarns are from the experimental dye pots from the summer of 2007, including birch bark, rhubarb leaves, & alkanet. He has a list at work of which stripe is which plant material because some folks like to know :) Also, I decided that just striping it would be boring, hence the patterned edges on each stripe.

The year before I made the anniversary vest, decided I wanted to make him a red vest (I usually make Charlie a vest for our anniversary because it's in early December, right when he needs warm clothes :). So I dyed Knitpicks merino worsted yarn with brazilwood (all skeins in the same dye bath) to get the heathered red of this vest. (A side note on the vest pattern: it's adapted from a WW2 Red Cross pattern that I found in Charlie's grandmother's things. I made it longer (he's a tall guy) & adapted it to knit in the round. I love it because the armhole & neck edgings are knit at the same time in garter stitch, so there's no pickup afterward. It's about the only vest pattern I use these days.)
Here are Charlie's snow-shoveling gloves, made from Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Winter Spruce" pattern, from Knitting Around.
And here are this year's winter gloves, made from shibori-dyed Knitpick's Gloss fingering weight yarn, dyed with yarrow & indigo, to get shades of yellow, blue, & green. The pattern is from Ann Budd's the knitter's handy book of patterns. I've placed them in the photo so you can't see the mends :( These gloves are destined to be felted & recycled as something else, as about 4 fingers have either mends or holes in them...

And, last of the photos of Charlie's stuff, a pair of shibori-dyed socks from Knitpicks' fingering-weight sock wool. The plants I used were birch bark & Rose of Sharon. Pattern- my own.

These are the front & back of my Adult Babies & Bears' Sweater from Cottage Creations. I used lots of odds & ends of the usual dyes & combos, & made sure that no 2 colours were next to each other for the whole sweater :)
This mitten & leg-warmer set were made from some yarn I dyed back in 2002. A friend had brought me some skeins of single-ply dk-weight yarn from New Zealand & I dyed them in golden marguerite, onion skins, brazilwood, indigo, & marguerite in indigo for green. These are the mittens I've used this winter, warm but light.
Here's another pic of my big flowers shawl, made with the popular motif from Nihon Vogue's motif book & Lion Brand Fisherman Wool, in lots of natural colours, after the 2007 dyeing. Among the plant dyes used were alkanet, indigo, yarrow, onionskins, brazilwood, rhubarb leaves, birch bark, & safflower.
posted this bag back in September. I made it from Knitpick's bulky weight yarns from dye pots I ran the summer of 2008. I noted that the yarrow dyepot lasted 3 full dyebaths before exhausting, giving very nice golds-to-yellows. The pale red is brazilwood exhaust, with the rusty-red being from the first dye bath. The purple & green were brazilwood & yarrow over-dyed in indigo.

For some other finished examples from naturally-dyed yarns, please see my Shibori 1 & Shibori 2 posts. Let me know if you're inspired to try natural dyeing!

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