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Saturday, October 2, 2010


So, what have I been doing for the past few days? I've been working long hours at the day job this week so that has left me little time for doing what I like to do best.

Firstly, I dyed a brand spanking new colourway on my new yarn base and the first few skeins have flown out of my shop already.

I'm really in love with this colour, I dyed it using the monochromatic method - the shades go from barely there to deepest Seaglass. It's a nice restful shade, very easy on the eye. It's slightly more green toned than I can capture with the camera.
I see myself knitting a nice 1 skein shawlette with this, I think it's much too pretty a colour to hide it away on feet!

Secondly, I decided I would like to try my hand at dyeing with natural dyes, namely Sticta Coronata. This is a lichen that's unique to New Zealand. Strange stuff. First I had to separate the lichen pieces into parts containing spores and non-spored bits, easier said than done! The two produce different colours so I think I must have got it right. The spored lichen made a deepish red looking liquid which came out as mauve and purple on the roving I was dyeing, the non spored came out a nice silver grey. Then I added ammonia to the red liquid and the dye turned pink. I really enjoyed doing it but I don't think I'm going to be retiring my acid dyes any day soon, the lichen method was quite time consuming and I only extracted enough dye solution sufficient for about 100g of fibre. Here's the Sticta Coronata after I had soaked it, all plumped up:
Doesn't look very nice does it? According to the information I have, once the purple colour is exhausted from the lichen you can tear it into pieces and re process it to get yellow toned dyes. I would need a ton of the stuff to extract enough dye to get a deep shade. I was fun dong it and next week I may try to get the yellow tones from it.

Here's the roving I dyed with it, I'm calling this one Ethereal. It's a nice blend of Silver grey, pale pinkish mauve and has touches of quite deep mauve, I may list it in my shop:
Something that's really irking me today - GST went up in New Zealand yesterday from 12.5% to 15% so we expect a price increase on most items of 2.5%, correct? Seems not. I have been out today and bought a few items that have risen in price since 2 days ago of between 8 and 11%. The prices here are high enough without shops trying to rip us off even more.

1 comment:

  1. Hey I know this is quite an old post but could you point me to where you got your Sticta coronata lichen from? I'm having trouble finding it and really want to have a go with it!