Friday, January 08, 2010

Prickly Pear handspun hat on a Snow Day

Much as DH is the greatest fiber enabler imaginable, he just doesn't (usually) wear sweaters or scarves or hats or mittens, store-bought or handknit.

Today as the temps dropped and another band of snow also changed the the two hour school delay to our first Snow Day, Russ asked for one of my handknit hats to finish clearing driveways!

This handspun was one of my first natural dyeing attempts when we lived in Arizona. The grey is a grey corriedale from Minnesota, but the peachy color is natural dyeing from prickly pear cactus tunas we had in our Cochise yard. Yes, the hat was made with two partial skeins and there was a color variation.

To make the prickly pear dye I picked the prickly pear fruit (called tunas, pronounced like tuna fish), steam/boiled, "smooshed", then drained through cheesecloth to remove cactus spines. In the dyeing process, the skeins were submerged in the hot but not boiling cactus juice with vinegar used to set the color. This dye retained its vibrancy for several years, now mellowing to an Arizona sunrise colorway.


yarn elf said...

With that kind of weather a nice wool cap is a great thing to wear.

Amazing what colors can be had from Mother Nature. Does look nice, just think of it as a one of a kind,

Denise said...

love the color! Isnt your hubby lucky to have you?