dyeing to try

September 24, 2017

Well maybe not "dyeing" to try but natural dyeing has definitely been in my interest box.  In a previous Fiber Share swap my partner got me some un-dyed natural fiber yarns.  I had this in my stash and I combined that with that plethora of walnuts from our tree that pounds our house and deck and I decided to give some natural dyeing a shot this weekend.

I referred to this book and also I found this website helpful.  The first thing I decided to do was spread it out among both days of the weekend.  I have a tendency to rush projects like this so I tried to take my time.  I stopped by the local thrift store for an enamel ware pot I could dedicate to dye.  I found the perfect pot and some vintage cloth napkins while I was at it (score)!

Yesterday I gathered about a dozen of fallen walnuts and broke them up with a rock and placed the husks and nuts in some cheesecloth.  I covered this in water and cooked this down for about an hour.  I then turned off the flame and let it cool down and sit for another hour.

I then pulled the bundle out strained the dye bath through a coffee filter to remove any other particles.  I saved this till today.  I brought it up to just below simmering and soaked the two skeins of yarn that I had in some warm water.  I added this to the dye bath and kept it just below simmer for an hour then turned it off the heat and let it sit for an additional hour.

After lots of soaking in a similar water temp till it ran clear I set it out to dry in the sun and breeze.  I did not mordant the yarn prior to the dye bath since most of what I read is that when using fresh walnuts,  mordant is not necessary.  I think it is gorgeous!  Such a lovely brown.  I just may have caught a little bit of a dye bug as I definitely lean heavily towards these colors and naturally dyed natural fiber yarns are not always readily available in the local yarn shops.

Bonus is that I get to utilize this nut that drops all over my deck each fall!  Wouldn't this be fun to do to some muslin cotton also?  My mind is spinning with ideas!

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