Cochineal: Part 2

The Continuing Saga.

Everything was going well. The yarn was in, it had already turned pinkish, then I decided to give it a gentle stir to make sure it was getting evenly soaked. Up comes a section of yarn mingled with beetle parts! There was nothing for it but to keep going and plan on rinsing and picking them out later. Ugh. But, on a brighter note, after a good forty minutes of simmering—possibly an hour, I don’t remember exactly—look what came out of the pot!

Red Red Red

Red Red Red

A little pinker than I’d imagined, but still pretty. It’s hard to keep in mind that this is only the first step. I still have to crochet the sweater! And, interestingly, the color isn’t quite even. I must have not mordanted it properly, or maybe some beetles got stuck in it.

While this had been cooking I pre-soaked a batch of clean fleece to pop in afterward. There was quite a bit of red left in the water and I wanted to use it up. I was a little leery about just chucking the fiber in and trying to get it back out of the pot without felting it, so I grabbed some old tulle and whipped up a little mini-mesh bag that I could pitch later if it got stained.

Instant Bag

Instant Bag

3 Responses to Cochineal: Part 2
  1. Deborah
    February 17, 2009 | 9:18 pm

    I love that red color, especially since it isn’t completely even! That adds just a bit of interest when it is in the final product.

    I did a search on the cochineal and found that interesting. One place said that the British used it to dye their coats in the Revolutionary war era. I can’t wait to see how your instant bag works out!

  2. Whitney
    February 17, 2009 | 10:55 pm

    Oohh, pretty yarn!

  3. Mama Mentor
    February 18, 2009 | 12:42 am

    Can’t wait to see how all this turns out! It must be so much fun to be learning all this firsthand!

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