The next great adventure

wpid-wp-1440451208529.jpegSo the mailman was eagerly awaited this week. Thanks to trading services with my mom and mother-in-law, I have been able to buy forty (!) skeins of undyed yarn in order to start my etsy shop. I am so excited. I have twenty 100gram hanks of both 100% merino and organic cotton. Miss Mess was also very excited to see my treasures, but wasn’t thrilled with the color or the fact it wasnt going to be something for her.

wpid-wp-1440451196089.jpegSo this past weekend, I gathered all my dried flowers as well as whatever I could find around the property and threw them all into the dye pot. (Note to future self, buy more dye pots.) This batch is mostly marigolds, but also a lot of black eyed susans, some mexican sunflower, and the few heads of goldenrod Miss Mess picked for me on our last walk.

wpid-wp-1440451184135.jpegThe cotton did not take the dye as well, and I’m trying to decide if I need to over dye it. It’s a pretty, but very pale, yellow green, and not much of a change from the undyed color. It would make a great neutral though.

wpid-wp-1440451178275.jpegI was very very pleased with the wool. It’s a beautiful warm chartreuse, slightly variegated, and looking like the newest tips of leaf buds in the sun. It is soft and springy, but spun with enough twist that I think it may not pill as badly as some merino.

wpid-wp-1440451172222.jpegThey dried all day in the sun, and all in all, I am very happy with the result. I’m also going to try poke berry, black walnut, and indigo.

Drying Dye

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My mom’s garden is exploding with marigolds lately, and I just don’t have the yarn available yet to take advantage of this abundance. So I’m experimenting with drying the flowers for later use. Most of the pictures I’ve seen online have used old screen doors or a dehydrator, and I don’t have either. Old school as it is, I simply strung these on a thread with a needle to hang and dry. I will let you know how it turns out.

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Has anyone had any experience with drying dye flowers for later use?

Dye Pot

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This may not (and honestly doesn’t) look like much, but it’s my first foray into natural dyeing. Inspired my a book I received for Christmas last year, and Buckaloo Veiws blog, I went on a gathering spree through my mom’s gardens. I found Black eyed Susan’s and Marigolds and decided they were an easy place to start. The fiber is one of my first handspun skeins and is cotswald that was given to me to practice on by the hugely generous lady who taught me to spin. The hardest part is waiting for it all to seep. I think I’m going to let it sit overnight before washing it out. I was really surprised that it turned green, I was expecting an orange. Next time I’ll pluck the petals and just use those.

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Now I have my eye on the poke berry bushes out back.