I made these mini skeins by applying some dried flowers and plants to the yarn. The result is beautiful natural botanical dyed yarn. Some of the items I used to dye with were marigolds, hopi sunflower seeds, and onion skins. All of these items were grown in garden last summer in my new planter boxes. I can’t wait to share next summer the new addition of seeds I recently purchased at my favorite seed shop, Grand Prismatic Seed. Botanical-dyed yarn is so much fun to create.
Here is a pamphlet below that is included in the dye kit. The dye kit was so much fun to put together, from designing the pamphlet to harvesting the flowers to even mordanting the yarn for you. This dye kit is great for beginners! I still have some kits that include everything you need to learn how to dye botanical dyed yarn with dried flowers at home.
Every kit will produce beautiful, unique results. All you need to provide is a gallon jar with a lid; I recommend a glass jar so you can see through the glass. That way, you will see the colour and know when to pull out your skein of yarn. I also recommend an old kettle to boil water in. Keep an old kettle with all my other dyeing equipment. Also, I recommend doing this outside and not in your kitchen. What would be an added benefit is warm sunshine. If you live somewhere warm, you could let the jar sit in the sun, and you would actually have botanical dyed yarn by solar dyeing your yarn. Being winter here in BC, I don’t have that kind of weather right now. Yes, we get warmer winter temperatures than the rest of Canada but not hot weather in the winter. LOL.
This is a cowl that I have started. I can see some pooling starting to form, but because I’m using a 25g mini skein, I’ll be fading into my next skein very soon. The yarn I’m using is an organic superwash; yes, there is such a thing. After I wrote this blog post, I wanted to keep you updated on my progress. The cowl has now been taken completely out. Next, I will use the helix knitting method to keep any pooling minimum. I also entertain the idea of adding another skein of yarn in a different colour. I could do some fair isle colour work. Nothing complex; just a few colour changes to break things up.
If that doesn’t work, I can fall back on knitting socks, as this yarn is excellent for knitted socks. My all-time favorite pattern is Hermione’s, Everyday Socks. You can find the pattern on Ravelry. I like them because they give your sock a lovely texture pattern, and the pattern is easy to follow. I like easy-to-follow sock patterns as I want to take my knitting on my travels and knit and talk to people simultaneously.
Spinning a naturally dyed combed top with my support spindle is another love of mine. I will love to teach you if you need to learn how to spin with a support spindle. I have a class online. It is a class that I do through Instant Messenger or Zoom. You get one-on-one instruction. I had a student last year who wanted to learn to spin and had never touched fibre before! She just liked the look of the spindle. Oh, and I didn’t mention she lived in Switzerland. So we made the time difference work. Right now, I’m not spinning any naturally dyed combed top, but I will post about it here when I do.
To dye the combed top takes a lot of time. The main issue is heating. You can’t have the heat too high, or you will end up with a felted mess; ask me how I know. 🙁 I once mordanted one pound of cheviot and ended up with it all going in the garbage! To mordant the combed top, you need a very low heat over a very long period. I actually like to use a cold water-mordant process. That process will explain in a future blog post if you are interested.
Well, that’s about it for today. Make sure to follow along by subscribing to this website. That way, you’ll see my packages of seeds when they arrive. I just mordanted another batch of yarn today because yesterday I created three dye stocks: Orange Peel, Echinacea, and Yarrow. I have two mini-skeins soaking in each stock. Waiting to see the colour from botanically dyed yarn is the hardest part. Going out into my “studio” to peak at the yarn before I have had my morning coffee! Who said you couldn’t go outside in your housecoat and start unwrapping paper to see what is inside each bundle you dyed with fresh flowers the night before? Im not sure what conclusion my neighbours have come up with lately. I don’t care: it feels like my birthday or Christmas. You can’t beat the feeling!
Okay, now I am really going to end this blog post and say goodbye.
One response to “Naturally Dyed Mini-Skeins”
The coloring of the yarn is gorgeous!!