Monday, October 17, 2011

Poison poison boil and bubble

Lately I've been farmy enough to post something almost every day this week!

Oh the joy of it!

So Sunday was my only day off this weekend and I squeezed every ounce of farminess in to every nook and cranny of it that I could possibly manage.  So much so that at one point, I was simmering down apples for apple butter right next to a steaming vat of poisonous berries I used to dye some wool.  Don't want to be crossing over stirring devices in THAT situation!

I felt very witchy while dying this time around.  I had gone out and bought dark green nail polish and as I stirred the vat of poisonous berries, I felt I was channeling my inner witch. The one who loves Halloween and has a strange desire to scare little children.  Bwaaahhhahahaha!


Ok well anyway, here's some photos:

Pokeberries - I ended up with about 3.25#  Definitely a glove-worthy project

Inside of the pan - isn't the color gorgeous?  It's about what the final color of the fiber will be.

Simmering down the dye bath

Right next door, yummy apples cooking for apple butter.

There were an amazing amount of seeds in the bottom of the dye pot!
I kept some for planting on the farm. 

Nope, nobody was murdered in the production of this yarn

But I did manage to make it look like it.....'blood' on the wall of the kitchen
'Blood' on the sink

And finally the wool (Shetland mordant in vinegar) was added

And the final product?  We'll find out in the morning, lid on and setting overnight!
Eye spy someone with a you?
Pokeberry dye is hard to nail really.  The times I've tried I've over heated the dye and ended up with a yucky brown.  I had my mom buy me this book at the Yarn Barn in Kansas as they were driving through on their way back from Alaska.  There was a very specific recipe in there for pokeberry dye using only vinegar as the mordant, evidently, the pH is key to getting the dye to truly hold.

I had to try it, the color it yields in the book is a gorgeous raspberry, not to mention my husband took one look at that color and said, "You have to dye that and knit me something with it!" so now I'm on the hunt for more pokeberries as well.  They are poisonous, yes, but hey, I'm not eating them!  And I promise not to eat the yarn, no matter how absolutely luscious it might look.

Here was the final product in the morning....OoOoOo....preeetty, drip dry, rinse and spin it in to yarn-what a delight!


  1. Ooohhh, that DID turn out pretty! You'll have to show us what you end up making with it! :)

  2. That's so funny! I used pokeberries to dye with last week. I love the color it creates.

  3. It's an amazing color! I love it! I will be sure to post the end product knitted up.

  4. Guess what?! I finally passed on the award. Read about it in today's blog post.

  5. Beautiful!! I really would like to learn wool spinning's on my bucket list! Love, love, love the color!