|Border Leicester Handspun Yarn Dyed with Pokeberries, just taken out of the dye pot-before the rinse.|
I have wanted to dye wool for quite some time. When I was visiting our small town library, the librarian told me she had a new book about dyeing wool, using plants. ( love small town libraries) I checked out the book, Harvesting Color.
I love it-it was the motivation that I needed to get started. The next few weeks were spent collecting up supplies.
My first choice for a dye project was Pokeweed . I loved the color and we have Pokeweed on our property. I was told that Pokeweed wasn't colorfast, but according to the instruction in this book, it can be, so I decided to trust the book.
What I learned:
~Pokeberries are messy!
~It takes a LOT of Pokeberries...
~It doesn't smell all that great-the hot plate, I purchased made it possible to do it in the mill and not in the house.
~I need a sieve, the strainer I used let some of the seeds stay behind in the dye pot. Something I discovered when I was rinsing the yarn.
~It takes a lot of time, most of it is spent keeping an eye on the temps, in the dye pot.
I am sure using commercial dyes would be less trouble, but I found the whole process satisfying. I enjoy spending time in the woods and fields foraging for plants, I love the natural colors, and I will definitely be doing it again.
I have some Goldenrod in the dye pot now...