by Dye Mad Yarns


Second in our Gemstone series is February's Amethyst! 

Amethysts are a lilac variety of quartz. It is a semi-precious stone, often used in jewelry, or just as a pretty rock on your desk. Until the 18th century, amethyst was included in the cardinal gemstones, but since the discovery of extensive deposits, it has lost most of its value, and as such is considered semi-precious stone.

The word amethyst comes from the old Greek word αμέθυστος or amethystos, with "A-" meaning "without" or "not", and "-methysko" or "metho" meaning "intoxicate", a reference to the belief that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness. Drinking vessels were sometimes carved from amethyst in the hope that it would prevent intoxication. This is especially funny to me since amethysts are the birth stone for the month of February, a month in which ancient pagans celebrated a festival called Lupercalia, which is considered to be where Valentine's Day originated. It is very much a gem for Dionysus/Bacchus, and there have been invented myths to its origins. 

In his poem "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste" (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), the French poet Remy Belleau invented a myth in which Bacchus pursued a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which was answered by transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste's desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.

Amethyst is owes its violet color to irradiation, impurities of mostly iron, and the presence of other trace elements, which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions. 

Amethysts are found all over the world, with the biggest producers being Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Zambia, and Ontario, Canada. It is the official gemstone of the state of South Carolina. 

Our suggested pairings for this yarn include Aquarius and Pisces (obviously), Imbolc, Litha, Beltane, Honk, Solidarity (for those Red Hat Society vibes!), First Snow, Blizzard Wizard, Pink Drink, Matcha Latte, Loveland Frogman, (and really, any of our tonals). 

Our Amethyst is a saturated, multi-tonal purple! It has some hints of lilac and lavender, but it really is a true purple tonal. 


Chester Mini Skein: 20g, 87 yards, 75% superwash merino/25% nylon
Hattie Floof: 50g, 459 yards, 72% mohair/28% silk (lace weight)
Chester Sock: 100g, 437 yards, blend of 75% superwash merino/25% nylon
Gladys Shawl: 100g, 438 yards, single ply blend of 70% superwash merino/30% silk
Adelaide MCN: 100g, 437 yards, 80% superwash wool (19mic), 10% cashmere, 10% nylon
Tortie Sport: 100g, 287 yards, 80% alpaca/20% silk
Minnie DK: 100g, 246 yards, 100% superwash merino wool 
Genny Worsted: 100g, 191 yards, 80% superwash merino/20% alpaca
Chubby Trevor: 115g, 136 yards, 100% superwash merino
Chunky Trevor: 100g, 76 yards, 80% superwash merino/20% nylon, single ply
Piper Fiber: 85% Polwarth Wool/15% Tussah Silk, approximately 4oz braid of fiber for spinning, felting, etc