Thursday, October 10, 2013

Black Walnut Husk Dye

Boy, oh boy, did I get the rich brown I was hoping for! To be honest, this picture looks just a little pumped up on my screen but not by much on the brown. The orange yarn was dyed with pokeberries. I wasn't as attentive as I should have been with the pokeberries and the dye got too hot, bringing out the tanins, so no pink. I like it anyway. The walnut brown could have done with more stirring for an even color. Parts of the skein sat in the concentrated sludge at the bottom of the pot and became very dark. I'm just going to claim that I meant to do that to add more interest. This morning I made a paste out of some more walnut hulls (minus the skins) by mashing and cooking them with salt. The plan is to paint or print on fabric with it. If you are new to black walnut dye, please heed all the warnings about how deeply it will stain just about anything. My rubber glove had a hole in one finger and even though I was careful, I have a "suntanned" fingertip now.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Local Color

I've been out for more maple leafed viburnum berries. About two cups of berries was enough to dye three skeins of deep blue, one medium blue and one light blue. Interestingly, there was a color shift between the medium blue skein and the light blue one. The lighter one went a bit more turquoise in tone. The colors all look well together, it's subtle. I combined the leftover viburnum bath with some leftover goldenrod to see if it would make a green, which it did but it was very washed out. So I added some new berries and fresh goldenrod blossoms. The viburnum was pretty strong so I dumped in some leftover autumn olive leaf gold. The end result was a good grassy green. I'd still like to get a really deep brown so I'll be going out to look for black walnuts and whatever else looks interesting. That's my first sock from the plant dyed colors. I had a very soggy outdoor craft show Sunday and was glad to have my knitting with me. The down side is that my right hand is sore from knitting too much in one go. I hate to purl and don't like ribbing anyway so I started the top with some crochet. The heel is made eastern style by knitting in the opening for the heel with waste yarn then continuing the foot a bit. Then I went back, picked up the stitches above and below the waste yarn, removed it and knit the heel. I'm eager to work on the second sock but it will have to wait. When the socks are done, it will be time for some fair isle mittens. Next year I'm going to get skeins of the lighter weight sock yarn to dye. Too much fun!