Thursday, September 01, 2011

Natural Dying #3

Yep, you guessed it, I am doing yet another natural dye on the blog.  I just can't help that the natural dye bug has sucked me in and in a big way!

Today I finished up my third go round with natural dyes using lichens I gathered from around my horse's paddock.  And here is how I did it......

I reused the mordant from Tuesday's go at carrot tops, by adding 10 more grams of alum and close to 250 grams of yarn.  The yarns used here are:  100 grams of heavy lace wool, approximately 75 grams of superwash merino and the rest was a superwash merino, bamboo blend.  This time about 1/2 way through the 2 hour mordant, I dropped in a couple of glugs of iron to the mordant.

Picture of the dry lichens I am using.  These were all collected from fallen branches.

Crammed my little nylon bag full to the brim with lichens.

Yarn moved from mordant to dye pot.  Lichens are under the yarn in the mesh bag which was periodically moved around.

And here is the resulting yarns!  From front to back, Lace Merino, Superwash Merino & Bamboo, & Superwash Merino.  I am in LOVE with how these colors turned out.

Another shot of the same.  Don't you just love the rich earthy browns!  I have to admit, I am supper impressed with how well the dye did on the Superwash Merino & Bamboo yarns.  Maybe next time, I will try an all bamboo yarn to see how it fairs.

I think I was suppose to keep the dye pot going until the lichens disappeared, but after 24 hours, I was happy to only have a couple of small handfuls of lichen left.  Saving these for another little dye experiment for a later date:)

All dye experiments to date.  From the bottom....  Lichen, Carrot Tops, & Black Bean.  Out of all the 3 the black beans were the only ones I found disappointing.  They have since started to fade which is faintly visible in the photos.
I have had quite a fun little time with the natural dyes, but this weekend is of course the big Labor Day Holiday.  Thinking it might be a good idea to lay off the dye pots for at least a few days:)

I hope everyone has a happy and safe week end!


Delighted Hands said...

Very easy to see the 'what if' factor has you in full command! Beautiful golden browns this time-very pretty. I love the new look on the blog, too!

csndyrn said...

I have a lead on black walnut to try. You don't need a mordant and very little of the walnuts. Use to dye baskets we made with them.

LunabudKnits said...

I have been wanting to jump on the walnut band wagon for some time now. Have a bucket and will be heading to Mom & Dad's in a few weeks to gather a few. It is nice to finally have a use for them!

csndyrn said...

I have been researching this natural dyeing as I choose to lead as chemical free life as possible. The best book so far I have found on the subject is Dyes from American Native Plants, A Practical Guide, by Lynne Richards & Ronald J. Tyrl published by Timber Press. A bit technical but very comprehensive. Talks about the dyeing process, what plants give what colors and what mordants if any to use to get different colors and finally a whole section on those plants and pictures. I got mine from the local library just to see if I wanted to purchase. I do. Just a good read for a gardener besides beginning dyer.

Other Fun Facts..................

I taught myself to knit by watching a woman while on a flight from Scotland to the USA in 1996.

I taught myself how to spin yarn Feb 15th, 2007. I think I've done fairly well:)

'Lunabud' is a combination of two dogs' names I was loved by, Buddy and Luna:)