Archive for September, 2016

img_5098 The girls and their friends helped me pick a big bag of New England Asters on the prairie.






I hadn’t seen New England asters on any dye lists, but thought the bright purple flowers might yield a purple dye.

I forgot to weigh the flowers before setting them to boil.

img_5099  The dye bath looked kind of greenish. I was really surprised by the results.







The yarn turned a beautiful yellow!

The other thing I learned was that even though the yarn is super wash, I should be a bit gentle with it. I was not as careful with it this time – and it stretched out a bit compared to the first yarn I dyed.












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Ok – so this will be my second try. The first was such a dismal failure, I don’t want to even mention it. I used far too little dye stuff and cotton yarn. It changed from white to slightly less white. I used goldenrod flowers and bedstraw root. I didn’t want to use much root, as that obviously kills the plant.

I am serious this time. I AM GOING TO MAKE Sumac Dyed Yarn!

Today I collected a HUGE bag of stiff goldenrod, and another HUGE bag of sumac berries.

There is a huge abundance of both plants on the prairie. And…Sumac is invading the prairie, so I wouldn’t feel bad if I actually hurt that plant.

The sumac turned my hand red, so that’s a good sign.

I tried the Sumac first and used 200g to dye 100 grams of yarn using 100% super wash merino – just in case.

I used 8 gr of alum and 6 gr of cream of tartar for mordant, simmering for 30 min.

The dye bath was made from the 200 grams of sumac, boiled for 30-40 minutes. It smelled and made my eyes burn. I will do sumac outside from now on!

Left both to cool overnight.


I drained out the sumac berries, washed the yarn, then simmered it in the dye bath.

It turned out tan instead of red. I think the berries were too dried out. But I am happy! The yarn changed colors and it is a pleasant one!


UPDATE – The goldenrod seeded out while drying. I don’t think I will use them. I will try again next year and use fresh. There are other options yet this fall.


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