Man, dyeing stuff with plant material is just so much fun. Since I wasn’t crazy about the yellow color the marigolds dyed my yarn (it’s for a sweater for myself, and I am just not going to wear big bird yellow, no matter how sunny and lovely a color it is), I wanted to try over-dyeing it with jewel weed.
It’s a great time of year to find jewel weed and there are huge stands right in my neighborhood. Above is the prettier spot- tucked down in a creek valley that runs along a street just a few blocks from me. I also picked a bunch on another street, but it was littered with trash, old tvs and even a few rats.
Since it would be a few days until the dye bath, I chopped and froze half of what I had gathered, and left the other half to wilt in a paper bag. Just ’cause.
Tuesday night, I headed over to my bud Heidi’s house. She has an outdoor range so we didn’t heat/steam up the house with the hours of boiling. You can see her chicken coop and bunny hutches at the back of the yard.
She had pre-mordanted her yarn and mine was good to go since once you’ve used a mordant, you don’t have to redo it, even with multiple dyes- or so I am told. I did pre-wet it, however. We set the big pot (it was her great grandmother’s) on the stove, filled it with water and the jewelweed and set her a-boil!
Then we poured the dye water back into the big pot. Look at that color! You can see my yellow yarn to the right of me in this picture- it won’t be yellow for long!
Dyeing with a good buddy and a couple beers isn’t required for a successful dyeing experience, but it’s highly recommended. The moon is bonus points.
And we stirred it sometimes- or more accurately- mashed the stuff gently back down into the liquid. After a little over an hour, we turned the burner off and left it to sit overnight.
I’m sure they won’t be quite this vivid after the rinse, but I am absolutely in love with the color.
I would definitely wear a sweater THAT color!