dyeing

My sister Peg sent me a pkg last Tuesday. I eagerly opened it and found the dried dahlia blossoms that she promised me. It was perfect timing cause we were heading to the cabin the next day and that is where I dye. We had a beautiful drive north the sun was shining and the sky a perfect blue with not a cloud in sight. After a walk with the dog so she could check out the local smells…….I built a fire in the fire pit and then helped Marty  in the yard – we needed to finish getting the house ready for winter. we have been having problems with the woodpeckers drilling holes in our siding. So I strung old cds on heavy fishing line and Marty attached them to the facia board. Two years ago the woodpeckers were killing my golden curly willow tree and old cds hung from the branches seemed to keep them away. The cds spin and flash in the wind and scares them away. And they look kind of festive so I don’t mind. Once I had a nice fire going I set a pot of water with the dried blossoms and 2 skeins of yarn in it on my rack The rack swivels and I can also adjust the height.I let this heat up and then swiveled the rack so it was off to the side. I let this go the rest of the afternoon then I went into my shed where I keep my walnut dye -I have two 5 gallon buckets with lids. I lined the buckets with paint strainer bags that you can get at the store. Inside these bags are the walnut husk. I poured water over the whole thing and it has been sitting for about 2 months. I have already dyed several skeins of yarn but this dye still has lots of color in it. so I lifted the strainer bag out and dropped my dry yarn in it and then put the strainer bag right back in the bucket. I know this isn’t how you are supposed to do it -you are supposed to wet the yarn and give it plenty of room to move in the water and absorb the color. But I like to play and see if I can get yarn that is saturated at different levels through out the skien. The buckets had a little mold on the top and ice crystals.  By the time the sun went down there was only a light brown on some areas of the yarn in the walnut buckets so I swished the yarn around and squeezed it a couple of times and left it to soak.  I had a nice golden yellow from the dahlia blossoms the coals were still keeping the pot warm so I decided to leave the pot as it was till morning.

after breakfast and a walk I took care of the yarn- the dahlia was beautiful golden and I squeezed out all the water and packed it in a ziplock bag for the drive home. I was a little disappointed in the walnut yarn there were areas that didn’t take probable cause it was just too cold in the shed but I also packed this into a ziplock figuring I would rinse at home.

once home I started to rinse my walnut yarn in the wash tub and all my beautiful browns ran down the drain so I quickly put the stopper in the drain and ran just enough water to cover the yarn and then left it to sit. And it worked – the yarn and the brown water it sat in warmed up and the yarn began to absorb the color.  Yesterday I rinsed my yarns and hung them to dry and I am very pleased with my colors and wish that my camera captured the colors better- imagine a darker orange and a little more red in the brown photos.                                                                 sweet dahlia                                                               walnutty fun

Thanks Peggy

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