2022 Natural Dyer’s Harvest

Can you believe it; last night after dinner on October 10th I was in the greenhouse packaging up all my dried flowers.

I have learned so much this year. This year was my first time gardening to produce dried flowers to dye yarn and fibre with. I learned so much. Here are the highlights:

  • Not planting sweet peas; not enough colour.
  • Plant only a few nasturtiums; not 18!
  • Plant sunflowers against a wall or fence to allow for adequate support.
  • Don’t buy a dyers coreopsis mixture. Buy just the yellow ones as the mixture included a lot of chocolate coreopsis.
  • Pay better attention to Indigo! Water well and pick leaves more mindfully by replanting stalks.
  • Lastly, keep seeding through out summer so I get more crops into the first frost.
  • Tango cosmos are my FAVOURITE!
OAQFF Dyers Garden Harvest

I still have yarrow to package up as well as many more sunflower heads. I also have ziplock bags of marigolds that I will freeze as Tammy from Wing and a Prayer Farm had mentioned in her class that I took virtually during covid. She is an excellent instructor and emits enthusiasm when telling others about her farm.

Well now I’m off to finish packaging up my yarrow and create a dye bath from walnuts today.

Cheers,

Keli

Results Are In!

OAQFF HAND DYED COMBED TOP

When I first saw results from black hollyhocks, I was disappointed because I thought the results resembled my lupin experiment. Boy, was I wrong!

Look at the difference! Lipin results cast more of a yellow, and hollyhocks cast more of a peach colour. I have to say my two favourites so far are butter yellow from lupins and mushroom taupe from hollyhocks.

Next week I will be dyeing with an extract to make all these colours pop. Click the Follow button to get a notification as I can’t tell you right now what day that will be.

Cheers

Keli

My New Addition

For my birthday I received three amazing books on natural dyeing. The Wild Dyer by Abigail Booth and Botanical Colour at your Fingertips.

OAQFF Dyers Library

I love the items the authors have chosen to dye with, but both authors dye with cellulose fibres in these books. I thought, why don’t I step up to the plate and be the creator who dyes the same items (if available) with wool (combed top, to be exact)? …I thought you would agree.

I will be dyeing with substantive dyes (dyes that contain tannins. Here is my list of available sources:

  • Avocado stones and pits
  • Pomegranate skins
  • Red onion skins
  • Black Tea

All these items listed above produce a color fast dye that I think will produce the best results. Right now I have lots of tea and I might use coffee too.

The other book in my collection has me looking forward to windy days so the lichen can fall from the trees. I have so much to learn about this resource for dyeing.

Well, that wraps up today’s post. I just put my combed top dyed with black hollyhocks outside to dry, and I want to share the results with you right now, but ill wait till the wool is dry and braided. Make sure you click the Follow button to get a notification of when I share those results.

Cheers,

Keli

Black Holly Hocks

Next Up Black Hollyhocks

This afternoon I gathered thirteen grams of black Hollyhocks and have been simmering them for two hours. I can’t wait to see the colour tomorrow morning.

My method of simmering plants.

Look at the colour of my fingers!

Just from picking petals off!

I also was harvesting my sunflowers this morning. Check out my video. I can’t wait to share this experiment with you as well. I have to wait for the seed heads to dry before removing the seeds.

Now time to go check on that simmering “brew”.

-Keli