Some Kind of Wonderful Red

July 27, 2009

Eco-Color Files

Surprise from the windbreaks of West Marin…

IMG_2891The morning light captured the fire-like quality of this hand-spun corriedale cross yarn.  I harvested Eucalyptus from a road cut near my home yesterday.  Branches and leaves were used to make the dye vat for this skein.   I am still looking at the USDA plant data base to identify the variety of Eucalyptus I harvested.  It had the most incredible little seed pods- like little fairy hats.  The fresher seed pods had pink hairs adorning their base, like the rosy hem of a Victorian era woman’s gown.

IMG_2895The yarn changes color depending on the light that it’s residing in.  The quality of this color most resembles that of fire.  It illuminates yellow, red, and orange tones and hues depending on the  angle one is viewing it from.  I have never dyed a yarn with this dynamic play of color.  I have also never used this species before.  There was some serious excitement when I pulled this skein out of the dye vat. I couldn’t help but jump around, and run upstairs to show my husband in total excitement.  He has seen enough of my work to understand the importance of this finding- he looked at it from every angle, trying to figure out exactly what color was being reflected to his eye.


Here the same skein, once again looking rather orange.   From red, to yellow-orange, to orange again, all depending on the light and shadow.  This will make an exquisite summer shawl… Until next time!  Thanks for checking in.


7 Responses to “Some Kind of Wonderful Red”

  1. Caroline Says:

    I was looking for a picture which would capture a colour that I wanted for a shawl – your wonderful site gave me so many inspirations for colours that I’m spinning in circles now! Just wish I could hop on a plane from London with my children and come to the next workshop…

    • ecologicalartist Says:

      Hi Caroline!

      Your comment really warms my heart. I am so glad you’re inspired by these colors, and took the time to communicate about it. Sorry I didn’t respond earlier, I have been teaching so much recently. If you get a nice picture of your shawl, and it is all naturally dyed- I’d love to feature it on the blog- if you’re interested in that!

  2. kel Says:

    Hi. I found your blog via my sister in law who lives in Marin(Fairfax). Its beautiful and inspiring work you do. The eucalyptus looks like a river red gum or a megalacarpa. Im definitely giving this a go as we have many of these around as we live in OZ.

    • ecologicalartist Says:

      Thank you so much for the name of this species. That is so helpful. I packed my pot full of the leaves, and boiled/simmered in time periods over two days to extract the color- if there is not enough pigment, the yarn turns a nice shade of orange/yellow.

    • ecologicalartist Says:

      Thank you for the article on India’s work. She gets some brilliant colors!

  3. Heather Brady Says:

    I think that the Eucalyptus you’ve been using is Eucalyptus globulus, blue gum eucalyptus. It is the most commonly occuring Euc in CA. The leaves look right.

    Have you alredy figured it out?

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