05 September 2019

My Dyeing Days

After weeks of watching my yarn and thread simmer in avocado pit dye, I am finally ready to crochet! Just look at the luscious colors!

After letting all four hanks of yarn and one hank of size 10 crochet thread simmer for... I think it was about four weeks, but the most important thing is they soaked in the sun for a good long while. I strained the dye out into the flower garden (after the fluids cooled off, of course - no sense in boiling the sunflower roots!) and hung the hanks to dry (out of direct sunlight and where drips wouldn't stain the concrete). Two days later, I shampooed the yarn and thread, one hank at a time, with strawberry Suave (because it's cheap and smells good), then conditioned all, one hank at a time, with strawberry Suave, then hung the hanks to drip dry.

And now I have this luscious fiber just waiting to be wound into balls and then knitted or crocheted into something fabulous. Of course, I had to wind (and use) the thread first.

The polyester/cotton blend worsted yarn did not come out bad! I do believe there's a bit of stain on the polyester!!!

cotton/poly blend worsted yarn

My fat quarters have been washed (in the washing machine with gentle lavender detergent) and dried (no heat in the dryer). I am very pleased with how they look. I'm excited to find the perfect quilt block pattern to experiment with them!

avocado pit-dyed fat quarter, first dip

I have at least two more weeks of solar dyeing, according to the 10-day forecast. I still have pigment in my avocado pit jars. The avocado skins dye is incredibly dark. I might overdye one (or maybe even both) of the onion skin-dyed T-shirts (because then they wouldn't change colors under my arms when I perspire). I almost stuck them in a dye jar last weekend, but when I pulled them out of the box where they've been hiding the last couple of months, the shade still looks very attractive. I just have to keep in mind the shade will continually shift. They will look better in avocado... They will look better in avocado... They will look better in avocado...

I strained all of the dye out of all of the jars except the dark red pits on the right into a (clean) plastic pretzel jar, then filled the jars with rainwater one more time. I dunked the long-sleeved white cotton dress I bought from Dharma Trading in the jar. I stir this two or three times a day. It's been in the sun for a whole week now. I'm anxious to see what color the dress will be, but I think I'll leave it in there until the first overnight freeze. I'd like to get as dark a hue of that gorgeous reddish brown as I can get. The final color will be worth waiting for, I'm sure.

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Cheap and smells good are fine reasons to use it to help haha

    1. Yes, Pat. I'm a cheapie and a fragrance junkie!

  2. Just this week I registered to take a community garden workshop in October on growing herbs and flowers that can be used to make natural dyes so was thrilled to see this post in the link-up! Never would have thought avocado pits or onions (had to read some of your other posts on this) could make dyes. Look forward to reading about the rest of your dyeing adventures.

    1. Thank you, Vivian! How exciting to start your own dyers garden!!! Purple basil, onions, marigolds, coreopsis all make excellent dyes! Super fun, too! There also are a number of “weeds” you can harvest roadside without incurring penalties (as long as you ask permission first on private property), including woad, lambs quarters, dandelions and sorrel or curly dock. Can’t wait to hear about your own adventure!

  3. That is just so cool how all that worked out!! Very beautiful colors!!!

    1. Thank you, Alycia! I can't wait to see the dress when it's done!

  4. Beautiful. Have fun with you crochet projects. Regula

    1. Thank you, Regula! I'm loving using the crochet thread! I think I'm going to order a bit more Felici worsted so I can knit a sweater...


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