Monday, August 31, 2015

dyeing wool with reed flowers

A little while ago i was reading a topic in a natural dyeing group on ravelry. Someone from Sweden or Finland (if i remember correctly) showed a picture with 3 skeins, all dyed naturally. There was a  beautifull green one. She said she dyed it with reed flowers.   There aren't much ways to get green with plants, or you''ll need indigo or woad and overdye a yellow.

Common reed has red ''flowers''

So a few days later my girls and i took a walk, and while i cut off loads of reed flowers, the girls had an amazing time catching lots of small frogs and toads in the grass beside the pond.
They had more then 20!!!

At home i got my dyeing pan and put in the flowers... boiled them for a while.

The dyebad turned a dark reddish purple... a bit like red wine :)
after cooling it,  i added alum and roving and heated it again.  Actually the next day i put the flowers, fiber and alum all at once in the pan. Brought it to boil, and that worked just as good! Yep i'm actually a very lazy natural dyer ;)

I played a bit afterwards. Putting some pieces of fiber into a rusty nails in water afterbath, and other pieces in a ammonium afterbath. The last mentioned turned the fiber bright green!!!

The hardest part of it all was getting the greens show up right in de pictures... almost impossible!! 

So i had to play a bit with a photo edit app to show the greens as i see them.

offcourse i started spinning as soon as they were dry!


Allready have plans to knit a top with these yarns. But first i have a lot more spinning to do!

 great bowl isn't it! I found it during our summerholiday, the town we stayed had a shop where people could rent a table and sell stuff they made or didn't need anymore. So much fun, from fresh baked bread and jams to clothes and toys, books...  on the last day i found this wooden bowl. I'm not sure what kind of wood it is, but i loved the spalted pattern. Spalting in wood is discoloration made by fungi.

All this little skeins of handspun just scream to be to be knittend, but i really want to spin everything before a start knitting.

This reminds me of a moment on a big knitting event a few years ago, there was a booth that sold packages with different skeins of naturally dyed yarn. i LOVED them!!
 But back then i thought they were very expensive.... little did i know back then. But i never could have imagned dyeing such skeins myself one day :)

Enjoy your day!!

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