Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Naturally Dyed, Handspun Yarn

Inspired by a yarn featured in Rebecca Burgess' book on natural dye plants called, Harvesting Color,  I dyed up some wool with three of the more striking colors that can be had from natural dyes: steel-gray, burgundy and orange. 
The wool is Corriedale, some that I processed from a raw fleece I had. The washed wool was combed with wool combs before dyeing. The steel-gray is from both staghorn and smooth sumac berries; the burgundy is from pokeberries; the orange is from tickseed (bidens) flowers. My husband helped me collect the sumac berries and the pokeberries, and I collected the tickseed flowers. In the picture below, you can see the three colors on the dyed wool after drying.:

I often line up my puffs of colored wool in the order I want to spin them:
 Here is on of the three skeins of yarn I spun up from the dyed wool:

I'm making a scarf with two of the skeins. I looked through a lot of pattern ideas before I settled on a scarf. I then looked at a lot of scarf patterns before I finally decided I wanted a simple garter-stitch scarf: 

I'll use the remaining skein to make either a pair of fingerless gloves or a pair of fingerless mitts. I expect that the pokeberry burgundy will fade to a dusty version of itself with time. I have a skein of yarn that I dyed with pokeberries several years ago and this year is the first time I've noticed that the fading has really picked up. The first year or so it remained vibrant, after that it retained a dusty sort of version of the color, and this year it is now officially fading, although still a beautiful color. I think, although I'm not positive, that the other colors will remain vibrant longer. I guess we'll see!


The Lurker said...

Those are lovely colours and beautiful yarn. :-)

Katelyn said...

It's knitting up beautifully! I wondered what happened to them. They were gone before I could buy them. I look forward to seeing your finished projects.

ICQB said...

Hi Lurker!


ICQB said...

Hi Katelyn,

Thanks! I decided I couldn't part with these skeins and selfishly kept them for myself :p