Sunday, September 16, 2007

Anybody Wanna Do Some Dyeing?

It bothers me to waste stuff. So when I have an abundance of something, if I can't save it or put it to use, I am determined to share. This year we have an abundance of butternuts off the trees on our farm. More than I ever remember having in all the years we have lived here. I use them for natural dyeing; they give a nice, coffee brown color on natural wool, and are pretty easy to use.

So does anybody out there want to try some? I will mail you a box with enough butternuts for at least a two skein batch and instructions. All I ask is that you post your results on your blog, or e-mail me to let me know how it came out. Of course, you're not obligated to dye yarn, but that's up to you. Mind you, if you were to send me some dye plant stuffs from your corner of the world that I could play with, I wouldn't mail them back, but you DON'T HAVE TO.

Today, in between bouts of cooking, I dyed with some goldenrod flowers and got the nice pale yellow on the right. The honey color on the left is red onion skins. What fun!


Tina T-P said...

Wow, sounds like you've had your own problems with rats - Foxes - yikes - I don't think we have them in this neck of the woods, but something used to get a chicken now and then -

Your dyed yarn is very pretty - I haven't gotten that far in my fiber production yet - I'm still a fledgling spinner.

Congrats to Madison for all her ribbons and her trophy at the fair! I was in 4-H for 10 years and made many good friends.

Have a great week! T.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

If I knew what plants around here could be used to dye stuff, I'd be happy to send you some! Me, I'm sticking to Kool-Aid to dye with for now.... :-)

Beth in WI said...

I want to try!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Your comment on Lauren's blog was a HOOT! I can't see my DH seeing his freshly-washed jewels as a contaminating substance; hee!

Elysbeth said...

The Beechnuts are tempting but I don't think the hotel would approve. Foxes, sigh, they really are rampant this year. Good luck honey.

Kathy L. said...

I've used butternuts a long time ago...I loved the color of them! When I was doing a program in Kansas for the Nat. Endowment of the ARts and Kansas Arts Council, I used only natural dyes in the workshops. I loved them! Soft muted night I was rearranging things in the room I had for spinning/weaving. I had dumped all the skeins of naturally dyed yarn on the floor. When I turned and looked at all of them, I noticed that no matter what color they were, they all went with each other. Just like Mother Nature intended. :)You go, Girl!

Karin said...

Thank you so much for the offer of butternuts--you are very generous. But I have so much on my plate right now.

Looking forward to seeing Allison tomorrow, and my brandnew yarn from you guys!

PS: yes and congrats to Madison!!!

shepherdchik said...

What kind of mordant did you use?

melanie said...

One of the nice things about the butternuts is that juglone, the brown pigment in nut hulls, is a substantive dye, which means it doesn’t require the use of a mordant.

I do have iron in my water, although not huge amounts, and iron can act as a mordant. It also is known to darken or dull colors, but I have not found it to be a problem with the butternuts, and I really like the nice coffee-brown hues they give.

My final batch of the season is soaking now, a clump of well-blackened nuts, almost crumbling hulls, that sat around the barn for too long. I am hoping for a really dark brown, like dark chocolate.