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Monday, October 29, 2012

I've Been Dyeing to Show You

 Hello there! Until yesterday we were enjoying a wonderful fall with temperatures in the 60s or 70s by day and 50s by night.  Wonderful time of year.
 Morning glories are blooming on the chicken yard fence.  We like to keep our fence clear, but these aren't weeds; I didn't have the heart to pull them down. They're still blooming since we haven't had a frost yet.
 Our jalapeno peppers did very well in the garden this year. I saved some in jars, but we have literally stuffed ourselves with them more than once since I found the best recipe here that is amazingly similar to Cheddar Peppers @ Sonic, only better. ;)
 
 I made a batch of soap and defiantly cut a few of the bars fatter than usual. I'm just stubborn sometimes. ;)
 I prepared some off-white yarn to try dyeing with ...
 These lovely poke berries that I gathered in the pasture.
 I have wanted to do this for ages. Anyway, I used the directions in my book Harvesting Color to guide me. Here I pre-mordanted the wool in vinegar for two hours. This method as described in the book yielded better results than I'd had before. The book may be available at your local library, if not, you can request they get it. Wonderful book on natural dyes.
 Meantime, I squeezed the berries then strained them and brought the mixture to the correct temperature for the dyebath.
 As I lowered the wool in the bath it soaked up so much color I had a feeling it was going to work. The dyebath was kept at 170 degrees for two hours then I turned the heat off, covered it with a lid and let set overnight.
 Here's the finished result. The yarn is actually darker red than the pic, but my camera is defiant, too, so this is the as close to the true color shade as I could get.
 Goodman built some raised beds for my strawberry plants. I really enjoy working in raised beds as I can sit on the side and weed away without getting a backache. We filled them with regular topsoil mixed with mushroom compost. That's asparagus in the far back bed. Goodman found some asparagus plants growing along the back fenceline, and we put them in the bed. I'm pretty sure they grew from seeds of the plants I had several years ago, that were scattered by birds.
Hope you're having a wonderful fall, Y'all!
Linked with: Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Good Fences




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Summers Acres: The HomeAcre Hop



31 comments:

  1. What wonderful things you have been up to!!! I am going to have to try some of those peppers.

    Have a great week,

    Kay

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    1. Kay, I think you'll like the cheddar peppers. Let me know if you do. :)

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  2. Wow ... I need to head to TN for some cheddar jalapenos! Literally, my mouth watered when I saw the photo. haha

    The yarn is so beautiful. I love the color of pokeberries. I've not dyed yarn ... yet. It's on my list ... as is soap. The bar I got from you years ago is what makes me want to make it. The scent and feel was so soft and delicate.

    I hope you don't get much of Sandy. She doesn't appear to be very nice. It's cold and rainy here right now ... snow is predicted. I had to turn on the furnace this morning! I dreaded having to do that.

    Stay warm my friend ...

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    1. Thank you Lesleyann. I hope Sandy is kind to you, too. :)

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    2. Oh, I wanted to mention that I use Normal Coney's book The Complete Soapmaker when I make soap. I just love to make soap! Give it a try when you can. :D

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  3. What a great post! I love the soaps and that yarn turned out gorgeous! I have never attempted to dye my own yarn ~ or make my own soap for that matter! What fun! And a bit of work it looks like. I love the Morning Glories and the sweet birdie. The jalepenos however....... well .... a bit too hot for me :)

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  4. Thank you Danette. It is a bit of work to dye yarn and make soap, and it makes a big mess, but I have a lot of fun with both. :))

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  5. I love handmade soap..........always intimidated to try to make any. Yours looks wonderful. I love the pretty yarn and those berries!

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    1. Kathleen, soapmaking is not difficult or scary as long as you take precautions and follow your directions closely. The Complete Speaker by Norma Coney is well written and has a lot of beautiful pictures for inspiration.

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  6. THAT is a good bluebird picture!

    I'm terribly jealous that you've been enjoying morning glories in late October. Everything's been brown up here for weeks!

    I think poke has finally vindicated itself. That is a very excellent shade of red/burgundy. Heaven knows eating the leaves ain't hardly worth it.

    Btw, I think fat soap bars are luxuriant. -.-

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  7. TG, I'll trade you a bar of the soap for some of your snow! :D

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  8. Awesome photos! Love, love your naturally dyed yarn! Beautiful color. Your morning glories are wonderful. I wouldn't have been able to pull them up either!! Greta photos of your bluebird!

    We just got our power back last night. Hard to be unplugged....but you do appreciate it more when it comes back on! Feel terrible for all of those poor souls who are suffering...very sad!

    Enjoy the rest of your week :)

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    1. Thanks, Deb! I'm so glad you made it through the storm okay. I agree - no power is not fun. I feel really bad for the ones that are suffering, too. So sad.

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  9. Look at that gorgeous yarn! It turned out just perfect... You go, girl!
    Love the birdie pictures... and the peppers look yummy.

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  10. Hi! Same thing happened to us. Warm one week and then it just got cold! The morning glories are beautiful. Homemade jalapeno poppers are so good and yours look delicious! I have wanted to learn how to make soap for some time now. I just need to do it and get it over with. Yours turned out great! I remember getting pokeberries all over me as a kid. I am glad my kids have never discovered them. :) Your yarn turned out beautiful! Your raised beds are great. I hope your strawberries do great. They are my favorite thing to grow.

    Hope you are having a great week.

    :)Vicki

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  11. those poke berries sure do make a pretty color ! What will you knit with your dyed yarn ? perfect color for Fall !

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  12. Hello, again, Magnolia Tea,
    I can't tell you how much I love birds, and I see them in several of your posts. Your poke berry dye job turned out beautifully! The color is gorgeous!

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  13. Oh wow, the poke berries turned your yarn such a beautiful color - perfect for Fall :) What project will you work on with your lovely new yarn? Thank you for sharing and may you have a blessed week!

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  14. Love the pokeberry dye! We shared with our FB readers at homesteadlady.com.

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  15. Those morning glories are gorgeous. Don't they just brighten the day?

    Thanks for joining the Maple Hill Hop! See you there next week!

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  16. You are quite the productive woman! I love it! The yarn came out beautiful! This is something my daughter would enjoy doing so I will have to show this post to her! Thank you for sharing that at our HERBAL LINK UP :) Have a wonderful week ~ JES:)

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  17. Beautiful color on the wool yarn!
    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop!
    Sandra
    http://www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com

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  18. thanks for the morning glory blast! your dyeing is pretty slick, too!

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  19. I love the morning glories, pretty shot.. And the bluebirds are beautiful. I have seen some of my birds eating the pokeberries.. Great idea using them for dye. Great post, enjoy your evening.

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  20. you are sure crafty! love the color you made!

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  21. I so love the yarn. Can't say that I've done anything worthwhile with Poke weed or berries except take photo of them. I love seeing them. so colorful. Kudos to you for all your skills.

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  22. the morning glory is beautiful and your yarn turned out great.

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  23. Oh that morning glory on the fence is so pretty. Love the color your yarn turned out.

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  24. You are very clever making your soap and dyeing your yarn. Love the morning glory on the fence

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  25. Such a pretty bird on your fence! Morning glories grow so fast here in New Zealand that they are classified as a pest!

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Thank you for your comments!