Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Launching Early---Creativity Wednesdays--- & Dyeing My Handspun

Welcome to our very first Creativity Wednesdays event.


   I thought this would be a fun way to share with each other a craft or art project we are working on. I thought we also could share a special recipe you have made and loved or even little projects you have made for your garden or yard. So this sharing event is pretty wide open-just needs to be handmade/ handcrafted.

Linking up with each other:

   I checked out two different sites for setting up our links where you put in your url and it appears here in my blog.       The two I looked at I did not care for, one I couldn't figure out, (totally not a tech person) and both cost money if you want to upgrade a bit and personalize them to your own link party, so I did not care for that either.
      Sooooo I have decided that the simplest is to have you put the link to your Creativity Wednesdays post (not the url to your blog but to that post) into comments for this post. I will then go back into my blog post and set up your link to share. 

So let's enjoy each others creativity projects!

Friends linking up:
   Deb at Jinxxxygirl

    Carole at From My Carolina Home

  Carole at From My Carolina Home  sharing also a recipe

  Tammy at T's Daily Treasures

    Wendy at September Violets

Magnoliasntea at Foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains


For my post today I am sharing the hand dye project that I did over the weekend. 

   When the goldenrod starts blooming in mid September I see pretty yellows in the dye pot. Last year I missed out on natural dyeing as I was in the middle of my living room re do, so of course these past couple of days the goldenrod was calling me in.

   I had three skeins of very newbie yarn that I had spun on my wheel Miss Jenny Ashley with commercial roving from the white cheviot breed of sheep. 
   I first soaked the three skeins in warm water over nite to open up the fibers so they can receive the dye better. I had read this tip in a couple dye books.
   The next morning I got out my big dye pots and set up the mordant (fixative-so the color will stick to the wool) I used aluminum sulfate which is the alum used for wool and proteins. I also added in cream of tartar which is to keep the wool soft.   (aluminum acetate is the alum used for cotton and cellulose)  
     Just a note I have looked everywhere for these two alums and finally found them at Earth Hues  They are a small company and you just call them up with your order. They send along directions too so I follow theirs for the mordant process.

   The hour that the mordant bath is turned off with the wool still in the pot, I started up another pot for the dye bath. I try to just eye ball the amount when working with natural dye stuffs that I collect- I try to double it in weight compared to the wool weight. I used just the flowers-no leaves of the goldenrod and also tansy for this dye pot I did also throw in a handful of marigold petals. 
     Many dye books tell you to boil or simmer for a couple of hours-I have learned at least especially for yellows that I keep the water just under a simmer for better results. I do this for an hour and then drain out the plants, put back on the fire and add in glauber salts. This is to even out the color better and I read this tip in the dye book Organic Fiber Dyeing The Colonial Williamsburg Method by Max Hamrick
     I made sure the glauber salts was well mixed in and then I turned the fire off. I let this cool til the temperature of both the dye and mordant baths are the same-so not to felt the wool. Once they are the same I put the skeins from the mordant bath into the dye pot and stir them around a bit. 
     This is another one of those things where different sources tell you different things. One will say to rinse the mordant wool well, while others using the alum say to just transfer it to the dye pot.
     Once I get the color yellow I like I take it out and drain in a colander squeeze gently and then lay out on towels to dry.
   I have learned in the past that at least for me if I leave the yarn in the yellow dye bath too long then the color turns to brown, and most books will suggest to leave in the dye bath over night-for yellows I do not do that anymore.
   Once the yarn is dry I let it sit for at least a week before I hand rinse them--and I see that I will need to reset the twist of my beginner yarn as it is now clearly looking like over twisted yarn lol
      here are some photos and just click to enlarge

First photo the dye bath of goldenrod, tansy a few marigold petals soaking

Second photo wool skeins just went in the mordant bath-the temperature needs to slowly rise to 200 degrees F and then hold for one hour.

The mordant bath is now up to temperature and holding, I started warming up the dye bath during that hour

Both baths are same temperature so in goes the yarn

This last photo is the yarn now dry so you can see that the color will always be brighter when wet. I am pleased with the results so far, especially since I do have a soft yellow with no turning to browns so far.


  1. LOVE the color you achieved with that goldenrod Kathy ..wow! I forgot all about this Link Party coming up... Your welcome to link my latest post here . It does have some creativity in it although it is not exclusive...


    I will try to do better next week.. :) Takes me a bit to get my act together... Hugs! deb

  2. Hi Kathy, this seems like a lot of work on your part, so nice to be able to share. Wow, dying wool is quite a process!
    Here's a quilt from last week -
    and here is a recipe for Chicken Florentine Lasagne

  3. Certain;y much more work involved in the natural dyes. I know the yellow I got from you before made a beautiful giant crocheted flower that was perfect for a hat. I'll be joining you another week for this theme as I'm still trying to clear out the garden right now. I've been invaded with Bermuda grass in the veggie garden :(

  4. Nice dye job. Sure is a process. My post is up: http://tsdailytreasures.blogspot.com/2016/09/creativity-wednesdays-with-kathy.html

  5. Can't join with a link yet, on the road for a getaway, but home soon. However, I can comment, and just let me say I can't say enough about this dyeing process! I honestly think you deserve 3 credits, Kathy. It sounds like a college course. I love the soft yellow.

  6. You got a really nice shade of yellow on the yarn Kathy! It was interesting to read the process (and thanks for adding in the description of technical terms!). I'm sorry I'm so late, but only got a post together tonight.


  7. Kathy, I think my comment just got gobbled up! At the risk of repeating myself...you got a nice soft shade of yellow from the flowers. It was interesting to read through the process, and thanks for explaining the technical terms ;)
    Here's my link ...



  8. Sorry I'm so late to the party, Kathy. It's been a trying week with eye surgery and followup appts for my husband, but I finally made it. :)
    You got a beautiful yellow from the goldenrod. I've never used it, but I hope to try it sometime. As I was reading I was wondering where you got the alums so thank you for the link.
    Hope your weekend is fabulous!

  9. http://foothillsofthegreatsmokymountains.blogspot.com/2016/09/yarn-bowl-memories.html


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