Monday, January 18, 2010
Things to Do on a Monday Afternoon
It's so pretty in Spokane today! 54 out, and the sun is shining. I walked up to 'Bucks and had a cuppa joe while listening to my wonderful Ipod (Cara, I agree, it may be the greatest thing ever invented) I am so grateful to Pia for buying me my Nano, and to Katie for teaching me how to use it. I've got several podcasts I really like, and feel so tech-y to be able to put them on my Ipod. Today, I listened to Lime & Violet, two knitting-obsessed gals.
The house is very quiet today, as the girls are gone (where are you two anyways?) I did a bit of cleaning (gotta earn my keep here in Casa de Longinotti), and now I'm working on dyeing some sock yarn using natural dyes. I'm trying for a pretty pink, using Lac from Earthues:
Lac is a scale insect known from antiquity throughout India, Southeast Asia, Nepal and China. It can be found in both wild and cultivated form as an infestation on trees of
the Ficus or raintree families. The word Lakh in Sanskrit means "hundreds of thousands", and
it is still used today in India to denote 100,000. After the female lac insect invades the stems
and twigs of host trees, the insects are enveloped by their own secretions. This hard resinous
coating originates from the plant sap metabolized by the lac insect. The dye must be extracted
from the resinous coating before it can be successfully used to color cloth. The resin is
known as shellac, and is used for lacquer and as a protective covering for wood. Lac's active
color ingredient, laccaic acid responds well to alum mordants yielding rich shades of crimson
to pink and purple to burgundy.
I wonder how anyone thought of creating dye using insects and sap? Will post pix of finished dye later!