All summer I have been experimenting with natural dyes from the plants in my yard. After getting many wonderful yellows, I was full of anticipation to try pokeberries and get red for a change. And it worked!
I used Rebecca Burgess’s method from Harvesting Color, which involves vinegar as a mordant and keeping the dye between 160° – 180°. However, I did not remove the stems – I put the whole stem and berries into a net laundry bag to keep the plant material out of the yarn, and crushed them as best I could in the bag. Then I left the whole thing in the pot with the yarn. (Burgess credits the woman who experimented to find this method, which is colorfast, but I have lent out my book and can’t look up her name.)
I don’t know what I will use this yarn for, but I am so thrilled with the results.
And now, for some added colorious adorableness, a Green Treefrog I spotted the other day in the pear treel
I hope you are as happy with your current project, whatever it may be!
Wow! The skeins are gorgeous! Also appreciate the photo of the Green Treefrog
Thank you! I was so happy to get the picture of the frog, because right when I spotted him, I was trying to talk on the phone and feed the sheep at the same time, and then the dogs were after a baby bunny, and then I had to find the camera….I was amazed he was still there when I got back!
Beautiful results..can’t wait to see what you make!
I had a friend who used to just leave her prettiest yarn out on display in a basket, because she said nothing she could do to it would make it any better – this may be basket yarn for a while! 🙂
It is fun to bundle them all in a basket and imagine what they could be, isn’t it?!
What fabulous colors you got from those berries!!
I am so glad that that textile artist had the perseverance to find the best method, and that Rebecca Burgess published it. I would never have the patience to check out all the variables myself!
Nice! Blessings, Mtetar
What a glorious colour! I was glad to read you hadn’t used the frog to get colour dyes!
I know color can come from insects and mollusks, but I am happy to stick to plant dyes! All the frogs around here are safe from me. 🙂
What a beautiful color from the pokeberries! And that’s a great shot of the tree frog.
Don’t you just love it!?! And to think people call poke a weed. I love your results! Are you going to do a lightfastness test? I’m very curious to see how the alum mordanted yarn compares to the vinegar mordanted. Also, the dyer’s name that you are looking for is Carol Leigh. She’s just an hour or so away from me, and I’m hoping to get to go to some of her natural dyeing workshops this next year. She’s super awesome, and her shop, Hillcreek Fiber Studio, is wonderful.
Thank you for that name! I was thinking Carolyn something so I wasn’t too far off.
I am definitely going to do a lightfastness test. Also, I am doing a second big skein in the dyebath – reading that Carol’s wool held the color for 10 years gave me the confidence to do a big skein instead of just a little sample.
Love the color. It’s a happy dancing color! Love the little frog, too. Frogs are so cute!!
Oh I love the color, simply breathtaking. I too am anxious to see what you weave with it. Your tree frog reminds me of one I found in the electric box at the RV site…cute.
Isn’t it amazing how some wild creatures get so used to being around humans? I always see more birds at nature centers than at home, because they are used to humans and don’t fly off as soon as they see one. Even though I hear the tree frogs all the time, I can never sneak up on them here!