Dried Daffodils and Rhubarb Leaves

By now you are familiar with the photo below- drying yarn on my otherwise unused warp board. This time it may look a bit drab. So apparently when one dries daffodils you get a very muted yellow- more straw than daffodil. This isn’t unwelcome- a great many of us do not choose to walk around in bright yellow clothing. This was the same result I achieved when I dried golden rod. Marigolds are a bit hardier in terms of color retention and when I used them this winter, I got a stronger yellow orange. But this is all for my records and of little interest to you- except perhaps that these are all grown locally, picked by me and used with the least amount of water I can use- luckily this is not that difficult as soaking baths and exhaust baths are very reusable. The newest thing I tried was simmering rhubarb leaves to make a mordant solution. Mordant, you will recall, is that stuff which helps the yarn hold on to the dye we choose to use. With plant dyes, mordants are a must for colorfastness. Typically, I use alum to keep my life as toxic free as possible. For rhubarb I headed the warnings, donned rubber gloves and a good mask (for some reason, I just happen to have dozens of those lying around) and set up outside away from my house windows! The result looks promising, the yarn definitely took up the solution. Now the proof will be in the pudding. I will allow these skeins to dry then dye these skeins over the next few days. I can’t wait! I am all out of rhubarb leaves, but if it works, I have space for more plants. Also, I am dying mulberry silk yarn that is wonderful and very elegant. I will get this available as soon as I can with a cute hat pattern. In the meantime, do yourself a favor, look at your projects and work on the ones that bring you the most joy -or at least the ones that will reduce your feeling of dread of the unfinished projects. Think about how you approach knitting and crochet and slow down and enjoy. Be mindful of your yarns, your patterns and those for whom you knit. Life keeps going at the speed of, well life! Make sure you don’t miss it.

Knit Naturally, Christine

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