Monday, November 21, 2011

My Dyer's Garden gets blogged!

As you know from the posting below- I am plotting out a dyer's garden for the spring. The lumber and "M Brace" at each corner was donated by one of my best friends who invented the marvelous gizmo. Here is her blog-

Fabulous product, fabulous friend, fabulous fun. Can't wait to start. I will blog (I promise) about the garden's progress and end results.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Zinnias as natural dyes on wool

I have to tell you about a wonderful thing that makes me think more highly of humanity. I forgot to plant zinnias in my garden this year. Zinnias are one of my all time favorite flowers because they are easy to grow, are awesome colors, make nice cut flowers that last a long time and did I mention they are easy to grow? So I forgot to plant them and then sometime around late spring I remembered, as I had wanted to try dyeing with them. I mentioned this to my pal Laurie the "Biker Babe" and she said- did you read in the paper where Farmer So and So planted tons of them and they are free to the public? What?! She then gave me directions to get there and my daughter and I took a drive. There they were! Not just a few, but acres of them. There is one photo of me in the middle of the mass of flowers on my Facebook page somewhere. I can't find the photo now. Anyway- we chatted with Farmer So and So and he said he just did it for the fun of it and for the public to enjoy. Amazing. We did enjoy it and we told him we were going to use them to dye wool and he was only mildly interested. Go figure! I think it is the most fascinating thing ever but I digress.....
Here the heads of the flowers are simmering away extracting what looks like a tea colored base. These flowers were red and orange only so we were fairly disappointed.
Add the yarn to one pot full- no mordant added.
Add roving to another pot- also no mordant. We did use vinegar after everything was said and done.
As happens so often with natural dyes, the end results are tea stain colored. Oh well. It certainly would have been easier to flip some Lipton's in the water rather than get shoes muddy and spend the time snipping and then picking off the heads BUT the experience was a good one and another to chalk up to experience. For a truly outrageous color- see below where we used Pokeberries. Now that color rocks and rolls.

Thanks for looking!

About Me

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Woodland, California, United States
I am a fiber artist. I am a teacher. I am a Reverend. I teach, I create, I counsel, I listen.

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