Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dyeing wool with dandelions

On Mother's Day, I made my daughter come with me into the park next door to fill a plastic grocery sack with dandelion flowers. My son was happy that he had to work and couldn't join in the fun : )

I used the dandelions to dye a little over 4oz. of wool roving that I had combed up from my Christmas Fleece.

It came out a very nice yellow. I spun half of it into a skein of about 380 yards of two-ply - pictured above.

I only wish I had spun it a little better. It wasn't my best. My intentions were to add it to my slowly-growing inventory of handspuns that I'm going to offer for sale at the two vendor booths I have lined up this summer - one at a craft fair and one at a 'fiber fling' weekend. The quality of the spinning wasn't that great for this particular skein, though, so I might just keep this one for my personal stash.

I'm currently working on the other half of that roving. The first bobbin of what will eventually become a two-ply, is on my wheel right now:

I'm paying more attention as I spin this one. The problem with the last one, I think, was that I had just come off of spinning a four-ply of a different kind of wool and it took a while to adjust back to this type of wool. Hopefully I'll get a sellable skein out of it. We'll see...


Lyn said...

I have always fancied using natural dyes, the yellow is a great shade.

ICQB said...

Hi Lyn!

For some reason I thought dyeing with natural things would be a big hassel, but it's not. If I try to use woad I might change my tune, though : )

sashi said...

hi. beautiful wool and color from the dandelions. i have been wanting to dye with dandelions...did you use any kind of mordant? thank you!

ICQB said...

Hi sashi!

Thank you! Yes, I used alum as a mordant. I mordanted the wool while the dandelions were simmering away in the the dye pot. After straining the flowers out of the dye bath, I simply took the wool out of the mordant bath and plunked it into the dye bath. Easy!