Monday, September 04, 2006

Pokeberry dyeing update #1

Well, yesterday I dyed my alum mordanted wool. 8 ounces of it. Enough for the stripes on two shawls. Today (as per Rita Buchanan's instructions to soak overnight in cooling dyebath), I took the wool out and have hung it up to dry. Here are pictures:
Will have to wait and see if the color changes after it dries and is rinsed. Rita says to let the wool dry completely and then rinse with plain water until the water runs clear.

I haven't thrown out the dyebath yet. It's still in the pot in the garage because I think I can dye some more wool in it. It's very dark still... might get a lighter color that's still pretty? Plan to start that after I see how the first batch turns out. Might do some cotton too, just to see what happens. This was fun, even if the dyebath smells horrible!

I also dug up some pine roots yesterday. Dad's instructions were "just don't kill the trees." Well, duh. From the sources I've found, they dye wool a dark red, garnet color... Will get to them soon, with luck. I hope we get some goldenrod before it gets too late in the season. All the marigolds have stopped flowering. I wish I'd found out how pretty they dye sooner. I would have saved them in the freezer all summer. We had hundreds! We still have some sage, rosemary and other herbs, but not enough to make a dyepot. Thinking of also trying to collect enough live oak bark to do a batch of something... and maybe leaves too. We also have dozens of Eastern red cedar. Probably should get some bark from those too while I'm at it. Need to remember about onion skins too!


Bev in TN said...

I'm loving your pokeberry-died wool! In case you are wondering who I am, I'm a member of the dye happy group at Yahoo (still new to those groups and don't quite understand how it is that I get emails of all the posts). I have LOTS of pokeberries in my yard. I know they are thug-like weeds, but I usually let them grow anyways because I think they are pretty and the birds just love 'em and of course they share the "fruits of their labor" with my

Rachael said...

Thank you, Bev! I'm not sure how else to respond, except here, so I don't know if you'll even get this, but I don't mean to ignore any comments left on my blog. I'm working on more naturally dyed stuff as I type. I'm extracting pigment from red cedar and pine roots. Both are supposed to make the same kind of color, a red, and since I couldn't get very much of each separately, I decided to combine them into the same pot. I tell you, it sure smells a lot better than when I stewed the pokeberries. My garage smells like a forest now! LOL!