Sunday, April 8, 2012

Best Bugs Ever!

Clearly indigo was the most dramatic dyeing that we did but the cochineal was really amazing too. A few days before we started the dye pots Judith dropped a few spoonfuls of the dried cochineal into water and then put the lid on and let it sit. Over time the water turned the color of the magenta crayon from the big Crayola box. This got poured into the dye pot. We opted for more color so Judith used a mortar and pestle to grind up some more.

Checking the bugs

Grinding more

Gorgeous color

Then we prepared an alternate pot using cochineal modified with vinegar and lime. This alters the hue quite a bit but it was still in the red family of color.

Cochineal, vinegar and lime

More subdued color

When this fiber was pulled from the dye bath it was pretty much 'what you see is what you get'. It didn't have the dramatic color change of the indigo which doesn't get it's final color until it has absorbed oxygen. Still, it was a ton of fun putting white or ivory fiber in and pulling out these brilliant hanks!

Cochineal colors

Modified cochineal

Surely you are hooked on wanting to dye something by now!! I can see how this could get very addictive....and expensive! 8^) Good that folks try it though. We don't have all the choices in color, clothes, furniture, cars, paints, etc., without someone experimenting with it all and finding out how to best get it done! I think in color so I am extremely grateful to live in a colorful world!!

Speaking of color around us I spied this lone bluebonnet in a tiny patch of grass by my parking space at a restaurant the other day. LOVE bluebonnets!! It really lets me know I am in TEXAS! Yea!!

Texas Bluebonnet

Happy Easter!!!


  1. That is amazing. Your name was brought up yesterday on the way home. We were talking about starting an alpaca farm in our retirement. Ray can never retire because then I won't be able to bring up crazy stuff!

  2. love the purple and magenta contrast....trc