Sunday, September 17, 2006

Science, in more ways than one.

I spent this weekend out in Provincetown at my PhD program's annual retreat. There was a lot of science involved as well as a little knitting - look out for some FOs in the next few days.

Today we headed back to Boston and my friend Nicole and I did some indigo dyeing.

She grew the indigo plants in her garden, so we went out and harvested a bunch of leaves. Unfortunately at that time I hadn't thought of taking pictures yet. After letting them simmer to make the dye bath we strained the leaves out.

After straining Nicole poured the dye bath from one pot to another until the color turned from the slight yellow brown pictured below to a darker blue-brown.

At that point we added our reducing agent and the solution turned blue-green.

Then it was time to add the yarn! I dyed two skeins of Baby Ull and Nicole dyed some sock weight yarn (probably Knitpicks) which she had dyed with indigo once before. The dye bath is a light greenish yellow color at this point.

When the yarn is pulled out of the dye bath it's yellow, but after squeezing the water out the dye is quickly oxidized and turns blue. This skein is in the process of being squeezed.

Then we let the yarn sit to oxidize a bit more. The darker yarn in the back is Nicole's yarn that she dyed for the second time, and the lighter yarn in the front is mine.


Blogger mikomiao said...

that is really cool! i can't believe she grows it in her backyard!

9:58 PM  
Blogger javede said...

The resulting color is lovely!

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

That is very cool. Homegrown indigo yarn. Who would have thought. Thanks for sharing a fascinating process.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow, that came out fantastic!

6:54 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Very cool!

I need to try some indigo!

Plants in her back yard, awesome.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Allena said...

wow that turned out great!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Andi said...

Who would think indigo blue starts as a yellowish brown! Way cool.

Thanks for playing the Baby K contest!

12:17 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Wow, that is COOL!!

1:10 PM  
Blogger Lazuli said...

Wow, that's really cool! And really neat about the color change... gives me one of those "how did they come up with *that*" moments.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Nice colors there! How cool to harvest it then put it to work! ;)

7:16 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

That is really cool!! What an interesting process!

10:14 AM  

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Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs