Saw the first monarch caterpillar of the year — summer is here.

I planted some swamp milkweed in my garden and they seem to prefer it over the more common milk weed.

I was pretty busy in the garden this week and forgot to take pictures of the progress I made in the garden. Lots of my seeds have sprouted. The madder, weld, cosmos and marigold are up and growing good even though I am not at the cabin to water them everyday. I planted 2 red hibiscus which I’ve heard can be used for dyeing and another coreopis.  And I planted 2 pineapple sage plants for the hummingbirds.

We spent our evenings fishing and had pretty good luck and caught lots of crappies.

And I also did thisIt all started because I had dyed some yarn that was too bright for me

I had some old Easter egg dye kits and made a 2 skeins of red and yellow. I redid one and got a garish purple and turquoise yarn that I didn’t take a picture of cause it was too horrible. So I decided a dip in the walnut pot might help……and it did –the 2 skeins are the furthest out  on the wheel barrel handles. I think they will be lovely socks and the colors remind me of autumn now instead of hippie tie dye. The inner ones are 2 skeins that I threw in a pot of this……a pot of frozen mostly cosmos flowers that were lurking in the back corner of the freezer since last year(no really I am not a hoarder it just sounds that way). The pot is mostly cosmos with some coreopsis and marigolds thrown in

I also simmered a pot of rhubarb leaves that I forgot to take a picture of(I seem to be forgetting a lot but I am one year older ; ). But that pot was pretty disgusting looking so you aren’t missing much. I wanted to experiment with rhubarb as a mordant. Normally I use alum and not the more toxic chrome and tin. And I find iron dulls and can make the yarn brittle if you are not careful. So anyways I put 3 skeins in the rhubarb. Two I dipped dyed with my flower buds and one I left in the rhubarb pot overnight. I liked the colors I got using rhubarb as a mordant.So this is what I ended up with ….. the first 2 skeins are my walnut muted Easter egg dye yarn….the next one is a mostly cosmos on fingering weight wool…the darker one next to it is a cosmos on a wool and nylon blend. the next 2 nylon and wool skeins  are darker and not as bright were mordanted with rhubarb and then dyed in the cosmos. The green one is also a wool and nylon blend and is plain rhubarb. And the last one is an all wool yarn that was  in my walnut pot over night. I have 2-5 gallon buckets filled with walnut husks and water in my garden shed. They have been sitting there since last fall. There is an amazing amount of color in the walnut husks and the pots keep producing nice browns. And I don’t even heat up the dye pot.

So that is a recap of my week.

This weekend I plan to be a little sluggish its supposed to be hot here and I wilt in the heat.

How was your week?


  1. Peg said,

    June 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Nice colors; I like the black walnut easter egg dye ones! There are an amazing amount of slugs here this spring!

    • whatzitknitz said,

      June 10, 2012 at 1:56 am

      That was the biggest slug I have seen – it stowed away on one of the plants I bought.
      And I do like the easter egg yarn now that I toned it down with walnut dye.

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