Wednesday, June 10, 2009
This is what I've been preoccupied with recently. It's my entry for the 'fibre with flair' exhibition at the national alpaca conference to be held at the end of this month. the yarn is handspun Suri alpaca dyed with Sticta coronata lichen. A native of NZ.
You can obtain different colours from this lichen and I've only used less than 100g to dye all the yarn for this shawl, changing the purple shades with a bit of ammonia in some of the dyebaths and finally breaking up the the plant to release the yellowy green shades.
You can carry on dipping yarn into the dyepot until the colours are very pale.
Boiling this dyestuff spoils the colours and the lichen leeches a red wine liquor when you pour very hot water over it.
You can revive the lichen by resting it for a few days between dyeing. It's a magical dyestuff and a little goes a long way. This lot of lichen is still useable and I'll be dyeing some of the yellower shades again with it.
The colours and the style of irish crochet used in this shawl remind me of faded vintage fabrics.
The suri really makes the fabric glow which you can't see from the photos.
so I've popped it in the post today.