Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Suri shawl

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.


Jody said...

That is really beautiful Doe...a work of art. Natural dyeing takes alot of time doesn't it.

jennifraser said...

What a lovely work of art Doe. Suri is a dream to work with is'nt it. Did you crochet this as a single or did you ply it? Exquisite.

Doe said...

Hi Jody and Jenni,
Yes Natural dyeing can be very time consuming but the lichen colours well without mordants so it only takes half the time.
Suri happens to be my favourite fibre at the moment, I do have lots of it. I did ply all the yarns but I do use singles sometimes.

Gay said...

Wow that piece is absolutely amazing. I am horrified that I have sent an entry off to a competition where the standard is as high as that!
Gay Moller

Doe said...

Thanks Gay for yuour kind comments.
it's actually a very easy crochet technique, you get to do a lot of chains and sew in hundreds of ends.

Norahs said...

I love your work Doe! Just discovered your site.
Sharon Mitchell

Doe said...

Thanks Sharon, If I could only get round to updating it a bit more often.
Your dolls are gorgeous and get lots of positive comments in the shop.

Peter said...

Hi Doe,
What a wonderful site! You do really lovely work and it is a real pleasure to "discover" it through your photos here. I must come up to Oamaru and have a look at the real thing. Thanks for your recent comment on my blog, it was nice to hear from you.
Best Wishes, Peter

Linda Starr said...

The crochet and colors are so beautiful, I'll bet it is as soft as can be. Amazing that a lichen is used as the dye.

Doe said...

Thanks Linda,
Yes the Suri fibre is very silky.
I had a look at your blog,which has some very attractive pieces of your pottery. Very nice.