Rhapsody in Blue

So, I finally broke down and did it. I couldn’t stand waiting any longer. It kept calling and calling. I had to give it a try.

Allow me to introduce to you, indigo.


What you see before you is real. And very, very blue.

The recipe I was given at the Handspinner’s Guild worked wonderfully after a minor delay. Something wasn’t happening as fast as I thought it would, so I did a little research and found out that you’re supposed to leave the lid on to speed things up in the preheat. I’ll have to do some digging to find out if I can legally share that recipe with you. It’s great.

Here’s the indigo simmering. I had to wait for a special “bloom” to form on the top of the pot before dunking any yarn.

And believe me, it was hard to see what the navy liquid was doing in a navy colored pot. Thankfully the dye changed colors enough to keep things straight.

Anyway, once I thought it was ready I dunked a spoon in and swiped it across a paper towel. Bingo. A gorgeous denim blue.

I wanted lighter blue so I knew I would have to keep things short and to the point to avoid really dark tones.

The weirdest thing was lowering the yarn into the liquid. The yarn literally looked greeny yellow.YarninIndigoVat
I let it sit in there for a minute, then carefully pulled it out. It turned blue almost instantly. So cool to watch!

It seems whenever I do natural dyeing I wind up doing three times more fiber than I’d originally planned on. And, true to form, I spent the whole afternoon digging up more dyeables. And this time I had even planned on a few extra! I had pre-soaked three extra skeins! But that wasn’t enough. I tell you, yarn hides when I’m on the prowl for dyeable items. I wound up using fleece chunks and they turned out beautifully. I’ll give you the rundown on the finished items tomorrow.

You may notice that the yarn in the pot is actually swaddled in a pinkish net thing. This is the famous piece of nylon tulle that appeared when I did my first natural dyeing ever. It’s now pinkish red from the cochineal, with a wide blue end from the indigo. If this keeps up I’ll either have to retire it or deal with a black net.

One Response to Rhapsody in Blue
  1. outandin
    July 7, 2009 | 9:37 am

    I just can’t find anything not to like about indigo . . . of course, I really, really like blue!

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