Hello friends!

I completely forgot what date it was until I went to add my T post and saw Elizabeth’s Second on the Second post.  I’m still not 100% better so that’s my excuse for not paying attention to dates and days of the week lol.  So I looked randomly for old posts published in May and this one popped up from 2014.  This was such a fun weekend, and I dyed so many fibres when I got home from this class, I became quite obsessed with it.  Shortly after this class, a few weeks late, I had a holiday in the Outer Hebrides and collected a lot of the lichens and other plants they used originally to dye the Harris tweeds.  Just click on the thumbnails to see a bigger version.  We are also treated to a photo of dear Wombat who was the sweetest natured cat in the world.  I miss him every day.

Second on the Second

Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s Second on the Second Challenge asks that you bring back a post that you’re proud of or an old one that was shared before anyone knew of your blog.  The post I chose for Second on the Second today is one from May 2014 – remember this is a second look at an OLD POST, this time from 2014, not a current post! Hope you find it amusing.  Enjoy…

original post is below

Yesterday I attended a Dyeing with Plants workshop at Craft Town Scotland and hosted by Ann Ross from the Scottish Feltmakers (they also had an exhibition downstairs in the gallery).  The general outline for the class was as follows:

 Plant dyes produce an amazing diversity of rich and  complex colours as well as unexpected results.  This practical workshop gives you the opportunity to “dabble in dyes” and build up a selection of samples of both yarns and fibres.  You will learn about the plants and processes to use. From mordanting and using modifiers to produce a range of colours.  Enjoy experimenting and discover how to produce the “Colours of Scotland” All equipment and resources will be provided but you may like to bring along some of your own yarns and fibre.

I’ve dabbled a wee bit with plant dyeing before, mostly with some of the more common/well known plants known for dyeing, such as onions, nettles, coffee, tea, tumeric etc, but I was interested in learning more about what other local wild plants could be used for producing good dyes and of course, being inspired by the colours of Scotland, I was intrigued to see what plants could be used and what I could possibly track down when on my trip next month.

It was very much a hands-on workshop, with seven of us gathered around the cooking pots like the witches from “the Scottish play”, very hubble, bubble, toil and trouble. We started with lichens native to Scotland, and requiring no mordants to fix the dye.  Then moved on to other plants like Heather, Alder, Mint, Broom, Rhubarb root and Red Onion, experimenting with various mordants and additives.  We dyed mostly wool yarns and fleece, and a bit of silk, but I also brought along some plant fibres (cotton, cheesecloth, linen) and some roving.  The animal fibres do take the dye a lot better and much deeper than the plant fibres.  We started at 10am and were finished by just after 3pm, after an hour for lunch.

Here are some photos I took on the day:

Once I was home I was really keen to try some of the dyeing for myself, so I got stuck in.

I’m so excited and impressed by some of the amazing colours you can get from these (mostly) very common plants.  I can’t wait to see what I can find on my trip next month.  Even Wombat was intrigued by the smells or maybe he just wanted some of that yarn!  In any case, he’s doing a good job of keeping an eye on it for me LOL

This rhubarb dye colour is probably my favourite.  I have a lot of rhubarb in the garden which we usually just eat but maybe we can spare some of it for dyeing fibres!


original post is above

I hope you enjoyed a second look or probably a first look, at this post from 2014.


Second on the Second

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4 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Peppylady (Dora)
May 7, 2023 1:24 am

I done a little dying and I enjoy doing it.
Coffee is on, and stay safe.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth
May 3, 2023 12:35 am

That rhubarb turned out great. I have used red onion shells, turmeric, cabbage, and of course, rust. Right now, I am planning to dye some spinach and avocado pits and shells. I love that you did all that work and the fibers turned out GREAT. Thanks for this amazing second look on the 2nd. I learned a lot, too.

Erika N
May 2, 2023 12:16 pm

I’ve played around a bit with natural dyeing and it is such fun, isn’t it? Maybe I can spare some rhubarb too because I do enjoy that pretty color it made. This was a fun read and even inspired me that it’s just about time to get out and do it some more. Happy May Elle. hugs-Erika

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