I think it would be so wonderful to get all of the colors we need from nature - and I suspect that we probably could. Just last night while reading the book I shared in my last post, I came across this -
"When Ruby and her mother decided to stencil the front-room walls, Seth gathered the elder twigs and chewed their ends for the brushes. He helped, too, to gather the huckleberries and prepare their rich purple juice into which the brushes were dipped to work the color through the tin stencils onto the plaster." (from Out of the Saltbox, by Ruth Rasey)
With lots of goldenrod growing all around our homestead, we gathered the flowers
And then using the directions from here, and using Peace Fleece natural yarn, we put the goldenrod in the canning pan and added enough water to cover, then heated to a simmer and left for about one hour. I left the goldenrod to soak overnight. The next morning, I drained the flowers out and heated up the dye bath to a simmer again.
Meanwhile, I filled another large stainless steel pan with water and added the alum which is the mordant. This is used to keep the yarn colorfast. I then soaked three skeins of yarn in the mordant and then one at a time, added them to the dye and let sit for about an hour. I probably should have left them to soak in the dye bath over night - as they did come out a little light.
I am trying to decide what to knit with this soft lemon yellow color. Any suggestions?
Have you done any natural dyeing? (There has been some natural dyeing going on at this blog.)
What have you used?
I am thinking that it would be wonderful to plant a dyers garden next spring.