Making natural dye

I have always had a fascination with natural dyes and so I made some with plants in my neighborhood and plan to use them for yarn. I have to buy some dye-able yarn and am also excited to start spinning this week since a local woman that I volunteer at a farm with is bringing alpaca and sheep wool for me to try out. I had two different yarns in small amounts that I have hand dyed. I got the yarn from the thrift store in a big bag and so it was really $1 per yarn I dyed. The brown is from oak gall balls as I call them from the oak trees in back of our house. The purple is from Oregon grape berries, lavender and a hibiscus raspberry tea bag. I was hoping it would be more blue but ended up dying one ball with a commercial blue mixed with the Oregon grape berries. It didn’t take on the purple color or keep it but it was blue which is what my youngest daughter wanted. I sort of tie dyed the yarn by wrapping rubber bands around it then taking them off and re-soaking in the blue dye bath. My daughters picked the berries and used a mortar and pestle to crush them before I simmered them in some water on the stove. This was messy but they really liked helping.

The green dye is from kale and carrot tops. I haven’t tried this one yet but hope to get some yarn this weekend or this week if I spin some to test it on. It looks like some of the juice I have been drinking lately but that’s another post. 😉


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