Prickly Pear {Yarn}

After reading about dyeing with prickly pears in Harvesting Color, I hoped I might come across some while my girls and I were in New Mexico.  So, I was pretty happy when I saw loads of them growing all around the hotel we stayed in.  The prickly pears were in little piles at the bases of the plants, having ripened and dropped off.  I gathered just enough to fill a medium flat rate box, and shipped them home to myself.  They arrived here in Virginia the day after we returned.  I immediately put them in buckets and covered them with a bit of water to begin the fermenting process.  I let them ferment for a little over a week before filtering out the dye liquid and adding my mordanted yarn.  The yarn soaked in the dye for over a week before I decided that it had soaked long enough.  The end result is pretty amazing.  I’m very pleased with this yarn!

I am planning a yarn shop update for this Friday, November 27th at 9 a.m. EST.  The shop will remain open for 24 hours.  My previous two updates sold out in less than 24 hours, and it works well for me to keep that time limit for future updates, allowing me to spend the following day packaging everything up and getting the orders out.  So please don’t forget to check in on Friday!  I don’t want you to miss it!  All of my prickly pear yarn will be listed along with lots of others!

Thank you so much for your support in this little endeavor of mine!  I truly appreciate you all so much.



  1. HI, Lovely color. Did you remove the prickles or have any issue with being in the yard after you rinsed it?

  2. Oh my goodness I could not love this color more. Prickly pear is my favorite fruit I think. Especially with tequila! This yarn definitely makes me want to start knitting!

  3. i’d be happy to send you another shipment of prickly pears. they are falling all over the place here in CA.

  4. That is incredibly amazing from start to finish!!!;)

  5. Everyone here has said it, but I have to say it again. That colour is absolutely stunning! So vibrant and happy. Like a punch of summer on a bland winter day. Hoping I’ll be able to snap it up in time on Friday!

  6. gorgeous color!!

  7. We saw those all the time when we lived in Phoenix! That color is so beautiful. What a wonderfully creative idea!

  8. I have been endlessly knitting with that color these days! I love love love it. I always enjoy a good yarn with a good story 🙂

  9. You’re amazing! These are beautiful. Teachable moments for us all seeing what can be done.

  10. What a beautiful colour! Love it.

  11. I hope you plan to keep a little of this yarn for yourself. Make something gorgeous for the girls. 😊

  12. What a wonderful color! So happy you had success!

  13. prickly pears???….are they actually to be eaten like pears?
    or do they flower?? They look like beets in the pan
    of water. I am not familiar with cactus at all…
    but they sure do make for a beautiful color!

  14. I love this. I am leaving my beloved Texas in less than 2 months. We have plenty of prickly pears around here. I wonder if I have time to dye some fabric to make a quilt, a little bit of Texas to wrap up in later. What inspiration you have given me. Thank you, sweet Ginny.

  15. so beautiful!!!

  16. Makes me wish I was a knitter.

  17. What a gorgeous color!! I am inspired to see if Harvesting Color is in our library. 🙂

  18. This is B E A U T I F U L !!!!

  19. So awesome!

  20. Wow! That’s fun to get dye from a plant in a different environment. It seems more intense than the pokeweed. I haven’t had a chance to do more dyeing. We are moving to another house across town so that is taking up my time. Can’t wait to get back into it.
    Once again, beautiful. I’ll let you know if I come up with any beauties.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  21. Absolutely STUNNING! 🙂 How cool.

  22. Ginny….I have been waiting to see what your yarn will look like after dyeing with the prickly pears! Such an intense colour. These little magical creations that plants can create is amazing! The surprise factor makes all the more addictive. It’s been awhile since I’ve dyed some yarn…time to spin up some more.
    xo Jules

  23. That color is gorgeously intense!! I love how it almost matches the flowers on the Have You Seen Trees book in the one photo 😀

  24. What a fabulous color!

  25. mary louise says:

    that beautiful color just belongs in my stash! is this a worsted weight or dk?

  26. That is an amazingly beautiful color. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  27. That color is amazing! I might have to break my promise and get some for my stash!

  28. I am just in AWE of your yarn dyeing process. I am not a “black Friday” shopper but just may have to get up early and stand in line for this one!

  29. I’m hoping to get some of this yarn! It turned out beautiful. Yes, Lark looks adorable and she looks proud of the yarn too. I went through my yarn stash last week and was able to send 9 boxes to Goodwill. I still had some acrylic yarn that needed to go and balls of cotton that I thought someone could use. I never get rid of my wool yarn. My 2 and 4 year old grandchildren were such big helpers putting the yarn into boxes. I love it when children willingly help out. Ginny you’re doing an amazing job with your children!

  30. Gorgeous!

  31. Just beautiful!

  32. Can we please talk about Lark’s amazing bow tie and green velvet? dress with her hair just parted so? Love it!

  33. FitLifeWithTheNewlins says:

    Wow!!! That color is amazing!

  34. Wow! That color is gorgeous!

  35. I love your resourcefulness with natural dyes. Your dyed yarn colors look so vivid. I have not been lucky enough or on the ball enough to get to your shop before everything is sold out, but we can only hope for Friday! Thank you for inspiring me with your knitting, homeschooling, and your words in general.

  36. The colour is amazing. I adore your dyeing adventures!

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