Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beetles Love Yarn

Back from a quick trip to upstate New York, for a sort of Christmas trip. DH and I got lots of lovely gifts, and one from my darling niece especially fit for sharing here.

Yarn! It is from the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, NY. I visited there a few months ago and met the sheep who made the wool that became this yarn.

I had missed the spinning exhibit by a day the last time, but it seems they now have the final product for sale! I can't find more info on the yarn on the museum website, but based on the name of the colorway (Cochineal) and what my niece (lucky recipient of the Weasley sweater) tells me, the yarn is colored with a dye from Dactylopius coccus, a type of beetle. The color/dye is called carmine, and is apparently quite frequently used, including in pills, cheddar cheese, cosmetics, and so on. In yarn anyway, it makes a very rosy, vibrant color. I got four skeins of regular Carmine, one skein of the dusty pink (Carmine Exhaust), and one skein of Natural. The tags list the mordants used in the dying process (tin for the red, alum for the pink), and the dye lot. The pink is dye lot 4, but, the dye lot for the red/Carmine is...


How exciting to get the first dyelot! It's like owning a first edition of a classic book. There's no brand or anything, just a nice gold sticker of approval from the New York State Historial Association.

Now I just have to figure out the perfect project to use up all this red, pink, and white yarn. There are 280 yards in each skein, about worsted weight. It's not superwash, so it's for an outer garment, not a close-fitting one. Any suggestions?


mooncalf said...

I don't have any ideas I'm afraid but I do love that little lamb - what a cutie! Have a very happy new year.

Mommab@sbcglobal.net said...

No idea's yet here but give me a little time. Love the yarn and the giving little sheep it came from! God Bless and let the new year bring you Health, wealth, and happiness. God Bless you! Marion

Team Knit ! said...

maybe a cute fair isle project, to use up the complimentary colours? That little sheep is so darling! Here's hoping that the dye lot 1 brings good knitting luck! Happy New Year!

- Julie

CraftyCarole said...

no suggestions but nice yarn and what a cute lamb!

I have some blue/greens from my mom's stash that I could use in something of the same idea... keep me posted!