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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Harvesting Color

Sometimes it is fun to read about a craft that you really have absolutely NO intention of ever actually trying yourself.  In that vein, at least for me, is this week's book:  HARVESTING COLOR: HOW TO FIND PLANTS AND MAKE NATURAL DYES by Rebecca Burgess.

This book shows how to identify and harvest plants, wild plants aka weeds for the most part, to use in dying homespun yarn.  The book begins with chapters detailing equipment and materials needed in order to make homemade dyes.  She also has a whole chapter of dye recipes that she has used and tested to help you successfully dye your lambs' wool yarn.
The remainder of the book is divided by the seasons and show which plants are plentiful by season, where to find the plants (within the U.S.), how to determine when to harvest the plants, and what hue a dye from each plant will produce.  I enjoyed the information on the plants because I am surrounded by prairies full of many of the flowers she shows.  I learned quite a bit about different prairie flowers.  I was often surprised by the hue different plants made.  I would expect a bright red flower to make a bright red dye, but that was rarely the case.  Even though I will (probably) never dye any yarn, it was still a fun book to look through.
Have you ever spun your own yarn?  Dyed your own yarn?  Both processes looked super labor intensive to me.  Since yarn crafts are beyond me...I'll stick to just reading about spinning and dying.
Have a fun day, and take care of you!

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