Eucalyptus Experimentation with Wool, Alpaca, and Silk

I recently spun with Icelandic wool from Trinity Farm and Shetland wool from High Bid Farm. I spun these fibers during Spinzilla, which took place during October 5 to 11. Spinzilla promotes global hand-spinning to support the Needle Arts Mentoring Program and needle arts. In total, I spun 453 yards of slub yarn, including plying! 🙂

Icelandic/Shetland 2-Ply Yarn, 2015
Icelandic-Shetland 2-Ply Yarn, 2015

After spinning, I was ready to add a natural dye. I got Eucalyptus leaves from California that made beautiful tones of yellows, oranges, and browns. There was a lot of variation in the yarn, and I especially liked how the skeins came out with hints of firey orange. I knitted with the Eucalyptus Icelandic-Shetland yarns and semi-felted the textile to prepare it for eco-printing. I found that the color kept its vibrancy after the flushes of water and abrasion for felting.

These are some other hand-spun yarn and knit samples from the same dye bath. I put wool-angora yarns from the Northern California Fibershed, and New York Lincoln Longwool, Alpaca, and Mohair yarns. The natural color is on the left, and Eucalyptus yarn on the right. I also did a Finnsheep small felted sample with a leaf eco-print.

We also did a Eucalyptus bath in my natural dye class led by Professor Denise Green. In this bath, we put a large quantity of leaves and got a vibrant orange color. The small hand-spun skein is a 3-ply Shetland and Alpaca yarn. Eucalyptus loves protein animal fibers! The Finnsheep fiber came out variegated with spurts of bright orange and yellow. I also wrapped some eucalyptus leaves in my knitted textile and got some vertical hints of the yellow-orange leaves. We also did eco-printing with silk organza!

The natural dye class provides a great opportunity to work with local animal fibers. If you would like to support the natural dye garden please go here.

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