Monday, March 24, 2008

Just in from UPS

New yarn arrived on Friday from Lorna's Laces, it's the new Green Line DK.  An organic yarn that is also naturally dyed, for now.  

Natural dyes are a great thing.  They are just that, natural, not chemical.  I have to applaud Lorna's Laces for doing the right thing, though.  They are discovering that the resources they are using to dye the yarn naturally is more detrimental to the earth than just using traditional dyes.  They are having to use a mordant, which all natural dyes need to make the dye colorfast.  A mordant can be different things and changes the color outcome of your dye.  Iron, urea, chromium and copper are an example of a few.  Some mordants have the problem of being toxic in and of themselves.  Because they were using a mordant there was an extra step in the dye process which used twice as much water as their traditional method of dyeing.  And the natural dyes required extra rinses to remove all the dye, using more water still.   So, this batch of the Green Line DK we have is naturally dyed, but in the future it won't be.  The wool is still organic, that won't change.  And isn't it technically MORE green without the natural dyes?  I applaud Lorna's Laces for being honest about their use of resources and deciding that they were really going to go green, and not just a facade of being green.  It would be great if more companies, across the consumer board, would do this.  Selling green and buying green isn't always greener.  

On another green note, Wendy finished knitting her Tangled Yoke Cardigan in Felted Tweed (color 154 Pickle) on Saturday.  We had a great time picking buttons and fudging the pick up count on the button bands.  

Looks great!


Wendy said...

Fudging? Nah - that was all art!

And, I think it's Avocado, not Pickle - great to see you and Clyde on Saturday!


knithappy said...

You're right, I take it back. 162 Avocado.

knithappy said...

no, 161 Avocado. So close!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see that someone's not done the knee-jerk "it's natural, it's got to be better". I'm a smaller dyer than Lorna's, but I've looked into natural dyes and found them more toxic than the acid dyes through my own research. The colors can be really pretty, and rather stunning, and if someone's doing period costuming, I can see wanting to get it 'right' for the period and using the natural dyes and mordants, but for everyday dye-ing, they're not the most ecologically friendly.