Indigo Dyed Yarn

Prepare to feast your eyes on the myriad of blue shades I got out of the indigo pot. Gorgeous!

DSC01816 This is the skein of heavy worsted I spun on the drop spindle. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, which is unfortunate because I love the color. I dunked it in the dye only once, so it’s relatively light in color and actually has a little variegation going on.

So far the indigo doesn’t appear to be crocking. Hooray hooray. Dye leaks are something that occurred with dismal regularity during the cochineal dyeing. Which reminds me, yet another reason to like indigo dyeing is that it doesn’t smell bad like cochineal. It does have a strongish smell, but nothing like dead beetles with vinegar in them. (How’s that for ruining your yarn appetite? )

DSC01818 Here is another skein that I dunked three or four times. I think three. It’s one of the three Iowa fleece skeins I spun on the Walking Wheel.

And here is its sibling. This one went in only twice. The third skein of this kind was occupied with some other stuff I’ll show you anon. Let me just say that I knew I would have a longish wait for the indigo to simmer, so I planned on pulling out some Jacquard dyes. DSC01820

Once I dyed those three skeins, I was still itching to use up any particles of blue that might be floating around in the dye water, so I pulled out my big basket of washed fleece and stuffed some into a presoak. Then I had a brainwave. I had cochineal dyed fleece lurking in the bottom of the basket. Red plus blue equals . . . get that stuff in the dye bath now! DSC01811

I wound up with these lovely colors. The dark purple and light purple, and two shades of plain blue. (Of course, when you’re dealing with indigo, “just plain blue” can still knock your socks off.)

The only trouble I had with the whole affair was when I put the darker red into the dye bath. I hadn’t done a very good job of rinsing it out after the initial dye all those months ago. The indigo water went orangey. But it didn’t seem to affect the actual indigo at all! Amazing.

I can hardly wait to do this dye again. It was so easy, and now that I know I can get shades from denim to the palest blue, I think I’ll have to make a skirt and dip dye it in a light-to-dark pattern.

2 Responses to Indigo Dyed Yarn
  1. outandin
    July 8, 2009 | 12:30 am

    I’ve always wanted to dip-dye a skirt or dress too!

  2. deb seeger
    March 25, 2010 | 7:41 am

    I am excited to read your blog in greater depth, once I return from work. You have a rich knowledge of indigo and wool. I have only done indigo dyeing with plant fiber cloths including cotton paper. It has been years since I have indigo dyed, thus am looking forward to your refresher course reading.
    thank you,

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