Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Yesterday I decided to play around with natural dyes. I've done it before, but I've never kept any of the finished product for myself. I bought 2 small knots (maybe an ounce each) at the sewing expo on saturday. It's a mix of corriedale, cottswold, and romney. I split it up into four hunks and dyed each of them with a different plant gathered from my own yard. I used (bottom picture -clockwise beginning from top left): lichen (usnea australis); moss (ctendium molluscum); barberries; and chanterelle mushrooms. I didn't dye them on the stove, but in separate mason jars in the microwave with vinegar as a mordant. After letting the dye exhaust overnight, washing, and drying the knots, I carded them using the carders lent to me by Cindy (along with her wheel and other spinning accoutrements).

I made nice little batts, then separated the batt layers into four sections and made four piles - each pile containing one layer of each color. Then I rolled them up and stuck them in my To Spin basket. I want the colors to blend, but not so much that you won't be able to distinguish each one from it's neighbor. I think I'll try a navajo ply with this. I'm not sure what I'll use the yarn for though. Maybe just a conversation piece.

I just finished spinning the last on the singles for Stariel's handspun socks, so when I finish plying that I'll set to spinning the nature-dyed wool.
Tomorrow (or the day after if I forget): Llama love.


Rain said...

They've come out lovely.

peri said...

Lovely llama photos - only problem now is that I have the llama song going round and around in my brain. I'll do the housework to it, going running to it and knit to it......Here's a llama, there's a llama.....

allisonmariecat said...

Oh, beautiful! Your dyeing is so amazing.

So sorry I'm so far behind in your posts. We've gone straight from colic to teething with very little break. I've missed your blog!