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 Dyeing Discussion
 Natural Dyes
 backyard weed
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Carol in Maine
Chatty Knitter

208 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2006 :  4:00:17 PM  Show Profile Send Carol in Maine a Private Message
Since last summer I've had a big pile of dried weed that grows around our garage. It's some kind of Polygonum but not sure which, a sort of recumbent knotweed. Well, finally it was either throw the mess out or do something with it, so this week I put it with water into a big dye-pot and simmered for a couple of hours. Added a dash of vinegar because I was going to dye wool. It's possible this would have been a good material (the weed, not the wool) to use in an alkaline solution...
Pre-soaked the wool but no mordant. I added the wetted wool, a commercial, uncolored fisherman's type, probably from Briggs & Little or maybe Bartlett. After an hour or so of gentle simmering I fished it out, let it stand to cool and hung it on the line outside. It was a beautiful gray-green. After letting it hang in the sun (and rain)a few days I rinsed it out in a gentle soap and it was color-fast and looks very pretty. I also over-dyed a skein of a lilac heather wool yarn (Bartlett, I think- didn't care for the original color) and it looks great, too. Then I took the onion-skin juice that I dyed my Easter Bunny eggs in and threw a skein of uncolored wool into that and that turned out nice, too.
So I'm very happy and I no longer have a messy pile of dry weeds in the garage.
If anyone is familiar with this weed from my sketchy description, I'd be interested to know what you do with it.

Carol in Maine

Boogie
Permanent Resident

USA
3073 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2006 :  4:12:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Boogie's Homepage Send Boogie a Private Message
Carol you are my hero
All my weeds go into mulch or as land fill on the farm.

I might actually save some this year.


amy
http://theboogerblog.blogspot.com
http://www.spunkyhats.com
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Lanea
Permanent Resident

USA
5190 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2006 :  05:15:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
What a great thing to do!

I wonder if Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) can be used as a dye? I know it's been used as a medicinal herb and to clarify beer. I have no shortage of it, and I'm constantly pulling it out of the ground one way or another.

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Miss Maia
Chatty Knitter

USA
314 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2006 :  4:26:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Miss Maia's Homepage Send Miss Maia a Private Message
Carol,

Any chance we can see a picture of your yarn?

Maia
My Fiber Journal
Dea Terra Creations My Handspun Yarns
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Fivefibers
Permanent Resident

USA
1131 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2006 :  11:54:26 AM  Show Profile Send Fivefibers a Private Message
Lanea,

Any chance for a picture of that beer? I've started my gardening and thoughts are turning to a nice, thirst-quenching beverage!

Fivefibers
2sheep; 3goats; 5bunnies
(so far)
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AngieSue
Permanent Resident

USA
1606 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2006 :  12:04:41 PM  Show Profile Send AngieSue a Private Message
Hmmm, wonder if crab grass would make a dye. Just kidding but I would have lots if it did. We also have what looks to be wild geranium which could be something to experiment with.

Angie
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