July 07, 2018

I finally decided to dabble in some avocado dyeing this week.  After my second huge batch of guacamole in a week and the deep desire for some super delicate pink yarn I decided to go for it.  Keep in mind I really have no idea what I am doing, I am was pretty thrilled with how this came out!

So far in my limited natural dyeing experience I lean towards dyes that by nature have a good amount of tannin in them and generally do not require mordants.  Call it dipping my toes in the world of dyeing!

I did lots of reading on-line with different techniques; with mordant, without mordant, with just the pits (or stones as some call them), with just skins, with pits and skins.  Short dye times, long dye times.  Chopped pits or leaving them whole.  In the end this was my pretty simple process:

  •  washed pits of six avocados and the skin of 1 avocado.  I left this to dry in a bowl while I went on to make guacamole and share it with my family on July 4th
  • next day filled an aluminum cook pot with water pits, and the two skins with enough water that would cover my dye materials the next day
  • brought the avocado pits and skins to a boil and then to a low simmer for about an hour and then turned the heat off and let sit the rest of the day and overnight
  • the next morning I brought it to a boil and then simmer once more for about another hour and then turned off the flame and let it cool to room temp.
  • strained off the avocado pieces in cheese cloth and but the dye and fiber back in the pot on low heat for an hour and then turned off the heat and let it sit for about 8 hours
  • rinsed until the water ran clear, did one rinse round with a touch of mild dish soap and then dried the fibers outside
I really liked the soft blush color to the yarn.  I used an alpaca, silk, linen blend I had gotten in a fiber swap and also added a vintage hankie with an unknown fiber origin.  The yarn accepted the dye really well and the hankie was more subtle.

One totally amateur move was that I did not undo the ties of the skein of yarn because I did not want it to get tangled but it must have been tied too tight and it created a resist.  Oh well- it will be fun to see how that looks once I wind this for it's destined project!

I can't explain why I am so drawn to this color right now.  I am really not into pinks, but I find myself drawn to this light blush natural pink color right now.  I am thinking of a simple little shawlette in a garter and eyelets pattern.

In the meantime I am definitely going to start hoarding away my avocado pits for more dyeing in the future and start doing a little more independent study.  I think I might need an avocado snack to go along with all that studying!

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