In my short career of dyeing yarn, I have been very pleased with my results. As I dabbled and experimented, I knew that eventually something would not turn out the way I wanted. It finally happened.
Understand, I am not being pessimistic. Dyeing fiber is both an art and a science; both involve some level of experimentation. Experiments can either yield expected or unexpected results. The unexpected was bound to happen.
From my reading, I found that one can get pink on some fiber types, by making up a dye bath using dyeing avocado skins and pits. Are you surprised? I was, too, and I just had to try it. Besides, using avocados would provide a really good excuse to make guacamole, which my family enjoys. I’m going off on a rabbit trail for a moment with my recipe:
- 6 medium sized ripe avocados
- 1 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup sour cream (this depends on how much I want to expand my recipe, the less the better)
- 2 or 3 splashes of lemon juice
Cut avocados in half and remove seeds. Scoop out fruit from halves and place in a large bowl. Discard seeds and pits or set set them aside to wash for the dye pot.
Add other ingredients and mash together with either a potato masher or a pastry cutter to the consistency you desire (we like it chunky) and serve.
OK … where were we …
Because we were having a family gathering at the time I made the guacamole, I put the pits and skin in the freezer. This may have had something to do with my pink gone wrong so I may have to try this again next time we want guac and just plan to dye it while we’re chowing down.
I had to wait a week to dye my yarn. My silk thread turned out like this:
Not a bad brown, and a little uneven, but definitely not what I wanted. I have also learned that silk does not accept dye evenly unless it’s pre-treated. More on that later.
Here’s the skein of 100 percent alpaca that I dyed:
It’s a kind of peachy brown. I think I’ll keep it and make a small scarf since it’s a small skein.
Another thing I did – that I probably will not do again – was to dye some sari ribbon with an acid dye at the same time I was doing my avocado dye. Acid dye is a totally different animal and you have to use math to get certain colors from other colors (unless you buy the color from a company that has it). Unfortunately, my math did not turn out right and instead of pink I got a deep wine color:
This is not such a bad mistake, in fact, I really like it. I think I’ll keep this and breathe a sigh of relief that it turned out all right.
Here’s a skein of alpaca acrylic that I tried in the acid dye:
The acrylic took the dye! There is a little uneven dye but it’s pretty so it’s a keeper.
As for the silk, I decided to over dye it. Stay tuned.