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.