Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cashmere & natural dyes

I found a cashmere sweater with cables made of lace to light fingering weight yarn. It was a nice beige color and I made a full sized Laminaria for my grandmother, but that only used most of the sleeves. It was a nice beige, but really? Beige? Not for me. So what to do with the rest of it...

So I grabbed a short pieces and went to the kitchen (better known as my laboratory, insert evil laugh here) and started experimenting. We know we need vinegar but what else? Ahh, some coffee grounds from this morning, and that nasty mangostene green tea that I simply cannot bring myself to drink (it was bought because it was on sale really cheap and now I know why). Well, we'll throw in all that stuff and why not use apple cider vinegar since it's already out on the counter (it's not just for barbecue anymore!)

I hanked up a big ball and actually tied the tea bags and coffee grounds to it hoping for some real variegation. When it came out, cooled off, and I finally got all the coffee grounds washed out of it I was disappointed that it wasn't that variegated but it was a beautiful gold color! Upon knitting it into an Aeolian shawlette I can see that there is a perfect amount of variegation: lighter spots of almost beige and darker spots closer to golden brown.

I still have enough yarn leftover to make something else (I'm thinking another lightweight sweater) I may have to attempt to recreate this lovely color. Although green would be nice too. Oh the decisions! I can't believe I got enough yarn for two shawls and a sweater out of just this one big old cashmere sweater!

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