Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dyeing for Gold

...and mint, terracotta and blue.

Despite living in the midst of the action, the recent Winter Olympic Games were like any other for me: I watched a lot of TV, cheering on Canadian (and other) athletes, and regretting not taking those skating/skiing lessons more seriously as a kid.

In the seven or eight years leading up to the big spectacle, I had -- and continue to have -- rather ambivalent feelings about the costs vs. benefits of my city hosting the "Games", and I'm rather glad the biggest part of the show is over.

Of the Ravelympics, however, I felt no such ambivalence. Piggy is a proud member of Team Canada who, if I may be so bold, put in a fairly impressive performance in the Downhill Dyeing event:

Downhill Dyeing - the lot!

If I were a fancy-pants fibre artiste, I'd likely come up with a veritable menu of names for the colours I ended up with. But I'm not, so I'm just calling my efforts kitchen dyeing, as all my dyes came from food.

Turmeric:

Turmeric dyeing

Coffee:

Coffee superwash & alpaca

Avocado pits:

Avocado pit dyeing

Avocado peels:

Finsihed superwash wool & alpaca

Black Beans:

Black Bean Dyeing

And behold the reward bestowed upon me by Adonis Dionysius Bobicus Maximus:

DownhillDyeing medal

I'm basking in the glory of my medal, believe me. But I kinda wish the medal came with a $10,000 bonus, like Team Canada's Olympic athletes get. C'est la vie.

Fortunately for Piggy's bank balance, all these yarns were dirt cheap: the non-superwash wool and alpaca were from that estate sale I went to months ago, and the superwash is Nashua Handknits Creative Focus from Dressew, where all yarn is $1.99/skein.

And the dyestuff, for the most part, was also very budget-friendly. The black beans did double-duty and made a huge pot of soup, the coffee was of the dirt-cheap no-name brand variety, and many of the avocado pits and skins were donated by friends (big thank yous to y'all!).

I think I've caught the natural dyeing bug. Which isn't entirely a good thing, given my record of using up yarn...

4 comments:

  1. beautiful!!!! I love the tumeric!!! It always dyes my fingers that colour so it makes sense.

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  2. how did you dye with black beans! I've never seen that done before. I'd love your "recipe" :)

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  3. Wow, you've got some lovely colours. I love the black bean blue. When I have some time...

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  4. Woah I wonder what other spices do.... like, PAPRIKA!

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