Dandelion dyeing

A photo essay “Using Dandelions for Dyeing




Day Lillies are everywhere. My plan is to collect the day old flowers until I can get enough to use for a dye. Alum is the mordant.

I have been spinning up the rhubarb dyed wool with some dark green. I am thinking of making this a 2 ply yarn with itself…possibly using for socks. Maybe I will leave this as a single ply and use it as the weft for making a cover for a ladies bench I have. That’s a lot of my problem right there. When I make yarn for myself, I bounce around for awhile as to what the final use will be.green n rhubarb on spool


matzoh ball fleece     wool balls copyThis is what I came up with for the scrap fleece. I felted these balls. They are fist full size and squishy, with a firm core. I used a felting needle. MacGyver uses them for juggling. The kids and I just throw them around.

Here is a picture of the rhubarb plant in my yard, using the leaves for mordant and the roots for dye.rhubarb copy

So far I haven’t used the stalks for pies. We planted these to fill up a large space that needed quick, tall and attractive growth. It far exceeded our expectations. 

This is the color that resulted on a test swatch.rhubarb dyed wool copy I would call it “Old Gold”rhubarb dyed wool knitted2 copy

Hello Dolly!


The sun finally came out this afternoon. On Tuesday I put crushed rhubarb leaves and water in one container (on the left) and sliced rhubarb root and water in the other (on the right). It needs at least 5 days of sun to simmer, before straining out the liquid. The one on the left is the mordant and the right one is the dye. The dye color can go from yellow to coral/red. I guess it all depends on concentration and the mordant you use.


That’s wool from the Boggs Hill fleece , on the screens, drying in the background. I plan to use this long wooled sheep fiber to rhubarb dye.

This is a small sampling of leftover fleece that is too short or on its way to being felted. I put some in my compost…figuring it will help aerate the soil. I put some in my boots and youngest sons sneakers…adding cushioning. I guess some could be used to stuff pillows or toys. OR? Short of throwing it out.

Any suggestions…

What to do with the fleece that isn’t spinnable?

June 16, 2009


That’s Dolly Wool, from a “Husky”. Chiengora as the French would define it.  The yarn is sooo very soft with a beautiful bloom.  The pictures don’t do it justice. The owners of the dog will be very pleased.