Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yarn Dyed With Prickly Pear Cactus

I dyed some yarn with prickly pear cactus. Here is is hanging to dry in my bathtub. In order to get this color you need to let the yarn ferment for 2 weeks.

Here are 2 balls of yarn I wound. This yarn was a bare sock yarn from KnitPicks. It is a superwash wool with 25% nylon. Those little flecks of color are in the wool that I purchased. The small bit of yarn in the foreground I also threw in the pot to see if it would take the dye differently. The smaller yarn is 100% Peruvian wool, also from KnitPicks. It appeared to dye a bit brighter and darker than the nylon blend wool. Like I did with the fabric and tee-shirt dyeing, I saved the prickly pear cactus fermented juice and tossed in 3 skeins of bulky weight wool yarn to ferment for a couple of weeks and I think I might end up with a light pink shade...stayed tuned and we'll see what happens.
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5 comments:

  1. Daryl, I just love the natural dye. Much better than the kool-aid I tried several years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Daryl,

    Can you tell me if the yarn faded over time?

    Thank you!
    lizzy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lizzy I hope you come back here to read this because you are a no-reply blogger which means I have no email to contact you directly. I made a scarf out of this yarn, so it doesn't get washed often and I haven't worn it outside that much either so it has not faded.

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  4. May I ask how many pears you used and how you went about handling the pear. Did you slice it open? Juice it? And did you use a mordant? My neighbor has a cactus that has these growing on it and he let me pick some today but I'm not sure of the how. Thanks so much!
    Falulabell@ yahoo.com

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  5. An easy way to get the juice from the prickly pears is to freeze them in bags for about a week. Then take the frozen prickly pears or tunas out of the bag and place in a colander. The beautiful juice will drip through and the pulp, skin, seeds, and spines will not. To get a clean juice I then strain it through a wet pillow case. Don't worry the color will unfortunately easily rinse out of the case.

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