We have a ton of berries growing at the back edge of our property. Mostly black raspberries and some mulberry too. So when J brought in a huge tub of berries what did I immediately think of? Wool, of course!
Researched natural dyeing on the internet & found that I needed to use a mordant like alum to use a natural dye. I was going to...even had J pick some up at the grocery store. But then I read that even when using alum from the spice aisle you can no longer use the dyeing pot for food...NOT gonna work :(
I read some more & thought that maybe I could use vinegar as the mordant instead...well I could try anyway, right? I skeined up 50g of Fishermen's Knitting Wool and got to work.
Here's my mashed black raspberries
In the crockpot with yarn
Lookin' good :)
Not much bleeding right out of the pot :)
Hmm...it's a bit brown :(
Overdyed with 2 packets strawberry kool aid...too red :(
Overdyed again with one packet berry blue kool aid...acceptable
Crocheted into a pony with some purple hair (as requested) by Serena.
Where does the "yarn barf" come in, you ask? I've heard this term used for crazy-looking thick & thin yarn made by newbie spinners. And also seen it used to describe knitted objects that are not looking very attractive. However, I'm using it in another way. "Yarn Barf" is how I would describe the atrocious smell that came from my crockpot as I was over-dyeing (both times). Now granted I did the over-dyes right away and did not dry the yarn in between so maybe that contributed to it. But my guess is that it was the OVER-cooked black raspberries exacting their revenge. I conditioned the yarn & lanolized it lightly with some lavender and eucalyptus oil and now it finally doesn't smell repulsive anymore :)