Plant yarn gallery

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8 thoughts on “Plant yarn gallery”

  1. angela fotheringham said:

    lovely colours…. off to try red cabbage!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the idea of yarn dying.
    I have a very dear friend who owns a blackcurrant farm. I pick blackcurrants every year and make a lot of Jam. I do this because I ride my bike from Toronto to Montreal 660 km, every year for a fundraiser and people who sponsor me I give them a jar of jam as a thank you. Well this dear friend who owns the farm sponsors me and I cannot just give her a jar of jam, so I thought it would be nice if I could make a pair of socks dyed with her blackcurrants. I’ve read many articles and most say that I need a mordant !.. You mention that you used a horse shoe for the iron. Did you just put that in the pot with the strained blackcurrants, salt and the yarn? I would like to give these socks to her but don’t want her to wash them and the end result be a muddy color.
    Any suggestions?

    Thank you so much. Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Debbie! I’m glad you asked – because I actually want to warn you against this project. 1. Salt does nothing in this context. 2. All plant dyed yarn needs to be mordanted first or the colour will be very weak. Use Alum for wool. 3. The iron darkens some colours, but should not be left in with the yarn during the dye proces, a quick dip in iron saturated water will do the trick. It’s not however a good mordant. (it weakens the fiber) 4. Last but also most importantly, berries are not a good dye, they are more of a stain. First wash = beige in most cases. So while it’s fun to try once to get your toes wet, it’s really not recommended for something important. There are much better dyes for that.

      My suggestion is finding something else to make for your friend. I used to make the most amazing black currant truffles for xmas for instance!

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      • Thank you for the quick reply. This is somewhat what I had read on a few sites. I was just hoping there would be a solution, but obviously there isn’t. This lady does all kinds of cooking, baking and they also make a cordial but I knew she did not knit, so I thought it would be unique. I think I will try to find a dye close to the blackcurrant color and still give them to her and call them “her blackcurrant socks”.

        Thank you so much
        Debbie

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        • I think that will be an acceptable compromise! I was going to suggest maybe find a white silk or wool scarf and make contact prints with the leaves (search for eco printing). Obviously you have to wait for summer…. I did some yarn dying with clippings from another ribes species, which turned out a nice burned orange on wool btw. Also a solution for your sock yarn if she likes the first pair! I haven’t tried black currant leaves.

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        • P.S. There would probably be a difference in colour using just leaves or whole twigs as I used from my hedge. I bet they trim their bushes too for the oldest branches….

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