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Yarn Dyeing and New Projects

This weekend, I finally decided to do the project I’ve been sitting on for a few months now – dyeing some yarn with avocado pits and skins! It only took two big batches of guacamole to save up plenty of pits and skins for the project, and I had them dried out in the garage and waiting for me for weeks.

Finally, this Sunday I had the chance to cook them up into dye and test it out. I followed the instructions here for cooking up the dye and preparing and dyeing my yarn. The yarn I used was a hank of bare Felici fingering from KnitPicks. It’s 75% merino and 25% nylon sock yarn.

Since my yarn is partially synthetic, I think it’s possible the dye job won’t hold up as well as it would have if it were 100% merino. However, it was what I had on hand and it made a good test round.

First, I washed the yarn with pH neutral soap and hung it up outside. You can dye it while it’s wet, but that was the most convenient thing to do. Then I filled a stainless steel pot with water, added the avocado pits and skins, and brought it to a boil. I let that simmer for several hours, and then let it sit all day. It became a nice rich deep purple/brown color. Honestly, though, it smelled pretty nasty. Like warm dirt/sweaty hands? Blegh.

Once I was happy with the depth of color in the dye pot (and once it had cooled down), I strained the avocado bits out and added the yarn. It quickly took a light pink hue, and then I let it soak for 24 hours so that the color could deepen.

After 24 hours, I took the yarn out and hung it up to dry. By then it had become a nice pinkish/orange color. Once it had dried, I gave it one more rinse and that’s where it stands now. It’s a lovely soft pink/peach.

I thought about using an iron mordant as the instructions suggested, but when I researched it, I found that doing that might turn it gray, so I just left it as-is. The color may fade, but it was a fun little project.

The other project I have going on is another knitting one, of course. I decided to get started on Christmas knits now so that I can actually finish all the things I am hoping to make, so I’m working on a little dress for my cousin’s youngest daughter. I gave it a bobble hem and it’s going to be very ruffly and fun – self-drafted of course because I like to torture myself with numbers.

Last week I also was encouraged to write up the pattern for the onesie I made for my nephew, which you can now find here if you’re interested. Right now it’s just one size, but I’m hoping to get the chance to add additional sizes in the future. It’s just….a  lot of math!

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2 Comments

  1. Wow! That’s beautiful!! Yarn dyeing is the next thing on my want-to-do list… I’d love to try dyeing with pokeberries… and anything else, really. Have you tried anything else? Ever tried fiber? I’ve heard fiber is more difficult.
    And your onesie is absolutely perfect. Just lovely.

    • Flo Flo

      Thanks so much! I haven’t tried anything else, this is my first time dyeing anything at all! I was excited and kind of surprised it came out so well. I’d love to do onion skins next, but I’m having trouble collecting enough of them…

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