Saturday, October 18, 2008

Black walnut dyeing

Black walnut husks make a very strong dye, and I wanted to try it on some yarn. Luckily, my parents have some majestic black walnut trees on their place (above). The nuts fall to the ground (below), which make them easy to harvest.

I used a piece of wood to separate the husks from the nuts, then put the husks into enough water to cover them (below), and let that soup sit outside for a couple days.

Then I strained out the bits and pieces of the husks, and put in the yarn. I put one skein in for 24-hours, and it turned a darker golden brown. The second skein was put in for shorter times - dyed so it would be self-striping. From doing a little research on black walnuts, some folks recommend heating the dye, but I dyed these outside in a bucket and it seemed to work well.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hunting season hat

It's deer hunting season in western PA and my dad requested a (birthday) hat that would let hunters know he wasn't a deer when walking through the woods. The pattern is "a very plain hat" from the blog "feather and fan". It's knit with a double-strand everywhere except the brim, so it's very warm - actually too warm for the 70-80 degree indian summer weather. The black yarn is Knit Picks, and the orange is from a recycled sweater, dyed with food color to make it bright orange.