Thursday, 29 October 2009

Beetroot Knits

A few weeks ago, we got a bundle of small organic beetroots in our veg box delivery. They sat in the back of the fridge for a while, as I wasn't quite sure what to do with them...beet crisps? Nah. Pickled? Heck no.

And, as many veg box customers tend to find themselves at least a few times a year, I was completely confused, until I told EllaJ about it and she said, "What about borscht?"

Duh. As I have a very lovely Russian side of my family in my darling sister-in-law, and have enjoyed her and her mother's borscht on many a find occasion, I don't know how that delicate point escaped me.

So last night I made borscht. And while making borscht and seeing how brilliantly fuchsia everything within five feet of me was, I thought, "Oh yeah, people use beetroot to dye things."

In severe danger of being dyed.

After reading a few forum posts and learning that no, it wasn't a good idea, it wouldn't last, I tossed the beetroot peels into a pot with some apple cider vinegar, took out that beautiful skein of Organic Merino Aran that I bought from Bluefaced last weekend, and shoved it in.

At least I didn't give in to my first impulse and just whack it in with the borscht.

I let it simmer for about 30 minutes, half-expecting it to just soak it all in like it would with kool-aid, but second guessed it and threw it in the sink in cold water. As expected, it bled a lot, but didn't, as I was fearing, go completely white again (which wouldn't have been so bad, really). I hung it up in the bathroom to dry, and in the end of it all, got this:


It's a lot more orangey/rusty than I expected, which is good, because I was fearing it would turn out to be a bit more like candy-floss (which I hate the color of). And because it's kettle-dyed, and because I never fished the beetroot peels out of the boiling water, they ended up clinging to the yarn like leeches and leaving little darker splotches all over it, which I quite like.

I fully expect it to fade and bleach in the sun, but even if it's anywhere between this color and its natural shade, I'll still be happy with it.

1 comment:

Anni said...

That looks gorgeous. I thought it would have come out a stronger colour but not done any dyeing with natural stuff.