Art is the Handmaid of Human Good

Life in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA

Adventures in dyeing (aka what I did on my summer vacation.)


Towards the end of July, I headed off to lovely Cape Cod for my annual vacation with Katy and Yovani. As always we had tons of fun drinking beer*…

Vacation Beer Collage

And visiting the beach…

Race Point Beach

Day 203 - Sunday, July 22nd 2012

Sometimes with beer ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day 207 - Thursday, July 26th 2012

We visited some lighthouses…

Lighthouse Day!

Lighthouse Day!

Saw an amazing storm…

There's a storm a-rollin' in!!!!!

Day 205 - Tuesday, July 24th 2012

And dyed some yarn with beets and blueberries (obviously.) Katy came to the Cape looking for some yarn to use to make a shawl as a gift. While we were at the Yarn Basket, Katy picked up some ready-to-be-dyed yarn and we discussed using Rit or Kool Aid to dye it. Somehow, from that discussion, we landed on beets as dye (obviously.) And after a stop at the farm stand, we were off!

Step 1: Simmer the heck out of some whole beets.

Natural yarn dyeing.

Step 2: Peel the beets and chop them into small pieces.

Natural yarn dyeing.

Step 3: Add some crushed blueberries (both for color and because the intended recipient loves blueberries) and simmer the peeled beet pieces and blueberries together. Turn off the stove, and leave the whole mix to soak while you go to the beach and to Provincetown, where there is a schooner in the library. Seriously, it’s awesome.

Day 206 - Wednesday, July 25th 2012

Step 4: Come home from P-Town too exhausted to even go to the drive-in (next year!) eat supper, drink some beer, and discuss whether beet yarn follow-through would actually happen.

Step 5: Drink more beer, go with yes. Strain the beets an blueberries, reserving the beet/blueberry juice.

Step 6: Gently simmer the un-dyed yarn in a mixture of three parts water to one part vinegar for 30 minutes. At the same time bring the beet/blueberry juice to a gentle simmer with a cup of vinegar. We used both white vinegar and red vinegar because that’s what we had and because we decided that using red wine vinegar wouldn’t hurt anything because beets are red. Vacation logic at work!

Natural Yarn Dyeing

Step 7: Remove the simmered yarn and tie some beet slices to it to achieve a variegated effect.

Natural Yarn Dyeing

Step 8: Gently simmer the yarn in the beet/blueberry juice for an hour. Drink more beer.

Natural Yarn Dyeing

Step 9: Strain the yarn, remove the beets, simmer the yarn for a 30 minutes in salt water to set the dye, hang it to dry outside, go to bed because it’s after midnight (also, beer) and hope for the best.

Natural Yarn Dyeing

Step 10: Wake up the next morning, and marvel at the fact that it worked!

Beet-Dyed Yarn

Beet-Dyed Yarn

The yarn came out a mixture or rusts, purples, yellows, and oranges which was exactly what Katy wanted. She’s going to make a riff on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi Shawl with it, and she’ll have quite a story to share with the recipient when she’s finsihed.

We finished out our stay in Wellfleet with some (duh) Wellfleet oysters…

Wellfleet Oysters!

And, yes, more beer!

Grey Lady: the official beer of my 2012 Cape vacation!

And while I was pretty sad to be leaving this lovely view…

Until next year, Wellfleet.

It wasn’t too bad because I came home to the Lowell Folk Festival!!!!!

Lowell Folk Fest Parade of Nations. London's got nuthin' on Lowell ;-)

Lowell Folk Festival Honky Tonk Beer!

Polka! #Lowell #LowellFolkFestival

Hula in the rain! #Lowell #LowellFolkFestival

Day 208 - Friday, July 27th 2012

Day 210 - Sunday, July 29th 2012

All in all, a great vacation!

*Apparently this post is brought to you by beer. Yay, beer!


4 thoughts on “Adventures in dyeing (aka what I did on my summer vacation.)

  1. Yay, beer!.. thanks for the vacation logic yarn dye steps!

  2. Sounds like a fun filled vacation!

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