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

Lupin Dyed Fibre Results

Results Are In!

Results Are In!

Fibre is dry and braided into mini braids. I couldn’t be happier with the results. The star of the show still is that yellow! I love the colours, from a slight peach to buttery yellow to light gray and a warm light tan.

The modifiers I used were iron, cream of tartar, soda ash, and citric acid (not in that order). I used 10% weight of fibre for my alum mordant and 2% to 10% on modifiers. My weight of lupin leaves was very minimal and not weighed.

Hand dyed with Lupin Leaves
Lupin and Modifiers

I would say this is a win! I will add these to my collection of combed top experiments for now and spin with them this winter when I’m craving colours from my garden.

Cheers

Keli

Lupin Leaves

My experiment dyeing combed top with Lupin leaves.

I’m bummed. I threw one lupin plant into the compost as it wasn’t flowering. Then I found out you dye with the leaves. Oh well, lesson learned. At least I have one plant left, so I got busy and harvested the leaves I did have.

I used a burner that was advertised to cook a Turkey last thanksgiving. I filled it up a quarter and then added the leaves. I simmered the leaves for an hour and then turned the burner off and let it sit still till the next morning. The following day I poured off the dye bath and divided the liquid into four different pans.

Turkey cooker

In each pan, I put some alum mordant (10% WOF) and the following modifiers: citric acid, iron, cream of tartar, and soda ash. The fibres I used were Polwarth, blue-faced Leicester, and cheviot. I simmered the wool for an hour and then let it sit all day to cool. I have to say this one with soda ash pops with colour! The yellow is like a butter yellow. The dye bath with iron looks like sadden yellow which is what iron does.

Butter yellow
Sadden with iron

It’s now 8:30pm and I will let it sit till tomorrow morning.

RESULTS

On A Quest For Fibre Dyed Fibre With Lupin

Please remember that this camera is not picking up the complete saturation of colour. Once it’s dry, I will take pictures in my usual spot with high contrast in the background. I just really wanted to share my experience with you as soon as I could

I love the combed top at the bottom. The dye recipe to obtain this colour will be kept in my recipe book for future dyeing for sure! The other shade I’ll keep is the top one done with iron. I wouldn’t use this colour on its own, but with another colour, I would use it for sure.

Well, I better move on, as today is the day I go to Knit City in Vancouver, BC. If you see me, please make sure you stop and introduce yourself; I love to meet my followers in person.

Cheers

Keli