Happy Mother’s Day!

here are is the photo from my dye pot last week. This is the exhaust from dyeing with onion skins in January. The skein on the left was dipped in rain water that that collected in an old iron dutch oven that sits by the fire pit. The water is is dirty looking rusty with little bits of black floating in it. I gave the yarn a quick dip to wet the fibers before throwing it in my exhaust water. It dulled the yellows a bit.

The yarn on the right is a wool fingering weight that is not machine washable. It felts rather easily so you have to be careful when dyeing it. The yellow is more vibrant since I didn’t modify it with iron water. But both skeins are lighter than the yarn I was dyeing when I first started this pot.

I love the yellows that I got from the onion skin dye pot. I would love a t shirt knit from this happy yellow. It is amazing the amount of color that I got from a material that usually ends up thrown out. You can read about my first dye pot here–  https://whatzitknitz.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/sunshine-on-a-cloudy-day/.

I didn’t weigh or measure the onion skins that I used back in January — but I had been saving them for a while. I put all the dried skins from the outside of yellow onions in a plastic bag under the sink. When I took them out this winter I squished and crumpled the old skins until they fit in a one gallon ziplock bag. I put these in an old soup pot on our woodburning stove in the cabin. Normally I don’t dye indoors because of fumes but I did feel that the worse this would smell like would be onion soup. I poured in just enough water to cover the dry onion skins and threw a lid on it. The water turned to a light golden brown very quickly. It simmered while I did chores and then I put yarn directly in the pot lifting the skins so that the yarn sat underneath them. Some people strain the dye material out but I like the variegated look that I get from the dye stuff coming in contact with the yarn. Of course  then there is always some vegatation clinging to the yarn but I find if I take the yarn outside and swing it around and  thunk it against the railing on the deck most of that comes out. The rest comes out when I put it on the swift and use a ball winder before I knit with it.

This is probable the simplest dye project I have done. And the yellow is so wonderful I am already saving skins to do this again.

I made a lot of progress on my scrappy socks last night–they went from this to…...…..this.  The heel is turned and I am knitting towards the toe. I am going to put my new to me toe on it again https://whatzitknitz.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/pussy-footing-around/ and write out how I knit it this time.

The pile of mini skeins is growing. I do have a little dilemma …
There are 10 hand dyed colors in the cup –I am a little biased I think they are wonderful. and then next to the cup are some sock yarns that I bought– also very nice. But my dilemma is this maybe I should go through my dye basket and pick out more naturally dyed yarns although they would be the same colors just different hues or maybe I should just leave the mix. What do you think???The colors from the top left to the bottom right are..

Black hollyhock blossoms

Walnut over cosmos


Goldenrod flowers

Onion skins modified with iron

Dried dahlia blossoms

Queen Anne’s Lace


Walnut husks

Ok leave a comment if you want to enter the drawing  and I am going to go out and enjoy my Mother’s day — Marty  and Meva are taking me for a boat ride.



  1. May 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Beautiful hand dyed yarn!

  2. May 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I love your blog as it seens so natural, or rather you seem so real, if you know what I mean!

  3. Patricia Stanley said,

    May 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Love your yellows, and browns too! I like all in the bottom pic. I think they balance each other out.
    Pattytrish (Ravelry name)

  4. Heather said,

    May 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Love your socks, they are amazing. I would love to enter your draw, I am wanting to make a scrappy pair of socks yet don’t have enough scrap sock yarn so mini skeins would be just what I need.

    Heather (mommytofive on rav)

  5. Mel said,

    May 13, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    WOW- I love your natural dyed yarn, the colours are amazing :0)
    Love, Mel
    (womaninashoe on ravelry)

  6. KAthleen said,

    May 14, 2012 at 2:05 am

    Who knew that all my favorite colors come from nature? 🙂 Your adventures in dyeing are quite,inspiring.

  7. Mary Mac said,

    May 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I have never tried to dye my own yarns but I make my own paper and use some of the same ingredients that you do. Nature is great that way.

    • whatzitknitz said,

      May 23, 2012 at 3:27 am

      That’s neat — do you include plant materials in the pulp or do you use plant to add color?

  8. Rae Lynne said,

    May 15, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Beautiful yarn, amazing colors from different items found in nature!


    • whatzitknitz said,

      May 23, 2012 at 3:28 am

      It is amazing what you can use from the garden and always a surprise what comes out of the dye pot

  9. Remmy said,

    May 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I really love the various earth tones that you are getting from your natural dyes.

    • whatzitknitz said,

      May 23, 2012 at 3:25 am

      Thanks. I am going to try to keep better records and measure what I am using this summer. Of course with natural dyeing there are so many different variables it is hard to get the same results each time. But I do like the shades of color I get ; )

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