Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Lovely Gift

Having experienced joyful adventures in indigo dyeing, I felt the urge to do more natural dyeing. I love warm orange tones and bought some sandalwood dye powder from Dharma Trading. I also purchased some alum as a mordant, (although I did learn that one can make one's own alum using "tin" foil and a blender, no thanks…)

Simultaneous to this…I have lucky Sunday afternoons when I knit with J and S.   S  one day told us about a friend of hers.   Mary,  of Irish heritage, had purchased some lovely Irish wool and started a sweater. When  Mary became ill with cancer, she could not finish it.  S helped Mary to figure out what to do with her belongings (I mean really, can you imagine visiting your best friend in her last year and helping to determine the disposition the of all her precious belongings? What strength S has...).  Mary wanted something "good" done with the yarn.

S, fast to oblige, took the yarn and made the promise to her friend that she would knit up the yarn for good purpose.   Here's just a part of what she has from Mary's wool.  Unlabeled, soft and cozy

There is also a sweater fragment that we decided would make a fine hat with a bit of seaming

S has a place in her heart for Afghanistan. She wants to knit Mary's wool into items for Afghans for Afghans.  However the natural white of the wool won't do for this cause.

Clearly, a dying party is called for!

First step:

Clean the dye "studio"  lol  Before


second step:  find your respirator mask

(Yes, that would be me…reading glasses count as eye protection, no?)

Third step: setup dye pots of which there were three

Natural Sandalwood  (a lovely orange tone, I will do another post on this natural dyeing process)

Synthetic Acid Dye (a lovely Irish Hills green from Country Classic; used Key Lime with a little Teal thrown in to get a darker-than-lime green)

Natural leftover almost-exhausted indigo dyepot (a lovely ice blue)

here are some of the results

There's lots more yarn, will do again with different colors…now, on to knitting!


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! What gorgeous colors and what a great story!

  2. Thanks Tamara! There was more synthetic dyeing last weekend and we are gearing up for the actual knitting for afghans for afghans!