Since I had a few other projects going on concurrently, it took me a while to finish this hitch hiker shawl that was part of a knit-along with the Instagram-along-ers Ravelry group. Normally I take "off the needles" photos of a finished object styled and worn, but I did not do that with this one... because it's not finished yet!
Recently, I featured Caitlin Ffrench for the first post of the "Fiber Is..." column, and she just happened to have an article on solar dyeing in this summer's issue of Knit Scene. When I started the shawl it was a last minute thing and I wanted to use some yarn from my stash. For whatever reason I had some bare merino that would work perfectly. Earlier in the year I made the herringbone cowl in a natural hue though, and didn't really want another scarf of the same color. The solar dyeing tutorial seemed like a great way to try out something new and also add some color to my finished shawl.
For Christmas I received the Earthhues natural dyeing kit from my parents, which is available through Knit Picks. Stovetop dyeing has been high on my list of things to learn for a while, but my kitchen isn't exactly ideal for large projects like that and it just seems really daunting. Once I read through Caitlin's solar dyeing tutorial, I felt that this seemed a little more manageable for my first attempt at natural dyeing. If you don't have a copy of the magazine yet, I really encourage you to pick it up. There are some really cute patterns in it as well!
I used alum and madder for my shawl, which should come out to be a deep gold/orange color when it's finished. Even after a couple of days it looks like some of the color has soaked up into the fiber. Since it's a finished garment rather than a skein of yarn, I'm not sure exactly how it will look when it's done. However, I like imperfections and variegation in solids, so it won't bother me a bit if it comes out a little splotchy. Note to self: get some bigger jars for next time.
Have you tried any solar dyeing? I'm really addicted now and fully intend to start several more jars as soon as I can get my hands on some skeins of natural yarn. What are your favorite natural dye combinations?