Dyeing with Friends

Studio Time, either in JB’s studio or in her home, is always an adventure.  In preparation for our visit for the day, Ann and I were asked to bring skeins of wool to the studio ahead of “D Day” so that JB could prepare them with a mordant.

Yes, I brought my camera — but once I saw all that yarn, some already dyed and more waiting for the pots, I immediately suffered what the Yarn Harlot phrased, camnesia.  Once I regained my balance, JB asked me to start deheading the Goldenrod clippings for the next dye pot and Ann to make notes as the yarn came out of the pots.  Because JB had the pots rolling, the yarn already tied and waiting and the berries ‘n cuttings soaked, the party was ON.

Organization is the key and JB shines in that department. The dyeing itself is cookbook and if you can follow a recipe, natural dyeing is relatively easy and definitely fun!  Do try it.  (ps: Good note taking will allow repeating those gorgeous colors and once you see what happens, you will want to!)

My next job was to hang the skeins on the line for drying and as we three stood there admiring the Beauty of Nature on Wool, JB insisted that we take our favourite.  Not an easy choice, but after studying and thinking knit or weave, two matching skeins became a project in my head.

Back home and after a search through Ravelry’s patterns, enter Jeanne Stevens’ 75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts, just the right size in yardage to create what I had in mind. A gift for our hostess JB.

The berries were from what JB called, Sheep Vine, because her sheep liked to eat the leaves. The botanical name for the vine is Smilax bona-nox L. and more information about it (with several common names) can be found in the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension at Uvalde site. JB had picked the black berries from vines that are on her property.

I would have never guessed that those black berries would have given such a lovely, toasty color. Warm enough to be mini-mittens.
Wait ’til you see the results of Goldenrod blossoms… tomorrow.

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