AND now for the yarny goodness........
I've been experimenting with natural dyeing even after my last posting where I messed up and heated the black bean juice. I still have to repeat that one and try for a blue! But this time I used some dried herbs from my garden. I had Lady's Mantle and Chamomile. Here are the pics from my adventure.....
I got these huge cones from my local thrift store for $1.00 (not each, but total!) I have no idea what type of wool it is or where it came from or even how old it is, but I thought it was perfect to use for learning how to natural dye. I've been measuring off about 1.5oz of wool for each batch.
I wash it with my lanolin soap
Let the wool soak by itself, resist the urge to push it into the water. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes (I soak much longer)
I used alum to mordant. I found this in my grocery store. Add fresh water and your mordant (this case alum) to a pot you no longer care to use for cooking and add your wet freshly washed wool. I read somewhere online that for 4oz of wool use 1 tbls of alum...so figure out your amount. Bring gently to a simmer..never boil...you will felt your wool. Some people use a thermometer, I just simply place my hand on the side of the pot to feel if it is too hot (please don't burn yourself...my hands are my best thermometer...that is how I tell if my lye is too hot too when soaping..the feel test isn't accurate by any means, but do whatever works for you). This picture shows my mordant wool that has the excess water squeezed from it.
Here are my dried herbs (I never did weigh them or the water so I'm not sure of my ratio) Dried Chamomile and Lady's Mantle that I chopped roughly with a pair of scissors. I placed the herbs into the pot and then filled with fresh water until they were covered and simmer like you would tea...the house smelled so good! This would have probably been a delicious tea to drink. I simmered for about 40 minutes, turned the heat off and allowed to cool.
Once cool, I squeezed all of the water out of the herbs and added them to my compost bin.
Here is the tea.
and the yarn in it...again return to a simmer and let it go for about 30-40 minutes, turn off heat and allow to cool. Rinse until your water runs clear....this took me awhile and I was nervous that I was rinsing all my color out of the yarn.
Here are my latest small skeins...only 1.5 oz each
Up next MARIGOLDS! I plucked every flower off of my remaining plants and placed in the freezer for a later use. I put them on cookie sheets until they were frozen and then put them into freezer bags. I got two bags around 12 oz each.